Pumpkin Red Curry

This Pumpkin Red Curry is hearty and warming with sweet notes to it from the coconut and kabocha squash in it. Cooks in less than 30 minutes!

Pumpkin curry plated with a scoop of brown rice, avocado and some cilantro sprinkled over top.

Sweet and spicy curries like this hold a special place in my heart. This one in particular is easy enough to make and enjoy on a weeknight, but convenient and tasty enough to enjoy throughout the week for meal prep. And considering it’s balanced with a lot of nourishing ingredients, it will also make you feel great too.

If you’ve loved some of my other curries, I am pretty sure you will want to add this to the rotation too.

Why You’ll Love This Curry

  • This rich curry is vegan and gluten free.
  • It’s creamy and hearty thanks to the red lentils and coconut milk.
  • It’s easy to customize to your preferences and I have some recommended swaps listed below.
  • Comes together in less than 30 minutes.

Key Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Thai Red Curry Paste: Make sure it is vegan by reading the label, this paste is the main source of flavor.
  • Kabocha Squash: If you don’t have available at your local market, you can typically find it in Asian grocery stores. You can also substitute this ingredients with butternut squash or sweet potato if those are easier to find.
  • Red Lentils: Provides extra creaminess as it breaks down and also adds in extra plant based protein.
  • Chickpeas: Use canned chickpeas to make this dish super fast.
  • Coconut Milk: Pairs well with the spiciness of the red curry, but also helps to add more richness to the broth. If you are allergic to coconut milk, you can substitute it for equal amount oat milk.

How to Make this Pumpkin Red Curry

Sauté your onions and carrots in a little oil, then add in your aromatics including the garlic, ginger and curry paste.

Once your flavors have bloomed, add in your squash, beans and lentils.

Add in your coconut milk, vegetable broth, gluten free soy sauce and sweetener.

Allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until red lentils have broken down and curry thickens.

Steam any additional vegetables by mixing them into the curry and allowing them to simmer for 5 minutes before serving.

Tips for Making The Perfect Curry

  • Bloom the Thai Red Curry paste. To really get the most out of this spicy paste, you need to include oil in the preparation. There’s a noticeable difference with this dish when you cook the spices in oil versus without.
  • If you don’t have access to kabocha squash you can opt for things like sweet potato or butternut squash as a substitute.
  • I used red lentils for this recipe to help thicken this curry without as much coconut milk. If you don’t have red lentils, add an extra can of chickpeas and at the end before adding the broccoli, blend 1/3 of this curry until smooth for a more velvety and creamy texture to it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you peel and cut a winter squash?

My best suggestions is to cut off the top and bottom of your squash to provide a sturdy surface to rest your squash on. If you do not want to consume the peel of your kabocha squash, you can peel it off with a vegetable peeler or carefully glide your knife from top to bottom of the squash to discard the peel. Once peeled, you can then cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds before cubing it.

Can I freeze this curry?

This curry is perfect for meal prep. The longer this curry sits, the more flavorful it will become. When ready to store, divide the cooled curry in individual airtight containers to take with you the beginning half of the week. Any extra can be frozen as well for up to 3 months.

Is curry healthy?

Between the preparation and the inclusion of an abundant different vegetables and plant proteins, this dish is very balanced and nutritious. We get a range of different antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin A (beta-carotene) from the squash and lots of fiber and iron from the chickpeas and lentils.

What to Pair Your Curry With

Your pumpkin red curry is loaded with a combination of vegetables, starches and plant based protein. You can make this dish even more filling by pairing your curry with some rice and adding some additional fats like avocado to it.

To make your curry spicier, you can also sauté your aromatics with some red pepper flakes or cook down a serrano pepper to enhance the spice.

More Curry Recipes to Try

Side view of the curry with a close up of the chickpeas and broccoli stirred in.
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Top down shot of curry with rice and avocado.

Pumpkin Red Curry

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American


This Pumpkin Red Curry is hearty and warming with sweet notes to it from the coconut and kabocha squash in it. Cooks in less than 30 minutes!


  • 2 tsp oil or 2 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 carrot (sliced)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 inch ginger (minced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 tbsp red Thai curry paste
  • 2 cups kabocha squash or peeled sweet potato (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • Lime wedges for serving (optional)


  1. In a large pot add carrots and onions and sauté until onions are translucent.
  2. Add in minced garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant.
  3. To the pot, add your red curry paste and stir it for about 2 minutes to fully bloom the spices (if the paste starts sticking add a splash of vegetable broth to loosen).
  4. Once fragrant, add your squash and red lentils and stir to coat.
  5. Next, stir in the chickpeas and sauté for a minute to coat.
  6. Add sugar, soy sauce, coconut milk and vegetable broth to the pan, stir and bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer.
  7. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
  8. After 20 minutes elapse, add broccoli florets and cover with a lid to steam for 4-5 minutes or until broccoli is bright green.
  9. Squeeze some lime juice over top, stir and serve as desired.


To make sure this dish is gluten free, make sure to use gluten free soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos. 

Do not be afraid to use canned chickpeas. They save time and once rinsed well typically has less sodium and starches that promote gas. They are a life saver. 

The spiciness of this dish is dependent on the brand of curry paste you use. Most brands will indicate the level of spiciness on the packaging. 

Did You Try This Recipe?
Then let me know what you thought! Share your creations by tagging me on Instagram with the hashtag #plantbasedrdeats


One Comment

  1. The flavor for this curry is out of this world good. Love the choice of spices and how easy this was to put together. My new favorite pumpkin recipe! Looking forward to the leftovers.

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