Make Ahead

Thai Summer Yellow Squash Curry

May 23, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 5
Author Notes

Comforting without the comfort food calories and residual waistline woes, this protein- and fiber-rich curry boasts chickpeas and red lentils, providing a belly-filling meal while leaving you light and bright in the midst of swimsuit season. Taking advantage of a free Sunday evening, I prepare my one-pot vegan squash curry, allowing it to simmer to perfection while I buzz about, and keep it handy in my refrigerator (or freezer for easy defrosting) as I need it. Best served hot or cold.

Nutritional Information [per 2-cup serving]
304 Calories, 11.7g Fat, 42g Carbohydrates, 9.2g Fiber, 9g Sugar, 11.7g Protein —Alexandra Tallulah

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Alexandra Dawson is a Washington, D.C.-based student studying to be a nutritionist.
WHAT: A creamy vegan curry that hits the spot even in hot weather.
HOW: Sauté curry paste with garlic and onions, then add coconut milk, tomatoes, kale, chickpeas, and lots of summer squash. Dinner's only 30 minutes away!
WHY WE LOVE IT: When we want something that will stick to our bones, something creamy and hefty but not heavy, we'll turn to this soup: It's creamy from the coconut milk and lentils, and satisfying thanks to all of the vegetables, chickpeas, and ribbons of kale. And it comes together so quickly, we'll be making it as long as summer squash is in season (and then figuring out ways to adapt it to winter squash!) —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons red thai curry paste
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 3/4 pounds summer squash, diced (I use zucchini and scallop squash)
  • 1/2 pound grape tomatoes, halved (I used Zima tomatoes)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked red lentils
  • one 15-ounce can chickpeas, thoroughly drained and rinsed
  • 4 leaves of kale, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat red Thai curry paste and 1/4 cup vegetable stock over medium-high heat until just simmering. Add the diced onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and slightly golden (about 4 to 5 minutes). Stir in squash and another 1/4 cup vegetable stock and continue to sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, sliced tomatoes, coconut milk, and lentils and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Remove cover and gently stir in chickpeas and chopped kale until kale is just wilted. Remove from heat, season, serve, and enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jocelyn Grayson
    Jocelyn Grayson
  • Gina Nero
    Gina Nero
  • Kt4
  • Adrienne
  • Alexandra G
    Alexandra G

17 Reviews

Louise August 25, 2023
I have cooked professionally most of my life, and this recipe just blew me away! I added extra red curry paste but will probably decrease it a little next time as it was just on the edge of too spicy for me, but not for my husband. I used yellow crookneck squash, and spinach instead of kale. Also, the recipe mentions garlic in the test kitchen notes, but it didn't make it into the ingredient list. I added two large cloves minced just before adding the squash, which was just right. I used home-made chicken broth, and campari tomatoes from the garden since my cherry tomatoes weren't ripe yet. I will make this often!
food52fan October 7, 2018
Delicious recipe! I knew my family would love this so I doubled it so we'd have leftovers. Except for subbing spinach for kale and using 3T of curry paste instead of 4 when doubling, I made this as written, adding in the chickpeas early as suggested in the comments. For those who don't like overly spicy food, omitting that 1T of curry paste when doubling the recipe kept the spice level enjoyable for me. Wonderful recipe!
food52fan October 24, 2018
Made this again's a winner! This time I did have kale on hand and decided to add in some diced red bell pepper, sliced carrots, and fresh pineapple. YUM!! This is truly a delicious and versatile recipe.
Jocelyn G. September 7, 2018
Made this as written and really enjoyed it. We do have quite a bit left over, and I’m wondering about freezing it. Any reason not to do that?
Suzanne B. September 2, 2018
I think I would add some spinach in at the last minute as there is just no way I'm going to eat kale. Otherwise it sounds wonderful.
Nancy August 24, 2018
Very easy to make. Next time I would double the curry paste, add some Thai basil, squeeze a bit if lime on top and some chopped peanuts. Maybe some birds eye peppers as well. I think it’s a flexible dish, could add other ingredients that are on hand. I love how quickly it can be made and there is a lot of it. I thought it had great flavor considering no oil was used. Very healthy recipe.
Jeffrey H. June 21, 2018
My problem with this recipe is that you really need to fry/bloom the curry paste in a little oil first, then add the onions and sauté. This way there is more depth to the curry. Then add the squash, then add stock etc.
Gina N. January 29, 2018
Just wanted to let you know I've been making this curry for the past couple of years – it's a staple and always impressive when guests come over. I am forever grateful. Thank you so much!
Kt4 August 24, 2017
DELICIOUS!... I'm told... Made it as directed, except we didn't have lentils so I used rice, and it came out too spicy for my overly sensitive mouth 🤣 I was able to have a couple spoonfuls though & the flavor was great. I can see that cilantro would be a good addition. I think I'll make this for my mom when she comes to visit next month. Thank you for the Great recipe!
HeatherM August 23, 2016
Great way to use up squash. I added Thai chile powder up front since others mentioned it wasn't spicy. If I made it again, I would add the chickpeas earlier so they absorb more of the flavor. Served over jasmine rice.
Adrienne August 22, 2016
Very nice recipe. I too doctored it up a little bit with about 2 tablespoons of sambal oelek. Detracts from its "thai-ness," but was absolutely delicious!
FoodFreak October 3, 2015
We liked this a lot. I added cilantro and next time I will add a bit more curry paste.
Alexandra G. September 13, 2015
Nothing better than salivating over a recipe and realizing you have all the ingredients to make it! :)
Jeannie.Rak September 11, 2015
To make this dish taste a little more Thai, add Thai basil and cilantro, but please omit the ginger. Looks great!
Sarah S. September 11, 2015
I made this and I loved it! The one thing I would do differently is add a little more spices (I added more curry powder, cilantro, and ginger) and a little more heat. I added a jalapeno, but I loved the red curry and the squash. Definitely making this again,
QueenSashy September 11, 2015
I love anything with coconut milk and spices, and "curry" is one of the most frequently used words in my vocabulary. This will be a big hit... Congrats on being a finalist!
Alexandra T. September 11, 2015
Thank you!! I can't wait to hear what you think - this has definitely been a summer favorite and staple in my home xx