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Creamy Pumpkin Curry is cozy and comforting! Bursting with vibrant Thai flavors, it’s made with fresh pumpkin, your choice of protein, and a fragrant red curry coconut sauce. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and great for meal prep! Serve over Jasmine rice.
This Pumpkin Curry is packed with aromatic and savory ingredients like red curry paste, ginger, lemongrass, and coconut milk. Nutritious pumpkin (or winter squash) cooks up tenderly, breaking down just enough to create a succulent curry sauce. Your choice of protein here- keep it vegan with tofu or add chicken, shrimp, or just lots of veggies! This dish is perfect for meal prep, as the Thai flavors continue to meld together and leftovers taste even better the next day!
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Why you will LOVE this recipe!
- Delicious Thai flavors: This curry is packed with aromatic and flavorful ingredients like red curry paste, ginger, lemongrass, and coconut milk, creating a delicious blend of Thai flavors that will satisfy your taste buds.
- Customizable protein options: Whether you prefer tofu, chicken, or shrimp, this recipe allows you to choose your protein of choice. You can even opt for a vegetarian or vegan option by adding extra vegetables.
- Gluten-free and dairy-free: This recipe is suitable for those with dietary restrictions, as it is both gluten-free and dairy-free. You can enjoy a creamy and flavorful curry without worrying about allergens.
- Great for meal prep: The leftovers of this Pumpkin Curry taste even better the next day, making it an ideal choice for meal prep. You can prepare a batch in advance and enjoy it throughout the week.
Ingredients in Pumpkin Curry recipe
- Protein: You can use tofu, chicken breast or thigh, thinly sliced, or shrimp as the protein in this curry. Alternatively, you can add an extra 2 1/2 cups of vegetables, spinach, broccoli, carrots and peas are all nice. Chickpeas would be good too!
- Coconut oil: Use coconut oil for sautéing the shallots and ginger. It adds a lovely flavor to the dish.
- Shallot: Dice a medium-sized shallot to add a subtle onion flavor to the curry.
- Ginger: Use fresh ginger to enhance the aroma and taste of the curry.
- Lemongrass: Finely chop lemongrass or use lemongrass paste for a citrusy and aromatic element in the dish.
- Red curry paste: Use 2-4 tablespoons of store-bought Thai red curry paste or make your own homemade red curry paste using the recipe provided in the link. Thai Kitchen is what we used here, it tends to be more mild then Mae Ploy or Maesri. Adjust accordingly!
- Broth: You will need 1/2 cup of broth to add depth of flavor to the curry. You can use vegetable or chicken broth depending on your preference.
- Makrut lime leaves: I find dried lime leaves convenient and quite flavorful! Fresh is ideal if available and frozen is a great option too. These fragrant leaves add a distinct citrusy flavor to the curry.
- Pumpkin: Peel and cut the pumpkin into chunks to add a delicious sweetness and creaminess to the curry. You can use any type of winter squash such as butternut squash, red kuri squash, acorn squash or kabocha squash.
- Bell peppers: Add 1 cup of bell peppers to the curry for a colorful and crunchy element.
- Coconut milk: You’ll need 1 can of full-fat coconut milk to create a rich and creamy base for the curry.
- Coconut sugar or brown sugar: Use 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar or brown sugar to balance the flavors.
- Fish sauce or vegan fish sauce: Add 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce for a savory and umami flavor.
- Lime juice: Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the curry to add a tangy and refreshing note.
- Thai basil: If you can find it- Thai basil is preferred or use regular basil and an optional pinch of ground anise. Cilantro is a great addition too!
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to make Pumpkin Curry
Use a sugar pie pumpkin or winter squash works too! Cut in half, scoop out the seeds and peel. Cut into 1-inch chunks.
Heat coconut oil in a dutch oven or deep pan, along with shallot, ginger, and lemongrass, stirring for 2 minutes. Add red curry paste (start with less and add more to taste at the end) and saute for another minute.
Add coconut milk, bell peppers, and tofu. Simmer until heated through about 2-3 minutes. *If using chicken leave out the bell peppers and simmer for 4 minutes then add bell peppers and cook 2 minutes more. *If using shrimp add just before serving, cooking for just a minute or two. See notes.
Add fresh lime juice and basil. Taste and add more curry paste, lime juice, and fish sauce (or vegan sauce) if desired.
- Serve Pumpkin Curry in a bowl over jasmine rice or rice noodles. Going low carb? Try cauliflower rice, or zucchini noodles.
- Garnish with fresh lime wedges, fresh basil and Thai chili flakes.
Pumpkin Curry FAQS
Pumpkin curry is a delicious Thai dish that combines the naturally sweet and creamy flavors of pumpkin with aromatic spices and ingredients like red curry paste, coconut milk, and fresh herbs. It is typically served with jasmine rice and can be customized with your choice of protein.
Pumpkin is not only delicious but also packed with nutrition. Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as potassium and fiber. It is also low in calories and high in antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system and promote eye health.
Pumpkins labeled for pie or baking are the best type of pumpkin to use for pumpkin curry. However, you can also use other varieties of winter squash such as butternut squash, red kuri squash, or kabocha squash as a delicious substitute.
Yes, leftovers of pumpkin curry actually taste even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. This makes it a great option for meal prep or for enjoying multiple servings throughout the week. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
It is not recommended to use pumpkin puree in this recipe, as it will result in a different texture and flavor compared to using fresh pumpkin chunks. The texture of the curry may become too thick and the flavor may not be as vibrant. It’s best to use fresh pumpkin for the best taste and texture.
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Creamy Pumpkin Curry is full of delicious Thai flavors that can be made with tofu, chicken or shrimp. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and great for meal prep!
- 1 lb protein: cubed tofu or chicken breast or thigh, thinly sliced, or shrimp (or sub 2 1/2 cups more veggies)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass, finely chopped or lemongrass paste
- 3–6 tablespoons red curry paste or homemade red curry paste
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1– 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce)
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 2 cups pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
- 8 makrut lime leaves
- 1 can coconut milk, full-fat
- 1 cup bell peppers
- 1–2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 cup Thai basil, or regular basil with an optional pinch of ground anise)
- For the protein: Make our crispy tofu or thinly slice chicken, season with salt, and set aside.
- On the stovetop over medium high heat melt coconut oil in a pot with shallot, ginger, and lemongrass, stirring for 2 minutes. Add red curry paste (start with less and add more to taste at the end) and saute for another minute.
- Turn down to medium heat and stir in the broth, fish sauce, sugar, pumpkin, and lime leaves. Simmer with a vented lid, for 5-8 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
- Add coconut milk, bell peppers and tofu (keep reading for chicken or shrimp). Simmer until heated through about 2-3 minutes. *If using chicken leave out the bell peppers and simmer for 4 minutes then add bell peppers and cook 2 minutes more. *If using shrimp add just before serving, cooking for just a minute or two. See notes.
- Add lime juice and basil. Taste and add more curry paste, lime juice, or fish sauce if desired.
- Serve with jasmine rice, rice noodles or cauliflower rice. Garnish with lime wedges and basil.
Use a sugar pie pumpkin or winter squash works too! Cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and peel. Cut into 1-inch chunks.
Red curry paste: Thai Kitchen is the brand we used here, it tends to be more mild than Mae Ploy or Maesri. Adjust accordingly!
Shrimp: Use peeled, deveined shrimp. The bigger the shrimp, the longer they will take to cook, but even large ones cook within minutes. Look for the pink color and the “C” shape. If they curl into an “O” they are most likely overcooked.
- Serving Size: 1 1 /2 cups with tofu
- Calories: 306
- Sugar: 6.3 g
- Sodium: 503.3 mg
- Fat: 22.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 14.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 16.1 g
- Fiber: 2.6 g
- Protein: 12.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Pumpkin Curry, Thai Pumpkin Curry, Creamy Pumpkin curry, Pumpkin Curry Recipe