Butternut, Spinach & Chickpea Red Curry with Chicken


Evidence that you’re an adult:

1.  You own a tablecloth.

2.  10pm feels TOO LATE.  For anything.

3.  A productive day is one that involves laundry.

4.  Really high heels just aren’t worth it.

5.  You can use the expression “on fleek” in a sentence but don’t actually know what it means.

6.  You can eat cheese and crackers for dinner and answer to NO ONE.

7.  You place a premium on being well hydrated, and keep a water bottle around at all times.

8.  Dental floss is a necessity.

9.  You know when stuff goes on sale at the grocery store (Wednesday, obvi).


Number ten number ten number ten number ten!  It’s happening.  We bought an adorable house in Seattle and it’s not ours quite quite yet but it’s going to be soon, and did I mention that it’s adorable?  #ADULT.

To celebrate, I made you a warm and hearty red curry stew, with sweet squash and tender chicken, bright spinach and creamy coconut milk.  It’s adapted from Amanda Paa’s lovely cookbook, Smitten with Squashwhich it turns out I really am.  I’ve dog-eared about twelve pages so far, and am excited to cook my way through them all (Brown Butter Delicata Doughnuts HELLO).

In the meantime, I’m going to eat a big bowl of red curry off of my tablecloth while contemplating my 401k.  In my HOUSE!  Like a grown up.  Yikes.


Butternut, Spinach and Chickpea Red Curry with Chicken

Adapted from the Delicata, Spinach and Chickpea Red Curry recipe from  Smitten with Squash by Amanda Paa

I had some leftover shredded chicken from a previous meal that I threw in here, but feel free to leave it out if you’d like.

Red curry paste can be found in most well-stocked supermarkets – it’s usually tucked among the other Asian foods.  And as Amanda mentions in her book, lemongrass is sold fresh, frozen, or powdered, but if you can’t find any, substitute 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic.

Note: to mince lemongrass, cut off and discard the green tops, down to the white fleshy part.  Cut off and discard the root.  Peel away the outer layers until you reach the flexible and tender part inside.  Slice the stalk thinly lengthwise, then line up the pieces and chop finely.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass (or 1/2 tablespoon powdered lemongrass)
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (from the neck of 1 medium squash, peeled)
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 handful chopped scallions
  • cooked rice or quinoa, for serving


In a small bowl, whisk together the curry paste and 1 tablespoon coconut milk; set aside.

Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a (4 1/2- or 5-quart) Dutch oven, then add the lemongrass and cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add the curry paste mixture, turmeric and salt and cook, stirring, for another minute.  Next, add the squash, stirring to coat, and cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour the remaining coconut milk into the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a light simmer and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, then stir in the chickpeas, shredded chicken and spinach.  Return to a simmer, cover, and cook for another 20 minutes, or until squash pierces easily with a fork.

To thicken the liquid, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or so.  Stir in the lime juice and scallions, then taste and adjust the salt as needed.  Serve hot over rice or quinoa.

Serves 4.

This entry was posted in Dinner, Recipes, Smooth & Creamy. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Butternut, Spinach & Chickpea Red Curry with Chicken

  1. Ileana says:

    Woohoo!!! Congrats on your house. 🙂

  2. Erin says:

    We need to catch up! It sounds like there’re lots of exciting things going on. Congrats!

  3. Afg says:

    Woohoo! Soup looks marv

  4. Nancy Wingo says:

    woo-hooo! great news about your new home!! congrats!

  5. Debbie says:


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  7. Lura Wampler says:

    Great to hear you are so successful – must be the training you got in the chem lab!!
    I really like the looks of this curry, butternut squash, chick pea combination and will try it. Mrs W

  8. Jen Vertanen says:

    So cool! I came here from Tiffany Han’s podcast to check things out and then you mention a friend of mine (Amanda Paa)..I was able to be a taste tester for some of the recipes that made it into the cookbook…she’s a delightful person and I’m so glad you love her cookbook :). Nice to meet you!

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