Chicken squash curry in white bowl with spoon wrapped in cloth, with rice in small bowl in top right and halved squash in top left.

Butternut Squash Coconut Chicken Curry with Lentils

This simple butternut squash chicken curry with lentils is a delicious and healthy, easy dinner idea.
Course Dinner, Main
Cuisine Indian Fusion
Keyword butternut squash, chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 384kcal
Author Monika Dabrowski


  • 1/2 medium butternut squash peeled, cubed (approx. 500 g)
  • 3 medium chicken breasts skinless, diced
  • ½ cup red lentils rinsed
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 v. large onion roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger chopped
  • ½ green chilli chopped, or use 1 whole for more heat
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 green cardamom seeds
  • 2 tsp each: garam masala, turmeric, cumin and coriander powders
  • 1 tsp sea salt plus more for seasoning the squash and chicken
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 tbsp cilantro finely chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. Place the buttenut squash on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper, season, drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of oil and pop in the oven for 40-45 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
  • Whilst the squash is in the oven prepare the quick curry sauce. Blitz the onion, garlic, ginger and chili until well combined and there are no large pieces. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, add the bay leaf, cardamom seeds, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin powders and stir. Add the onion mixture and stir thoroughly. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring often. Add the lentils, salt, water and coconut milk, stir, cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Fry the chicken pieces in 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat, turning often, for about 4 minutes (try not to overcook the chicken but do ensure it's not pink). Add the chicken and the roasted squash into the curry, along with any juices from roasting and frying, as well as the fresh cilantro, stir well and enjoy!


  • Add a whole chili pepper for more heat if you like. 
  • If the curry sauce becomes too thick add a drop of water or coconut milk
  • Take care not to fry the chicken for too long.
  • Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Serve with rice, quinoa, couscous or naan bread.
  • Freeze individual portions for up to 3 months.
  • Cook Time includes the time needed to roast the squash.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 867mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6700IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3mg