30-Minute Squash Coconut Curry Recipe - Skillful Cook
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30-Minute Squash Coconut Curry

26 reviews / 4.8 average

There is no way to make this squash coconut curry sound as seriously delicious as it is.

And yes, I know. I made curry again. It's becoming a problem. Like, I haven't made anything in recent memory that wasn't some unusual use of cauliflower or a vegetarian curry. I think I might have even combined my two loves not that long ago. Helppp. Leave me some inspiration in the comments or something. My blog is dying a slow and happy curry death.

If I could only ever make one meal at home for the rest of forever, I would choose curry - vegetarian, extra saucy, with cilantro all over it. Oh wait, is that what this is? Ok. Yeah.

Squash coconut curry in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

The curry variations that I make, and have been making for a long time, aren't really real curries. This is obvious because 1) they don't taste like my favorite Indian restaurant, and 2) sometimes I go on YouTube and watch videos about Indian home cooking (where did those four hours go?), and their curries are just way better. When I watch these women cook, I feel overwhelmed and entranced and inspired to go find star anise and kaffir lime leaves and cardamom pods. Isn't there something about cooking videos on YouTube, anyways? Like some kind of magnetism that just pulls you in? Where even if you kind of don't really like it, you find yourself loving it? Food. We just love food.

But anyways. My motivation for finding the ingredients for real curry melts away reeeal fast when it's a billion degrees outside and I literally can't drive myself anywhere.

So I just stay home and turn on the fan and make my own 30-minute curry. Happy.

Squash coconut curry in a skillet.

I don't mean to bad-mouth squash, my most beloved vegetable of the last year, but I did crave a replacement of sweet potatoes as I was making this. In case I haven't already obnoxiously made it known to the world, I haven't found any orange sweet potatoes here in the Philippines. Purple sweet potatoes? Yes. They're here. And thaaat's kinda cool. But of course I don't want purple when I can actually have a ready supply of purple. Of course I have to go and want orange. Sometimes I am frustrating.

I promise to try to make a purple sweet potato recipe before we leave the Philippines. Just to show you.

It turns out squash is also really good in this curry. I mean, I knew it would be because I've been eating squash like crazy this year, but this squash lovin' takes it to a whole new level. The creamy, peanutty curry sauce is perfect with that tender, delicate squash. That is vegetable heaven right there.

By the way, bulgur? It's in here. I mixed it in with everything. It sounds way more scary than it is but if you've never tried it, this is your time. Think healthier, nuttier rice that cooks in 15 minutes.


Squash coconut curry in a skillet.

The fire roasted tomatoes were a total last minute decision but Helloooo Yummy. I was so glad I had a few cans of those on hand from my recent purchase of every fire-roasted tomato can in the whole store escapade. I've learned that certain things are hard to find in the Philippines, so when you find what you want, you've gotta act. And I mean fill-your-cart-full act.

All things considered, I will definitely be eating curry forever.

Squash coconut curry on a plate.
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A picture of 30-Minute Squash Coconut Curry

30-Minute Squash Coconut Curry


This 30 minute squash coconut curry is fast, easy, and super healthy. With coconut milk, curry paste, peanut butter, cilantro, tomatoes, and squash.


  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each curry powder and chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each turmeric and cayenne pepper
  • 5-6 cups peeled, chopped squash (I used kabocha - butternut would be good, too)
  • 1 15-ounce can thick coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste (I used Massaman curry paste)
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 15-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cup light bulgur, uncooked
  • cilantro for topping


  1. Cook bulgur according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
  3. Sprinkle the dry seasonings (curry, chili, turmeric, cayenne) over the squash and toss to combine. Pour the coconut milk into the skillet and whisk the curry, peanut butter, and honey into the coconut milk until smooth. Add the seasoned squash and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until squash is tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes (the sauce will thicken).
  4. Add the bulgur to the skillet and mix well, or serve the curry over individual servings of bulgur. Add chopped cilantro just before serving.


Depending on your curry paste, you might want to add a little extra salt. Three tablespoons of Massaman curry paste was just spicy enough to give it a little kick, but if you don't like spicy, go easy on the curry paste or choose a mild variety.
This makes 6 (HUGE and very filling) servings.
Here's how I cut my squash.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: squash coconut curry, coconut curry, vegetarian curry

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am all for the quick curries. I am sure curry turns out delicious when you can grind fenugreek leaves and cardamom pods to a paste together in your mortar and pestle… but seriously, buying a jar of curry paste is way more convenient. Love it!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Just made this curry tonight, and it is indeed, as everyone is saying, delicious. It is not, however, a “quick curry.” The only way I imagine this could be made in 30 minutes is if you have your garlic, squash, and ginger prepared before starting, or if you had 3-4 people chipping in, or if you’ve made the dish so many times that you don’t have to even think about the ingredients or steps, and even then, it took longer to cook the squash than the advertised 15-minutes. It took more like 25.

      I have quite a bit of experience cooking, and going at a regular pace, it took me two hours to make it, even with my wife making the bulgar.

      I would recommend this recipe if you want to make a delicious curry, but if you’re having guests, leave yourself plenty of time.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        This is the first time I made it and it only took 30 minutes – only because the butternut squash I used took a little longer to cook.

        It was delicious and a crowd pleaser!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    hmm, I am another who turns to curry (my favorite is green!) for a come-together-quick dinner, so this makes me happy.

    I love purple potatoes, and always have SO MANY IDEAS for them, and rarely find them. I was able to find them for the last several months, so I have been happily creating all things purple – and still understand the irony of you only wanting orange 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I made this with purple potatoes from my garden – so yummy! I loved the burst of color.

      For those saying this recipe takes longer than 30 minutes, I made it without the bulgur in my Instant Pot and it was super quick. (Saute veggies and spices first, then put in liquids and set pressure to high for 3 minutes!)

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love curries, and especially love healthy food fast, so super love all your curry recipes. And I don’t eat meat, so it feels like you are making these just for me!! Thanks for that!!
    I really want to go on a tangent about how in Okinawa the people have the longest life expectancy in the world, and how the biggest staple in their diet is the purple sweet potato… but I will control myself. I am so jealous that you can get your hands on them all the time there!! Wanna do a sweet potato swap!? 😉

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes! If I figure out anything else creative to do with the rest of my bag of bulgur I’ll be sure to post it. 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks so fab, and super easy!
    Your post is making me miss the yummy Ube (Filipino for purple yam) when we were there. They use it almost exclusively in desserts and sweet breads and MAN is it good!! It’s easy to find them here, in the Asian grocery, but it’s just not the same! Mmm Ube jam (like apple butter in consistency) on toast…makes me want to go back!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Ohhhhmylove my goodness. I made this tonight. Incredible. I thought I made a good red curry… But no. I made some changes though. I omitted the turmeric and curry and just used more paste. I also used crunchy pb, which added texture. One thing I think you must add is fish sauce, or in PI, patis. It makes such a huge difference. I’ll be making this again soon sine the hubs also loved it. Thank you for another great recipe!

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Nice work with the crunchy peanut butter! I wanted to add crushed peanuts but I didn’t have any. And I will be sure to sneak some patis in next time!

          1. Skillful Cook Logo

            Ok, this was one of those dishes I just couldn’t stop eating! I’m in vegan heavan! My stomach said enough, but my mouth said no way. Delish! I also added nutritional yeast flakes to get in some B12, you couldn’t taste them, just wanted the vitamins! Amazing recipe, one my new favorites!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Anything that has 30 minutes and coconut in the title immediately catches my attention. I happen to have everything but the squash in my kitchen so I may need to try this recipe after a quick trip to the store. It sounds awesome!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey, curry is not a problem! In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s never a problem. 🙂 The idea of pairing squash with coconut and peanut curry sauce sounds pretty amazing.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have often said that if I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, curry would definitely be it! This looks pretty dang awesome to me!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This seriously looks delicious! Thanks for posting it for us 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love when you post healthier vegetarian meals! This looks SO amazing. And I’m glad to finally find a use for bulgar. I bought some forever ago all excited and then never figured out what I’m supposed to do with it 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Bulgur – the mystery grain. It’s so delicious but sometimes I feel like I have no idea what to do with it either!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    You can never have too much squash or too much curry.I make my one versions of this frequently and always have a squash in pantry. I have never used peanut butter in squash curry so that’s something to look forward to.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I seriously love Indian food and don’t know why I haven’t made curry yet! Love the idea of making it with squash!