Creamy and so easy to make, this Thai Pumpkin Curry with chicken is a simple family dinner recipe. Try serving this dish with freshly steamed rice and a side of Sautéed Garlic Spinach for extra veggies. This curry is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and extra tasty thanks to the best curry paste.
When I was thinking of something pumpkin to make this year, I decided to do something savory in flavor for a change. There’s just something about pumpkin that always makes me think of desserts. However, pumpkin really lends itself well to so many things outside just desserts!
I’m not quite sure how the idea to make a curry came into my mind. But I somehow found myself thinking about how pumpkin puree might combine into a luscious curry. And sure enough… it did!
The pumpkin gives this curry an extra helping of veggies right in the sauce. And since it’s already veggie-loaded, it ended up being double-packed with veggies.
At first I had a fleeting thought of trying to chop up an actual pumpkin to simmer in the curry sauce. But then reason prevailed and I went with canned pumpkin purée instead.
I mean… let’s be real, I’m probably not going to be hacking up a pumpkin on a normal weeknight. And I figured maybe you would enjoy the convenience of canned pumpkin as well.
How to make Thai Pumpkin Chicken Curry
- First up you want to prep all your ingredients.
- Next, you sauté the chicken, remove it from the pan, and then sauté the veggies until still crisp but starting to soften.
- From there you add the curry paste, ginger, and garlic, and sauté until it’s fragrant, (see photo below).
- Then you add the coconut milk and pumpkin purée and simmer until everything is cooked through, and the sauce is thickening.
- When the sauce is done, add the chicken and broccoli florets, and cook just until the broccoli is fork tender.
- Finally add the lime juice, and season to taste before serving immediately.
Tip: Don’t discard the broccoli stems, they’re actually sweet(ish) and quite good. But first use a vegetable peeler to peel away the outer tough layer of skin. You’ll see when the tender interior is revealed. From there slice it up and cook with the harder veggies in a recipe – like carrots in this case.
Ways to serve this pumpkin curry
- Freshly steamed jasmine rice or cauliflower rice. Spaghetti squash and roasted sweet potatoes are also surprisingly good with Thai curries.
- Chopped roasted nuts – cashews and peanuts are my favorites.
- Lime wedges for squeezing over the top.
- Freshly chopped cilantro.
First, make sure the curry paste you use is vegan, then omit the fish sauce and substitute soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos. And finally, in place of the chicken, try chickpeas or tofu.
Yes, just be sure to check your ingredients. I use the Mae Ploy curry paste which has always been gluten-free.
Yes, all sorts of veggies are tasty here! Try bell pepper, roasted butternut or kabocha squash, cauliflower florets, or chopped spinach.
- To store: transfer any leftovers to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: gently over medium heat on the stovetop stirring until warmed through, or microwave.
Tips & Tricks
- Use full fat coconut milk for this curry and any curry you make for the best flavor and texture.
- Add more or less curry paste to your personal preference. I’ve kept the amount listed in the recipe modest for medium heat, but feel free to add more if you love spice.
I hope you enjoy this savory pumpkin recipe, and I’d love to know what your favorite thing to make with pumpkin? I’ve been thinking of adding pumpkin to more of my pasta sauces because it’s incredibly creamy. And it also sounds like the perfect way to make creamy comfort food with a serving of veggies built right in!
Thai Pumpkin Curry
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs - cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 yellow onion - 12 ounces, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 cups carrots - peeled and sliced 1/4" thick, 3-4
- 12 ounces broccoli - 1-2 heads
- 2 tbsp yellow curry paste - or Thai red curry paste, Mae Ploy brand
- 1 tbsp lime zest - grated with a microplane, or 2 lime leaves
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt - more or less to taste
- 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
- 13.5 ounce can coconut milk - full fat
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce - optional
- Freshly steamed jasmine rice - or cauliflower rice for Whole30
- Toasted chopped cashews or peanuts
- Lime wedges
- Freshly chopped cilantro and/or Thai basil
- Start by prepping all the ingredients for the curry. For the broccoli, peel away the tough outer layer from the stems. Then slice the broccoli stems 1/4″ thick, and set them aside with the carrots. Cut the broccoli crown into bite sized pieces, and set them aside to add in at the end of the cooking time.
- Preheat a pot or large 15″ skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add the avocado oil and sauté the chicken until browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- Add the diced onion, carrots, and broccoli stems to the pan and sauté over medium heat until the veggies are just starting to soften. Then add the curry paste, lime zest/lime leaves, ginger, and garlic to the pan. Cook until fragrant, breaking up the curry paste with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 2 minutes.
- Add the sea salt, pumpkin purée, coconut milk. Bring the curry to a simmer and cook just until the veggies are tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes. If the sauce it too thick, add a touch of water or chicken stock to thin it out.
- Then add the chicken back to the pan along with the broccoli crowns, cook for 3-4 additional minutes until the broccoli is just cooked.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Taste to adjust the seasonings, and serve immediately with your choice of sides.