Golden butternut chickpea curry is a fast and flavorful meal—especially when it's served with freshly cooked couscous and chopped green onions.

This golden butternut chickpea curry is my newest favorite weeknight meal! Using cooked chickpeas and pre-cubed butternut squash makes it come together in fewer than thirty minutes. It’s also freezer friendly and easy to make ahead.

Some of the curried dishes I make, like my chickpea and eggplant curry, are predominantly savory. This golden butternut chickpea curry and my red lentil, sweet potato, and coconut curry are more sweet. Here, garam masala and a handful of golden raisins compliment the sweetness of the butternut squash. This is a perfect recipe for fall, when the scent of cinnamon and the sight of winter squash are in full swing.

How to meal prep golden butternut chickpea curry

There are a number of ways to make this meal come together fast. The first and most important is to prepare your butternut squash ahead of time! Cutting and cubing butternut squash takes time. In many ways, it’s the most laborious step in making this recipe. I really like Ali’s tutorial on how to prepare butternut squash. Try breaking down your squash a day or two in advance of cooking this recipe. That way, there will be minimal vegetable prep involved when it’s time to cook.

I also recommend cooking your chickpeas ahead of time, if you’d like to use scratch cooked beans. Of course, you can also use canned chickpeas (2 cans, or 3 cups cooked beans in total).

Finally, the recipe includes some leafy greens. You can use what you have here. Baby spinach is the quickest cooking option. It’s also the one that requires the least work, because you won’t have to chop or stem your greens. But I personally love stemmed, chopped kale in the recipe, and that’s what I use most often!

If you don’t have leafy greens, you can get creative. Broccoli florets and pieces, chopped zucchini, and halved green beans all work well in the recipe. They add extra fiber and a little more plant-power to an already nutrient-dense meal. No matter what you choose, you can cut and prepare the vegetable ahead of time. This will save you work when it’s time to cook.

Bright and beautifully colored, vegan golden butternut squash and chickpea curry is garnished with chopped green onion tops. It's served with a whole grain for a fast and nourishing plant based meal.

Substitutions and swaps

Part of the beauty of a one-pot meal like this is that you can be playful with ingredients. If you don’t have butternut squash, you can use kabocha, acorn, or delicata squash instead. If you’re out of chickpeas, try white beans in their place. Use tips above for different vegetable add-ins.

I love the addition of golden raisins here! And I love raisins in general, especially when they make unexpected appearances in savory recipes. They show up in my kale salads, chickpea salads, and my favorite Israeli couscous salad, not to mention lots of my baked goods. If raisins make this recipe too sweet for your personal taste, you can certainly omit them.

And if you don’t have golden raisins, you can use regular raisins instead. They’re actually made from the same type of grape! Golden raisins, also called sultanas, are just dried with a different process.

An overhead photograph of a vegan golden butternut squash and chickpea curry, garnished with chopped green onion tops and served with cooked quinoa.

Golden butternut chickpea curry is a fast and flavorful meal—especially when it's served with freshly cooked couscous and chopped green onions.
4.5 from 14 votes

Golden Butternut Chickpea Curry

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons neutral vegetable oil, such as refined avocado or grapeseed
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 medium or small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 lb after preparation)
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
  • Heaping 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cups stemmed and chopped leafy greens of choice, or 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • Optional: cooked brown rice, quinoa, cousous, or your favorite type of flatbread, for serving

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed 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, 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, about 5 minutes. Taste the stew and adjust salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste. Serve with cooked grains.

In the time since I originally made this recipe, I’ve learned more about the colonial origins of the word “curry” in recipe creation. I’m always revising my understanding of the best way to describe the dishes that I make. Were I to make this recipe for the first time today, I’d probably call it “curried butternut squash and chickpeas” rather than label it a “curry.” If you’d like to read more about this, I recommend this article.

Curried butternut squash, golden raisins, and chickpeas make for a hearty and delicious winter meal. They're served with chopped green onions and cooked quinoa.

I kept the added broth in this recipe to a minimum, so that the finished dish would be thick and hearty. If you’d prefer for it to be more like a soup, you could use a splash of extra water or broth.

Storing and freezing

The golden butternut chickpea curry can be frozen for up to six weeks. This is good incentive to make a double batch, if you’re feeding a crowd! Or you can double it if you’d simply like to get ahead of your cooking.

Like most soups and stews, the recipe also tastes even better a few days after you initially make it. The flavors will intensify and the texture of the dish will thicken as it rests. You can store it for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge.

With cool weather and a busy fall schedule, I feel more glad than ever for one-pot meals like this one. Food that’s nutritious, flavor-forward, easy to prepare and store, and which warms my spirit as well as my belly. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

xo

Post updated on October 21, 2020.

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

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Recipe Rating




    34 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I only had regular raisins and lemon juice. Still worked out great!Served it with whole wheat couscous. With and without greens!

  2. 5 stars
    Wonderful, delicious recipe. I tweaked it a little and added some cilantro and left out the greens. I also used only 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (instead if vegetable broth). I only had Thai curry and oriental curry so I use 1/2 tsp each. I also mistakenly put in the raisins when I added the butternut squash so when I blended part if it for creaminess the raisins sweetened it a bit more than the recipe called for but it was perfect because the mild fruitiness balanced the spices. I served it with with Jasmine rice. It was a big hit and will make it several times this winter.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 5 stars
    Have made this curry a few times now, it’s absolutely delicious! Thank you very much for the recipie!

  7. This is fantastic. Just made it using up squash and kale from my garden. Perfect flavor.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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! 😀

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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!