Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry

25 reviews / 4.9 average

I am in love with kabocha squash. Did I tell you that already?

It might have something to do with the fact that it’s the most readily available vegetable in the Philippines that comes closest to resembling a sweet potato and a pumpkin. And when I think of sweet potatoes and pumpkins, I think of dreams coming true.

Honestly, I am kind of shy about sharing this recipe.

Yellowy squash lentil curry is not, um, pretty, really.

But here’s the thing – it’s divine. And easy. And healthy! I couldn’t NOT give it to you. That would be like lying considering that this is what I’ve been eating for the last one thousand days. It’s so, so good. Indian-inspired comfort food with a little bit of spicy and a lot of creamy.

First, cut and peel your squash. This is how I do it. Secondly, cook your lentils. You can totally do this ahead of time and store them in the fridge.

Lentils in a clear container.

Simmer your squash with a roughly chopped onion in vegetable broth and get intoxicated from the cozy smell.

Kabocha Squash in a skillet.

Run through the blender and return to the pan. Hello gorgeous, creamy, and smooth.

Curry sauce pouring into a skillet.

Add the spices, curry paste, coconut milk and the lentils and let it all get comfy in the pan for a little bit. Time = flavor.

After all that to-do about the lentils not being very pretty, it turns out that my favorite pictures of this dish were the ones with no extra props or garnishes.

Just regular squash lentil curry.

Go figure.

Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry in a white bowl on a wooden surface.

Sometimes I add tomatoes and rice to the pan because sometimes things are better when they're all mixed together.

Good grief, I just love this stuff.

And hi, I’m from Minnesota and I say things like good grief.

Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry in a white bowl.

UPDATE. For all my blended stuff these days, I always have the best results with my new Blendtec Designer Series Blender. If you're in the market for a new grown up blender, this has your name all over it.

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kabocha squash lentil curry

Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


I love this Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry! A creamy and healthy way to serve your favorite curry. Super easy and incredibly tasty!


  • 2 cups dry brown lentils
  • 4-5 cups peeled, cubed kabocha or Japanese red squash (half of one large squash)
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Massaman red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • Greek yogurt and rice for serving


  1. Cook the lentils in a large pot of boiling water for 20-30 minutes. When lentils are tender, drain excess water and set aside. If making ahead, store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, saute onion in 1 tablespoon butter. Add squash and vegetable broth. Let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until squash is softened. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pan and add curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and coconut milk. Stir or whisk until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add cooked lentils and tomatoes. Let simmer together for 10-20 minutes and serve over rice, topped with Greek yogurt.


Makes about six 1 cup servings.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Indian-Inspired

Keywords: squash lentil curry, lentil curry, squash curry

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love, love LOVE squash curry. Don’t even worry about photos (this is good looking squash curry though, if you ask me). The taste means everything, and I can tell just by reading the list of ingredients how fab this must be. SO happy that you shared. I’m squash obsessed and always looking to add to my recipe arsenal.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    OMG, I just fowarded this to my fiancee as it’s his turn to make dinner tonight just becuase I am THIS excited to eat it! We both love Indian dishes and I’ve been looking for new recipes to incorporate those flavors. We also live in Minnesota and I was just commenting last night on how Midwestern we are as we sit at the dinner table gushing over how much we both love squash. Yes, last night we had a different squash dish (squash enchiladas). Squash two nights in a row? Don’t mind if I do.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love me some meatless curry and have butternut squash coming out my ears, err pantry… Totally making this on Friday night 🙂 What do you like to serve curry with? In my mind, it’s its own meal, but sometimes I like a side incase the fam doesn’t love it as much as I. Thoughts?

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I think it looks delicious! I’d much prefer staring at a meal I would easily make and enjoy than something that looks pretty but is something I wouldn’t make at home. What I’m trying to say is, it don’t matter none if it’s pretty or not, I bet it tastes fantastic!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Why worry about how pretty it is? The ugliest food always tastes the best. This sounds pretty amazing to me! 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    It looks so glorious! Even with all its lumps and yellowness.
    Adding curry paste to the grocery list.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, I will be rereading your kombucha lesson so that I can scoop up a squash during my next trip to WF and make this recipe. There will be a time when you return home and kombucha is hard to find and you will definitely miss this recipe!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Question; instead of cutting the squash; can you bake it first to make it easier? My kitchen knives are terrible! You should have seen me cut up sweet potatoes yesterday! Dangerous! lol

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes! You can cut in half or in wedges and roast it that way. I prefer to cube it because I’m so hot just thinking about roasting, and simmering the small pieces is a lot faster. But yes you can! 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    YUM! I absolutely love squash and curries! Can’t wait to try this! Do you think I could substitute butternut squash? They are plentiful in Minnesota right now 🙂

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Just made it with butternut squash and it was DEEEEEElicious! And many many leftovers that should freeze well too!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Paul thinks he hates lentils. It’s time for him to learn differently. Or for me to have a lot of lentils.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        LOL – in hindsight, people should reconsider letting me teach English! I think I meant learn otherwise!! 🙂

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a fabulous recipe even tho’ I’ll have to substitute the kind of pumpkin [yes, well, squash is not exactly a vegetable we talk about 🙂 !] as I cannot get yours and it is no longer pumpkin season Down Under anyways!! Wonderful, interesting, easy recipe with quite a few ingredients I normally do not use!!~! Thanks heaps!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so impressed that you can make squash that tastes good. I got brave and tried, last week, with a pretty little acorn squash. I dressed it up with cinnamon, salt, butter, and a bit of maple bourbon syrup. It was stringy and tasted like sand. (You can teach me how to make good squash when you come home to Minnesota. I need tier 3 intervention!)

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      HA! Tier 3. I am sorry to say I do not miss that phrase. I’ve never been big on acorn for the stringy reason. Do you like butternut? It’s a better starter squash. 🙂

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my word – this is my kind of meal. In my family we call this “sickie food” – beautiful soft, comforting food, that doesnt need to be cut up and chewed forever. Thanks so much for sharing, I cant wait to try it.