Pumpkin Curry is a savory pumpkin recipe that you’re going to love! Adding pumpkin puree to this easy curry sauce thickens it up, and adds extra fiber and nutrients to each bite.
The pumpkin flavor isn’t prominent in this recipe, despite using a whole can of pumpkin puree. It adds a nice orange hue to the sauce, and makes this recipe extra sauce-y, which is what my family prefers when it comes to curry recipes.
Have homemade pumpkin puree to use up? That might be thicker than the canned version I used here, so feel free to use a little less pumpkin, or add a splash of water to help thin out the sauce a bit.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What is pumpkin curry made of?
- Pumpkin puree
- Coconut milk
- Curry powder
- Any veggies you need to use up!
This recipe is very flexible, and while I love the combination of vegetables suggested here, you can use anything else you have on hand. I’ve tried it with sweet potatoes, broccoli, shredded cabbage, and more.
Trying to use up a can of pumpkin that you’ve already opened? You can use the leftovers here! If you only have one cup of pumpkin puree on hand, or 3/4 cup, that will work in this recipe, too. Just cut-back on the seasoning as needed, to account for a slightly smaller amount of curry sauce.
I’ve kept this recipe vegetarian by using chickpeas as the protein source, but you can also cook chicken or any other protein you love in this sauce, too. Check out my Salmon Curry for another variation.
How to Make Pumpkin Curry
1. Saute the aromatics. Add olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the chopped onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add in the curry powder, ginger, and garlic, and stir for 1 more minute, just until fragrant.
2. Simmer. Add the pumpkin, coconut milk, salt, cauliflower, and chickpeas, then bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and cover, simmering until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Adjust. When the cauliflower is tender, add in the lemon juice, maple syrup, and season with extra salt to taste. (I usually use 2 1/2 teaspoons in total, but this will vary depending on your taste buds and variety of salt that you use.)
If you’d like to add some fresh greens, like baby spinach, add that in now. It will wilt quickly into the hot curry sauce.
4. Enjoy! Serve this pumpkin curry warm over cooked rice or quinoa. I like to garnish it with fresh herbs, like cilantro or basil. It makes it taste like it came from a restaurant!
You can store leftover pumpkin curry in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It’s easy to reheat on the stove, for a fast weeknight meal.
Frequently Asked Questions & Tips
What if I don’t have pumpkin? You can use cooked butternut squash as a swap, or just make my coconut curry recipe instead, for a pumpkin-free version.
Can I add fresh pumpkin? If you have chunks of fresh pumpkin that you’d like to add, you can add that instead of the cauliflower. It should be tender in 15 to 20 minutes, when you cover and simmer it in this sauce.
Can I make it sugar-free? Of course! If you want to skip the maple syrup, you can do that. In that case, I’d use less salt, and expect a slightly less-complex flavor. A little bit of sweetness is often added to curry sauces, and I think a touch of sweetness really brings out the flavor here.
Can I use curry paste? Yes! If you prefer to use curry paste, instead of curry powder, you can use 3 tablespoons of red or yellow curry paste instead.
Will this work for a special diet? As written, this recipe is vegan and gluten-free. If you need a paleo recipe, replace the chickpeas with sliced chicken, or another protein, and serve it over cauliflower rice or baked spaghetti squash.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this pumpkin curry. Please leave a comment below if you try it!
Easy Pumpkin Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion , chopped
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- 4 to 5 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 inches freshly minced ginger (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
- 1 (14 oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 1 pound cauliflower florets , cut into small pieces
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
- fine sea salt , plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (optional)
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach (optional)
- Cooked rice , for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the onion and bell pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the curry powder, garlic, and ginger, and stir for 1 more minute, just until fragrant.
- Add in the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Stir well, then add in the cauliflower and drained chickpeas. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then lower the heat and cover the pan to let the cauliflower cook until it's fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- When the cauliflower is tender, add in the lemon juice, and season with additional salt, to taste. (I usually end up adding another full teaspoon, but this may vary depending on the veggies you use.) Add the maple syrup, starting with just 1 tablespoon, and then use the other tablespoon, if needed. Fold in the fresh spinach, last, if using. It will wilt quickly in the hot curry sauce.
- Serve the curry warm, with cooked rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro or fresh basil, and extra lemon wedges, if desired. Leftover pumpkin curry will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you try this Pumpkin Curry recipe, please leave a star rating and review in the comments below. I really appreciate your feedback!
Reader Feedback: Do you have any other pumpkin requests? Do you like seeing savory pumpkin recipes?