Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry

4.74 from 15 votes
45 minutes
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Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry has the light fruitiness of coconut milk, citrusy cilantro, the seductiveness of ginger and garlic and hot green chiles for a lively, fresh vegetarian main course.

Photo of Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry in black bowl with rice garnished with Thai basil.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

This simple, light Thai-inspired vegetarian dish, Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry, is adapted from Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott (published in 1997 by Chronicle Books).

This was a dish I made for my husband early in our marriage.  We were married in 1995 and at the time I was a vegetarian.  He wasn’t crazy about squash because the only way he had ever had it was cooked to death, mashed and then sweetened with brown sugar.  It doesn’t get any more boring than that!

He LOVED this dish and it opened his eyes to the deliciousness of butternut squash.

Close-up photo of Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry and rice in black bowl with fork.

Tips for peeling butternut squash:

Butternut squash can appear intimidating at first to work with.  It’s not difficult once you master the technique.

  • First, select a squash with a long neck. This means you’ll have plenty of flesh without having to cut around the seedy part.
  • Slice the neck into about 3-inch lengths then place the cut side down on a cutting board.
  • With a good, sharp knife, slice downward toward your cutting board, rotating the squash as you remove the thick peel.
  • To peel the bottom of the squash (the part with seeds), slice it in half from the top down.  Place the seed side down and slice into ½ to 1-inch half-moons.
  • Remove the peel and seedy, fibrous interior with a paring knife then cube all the flesh as desired.
Photo showing how to peel butternut squash.
  • To peel the bottom of the squash (the part with seeds), slice it in half from the top down.  Place the seed side down and slice into ½ to 1-inch half-moons.
  • Remove the peel and seedy, fibrous interior with a paring knife then cube all the flesh as desired.
Photo showing how to cut the bottom portion of a butternut squash.

How to make Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry:

  • Gather up all the ingredients:
    • Butternut squash
    • Onion
    • Garlic
    • Shallots
    • Ginger
    • Jalapeno peppers
    • Coconut milk
    • Salt and pepper
  • Cut the butternut squash into approximately 1/2-inch cubes and slice a medium onion vertically.
Photo of the ingredients for the butternut squash curry recipe.
  • The cilantro, jalapenos, shallots, garlic and ginger becomes a lively fresh green curry paste.  Just put it all in a food processor or blender along with a little water.
Photo of ingredients for green curry in mini food processor before being pureed.
  • Process until smooth.
Photo of green curry in mini food processor after processing.
  • Cook the onions in a little oil until softened.
Photo of onions being cooked in white cast iron skillet.
  • Add coconut milk and a little water.  Cover slightly and simmer until the squash is cooked approximately half way.
Photo of butternut squash being cooked in coconut milk in white cast iron pan.
  • Add the green curry paste and continue cooking until the squash can be easily pierced with a knife.  Be careful to not cook it too much, it will fall apart.
Photo of completed butternut squash curry in white pan.
  • Add fresh Thai basil if you can find it.  Otherwise, regular sweet basil will work, too.
Close-up photo of Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry in white pan.

Serve with hot cooked jasmine rice.  Hellooo tastebuds!!!

Photo of Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry with rice in black bowl garnished with Thai basil.
Close-up photo of Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry in black bowl garnished with Thai basil.

More butternut squash recipes:

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Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry

4.74 from 15 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry has the light fruitiness of coconut milk, citrusy cilantro, the seductiveness of ginger and garlic and hot green chiles for a lively, fresh vegetarian main course.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4
Calories 274 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro - with tender stems, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large shallot - coarsely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic - coarsely chopped
  • 1 knob (1-inch) fresh ginger - peeled and minced (1-2 tablespoons)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers - or 1 serrano pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup water - divided
  • Salt - to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion - thinly sliced vertically
  • 1 can (14-ounce) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 medium butternut squash - 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (4-5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Thai basil - or conventional basil, optional, plus more for garnish if desired
  • Hot cooked jasmine rice

Instructions
 

  • Combine cilantro, shallot, garlic, ginger, chiles and 1/4 cup water in a mini food processor or blender. Process, scraping down the sides until paste-like and fairly smooth. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
  • Heat canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saute pan.
  • Add the onion and cook 5-7 minutes or until softened.
  • Add coconut milk and remaining water.
  • Bring to a boil, add the butternut squash then reduce heat to low and simmer slightly covered approximately 10 minutes or until butternut squash is about half cooked.
  • Stir in the green curry paste.
  • Continue cooking another 5-6 minutes or until the squash is tender but not falling apart.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Stir in chopped fresh Thai or sweet basil if using.
  • Garnish with more Thai fresh basil or cilantro sprigs. Serve with hot, cooked jasmine rice.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:  May also use sweet potato in place of the squash.

Nutrition

Serving: 4 | Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 777mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 20196IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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19 Comments

    1. Hi, Diane, Thanks so much for your question. This can be made ahead and frozen, but as with many vegetables, there will be a change in consistency. It might be a little more watery but that could be helped by reheating and simmering on the stovetop. Thanks again and hope you enjoy. Let me know how it works!

    1. Hi, Eh, Hard to say. Maybe it was the ginger or cilantro as this is a dish that’s definitely on the sweeter side. Did you change anything?

  1. This looks wonderful and i am in the process of making it. How much green curry paste must I put in? I can’t seem to find the quantity and can it be replaced by madras curry paste?

    Thank you

    1. Hi, Edith, The combination of the cilantro, chile, garlic, ginger, etc. is what makes the “fresh green curry.” If you want to substitute green curry paste, I would probably use about a tablespoon to start. Keep in mind that some prepared curry pastes can be very hot while others are very mild. The more authentic curry pastes from Asian/international markets seem more spicy to me and I use less, while green curry paste I get at the grocery store seems very mild and I end up using a whole jar. Madras curry paste would make it an entirely different dish.

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I only used one jalepeno because I have a 9 and 11 year old. They asked for seconds and my husband asked me to print off the recipe and make it again. Thank you so much!

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I only used one jalepeno because I have a 9 and 11 year old. They asked for seconds and my husband asked me to print off the recipe and make it again. Thank you so much!

  4. Hi. The recipe looks amazing. But, I have a question. I am VERY allergic to Coconut.. Anything make with it, I become really ill. Is there a substitute that can been used instead of coconut?

    Thanks

    Sherri

    1. Thanks so much for your question. As a personal chef, I have to make substitutions for my clients all the time. I would use almond milk. In fact, there is a now an almond milk coffee creamer on the market that would probably also give you the richness that coconut milk has. Good luck and let me know how it works.

  5. 5 stars
    WOW! That looks amazing. I have to share this everywhere and with everyone. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    This green curry looks and sounds incredibly delicious. Thanks for the recipe.. it is perfect for myself and my vegetarian family!