Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Curry
Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry- roasted butternut squash gives this hearty lentil curry delicious depth and texture. Easy to make and super satisfying, it’s the perfect fall meal to cozy up with! (vegan + gluten-free)
There’s no denying my love for butternut squash. Whether it’s tucked inside of enchiladas, blended in a creamy soup or diced in a creamy wild rice stew, I’m always on the hunt for new ideas on how to get more of it in my face.
The only thing I don’t love is peeling it and dicing it up into cubes. I always have a hard time finding it prepped at the store so to keep things simple we’re just slicing it in half, scooping out the seeds and roasting it, similar to a how you bake a sweet potato.
This way the squash is almost like the puree you can buy canned. It gets stirred into the curry giving it a creamy consistency that’s packed full of flavor. Paired with hearty lentils and roasted cauliflower, it comes together to make a satisfying plant-based meal that’s absolutely perfect for fall.
What You Need to Make It
- Butternut Squash– Like I said before, to prep the squash all you have to do is slice it in half and scoop out the seeds. No peeling or dicing required. Of course you can always buy it cubed at the store and roast it that way but buying it whole is a nice way to reduce single use plastic.
- Cauliflower– Roasting cauliflower simultaneously with the squash is an easy way to bulk up the veggie content of the curry. The crisp golden edges pair perfectly with the creaminess of the dish.
- Onion, Garlic and Ginger– This trio makes up the base of the curry. Fresh garlic and ginger are a must for a nice punch of flavor.
- Jalapeño– I love using jalapeños in my curries because they add the mildest spice to help round everything out. That said, you can definitely leave it out if you don’t have any on hand.
- Cumin, Chili, Turmeric, and Curry Powder– I typically use a mild chili and curry powder as I’m not a huge fan of super spicy food. However, feel free to spice things up as much as you like. You can also use more or less of the seasonings depend on how strong you like the flavors of your curry.
- Brown Lentils- This variety of lentils is usually the easiest to find at the grocery store and takes about 20-30 minutes to cook. I prefer them for this recipe as they hold their shape well but don’t take forever to cook.
- Vegetable Broth- Using a flavorful broth is key to making this chili extra delicious. My favorite is Better Than Bouillon.
- Coconut Milk– I personally find full fat coconut milk to be essential for this recipe as it rounds out the flavor and enhances the creamy texture of the squash. That said, you could technically substitute with extra broth if you wanted.
- Fresh Cilantro and Lime Juice– Also not completely necessary but highly recommended to bring everything together for one banging meal. :)
How to Prepare It
The ingredient list might make this seem like a complicated dish but it’s actually very simple to prepare:
- Roast the squash and cauliflower then set aside to cool.
- Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño with the spices.
- Pour in the lentils and broth then simmer for about 30 minutes, until lentils are tender.
- Scrape the flesh of the squash in the pot and pour in the coconut milk. Stir together until smooth.
- Add the cauliflower, cook until heated through, serve and enjoy!
We’re obsessed with the texture and flavor of this curry and I think once you try it, you will be too. It’s such a cozy, feel good meal that’s perfect to warm up with on a chilly fall day.
Want More Butternut Squash Recipe Inspo?
- Butternut Squash Wild Rice Stew
- Butternut Squash Quinoa Chili
- Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto
- Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Casserole
- Vegan Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Butternut Squash Pear Soup
- Butternut Squash Falafel with Maple Tahini Sauce
- Vegan Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna
Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 jalapeños, seeds removed (optional)
- 2 inches ginger, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
- 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk
- fresh cilantro and lime juice , for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cut the stem off the top of the butternut squash then slice in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop the seeds and flesh out of the bottom bulb on each side. Lightly coat the remaining flesh with high heat oil and place that side facing down on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until soft when squeezed with an oven mitt. Set aside to cool.
- Line a separate baking sheet and arrange cauliflower florets on top. Lightly coat with high heat oil and roast at the same time as the squash, for about 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until translucent. Add the pepper, ginger, garlic, and seasonings (cumin, chili powder, turmeric, and curry powder). Continue to cook for 5 minutes more, being sure to intermittenly scrape the brown bits on the bottom of pot.
- To the pot, add the rinsed lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, with the lid partially covered, for 30-45 minutes, just until lentils are tender.
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scrape the flesh out into the pot with the lentils. Add the roasted cauliflower, pour in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, until heated through.
- Serve warm garnished with cilantro and lime juice, and enjoy!
This looks delicious and I have a butternut squash begging to be used up in this recipe!
Awesome! I hope you enjoy it! :)
YAY for soup season!! Speaking of butternut squash, my baby loved butternut squash ravioli at a restaurant recently, so now I want to try making it at home myself. Need to get on that! :)
Made this last night for company and it was a hit! Nice amount of heat. Delicious thank you.
This is the absolute best curry I’ve made in ages. I never would have thought to add in mashed roasted squash – I love the sweetness it adds and it makes the whole dish so satisfying. The roasted cauliflower is also perfect in here. I will absolutely be making this throughout the fall/winter months. So nourishing, cozy, and comforting. Thank you!
For someone who has a hard time leaving a recipe alone, this was perfect as is! I was tempted to steam the squash & cauliflower on the stove but I’m so glad that I went EXACTLY to your recipe! The house smelled so good with them roasting in the oven. I did serve it with brown rice. Like Rachel, I will be making it often in the months ahead.
I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for the review, Karen!!
This curry was delicious! Very cozy and you feel great when u eat it :) I put it over brown rice. def recommend the lime juice to give it that tang!!
I made this tonight and served it with pearl couscous. Delicious!! Made it exactly as written. Just the right amount of heat.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the review!
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Absolutely delicious and quite easy to make! I loved the addition of the whole-roasted butternut squash so much! I also added some TVP for a little extra chewiness and it worked super well.
I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you for the review. :)
Used sweet potato as we didn’t have a butternut and it was just as delicious as the butternut version! Class A recipe that my two year old adores.
Yay! Thank you for the review!