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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.