Today, we'd like to help bring a taste of Thailand straight to your kitchen. This vegan Thai red curry with kabocha squash and tofu is rich with spice, tang, and sweetness that will give you cause for celebration!
What's the Capital of Thailand?
We're always in awe of different cultures, delicious food, and authentic experiences. A huge part of the reason we love to travel is because of the cuisines we get to try (we're just obsessed with food, alright?).
Sadly, we still have yet to travel to Thailand, but the curries we enjoyed in Malaysia and Vietnam sparked our inspiration for this recipe. And who doesn't love a great curry recipe?!
Thai cuisine blends four seasonings extremely well - salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. That's exactly what we've done here today. We've created a recipe that's incredibly easy to make, yet the complexity makes it hard to believe how little effort you need to put in!
The kabocha squash is really what sets this curry apart. It tastes like a cross between butternut squash and sweet potato (where has this been our whole lives?). And, you'll have the added benefit of not having to peel the skin because it's edible!
This red curry recipe is completely vegan, gluten-free, and will make you want to do a happy food dance (or is that just us?).
Key Ingredients for Vegan Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash & Tofu
- Red curry paste: also known in Thailand as kreung gaeng phet daeng (say that 5x fast) is a blend of lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger), red chilis, and other spices. The spiciness will vary per brand, so you can easily customize the spice to your preferences. We typically use Arroy-D Red Curry Paste because it doesn't contain shrimp paste, which is often found in other brands.
- Kabocha squash: what a great source of beta-carotene (for the eyes), vitamin C, and B vitamins kabocha squash is! It doesn't just taste amazing, it's healthy for you too! Kabocha squash is starchy, sweet, and slightly nutty. It creates a creamy broth and works perfectly to balance the spice.
- Coconut milk: full-fat coconut milk adds another element of creaminess to this curry while helping balance the spice. Pro tips: coconut cream and coconut milk are different, sweetened coconut milk is not what you need, and light coconut milk won't make as rich of a broth. This ingredient is full of electrolytes essential to helping your body carry out its functions.
- Red Thai chilis: there are so many different types of Thai chilies, so to just say "Thai chili" is oversimplifying. Technically, there's no such chili as a "Thai chili." The type we use is known as Prik Chee Fah, which translates to "chili pointing to the sky." These sit around 50,000-100,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), or a moderate spice. You can always add more, but it's quite tough to take it back. Start slow!
How to Make Vegan Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash & Tofu
First, you'll need to drain and press your brick of tofu. Set that aside to while you get the cashews and kabocha squash ready!
If you don't have cashews that are already roasted, spread ¾ cup whole, raw cashews evenly out on a baking pan (or about 1 cup if you want some for garnishing).
Turn your toaster oven or oven to 250 degrees F and bake the cashews for 15-20 minutes. Just make sure to check and turn them frequently to prevent burning! Once the cashews appear golden brown, remove them from the oven and set aside until the end.
Prepare the Kabocha squash by washing it first since you won't need to peel the skin off. Then, cut it in half, being careful as it can be a little tricky to cut. Scrape out the insides before moving on to chopping. Pro tip: save the seeds to roast as a snack!
After both halves are scraped, chop your kabocha into 1-inch chunks. Set those aside while you prepare the shallots, ginger, garlic, Thai chilis, and bell pepper. At this point, remove the tofu from your press and cut it into ½-inch chunks.
Once your curry ingredients are prepped, melt a little coconut oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add in shallots, ginger, garlic, and Thai chili. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until nice and fragrant.
Then add in your red curry paste and bell peppers, stirring to break up large chunks of curry paste. Next, throw in the kabocha squash and cook for a few minutes more.
After the kabocha squash is coated, mix in the coconut milk, vegetable broth, coconut sugar, tamari or liquid aminos, and tofu cubes. Bring everything to a simmer, then reduce heat and cover.
Simmer your curry until the kabocha squash is tender, which only takes about 10-15 minutes! Lastly, add in the spinach, lime juice, lime zest, and cashews. Cover and cook for a little longer at the same heat.
Taste and season with salt and black pepper to your preference. Serve this kabocha squash curry warm with rice, cilantro, Thai basil, and more lime wedges!
How to Store Vegan Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash & Tofu
If you have leftover curry, it will keep in the fridge for about 5-6 days. It will also keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 months in freezer-safe bags or containers. It's best to freeze it in single-serve portions so you only have to reheat what you need.
Why You'll Love This Vegan Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash & Tofu
This vegan Thai red curry is perfect for a quick and delicious weeknight meal. It's:
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment, rate it, and tag us on Instagram with #brokebankvegan. Happy eating!
Other Recipes You'll Enjoy
If you can take the heat, give our spicy peanut noodles with tofu a try. For this cold fall weather, we highly recommend a curried butternut squash & apple soup or a West African peanut stew. And if you want another quick and easy tofu recipe, check out our teriyaki tofu & vegetable stir fry!
8 servings per container
Serving Size1 servings
- Amount Per ServingCalories305
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 13.7g 69%
- Sodium 520mg 22%
- Potassium 638.6mg 19%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 2.7g 11%
- Sugars 7.7g
- Protein 10.8g 22%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
What can I use to substitute the kabocha squash?
You can use other winter squash varieties like butternut, sugar pumpkin, hubbard, or even sweet potato.
Can this be made without coconut milk?
Thai curry is made famous for its use of coconut milk. We wouldn't recommend skipping this creamy ingredient because it helps balance the spice in this dish. If you want a lower fat content, opt for lite coconut milk (although results will vary).
I can't find Thai chilis, what else can I use?
If you can't find the specific chili we use in this dish, you can use something like a jalapeño. Any pepper that makes the dish spicier will work. Just remember to start slow depending on the spicy pepper you use.
Where can I find kabocha squash?
Although most grocery stores should carry kabocha squash nowadays, the best place to find kabocha squash is at your local Oriental market.