Golden Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry
October 7, 2015

Golden Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry | The Full Helping

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with my new favorite curry recipe.

This golden, hearty bowl is so quick and easy to make. It’s ideal for weeknight suppers, for cooking in batches, and for freezing–in other words, all of the stuff I’ve been highlighting in my menu plan Monday posts.

Golden Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry | The Full Helping

This curry is a slight departure for me in that it’s tomato-free, which means its sweeter and less acidic than, say, my chickpea and eggplant curry. A touch of cinnamon and a handful golden raisins highlights the natural sweetness of the recipe, and the raisins add texture, too. It’s a perfect curry recipe for fall and winter.

When I originally whipped this recipe up, Steven and I enjoyed it without any greens mixed in. Steven’s not a fan of cooked leafy greens–it’s a texture thing, he says–though he loves them raw. So I tend to add leafy greens to our meals in the form of salads or by pureeing them up into soups. Sometimes when I’m heating up curry or stew leftovers for myself, I’ll stir some cooked greens in, and that’s what I did when I enjoyed these curry leftovers yesterday. Chopped, frozen kale–which I allowed to thaw directly in the curry as I heated it on the stovetop, was a great addition and a no-fuss way to make my lunch a little more nutritious.

I’ve given you the option of preparing the recipe with or without some added greens. Either way, it’s all good.

Golden Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry | The Full Helping

Golden Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed, melted coconut, or safflower oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs peeled and cubed butternut squash or pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups chickpeas, or 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Heaping 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1-2 cups frozen chopped spinach or kale, defrosted and excess water drained out, or 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach (optional)
  • 3-4 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a large pot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions for 7 minutes, or until they're very tender and browning lightly. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is very fragrant. Add the curry, turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Give everything a good stir.
  • Add the squash and 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup about halfway, so that there are still chunks of butternut squash, but some of the squash has been turned into a thick puree. Alternately, you can transfer half of the mixture to a standing blender, blend, and return it to the pot.
  • Stir in the chickpeas, raisins, lime juice, and an additional 1/2 cup broth (or enough to create a thick but easy-to-stir stew). Bring the curry to a gentle simmer again. If you're adding greens, stir them in now and allow them to wilt completely. Check seasonings and adjust to taste. Serve with cooked grains.


Leftovers will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge and can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Golden Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry | The Full Helping

I kept the added broth in this recipe to a minimum, so that the curry would have the super hearty, thick texture you see in my photos. If you’d prefer the curry to be more like a soup, though, you could use up to a whole four cups of broth. Recipes like this are forgiving and easy to adjust, so don’t be afraid to make it your own! The use of different beans in place of chickpeas (such as navy beans or aduki beans) would be a nice way to change it up.

I’m about halfway through my first week of exams for this semester of my master’s program, and so far, so good. I’m never able to rightly predict my performance until I get results back, but I’ve been studying calmly, and I’ve been avoiding my usual trap of over-reviewing and under-sleeping.

Speaking of this, it’s about time for me to head up to campus for my long day of classes, so I’ll wish you all a great remainder of this hump day. I hope you love the curry!


This golden butternut squash and chickpea curry is hearty, nutritious, and easy to make. Gluten free and vegan!

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  1. 5 stars
    Loved it! Have a vegan friend who doesn’t eat any of the usual go tos, this was brilliant for both of us, Thank You

  2. WOW! I had some leftover roasted Hubbard squash and chickpeas to use up and looked on your site and viola! Amazing dinner! I mixed in about 6 oz canned coconut milk too boost creaminess and puréed everything with an immersion blender pre chickpea, raisin, spinach. Served with steamed broccoli and brown basmati rice. Super toddler friendly too! I am certainly going to be making this on the regular. Can’t wait to try it with the green pea addition next! A real keeper!

  3. 4 stars
    Wow, I absolutely loved this! I added some cayenne pepper for an extra kick but otherwise followed the recipe. My squash chunks that I didn’t blend up somehow disappeared, but I really didn’t mind. The texture and flavor of this dish is on point.

  4. 5 stars
    Have made this curry a few times now, it’s absolutely delicious! Thank you very much for the recipie!

  5. 5 stars
    Really wonderful. Try lots of curry recipes and this one was perfect. Might have added a little more onion and garlic than specified but delicious and easy. Thank you.

  6. 5 stars
    This was SO. GOOD. Warm and hearty and comforting and the perfect dinner for a cold, rainy day. Will definitely make this again!

  7. Just made this and it turned out amazing! I added some peas and kale as well. It even got my meat-eating Dad’s seal of approval! 😀

  8. Great recipe Gena
    The cold rainy day we are having puts me totally in the mood for this!
    I wondered if anything can sub for chickpeas? I tend to eat lots of hummus and to not want chickpeas in my meals ( though I do love them!)

    Good luck on the rest of your exams. Glad you are more calm with them. My son just did poorly on a test due to over thinking his answers and second guessing himself… Too much anxiety!

    Thanks so much!
    Have a great weekend

    • Suzanne, over-thinking and changing answers was one of my many Achilles’ heels when I was a post-bacc student. I learned the hard way that having a confident, calm frame of mind is so crucial in test-taking!

      I think you could use nearly any other medium or large sized bean you like — white beans, aduki, kidney — they’d all be great.

  9. This looks fabulous, Gena! I like the golden raisins and lime juice, and how flexible the recipe is. I really like arugula with chickpeas, so I might use that when I try this. I also have a lazy way of adding squash to stews–I cook it first (no peeling and cubing) and then add blobs of it to the broth, and only smash some of them. Thanks for a great fall recipe!

    • I love arugula + chickpeas, too, but I tend to reserve the combination for salads. I bet it would be great to serve the dish over rice or quinoa with some arugula mixed in. And I love your idea to add cooked squash and smash it up — you always have the most ingenious and intuitive shortcuts, Maria!

  10. Looks and sounds great but I only have regular raisins. Do you think they would change the flavor too much? Love your recipes and pictures. My daughter is in photography so I really enjoy the quality of your work.

    • This is such a kind comment, Juli. Thank you.

      Regular raisins will be just fine! I only specified golden to keep the color scheme consistent 🙂

  11. This recipe is actually really perfect for my family. My little girl has a ton of allergies, so I’ve been looking for a tomato-free, coconut-free curry recipe. Thanks for this!