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This Ultra-Quick Butternut Squash Curry Is The Perfect Veggie-Packed Paleo Meal

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Butternut squash curry
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Curry-based dishes are the perfect warming meal for colder days, and the vibrant flavors and colors mean they're also perfect for bringing some brightness to darker days. "This butternut squash curry is a delicious plant-based comfort food meal that comes together quickly," writes Mary Smith in Quick Prep Paleo, "It's sweet, spicy, and packed with flavor."

The paleo-friendly recipe is packed with veggies, including spinach, which is added at the last moment so it maintains some texture and its own flavor. Though the recipe was originally designed for an ultra-quick cook with the help of an Instant Pot, if you don't have that particular piece of kitchen equipment, there's a stovetop method available as well (that still takes less than half an hour) topped off with chopped cashews (if you so choose!) and a bright pop of color from cilantro and pomegranate seeds. They stand out against the deep orange of the curry dish, making for a bowl that's beautiful to look at and amazing to taste.

Butternut Squash Curry

Makes 3 to 4 servings



  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry paste
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 (13.5-oz.) can full-fat coconut milk (stir well before pouring)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup, optional
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • Chopped cashews, optional for serving
  • Cilantro, for serving
  • Pomegranate arils, for serving

Instant Pot Method

  1. Set the Instant Pot to "sauté" mode. Heat the coconut oil in the Instant Pot. Add the onion, and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  2. Add the red curry paste and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the squash, tomato sauce, coconut milk, water, curry powder, salt, coriander, and maple syrup. Stir well to combine.
  3. Lock the lid, turn the vent to "sealing," press "manual" (check that it's set to high pressure), and set the timer for 4 minutes. Manually release the pressure.
  4. Press "keep warm/cancel," add the spinach, and stir. Serve over cauliflower rice with chopped cashews, cilantro, and pomegranate arils.

Stovetop Method

  1. In a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Add the curry paste and stir. Add the remaining ingredients (minus the spinach), stir, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the squash is tender but not too soft. Add the spinach and stir.

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