Curried Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Stew

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  • Makes 8 cups stew + 4 cups rice
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Whip up this colorful curry stew when squash season is in full swing. Cubes of sweet butternut squash get mouthwateringly tender as everything simmers on the stove and cauliflower florets absorb the fragrant flavors of the Indian-inspired broth. Green bell peppers, carrots, and spinach add extra veggie goodness, while cilantro and fresh lime juice, added just before serving, brighten things up. Ladle a hearty portion over a bed of brown rice and enjoy a comforting meal that warms you up from the inside out.

For more vegan curry recipes, check out these tasty ideas:

Tip: To avoid going overboard on saturated fat, make sure to use refrigerated coconut milk beverage and not canned coconut milk for this recipe.

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk beverage
  • 1¼ lb. butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 10- to 12-oz. package fresh cauliflower rice
  • 1 5- to 6-oz. package baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups hot cooked brown basmati rice
  • Lime wedges, sliced jalapeño peppers, and/or fresh cilantro (optional)


  • In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook onion, bell pepper, carrot, and garlic over medium 4 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding broth, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Add curry powder; cook and stir 30 seconds. Add the remaining broth, the coconut milk, squash, and cauliflower rice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is very tender.
  • Transfer 2 cups of the stew to a small blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth; return to pan. Stir spinach into stew; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted and tender. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Serve stew over basmati rice. If desired, serve with lime wedges, jalapeño peppers, and/or cilantro.

Comments (10)

(5 from 4 votes)

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Please clarify coconut beverage. I have canned coconut milk. Also, should the squash be cooked before adding?

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Paula, The unsweetened coconut milk beverage refers to coconut milk you would find in the plant-based milk section of the supermarket (next to almond milk, oat milk etc)—not canned coconut milk, which has a much higher fat content. The butternut squash should be cut into bite-sized cubes and added raw. Then, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is very tender. Happy cooking!


OK... I see the squash now... I think I will roast the squash before adding


Did I miss something or do you not list the butternut squash in the recipe?

Karen Aidi

This was so good! I had honey nut squash on hand, which is even sweeter than butternut squash. This was a hit with my entire family—son, daughter-in-law, four grandchildren, and even the one care taker, who normally doesn’t eat vegetables! I added a can of chickpeas for more protein and served it with a tomato cucumber salad and white rice. Yum!


Had to stop myself from getting a third helping. Used fresh cauliflower florets and a potato masher as mentioned in a comment above.


Love this


Sounds like you can use cauliflower that isn't riced if you are just going to blend it anyway. And if you only blend have of the stew, a decent hand potato masher works too. Actually, it would work for the entire stew if you like chunky. Ok, now my mouth is watering.


Another option for recipes calling for coconut milk is to use a high quality coconut extract along with plant milk of choice.

Lindsay Parks

When the recipe says “coconut milk beverage”, can I use canned coconut milk, or does it mean the refrigerated stuff?

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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