This easy Pumpkin Curry is cozy, creamy, and quick to make. With frozen vegetables, canned pumpkin, and a few spices, you can make this delicious meal in 20 minutes or less.
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Hey Internet, it’s been a hot minute since my last pumpkin recipe -- Pumpkin Risotto, and I have to tell you… it’s another savory one. I promise, I’m working on a sweet pumpkin recipe, maybe something fit for a holiday, but it’s taking me a little longer than I expected to perfect it.
That being said, it was pretty fun perfecting this today’s recipe because it’s just so darn delicious!
This pumpkin curry features easy canned pumpkin puree, the frozen veggies of your choice, a little coconut milk for creaminess (optional), flavorful spices, a little fresh onion and garlic, and a special ingredient: almond butter.
Almond butter in a curry? Liz, are you off your rocker again?
I mean, yeah, but just trust me, the almond butter gives a beautiful warmth and autumn flavor to this pumpkin curry, but it doesn’t taste weird at all. It’s only 2 tablespoons of the stuff and this recipe makes a huge pot of curry.
So trust me, try it. Unless you’re allergic to almonds. Then use something else.
It’s also pretty customizable--I recommend adding a little baked tofu or some white beans! More on that later.
ANYWAY, like I said earlier, this recipe is super fast to make, so I’m gonna stop yapping and we can get into details about this recipe, how you can customize it, and tips to make it.
What You’ll Need
Let’s start off with the most obvious ingredient: pumpkin. You’ll need 1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree for this recipe. Make sure not to get pumpkin pie filling, which is often sweetened or contains other ingredients.
I like to start any curry with a base of sauteed onions and garlic--but you can skip this if you don’t like those.
Next, a variety of frozen veggies! I used a mix of a stir-fry blend from my local grocery store and some frozen cauliflower because I like cauliflower in curry, but you can use whatever you’d like.
I actually really love the big bags of frozen veggies from Costco, but I was out and didn’t feel like dealing with their crowds the day we photographed this.
Next up, those spices! For this curry, I used curry powder (which you can find mild or hot versions of depending on your tastes), extra turmeric, ginger, cumin, salt, and black pepper.
I like to get all my spices from The Spice House online. The quality is better, I can order flatpacks to save majorly on shipping (and use my own spice jars), and I never have to pay too much at the store for random spice jars that may or may not fit nicely in my cabinets.
You’ll also need a little veggie broth for sauteing the veggies and thinning out the curry (depending on how thick you like it, add as much or as little broth as you like). I prefer to use low sodium broth and just add the salt I need at the table; I think this keeps the sodium lower in home cooking.
And now let’s talk about the almond butter. Look, I know it sounds strange to put almond butter in a curry, but this does taste really good.
It adds just a little warmth, nuttiness, and really autumnal flavor to the curry, but the amount is so little it doesn’t make it sticky or sweet.
That being said, if you can’t have almonds you can either substitute something like peanut butter or sunflower seed butter, or you can leave it out altogether and it will still be incredibly delicious.
These last few things are also optional--I like to think of them as the finishing touches. I highly recommend a bit of canned coconut milk (or you can use cashew cream) at the very end to make everything creamy, amplify the flavors, and just make it all around awesome.
I also recommend a squeeze of lime (can use lemon instead, I sometimes do), some fresh cilantro (if you like the “soap herbs” as my husband calls them--I actually love them), and some rice to eat it with and soak up the delicious vegan pumpkin curry sauce.
How to Customize This Curry
Before I had a blog, I sometimes followed recipes I read online. When I started to create my own that’s when I got serious about the idea of creating a blog.
But I used to like to follow recipes mostly, but change it up a little bit to suit my own tastes. That’s one of the really fun things about cooking, and learning what you like.
So here’s a few ideas on how you could customize this vegan pumpkin curry:
- Add a protein: though vegetables have a lot of their own protein, you could add a more concentrated protein source like baked or air fried tofu, beans (like white beans or chickpeas), tempeh, or seitan.
- Change up the vegetables: Use fresh and/or frozen veggies and use whatever you like!
- Serve it up: Instead of rice, try serving this curry with pasta (ramen noodles would be excellent with this), cauliflower rice for lower carb, or adding a bit more broth and making it a curry soup!
- Garnishes: I’m all about edible garnishes. My fave is cilantro, but you could mix it up with parsley, basil, sage, thyme… Also try some fresh citrus, or maybe something crunchy like air-fried or roasted chickpeas.
- Naan: You could also try serving it with naan! That would be super yummy. I’m actually working on coming out with a naan recipe. I meant to have it done in time for this post but… life.
Tips for Making Pumpkin Curry
- So, to start, I recommend measuring out all of your spices! Since we are going to mock-temper them (well, more on that in a bit), it’s easiest to have all your spices prepped out and ready to go. You can just throw them all into a little bowl or jar and dump them in when it’s time.
- If you’re going to serve this with rice, I recommend you start that now on another burner. I typically use basmati rice, but any will work. I usually use brown basmati rice, but typically just use white rice for pictures.
- Now you can start to saute your onion and garlic. You can use oil if you wish, but I choose to just use a little of the veggie broth, and add a little splash everytime the veggies start to stick to the pan.
- Cook the onion until mostly translucent over medium high heat, about 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. (Garlic tends to burn faster than onion, so I like to add it after the onion has had a chance to cook down.)
- Now, use your cooking spoon to push the garlic and onion to the sides so you have just the bottom of the pot clear. Pour your spices in the middle and stir the mount around within that clear area for no more than 20-30 seconds. Now add just a splash of broth and stir it around, starting to incorporate it with the onions and garlic. This is NOT proper tempering as in Indian cuisine, but it saves me the oil so I like to do it this way and honestly feel the flavor is just as good. But you do as you like.
- Now just add the rest of your broth, almond butter if using, and your canned pumpkin and stir well so you have a thick sauce. How much broth you add is up to you. I prefer to start with 1 cup, and add more only if I need to. Remember that the frozen veggies will release some of their own liquid, thinning down the sauce as they thaw and cook.
- Turn the heat down to medium, add the frozen veggies, stir well, and place the lid on. Cook them for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. You’ll find that it’s very thick while the veggies are still frozen, and will start to loosen toward the end. When the veggies are cooked, you can add a little more broth if it’s too thick for you.
- When you’re happy with the consistency and doneness of your veggies, add the lime and coconut milk. Stir it well, and let it heat for 30 seconds or so before removing from heat.
- Serve up your pumpkin curry with rice (if you like), and some cilantro if you’re one of those people that likes cilantro, like me! My bowl had a lot of cilantro, while my husband’s had none and we still both loved our meal.
More Quick and Cozy Meals
Like quick, but cozy? It’s all about feeling warm on those chilly fall and winter nights in my household, but we also just don’t have a lot of time especially on weeknights.
That’s when I turn to my arsenal of quick vegan meals. Here are some of my favorites right now (i.e. super cozy and comforting)!
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Pumpkin Risotto
- Chinese Curry
- Vegan Goulash
- Vegan Spinach Noodle Kugel
- Chickpea Florentine
- Pasta Puttanesca
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does, too. It’s not often we both lick the bowl after eating but we really did with this one.
This Pumpkin Curry is:
- Spicy if you want it to be
- Kind of like a big fall hug
- And perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or holiday meal!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!