This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Curry is a creamy vegan curry, filled with goodness of squash, coconut milk and spinach. This cozy and comforting curry is perfect for Fall dinners!
I am totally loving all the squash and pumpkins in the stores during this time of the year. I realized that I have so many pumpkin and squash recipes now, I will do a roundup soon!
This butternut squash curry is so delicious, it has a good balance of sweet squash with the spicy curry base.
I like to make this curry as any other indian curry, with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and lots of aromatic spices. It all comes together perfectly with the addition of creamy coconut milk.
I also add in some spinach at the end for extra nutrition, and color, and taste!
This curry pairs well with rice or quinoa. You can cook the rice separately, or you can make pot-in-pot white rice while cooking this curry.
If you love pumpkin and squash as much as I do, check out 8 easy pumpkin and squash recipes.
How to make Butternut Squash Coconut Curry?
Let's first talk about the ingredients in this curry:
Butternut Squash - I cut the butternut squash myself, but pre-cut squash works great in this recipe. The only thing is you might need to adjust cooking time by 1-2 minutes if the pieces are much smaller or larger than the suggested size.
If the pieces are 1 inch in size, then increase the cook time by 1-2 minutes. If they are less than 1/2 inch, then reduce cooking time by 1-2 minutes.
You can also use pumpkin or kabocha squash in this recipe. They would cook well in the same time.
Coconut Milk: I use full-fat coconut milk.
Spinach: I added spinach at the end, but any green could work.
The method for this recipe is really simple:
- Start with heating the instant pot and adding oil to sauté the onions, ginger and garlic.
- Then add in the tomatoes, and spices.
- Then add the butternut squash pieces and water. Then pressure cook.
- After pressure cooking, stir in the coconut milk, lime juice and add spinach.
This curry comes together so quickly and you won't believe how delicious it is.
Garnish with peanuts, and cilantro leaves.
- Make sure you adjust the cooking time, based on the size of squash pieces.
- It is important to deglaze the pot well before pressure cooking to avoid burn.
- You can add other veggies that cook in similar time to this curry.
- I highly recommend to not skip the lime juice. It really brings out the flavor of this curry.
Let the curry cool down completely. You can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also portion it in small air tight containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating, then add the garnishes.
This curry pairs perfectly with rice. You can use white or brown rice. You can serve over quinoa.
The cooking time for this curry is perfect to cook pot-in-pot white rice with the curry. See this dal fry recipe for how to add pot-in-pot rice to the instant pot.
You can add hearty veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell pepper. You can also add red lentils or canned chickpeas. They would cook well in the same time.
Variations for this Curry
Lentil Butternut Squash Curry: You can also add red lentils to this curry along with the squash. The cooking time will remain the same. I would suggest to reduce the squash to about 12oz and add 1/3 cup red lentils.
Chickpea Butternut Squash Curry: You can also add a can of chickpeas to this curry. Here is my recipe for how to cook chickpeas in the instant pot. You can pre-cook chickpeas and add to this curry before pressure cooking as well.
Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry: Add Thai red curry paste and skip the tomatoes to make a Thai version of this butternut quash curry.
I hope you give this easy Butternut Squash curry a try this Fall. Do comment back with how you enjoyed the curry!
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach
- Cilantro leaves chopped, to garnish (optional)
- Roasted Peanuts crushed
- Set the Instant Pot on sauté mode and let it heat. Then add oil to it.
- Now add the onions, garlic, ginger and sauté them for about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and spices. Saute for couple of minutes.
- Add the butternut squash and water. Stir well and deglaze the pot making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the steel insert.
- Switch the Instant Pot to pressure cook (manual) mode on high pressure for 5 minutes with the vent in sealing position.
- When the instant pot beeps, do a quick pressure release.
- Add the coconut milk, lime juice and stir well. Then add the spinach and mix it in with the curry. Set the instant pot on saute mode and let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Butternut Squash Curry with coconut milk and spinach is ready. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped cilantro and crushed peanuts.
- In a heavy bottom pot on medium-high heat, follow the same steps as above before the pressure cook step. Then add the coconut milk and let the curry simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir every 5 miutes to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. You can also cover the pot with a lid. Check that squash is cooked well. If not, add a few more minutes. Once the squash is tender, add the lime juice, spinach and stir well. Garnish and serve over rice!
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.