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Vegan One Pot Pumpkin Curry

Vegan one pot pumpkin curry served over a bed of rice noodles, in a black dish on a light blue table.
Recipe At-A-Glance
Vegan, Gluten-Free30 minutes
Pumpkin isn’t just for sweet recipes—it is also great in this savory and spicy One Pot Pumpkin Curry.

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So often you find pumpkin as the star of sweet recipes. Pumpkin brownies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin and sweetness go hand-in-hand!

But never forget that pumpkin is sold as a vegetable, and just like it’s close cousin the butternut squash, pumpkin is the perfect candidate for savory preparations as well—like this spicy One Pot Pumpkin Curry.

Fork dipping into a black dish of one pot pumpkin curry and rice noodles. A halved pumpkin is in the background.

The key to easy and über-flavorful curry: red curry paste

You could mix up your favorite dried herbs and spices to get the classic curry flavor, but the truth is, many of the standard spices in curry tend to lose their potency very quickly after grinding. So unless you’re refreshing your spices every month or so, you’re going to have to find another way to get the intense curry flavor. The solution to this is simple: curry paste!

Curry paste is the wet version of curry powder, and you can probably find it in small jars at your regular supermarket in the international foods aisle. Because it is wet, it keeps the flavor of the spices nice and robust.

Overhead shot of one pot pumpkin curry served over a bed of rice noodles, in a black dish on a light blue table.

For this recipe, you’re looking to pick up red curry paste—Mae Ploy is a brand that a lot of folks like, but we don’t have it at our stores around here, so I usually just use Thai Kitchen, which is easier to track down (although less potent). It’s important to note that the Mae Ploy brand contains shrimp, so if you’re a herbivore, stick to the Thai Kitchen brand, which is 100% vegan. If you’d like, you can also make your own curry paste at home—here’s a great how-to from The Wanderlust Kitchen.

The intensity of curry paste does vary widely from brand-to-brand, so if you’re using it for the first time, I recommend starting out small and adding more paste to the curry after taste-testing.

Black dish of one pot pumpkin curry and rice noodles next to a halved pumpkin.

Noodles, rice, cauliflower, oh my! Pick your favorite base for this pumpkin curry.

The curry itself is 100% plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, Whole30, and paleo—if you follow one of those diets, the only consideration you’ll have to make is what base you want to put your curry on top of. Gluten-free? Try brown rice or rice noodles. Paleo or Whole30? Go for cauliflower rice.

I can’t find a pie pumpkin! What can I substitute for the pumpkin in this curry?

We call for you to cut up your own pie pumpkin here. A pie pumpkin in a small pumpkin that is very sweet and flavorful—you don’t want to use the pumpkins you’re carving for Halloween because they are bred for size, not flavor.

Most supermarkets in my area carry pie pumpkins September-November, which is great, but what if you want to make this outside of the fall months? Easy. You have a three options:

  1. Stock up: If you know you like this curry (you will!) you can stock up on pie pumpkins and store them in your house. When properly stored and cured, winter squash like pie pumpkins can last up to a year!
  2. Sub in butternut squash: You can swap in peeled and cubed butternut squash for the pumpkin, which tends to be much easier to find all year.
  3. Use frozen: Some grocery stores even carry frozen peeled and cubed pumpkin and butternut squash, which is a great, affordable solution that also happens to save you some time. No need to defrost. Just toss in the frozen pumpkin or squash at the same stage of the recipe. Woohoo!

Fork dipping into a black dish of one pot pumpkin curry and rice noodles.

This curry is a flavor explosion and a super interesting way to break pumpkin out of its sweets box! It also makes for a great meal prep—just pre-cook the curry and your rice or noodles, pop them into meal prep containers, and stash them in the fridge until you’re ready to microwave. Enjoy!

 
Vegan One Pot Pumpkin Curry

Vegan One Pot Pumpkin Curry

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Pumpkin isn’t just for sweet recipes—it is also great in this savory and spicy One Pot Pumpkin Curry. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red chili pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2-4 tablespoons red curry paste (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 small pie pumpkin, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups worth)
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup unsalted raw cashews
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Brown rice, cauliflower rice, or cooked brown rice stir-fry noodles, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro and fresh lime wedges, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat until melted. Add in the red bell pepper, garlic, and chili pepper. Cook until veggies are just slightly tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the tomato paste, curry paste, turmeric, cinnamon, and Sriracha. Stir well and cook over heat for 1-2 minutes to activate the spices. 
  3. Add in the pumpkin and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until the pumpkin is just fork-tender, but not mushy—about 10 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in the cashews, lime juice and zest, and salt. Serve over top of rice or noodles, and garnish with fresh cilantro and fresh lime wedges before serving.

Notes

  • The flavor and heat of curry paste can vary widely between brands. I recommend starting out with two tablespoons of curry paste, then taste and add more if needed.
  • Frozen cubed butternut squash or pumpkin both work great in this too if you’re crunched on time and don’t want to hack at a pumpkin. Find them in the frozen veggie section of most major supermarkets.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 659 Total Fat: 42g Saturated Fat: 27g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 9mg Sodium: 885mg Carbohydrates: 65g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 22g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 13g
At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. We encourage you to embrace viewing what’s on your plate with a holistic mindset. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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