Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Curry Recipe

By Alexandra Caspero on November 24, 2022
A nourishing cold-weather meal-- slow cooker butternut squash and sweet potatoes in a coconut curry sauce.
Serves 4

This slow cooker butternut squash curry recipe is incredibly delicious and nourishing. If you love curry and winter vegetables, then you’ve gotta try this butternut squash curry recipe. Squash, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and a spiced coconut curry sauce.

We all know how much I love my slow cooker this type of year, especially a slow cooker curry recipe. My favorites this time of year include my slow cooker butter chickpeas, slow cooker chana masala, slow cooker potato curry, slow cooker tikka masala, slow cooker saag paneer and now this squash curry.

If you are a fan of curry flavor and hearty winter vegetables like sweet potatoes and butternut squash, then you are going to love this slow cooker curry. Naturally dairy-free and gluten-free, this vegan recipe is one of my favorite cold-weather meals.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Curry

The beauty of this recipe is that most of the ingredients are pantry staples, like spices and canned coconut milk and chickpeas. Additionally, you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Baby spinach
  • Lemon or lime

Substitution Recommendations

I love the combination of both sweet potatoes and butternut squash, but if you only want to use butternut squash then I recommend 4 cups of squash instead of the sweet potatoes. Other squash, like acorn squash could also work. The sweet potatoes add a subtle sweetness that balances the spices so nicely.

I don’t add vegetable broth to this recipe because I like the thickness of the vegetables with just the coconut milk, but if you want a thinner curry then you’ll likely want to add in 1 cup of broth.

Rice (especially jasmine or basmati rice) is my favorite to pair with this recipe, but it’s also great on it’s own scooped up with naan or even served with quinoa. Instead of spinach, you can use chopped kale. You need some acid at the end to brighten the entire curry, but either fresh lemon or lime juice will do. Fresh chopped cilantro on top is also yummy!

Lastly, I like using lite coconut milk because I think the flavor is still rich enough but full fat coconut milk will work as well. I don’t recommend coconut milk beverage as the flavor is too diluted.

bowl of butternut squash curry recipee

How to make this butternut squash curry recipe

  1. Saute the aromatics

    If your slow cooker has a saute function, then turn it on. Alternatively, you can cook the aromatics in a saucepan before adding it to the skillet. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion and salt then cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and spices and cook another 5 minutes.

  2. Add the rest of the ingredients

    Stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the spinach and lemon juice. Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.

  3. Add the spinach and lemon juice

    Right before serving, stir in the spinach and lemon juice. Season to taste and enjoy of cooked rice.

Curry Recipe for the Slow Cooker

Instant Pot Directions

If you want to make this in the Instant Pot, follow the directions for step 1 for sautéing the onion and garlic in olive oil, then turn off the sauté function. Add in the rest of the ingredients up to the spinach.

Cook at high pressure for 3 minutes, then let pressure come down naturally. Remove the lid and stir in the spinach and fresh lemon juice until the spinach is wilted, then serve over rice and naan.

Stove Top Directions

To make this on the stove, follow the directions for step 1 for cooking the onion and garlic, then add in the spices and cook until just fragrant , about 30 seconds. Add in the rest of the ingredients up to the spinach and simmer over medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes until warmed through and thickened.

Stir in the spinach and fresh lemon juice before serving with cooked rice and naan, if desired. If you love this stove top version, then you’ll love my butternut squash curry!

Curry Squash Recipe with Sweet Potatoes

Tips for Success

Before I stir the spinach and lemon juice, I usually gently mash the squash and potato mixture to thicken slightly. The squash should be really tender and easily mash once cooked through.

For convenience, I admit that I often buy precut and peeled squash at the grocery store but if you buy a whole squash, you’ll need to peel and cube it first. To easily peel, I cut the neck of the squash off, then use a vegetable peeler (or a sharp knife) to remove the skin, then cube.

More Slow Cooker Recipes:

More Butternut Squash Recipes:

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Close up of curry recipe

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Curry Recipe

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, healthy, slow cooker, Indian
  • Method: Slow Cooker, Crock Pot
  • Cuisine: Slow Cooker, American, Indian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This slow cooker butternut squash curry recipe is incredibly delicious and nourishing. If you love curry and winter vegetables, then you’ve gotta try this butternut squash curry recipe. Squash, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and a spiced coconut curry sauce.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, healthy, slow cooker, Indian
  • Method: Slow Cooker, Crock Pot
  • Cuisine: Slow Cooker, American, Indian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, healthy, slow cooker, Indian
  • Method: Slow Cooker, Crock Pot
  • Cuisine: Slow Cooker, American, Indian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk (or regular coconut milk)
  • 1 large handful chopped baby spinach
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Cooked rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. In the base of a slow cooker with a saute function (like an Instant Pot) or on the stove in a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off the saute function (or hit cancel on the Instant Pot or remove the pot from the stove) and stir in the garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder and cumin. If using a seperate pot, add to the base of a slow cooker.
  2. Add in the squash, potato, garbanzo beans and coconut milk and cook over low heat for 6 hours (or high heat for 4 hours). When ready to serve, stir in the spinach and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Season to taste, adding in more salt as desired.
  3. Serve over cooked rice. 

Notes

Want to make this in the Instant Pot? Follow the directions for step 1, then turn off the sauté function and add the rest of the ingredients up to the spinach. Cook at high pressure for 3 minutes, then let pressure come down naturally. Remove the lid and stir in the spinach and fresh lemon juice.

Want to make this on the stove? Follow the directions for step 1, then reduce heat to low. Add in the rest of the ingredients up to the spinach. Simmer over low/medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes until warmed through and thickened. Stir in the spinach and fresh lemon juice before serving.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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