This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.
Recipes/ Sides/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Thai Kabocha Squash Curry

Thai Kabocha Squash Curry with Kale and Cauliflower

Thai Kabocha Squash CurryAh, curry. I could probably write sonnets about curry and how much I love it. You might love curry, too—but you don’t love it the way I do. (Or maybe you do. Let’s be friends and share a curry!). Thai curry paste is a staple cooking item at my house. We have an entire shelf in the fridge dedicated to curry pastes, pickles and other spicy condiments to accompany curry. I eat it several times a week, sometimes daily when possible.

Curry is tasty especially when it’s loaded up with fresh seasonal veggies. This one features kabocha, an Asian variety of winter squash, along with cauliflower, kale and tofu. Friends, you need more curry in your life and this is one you definitely want to add to your menu this week.

Thai Kabocha Squash Curry

Kabocha squash has a mild, sweet flavor like all winter squashes. I can usually find kabocha in my Asian market. It may be labeled as Thai or Japanese Pumpkin, Danhobak (Korean), or Fak Thong (Thai). This time of year, they are also usually available at Whole Foods and other well-stocked grocery stores. Hit up the farmers market and I’ll bet you’ll see them there, too. The shell or skin is a little tough, but not quite as tough as butternut squash. I typically cut the kabocha in half lengthwise and then cut and peel it like I would an apple — into wedges, cutting away the seeds, and running the knife around the edge to separate the flesh from the shell.

If you can’t find kabocha, you can substitute banana squash, which has a very similar flavor and texture, or butternut squash. It cooks quickly and absorbs flavors really well. Its mild flavor is a good match for the spicy yellow curry, cauliflower and kale. Also, this recipe makes a lot, and that’s on purpose: you’re going to want leftovers. I always make curry with leftovers in mind!

Thai Kabocha Squash Curry with Kale and Cauliflower

Thai Kabocha Squash Curry

Kabocha, cauliflower, tofu and kale simmer in Thai yellow curry sauce for a scrumptious and satisfying meal. This recipe makes a large amount, and that's intentional--because the only thing better than curry is even more curry for lunch the next day.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 large servings


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4-6 tablespoons vegetarian yellow curry paste I use Mae Ploy brand; start with less and add more as needed
  • 2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut or palm sugar optional
  • 2 cups peeled and diced kabocha squash*
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu, drained and pressed, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • Salt to taste

For serving:

  • 3-4 cups hot cooked rice or quinoa
  • Thai basil leaves for garnish


  • Add the coconut oil to a large sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Heat until melted and hot, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly to make sure it doesn't burn. Add the coconut milk and the sugar, if using, and stir until smooth.
  • Add the kabocha squash and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kabocha is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower and tofu. Cover again and cook, stirring once or twice, until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in the kale, being careful not to break up the tofu. Simmer uncovered until kale has wilted, about 3 minutes, then season with salt to taste.
  • Serve over rice or quinoa and garnish with Thai basil leaves, if desired.


*Kabocha squash may also be labeled as Thai pumpkin, Japanese pumpkin, Danhobak (Korean) or Fak Thong (Thai). You may also substitute banana squash or butternut squash.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table
    October 2, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I, too, eat curry with an alarming regularity. And mmm, I’m now excited about kabocha squash!

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    October 2, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I still haven’t tried kaboucha squash, but seeing this recipe makes me want to!!

  • Reply
    Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)
    October 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I use so much butternut and acorn squash during this season but I think I’ve only used kabocha once. This looks like a great way to enjoy it.

  • Reply
    October 4, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Kabocha is my absolute FAVORITE type of winter squash and I think it is especially perfect for curries. Which are also one of my favorite things to eat. Getting this on the table in the next few weeks for sure!

  • Reply
    Kate @
    October 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Mmm Kabocha is my favorite squash/pumpkin. It’s a shame it’s such a pain to cut up – it is so hard! But so worth it. This looks delicious, and what a great idea to eat quinoa with the curry instead of rice – add some protein and nutrition to a delicious meal.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Appreciate any advice: What is shelflife of steamed kabocha in the fridge? Is it okay to cut a little slimy mold off of it and cook it into Curry soup? It said somewhere that cooked pumpkin will last seven days in the fridge which is about how long this is…. Nice recipe can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I made this for dinner two nights ago and I FREAKING LOVED IT! It was so tasty, easy to make (well, chopping the squash required some muscle but they always do) and my partner loved it! I will definitely be adding this to my top recipes to make during the winter. And I ate all the leftovers lol Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating