This One Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry with coconut milk & chickpeas is a protein-filled, heartwarming fall meal that comes together in under 40 minutes!
Ingredients in Butternut Squash Chicken Curry
Say hello to one of the most versatile fall meals ever!
This One Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry can easily be made vegetarian/vegan by leaving out the chicken and using vegetable stock, and you could even whip up this baby in a the slow cooker – I've given alternative directions for slow cooker below, as well as Instant Pot instructions, so you can leave this on while you're at work all day and come home to a heart-warming meal.
Here's what you need to make this dish:
- chicken breasts
- butternut squash
- chicken broth
- coconut milk
- curry powder
- chickpeas, drained
- red pepper
How to make butternut squash curry
And this One Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry is super freezer-friendly too, hence why it makes so many servings. Whip up a batch, eat a couple servings for lunch and dinner during the work week, then freeze the rest so you have dinner on hand when you've just got too much going on and you don't have time to cook or even grab takeout.
I don't know about you but if I don't have time to cook, I absolutely don't have time to wait for delivery or run out and grab something to eat. If I'm really in that much of a rush, I want something I can microwave in 5-10 minutes tops, and that's where I LOVE having dinners like this One Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry in the freezer. Here's how to make it:
- Saute chicken in a large pot until browned, then remove. Add butternut squash, carrots, garlic and ginger, cooking for 4-5 min until veggies start to get tender.
- Meanwhile, make rice in a rice cooker.
- Add broth, coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric and salt to pot of veggies, bringing to a boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken back in, along with chickpeas and red pepper, and cook another 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in spinach and serve in large bowls alongside basmati rice. Garnish with cilantro and serve!
There's a few tips & tricks to getting this One Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry right but other than that it's a pretty simple idea: take all the veggies from your fridge (including seasonal butternut squash but other varieties work too!) and add 'em here with some coconut milk, stock, chickpeas and fresh herbs like cilantro (or you could use basil).
Basmati or jasmine rice are two optional add-ons and make this meal all the more filling but you honestly don't need them. This curry is thick, delicious and can be eaten on its own in a large bowl. The chickpeas and chicken have more than enough protein and make this meal lower carb if you eat it on its own like I do. Here are some ingredient substitutions if you're looking to change things up!
Protein – This recipe uses chicken and chickpeas, but you can leave one or the other out and will still get more than enough protein. Alternative protein sources include tofu, lentils or shrimp.
Rice – You can use any type of rice with this recipe, or just leave it out altogether.
Vegetables – Any veggies will work, including acorn squash or sweet potatoes as a substitute for butternut squash. Stir in leafy greens at the end of cook time.
Curry sauce – I really recommend full fat coconut milk for optimal flavour. You can even double up on the coconut milk for a creamier curry instead of using broth, though that will up the calorie count. You can also just use curry powder if you don't have turmeric.
Making it in the Instant Pot
This recipe is so easy to make in the Instant Pot! Just dump everything in the order that it's listed (with the exception of spinach, cilantro and rice) and cook on high pressure for 5 min. Do a quick release, then stir in spinach. Serve with rice, garnish with cilantro and you're good to go!
Slow cooker instructions
It's also easy to make this in the crockpot! Dump all the ingredients in the slow cooker except spinach, cilantro and rice, and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours. Stir in spinach right before serving, and serve with rice, topping with cilantro.
What to serve with butternut squash curry
Don't know what to serve with this curry? I've got some ideas:
- Roasted broccoli
- Basmati or jasmine rice
- Rice noodles
- Crusty bread
- Naan bread
More butternut squash recipes
If you're looking for more delish squash recipes, I've got your back! Here are some other options:
Storing and reheating
You can store the leftovers of this curry up to 5 days in the fridge. I recommend storing in individual glass meal prep containers, then you can reheat in the same container. Reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, then garnish with fresh cilantro. You won't even know that you're eating leftovers!
Freezing butternut squash curry
You can freeze this curry up to 3 months. To reheat, sprinkle some water overtop and microwave for 6-7 minutes right from frozen, stirring halfway through. The texture may be slightly different, but overall this is a good freezer meal to have on hand!
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into your weekly lunches
- I get all my free-range chicken breasts from Butcher Box
- Stock up on coconut milk here
Meal prep challenge
If you'd like some more help with meal planning, then you'll love my free 5-day meal prep challenge! It's basically a free course that will teach you how to meal prep and cook healthy meals at home with some PDF bonus materials. Sign up for free below:
One Pot Butternut Squash Chicken Curry
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 chicken breasts, diced
- 1 small butternut squash, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 (400mL) can full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 cups basmati rice
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat in a large, deep pot. Add chicken and saute until browned, about 5-6 min. Remove chicken. Add remaining tbsp of olive oil, butternut squash, carrots, garlic and ginger, cooking for 4-5 min until veggies start to get tender.
- Meanwhile, make rice according to package directions on the stove or in a rice cooker.
- Add stock, coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric and salt, bringing to a boil and then let simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken back in, along with chickpeas and red pepper, and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in spinach and serve in large bowls alongside basmati rice. Garnish with cilantro and serve!
- ALTERNATIVE SLOW COOKER METHOD: Dump all ingredients in the slow cooker except spinach, cilantro and rice, and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir in spinach right before serving, and serve with rice, topping with cilantro.