Easy Coconut Curry

This is my go-to vegetable curry recipe. It's easy to make, but it packs a punch of flavor from turmeric, ginger, more delicious spices & fresh chiles.

Curry Recipe

This coconut curry recipe is everything I want on a weeknight. Scratch that – it’s everything I want… any time. I’ve been eating it as leftovers for lunch, dinner… I even ate a bowlful for breakfast the other day.

The recipe is particularly Monday night-friendly because it’s quick to make yet packs a punch of flavor. It’s filled with cozy, nourishing vegetables that will help you recover from a weekend of maybe… I dunno… too much pumpkin cake?

Vegetable Curry recipe ingredients

The ingredient shot above makes this recipe look more complicated than it actually is. Once you’ve chopped the vegetables and measured the spices, you’re only about 20 (mostly hands-off) minutes from a creamy, delicious hot curry dinner on the table.

I find this recipe really fun and soothing to make. There’s nothing better than this moment when the coconut milk and spices hit the vegetables. Of course, this moment will happen on the stove and not on the countertop, I just had to move my pot near the window to show you:

How to make vegetable curry spices in a pot with vegetables and coconut milk

The ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom… it all smells so good! You’re going to have to take my word on it unless you can smell through your screen.

vegetables in coconut milk with peas and spinach

How to Make Coconut Curry

Most of the steps of this recipe are actually pictured above – it’s really that simple. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Heat coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat, add a chopped onion and cook until it softens.
  2. Stir in the butternut squash (or sweet potato) and chiles, and cook for 5 minutes more.
  3. Add the cauliflower, coconut milk, and spices, and simmer until the veggies are tender.
  4. During the last five or so minutes, stir in the green things and add squeezes of lemon and lime to brighten everything up.

So healthy!

Coconut Curry Recipe with rice in bowls

Vegetable Curry Recipe Variations

This butternut and cauliflower curry recipe is very flexible, so I encourage you to use it as a template. Here are some ideas to change it up:

  • Use different veggies. If you don’t have butternut squash, use sweet potatoes. If you don’t have cauliflower, then use broccoli. Green beans, carrots, bell peppers, and potatoes would be great here as well.
  • If you want more heat, spice it up. Add extra chiles or more turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cayenne, or red pepper flakes.
  • Vary how you serve it. You can serve this curry with basmati rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or even quinoa. You can also customize it with any type of protein that you like in your curry, or you can just make the recipe exactly as it’s written, a.k.a. my favorite version 🙂

Vegetable Curry Recipe in bowls

If you love this vegetable curry recipe…

Then be sure to try my Curried Red Lentil Dip, Curried Cauliflower Soup, or Curried Lentil Soup!

Easy Coconut Curry

rate this recipe:
4.89 from 87 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves 4
This is my go-to healthy vegetable curry recipe. It's easy to make, yet packs a punch of flavor from the turmeric, ginger, and other delicious spices.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 3 red Thai chiles, or 1 serrano, or ½ jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen peas
  • Freshly ground black pepper

for serving:


  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and well-browned, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat to low halfway through.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
  • Add the butternut squash and chiles to the pot, stir, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower and then add the coconut milk and the spice mixture. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the lemon juice, lime juice, spinach, peas, and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding additional lime juice, salt, and pepper, as desired.
  • Serve the curry over the rice with fresh basil, naan bread, if desired, and lime wedges on the side.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Kristie

    5 stars
    I have made this three times. It is one of my go-to favorites. I love having it as an easy warm lunch.

  2. Gil

    5 stars
    Prepared it tonight. Delish !

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. Judy

    5 stars
    Loved this curry. I kept to the recipe and it is such a sweet fresh curry. Clean food. I had a taste …and then another…and another!!Just delicious!!
    From an Australian fan!!

  4. Barbara Rhudy

    Any ideas for a replacement for califlower?
    I’m low fodmap…(sigh)…

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Barbara, you could do broccoli (or really any veggie you like in the same quantity).

  5. Donna

    Why is this call COCONUT CURRY when there is no curry in it?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Donna, curry powder is just a spice blend – these are the spices commonly found in various blends.

      • Donna

        With the current spice shortage I can’t find Cardamom .. can I just substitute a little curry?

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          yep, that’d be great.

  6. Annie

    4 stars
    Loved the mixture of veggies in this recipe! Used a Serrano chili and will use red chilis next time. My only reason for 4 stars is that I could have used a tad more flavor (going to up the salt, garlic, cumin and turmeric next time). Overall a healthy comfort dish for weeknights. Thank you!

  7. Ron

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Full of flavor and I will definitely be making this dish again.

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  8. Aaron

    5 stars
    Amazing!!! I’m a new father who will be staying home with my little one and though it took me a long time to organize and cut all of the ingredients, the end result left my wife with a satisfied stomach and she said she was proud of me!!!

    This recipe will definitely be a family fave and I am excited to try more from your wonderful site. Thank you so much!

  9. Ann

    4 stars
    Why don’t you use curry powder in this recipe? It did not have enough flavor for me.

  10. nancy

    1 star
    I was sadly disappointed with the lack of flavor in this recipe. I doubled the spices and it still was bland.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. I might check the freshness of your spices.

    • Nancy

      1 star
      I grind my spices regularly and have used them in other dishes with excellent results. My daughter made the recipe separately and had the same results. I think we just have different palates and I like dishes with more flavor.

      • Aaron

        5 stars
        This is so rude. A one star? This recipe was delicious and you seem like someone who tries to feel more important by complaining and cutting others down.

        Maybe your life is the thing lacking spice?

  11. Marisa

    I had coconut curry in Hawaii a few weeks ago and have been excited to try to recreate it at home! Quick question – is this vegan? All ingredients look vegan but doesn’t state it so wanted to double check…
    Looking forward to trying it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Marisa, yep, it’s totally vegan!

  12. Sandy n

    5 stars
    Phenomenal! Super easy to make and everyone loved it!

  13. Catherine

    Do you show nutrition for your recipes? I have a medical condition that requires me to have low salt. How can I find the sodium levels in your recipes?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Catherine, I don’t calculate nutrition facts. In this recipe, the only sodium is the sea salt (1 teaspoon), you could always add less to fit your needs.

  14. Rita

    5 stars
    Excellent! Didn’t have the peppers so used dried flakes and sweet potato instead of squash. I added one can of drained, rinsed garbanzos since I wasn’t planning to serve over rice. Very tasty and looking forward to enjoying the leftovers!

  15. Emmy

    Made this recipe
    And didn’t have the chilies on hand or spinach or basil or onions or lemon 😂 had everything else though! It was soooo delicious ! I cooked it and had it on brown rice .

    I used broccoli, cauliflower , butternut squash all fresh and mixed peas and carrots frozen. Was very flavorful. Would make again !

  16. Meeta

    5 stars
    Made this yesterday. Used sweet potato instead and messed around with veggies. It was fabulous. Thanks for putting this on here. New family fav

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  17. Linda

    5 stars
    This was super delicious. Everyone loved it! Even my husband loved it & he prefers meat or fish in his curries. I used 2 long red chillies without the seeds. Next time I’ll leave the seeds in. It wasn’t super hot but oh so flavoursome! Definitely a keeper for our meat free dinners. Next time I’m doubling the recipe!!

    • Jen B

      5 stars
      This was amazing! Had a few subs due to a lacking pantry/fridge. ie powdered ginger, chili paste, and delicata squash, but it was fabulous! I love how forgiving this is without having exact ingredients. Will definitely make this again. Thank you!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad you loved it!

  18. lisa

    5 stars
    My favorite would hard to choose but I will say the dish by The Comfort of Cooking, looks so delicious. We will feature this post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop, well done.For more visit Uniqop

  19. Leah from leahgauthier.com

    This was delicious and very pretty with all of the colors! I added some baked tofu and cut back the chilies to two because we like less heat. Such a beautiful recipe. Thank you Jeanine!

  20. lisa

    Hi, This really looks tasty and this is one of the reasons why this is in demand in diners and even in catering Fort Lauderdale. I hope that my folks will enjoy this as much as you do. Thank you again. Keep posting such great recipes.exotic fruit

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.