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Butternut Squash Green Curry

A Thai-influenced entree featuring green curry, coconut, lime, and Thai chili. Make either the vegan version with tofu, or the omnivore version with chicken, or both. Starts with a single pot to minimize the work. Gluten-free. 
10 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: butternut squash curry, butternut squash recipe, thai curry,, thai green curry
Servings: 4
Calories: 502kcal
Author: Sylvia Eastman


  • 4 cups butternut squash, cooked {See Recipe Notes for tips}
  • 250 grams extra-firm tofu
  • 2 400 ml cans coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 8 lime leaves (You can find these at Asian markets. They keep well in the freezer and take only a few minutes to defrost.)
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons {vegan} fish sauce {See Recipe Notes for substitution}
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cups spinach, packed

If making the omnivore version, or both versions

  • 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes {or more if all your diners are omnivores}
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, for frying

For serving

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


Prepare the Tofu, if Using

  • Place the tofu between 2 plates and then put something heavy on top, like a cast iron frying pan or some books. Let sit for about 10 minutes to press out the water. Then cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, encase the cubes in a clean tea towel and holding it over the sink, gently wring the water out. Don't do this too vigorously or the cubes will get a bit mashed up – that’s totally fine, but not as visually pleasing in the end.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan (e.g. cast iron) at medium high heat. Put the tofu in the pan and fry until golden, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally so that all sides are browned. Set aside. If you are also cooking chicken, you can prepare the chicken in the same pan once you’ve removed the tofu.

Prepare the Chicken, if Using

  • Add coconut oil to a frying pan and heat to medium. Add the chicken and  pan fry until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare the Curry

  • In a mixing bowl, or with a blender, puree the squash together with the coconut milk. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat the coconut oil. Add the curry paste and fry for a few minutes to release the flavours. Stir in the squash puree, lime leaves, soy, {vegan} fish sauce, and lime. Let simmer for about 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Divide the curry base into the number of pots needed – e.g., one for vegans, one for carnivores and let simmer at least 15 minutes longer. I find the tofu absorbs more flavour if left longer. If you do this, you may need to add a bit of water to thin the sauce.
  • About 5 minutes before serving, add the spinach.
  • To serve, garnish with cilantro and lime wedges 


Tips for Cooking the Squash Ahead
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Cut the butternut squash in half from top to bottom and place on a baking sheet. You don’t need to remove the seeds, etc. before roasting. Roast for about 45 minutes until tender.
  • If you are doing this the day ahead, put the entire roasted squash in the fridge (I just put it in a big ziplock bag) and leave it until the next day. Once it’s cool, scoop out the seeds, peel off the skin, and then set the remaining squash aside.
  • If you are doing this on the day you are serving the curry, set the squash aside until it is cool enough to handle, then scoop out the seeds, peel off the skin, and then set the remaining squash aside.
If You Can't Find Vegan Fish Sauce
In a pinch, you can mix together 1/2 teaspoon of black bean sauce, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. It won't exactly taste like fish sauce but it does offer that funky, fermented flavour inherent in regular fish sauce.
Nutritional Information
Nutrition information is an estimate based on the vegan version of the dish. 


Calories: 502kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 38g | Sodium: 649mg | Potassium: 1058mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 16290IU | Vitamin C: 37.5mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 7.9mg