Easy Coconut Chickpea Curry with Butternut Squash and Spinach
This quick and easy chickpea curry is packed with flavor and nourishing ingredients like spinach, butternut squash, turmeric, coconut milk and more. It’s my go-to weeknight dinner and so comforting!
I know I just posted a chickpea curry recipe pretty recently, but it’s been on our dinner rotation ever since. To my surprise, after naming several dinner options yesterday, my littlest one asked for veggie curry. Creamy coconut chickpea curry made with yellow curry paste is so easy, hearty, and nourishing. I couldn’t resist sharing this variation for the coming fall and winter months. Roasted butternut squash ads the perfect sweetness to the spicy (but not too spicy) yellow coconut curry sauce. Fresh baby spinach ads some much needed green color and freshness to an otherwise very yellow dish. Yellow is good though – this curry’s bright yellow hue comes from inflammation-fighting turmeric.
As I mentioned in the last curry recipe, I like to roast my veggies separately. I pop the cubed butternut squash into the oven to roast while I make the curry on the stovetop. This recipe makes enough to serve a family of four. If you have a larger family, go ahead and add a second can of chickpeas.
When I first started making Thai curries years ago I used curry powder, but could never get that really rich flavorful curry sauce I loved in Thai restaurants or when using pre-made bottled yellow curry sauce. Discovering curry paste was a game changer. Many of us don’t always stock ingredients like lemongrass in our refrigerators to make our own homemade curry paste, so using curry paste makes quick, flavorful curries at home a breeze. I use the Mae Ploy yellow curry paste pictured above. I snapped this picture on my iPhone at our local Asian market. Green curry paste is easier to find at most supermarkets, and you can use that too. I prefer using the yellow curry paste mixed with coconut milk because it’s mild enough for my kids. I use only one tablespoon, but you can use two if you like more heat.
Coconut chickpea curry is a staple in our house and this version with butternut squash and spinach is one of my favorites. It’s warm and comforting while feeling beautifully healthy. It’s made with just a few real food ingredients, and no processed junk.
I hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to watch the quick video to see how it’s done!
Easy Chickpea Coconut Curry with Butternut Squash and Spinach
- 3 tablespoons coconut or extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 lb. (32 oz.) cubed butternut squash
- 1 yellow onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
- 1 (15 oz.) can coconut milk (lite or regular)
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 1-2 (16 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 cups cooked rice or quinoa, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place cubed butternut squash in a baking dish and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add another tablespoon or two of oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender. Add one tablespoon curry paste and stir in. Add the coconut milk, turmeric, and coconut sugar and stir until smooth. Add the chickpeas and let simmer over low heat until the squash is done. Taste the curry sauce and add more curry paste if you would like more heat.
- Stir in the spinach until wilted. Top with the roasted butternut squash and cilantro. Serve curry over rice or quinoa.