Butternut Squash Thai Curry

This Butternut Squash Thai Curry is easy to prepare. Over the years I’ve adapted it slightly to use things I have on-hand (lime zest for kaffir lime leaves and chili flakes for Thai red chilies). One ingredient this recipe can’t do without is fresh lemongrass, but fortunately, it is easy to find in virtually every grocery store in our area.

Anyway, this curry is complex with a nice blend of the four classic Thai flavors – sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. The butternut squash is rich and meaty. Honestly, you won’t miss the meat. Serve this rich, comforting, curry over basmati or jasmine rice.

NOTE: Substitute tamari or soy sauce for the fish sauce in the recipe below for a truly vegetarian dish.

Butternut Squash Thai Curry


  • 2-3 lbs. butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 oz. green beans
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or peanut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste or more/less to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried red chili flakes (more if desired)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans coconut milk or light coconut milk
  • 1 – 4" piece lemon grass
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Thai fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts for garnish optional


  • Peel and seed the butternut squash and cut it into 1.5 inch chunks.
  • Cut the onion in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Cut the tops off the beans and cut each in half on the diagonal.
  • In a large wok, heat the oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the curry powder, coriander, cumin, and chili flakes. Sauté the spices briefly in the oil, then add the onion, fresh ginger, garlic, lime zest and lemon grass. Continue cooking until the onions are soft.
  • Add the coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Add the butternut squash and cook until it is tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the green beans and cook just until they are crisp tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Serve curry in bowls over basmati or jasmine rice garnished with chopped peanuts.
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