Thai Coconut Pumpkin Curry

This Thai pumpkin curry is cozy, comforting, and loaded with flavor! A vegan and gluten-free meal that’s easy to make and perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Bowl of Pumpkin Curry and rice topped with cashews and fresh basil.

Do you ever find yourself with too much fresh pumpkin on your hands? I sure do! I tend to get pretty excited in the fall and buy up an abundance of pumpkin (and other winter squash) without a plan.

The thing about pumpkin in particular though, is that just one of them will give you more than you need for most recipes…so once you cut into it you need to figure out what to do with it!

This curry is my new answer for using up a good amount of fresh pumpkin. It’s really easy to throw together, so it’s a great recipe to keep on hand this time of year.

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What You’ll Need

  • Oil. The recipe calls for peanut oil, but any high-heat oil can be substituted, such as canola, avocado, or coconut oil.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Ginger.
  • Red curry paste. Check the ingredients on this, as not all Thai curry paste is vegan. They also vary quite a bit in heat level. Thai Kitchen is a popular vegan brand to use if you prefer a milder curry, and Maesri is a good one that packs plenty of heat.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Coconut milk. This is the base for your Thai curry sauce. Preferably use full-fat coconut milk from a can. Light coconut milk can be subbed, but your curry won’t be nearly as rich and creamy. I don’t recommend using any other variety of non-dairy milk unless you absolutely hate coconut.
  • Pumpkin. Don’t use just any pumpkin here! An ornamental jack-o-lantern style pumpkin will give you a bland and watery curry. Go for it’s sweeter and more flavorful relative, the sugar pumpkin, or another culinary variety. You could also use another type of winter squash, such as acorn or butternut squash, or even sweet potatoes!
  • Brown sugar. Use organic sugar to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Lime juice. Use freshly squeezed for the best flavor.
  • Basil. If you can get your hands on it, I absolutely recommend using Thai basil — it adds a wonderful flavor to the dish! If not, no worries! Use Italian basil.
  • Salt.
  • Cashews. You can leave these out or substitute peanuts if they’re not your thing.
  • Rice. I like to serve my curry over jasmine rice, but regular white rice, brown rice, or just about any variety will do!

How to Make Pumpkin Curry

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d prefer to skip right to the recipe!

  • Heat up some oil in a large pot, then add diced onion. Cook the diced onion for a few minutes until it starts to soften up, then add the garlic, ginger, curry paste, and cinnamon. The recipe gives you a range as far as how much curry paste to use — I recommend starting with less if you’re not sure, then taste-testing after adding the coconut milk and adding more paste if needed.
  • Stir in diced pumpkin, coconut milk, and brown sugar.
  • Bring the coconut milk up to a simmer, stirring the pot occasionally as it heats up.
  • Lower the heat and place the lid on your pot. Let it simmer with the lid on for the first 5 minutes of cooking, then remove the lid and continue simmering until the sauce is thick and the pumpkin is tender.
Collage showing 4 steps for cooking Pumpkin Curry.
  • Take the pot off of the burner and stir in some lime juice, fresh basil and salt. Adjust any other seasonings, such as brown sugar, to your taste.
Hand stirring a pot of Pumpkin Curry.
  • Serve your curry over rice and topped with cashews. Dig in!
Bowl of Pumpkin Curry with water glass and blue pot in the background.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover curry will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this curry gluten-free?

It is!

How can I add some protein to my pumpkin curry?

Try stirring in some chickpeas, pan-fried tofu, tempeh, or even seitan.

Can I use any variety of curry paste other than red?

Absolutely! This recipe would be great with just about any type of Thai curry paste, such as yellow, green, massaman, or panang.

Can I make this curry with canned pumpkin puree?

I’m afraid this particular recipe requires whole chunks of pumpkin, so it won’t work with canned pumpkin.

More Pumpkin Recipes

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Print

Thai Coconut Pumpkin Curry

This Thai pumpkin curry is cozy, comforting, and loaded with flavor! A vegan and gluten-free meal that’s easy to make and perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Course Entree
Cuisine American, Thai
Keyword fresh pumpkin recipe, vegan curry
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 323kcal
Author Alissa Saenz

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or high-heat oil of choice)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons vegan red curry paste, plus more to taste (up to 5 tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds fresh sugar pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (you’ll need about 1 small to medium-sized sugar pumpkin*)
  • 1 (14 ounce or 400 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, packed
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted cashews
  • Cooked rice, for serving

Instructions

  • Coat the bottom of a large pot with the oil and place it over medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add the diced onion. Sweat the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften up and become translucent.
  • Stir in the garlic, ginger, curry paste, and cinnamon. Sauté everything for about 1 minute, until the mixture becomes very fragrant.
  • Stir in the pumpkin, coconut milk, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and cover the pot. Simmer the curry for 5 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and continue simmering for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened a bit and the pumpkin is tender.
  • Remove the pot from heat and stir in the basil, lime juice and salt. Adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
  • Serve the curry over rice with cashews on top.

Notes

*Buy a pumpkin that’s at least 2 ½ pounds, so you still have plenty after removing the seeds and peel.

Nutrition information does not include rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.4g | Protein: 5.7g | Fat: 19.8g | Saturated Fat: 12.8g | Sodium: 599mg | Potassium: 585mg | Fiber: 7.6g | Sugar: 15.2g | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 4mg

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