This Coconut Lentil Curry with Acorn Squash makes for a super fast and easy weeknight dinner that is family friendly!
We’ve always been fans of coconut lentil curry here at Abbey’s Kitchen. My chicken and chickpea curry has always been one of my most popular recipes on the blog and I’ve also got super tasty recipes for curry soup and lychee curry. With winter settling in and my family in need of comfort, I was craving another warming, one pot curry. To make things even more cozy and fun, we’re using the powerhouse vegetable, acorn squash, as our edible bowl.
Table of contents
Why This Recipe Works
This coconut lentil curry is a repeat recipe in my kitchen for a couple of reasons:
- Vegan and Gluten-free
- One pot (less dishes!)
- High fibre
- Meal prep friendly
Trust me, one you start making this it’ll become a staple!
Acorn Squash – This will be the “bowl” for the curry.
Aromatics – Onion, garlic, ginger
Seasonings – Curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric for traditional, Indian-inspired flavours
Sweet Potato – A great source of vitamin A, thanks to the plant pigment beta-carotene.
Vegetable Broth – I used veggie broth to keep this recipe vegan, but if you don’t need to make this vegan you can go ahead and use chicken or beef broth.
Cauliflower – For a little veg action! I also just love to add cauliflower to my curries in general because they soak up so much aromatic flavour and help add bulk.
Apple – I know you wouldn’t expect to see apple listed in a curry recipe, but trust me on this! This will add some extra flavour and sweetness to the curry that really takes it to the next level.
Coconut Milk – Very important! No good curry can go without a some delicious creamy coconut milk. Full fat or lite works.
Coconut Sugar – For some extra sweetness. If you don’t have it on hand, swap for table sugar or omit. Note that table sugar is sweeter than coconut sugar, so you may need less!
Lime – You’ll need the juice and zest to add some citrusy tang.
Lentils – Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and fibre. Half a cup contains around 8 grams of fibre!
Frozen Peas – I love adding frozen peas anywhere I can because its a super easy way to add in some extra nutrition. If you’re not a fan of peas though, feel free to omit this ingredient all together.
Raisins – If you aren’t yet adding raisins to your curry, thank me later!
How To Make This Recipe
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 and drizzle the acorn squash with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast, cut side up for 45 to 60 minutes until tender.
Step 2: Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry, cinnamon, and turmeric and cook for 4 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.
Step 3: Add the cauliflower and apple and cook for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and add in the coconut milk, coconut sugar, lime zest and lime juice. Allow to cook with the lid off for 3-4 minutes.
Step 4: Finally, add the lentils, peas and raisins and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Fill the acorn squash halves and garnish with pistachios.
The best thing about this coconut lentil curry is that it’s very forgiving and very customizable. Don’t have frozen peas? Leave them out. White potatoes instead of sweet potatoes? Perfect, works just the same! Once you master the basic recipe, you can have fun playing around with the ingredients.
I love serving this with some warm naan on the side.
Of course! Just serve this on top of rice or quinoa and enjoy as is!
Yes! And since there’s lentils in here already, you really won’t need much! In this situation, I like to treat meat as a condi-meat (get it, like condiment!!). So go ahead, add a few shrimp, pieces of chicken, tofu or steak. It’s totally customizable.
For sure. Curry is one of those meals that tastes even better the next day! Double your batch and keep it in the fridge for lunches throughout the week.
Yes, it can last up to 3 months in the freezer. You can keep it in an airtight freezer safe container.
More Recipes You Might Like
If you haven’t been able to tell, I am obsessed with a good curry. Here are some more of my favourite recipes that you might like!
- Chicken Sweet Potato Curry (Easy Gluten Free Recipe)
- Vegan Curry with Spaghetti Squash Noodles (Gluten Free + Low Carb)
- Vegan Curry Soup with Yellow Beets
- Shakshuka Breakfast with Curry Spice
Now loves, tell me – Have you tried this coconut lentil curry? Let me know in the comments below!
Coconut Lentil Curry with Acorn Squash (Vegan)
- 2 acorn squash halved lengthwise
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ tbsp minced ginger
- 4 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 Sweet potato finely diced
- ½ head cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 apple diced
- 1 400 ml can lite coconut milk
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- Zest of ½ lime
- Juice of 1 ½ limes
- 1 19 oz can lentils drained and rinsed
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup raisins
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To garnish:
- ¼ cup crushed pistachios
- Preheat oven to 375 and drizzle the acorn squash with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast, cut side up for 45 to 60 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry, cinnamon, and turmeric and cook for 4 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.
- Add the cauliflower and apple and cook for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on.
- Remove the lid and add in the coconut milk, coconut sugar, lime zest and lime juice. Allow to cook with the lid off for 3-4 minutes.
- Finally, add the lentils, peas and raisins and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill the acorn squash halves and garnish with pistachios.
Updated on November 30th, 2022
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.