This dairy-free, Thai-inspired pumpkin chicken curry is a delicious red curry chicken recipe with tasty authentic spices, creamy coconut milk, fresh veggies, and pumpkin puree. The ultimate Autumn dish!

pumpkin curry chicken in a white speckled bowl with white rice with a white background

What Makes This Recipe Great

Pumpkin season means the leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and Autumn is officially underway. What better way to celebrate the season than with homemade Pumpkin Chicken Curry!

This healthy, feel-good Fall dish is a recipe the whole family will love. Red curry paste meets pumpkin puree and coconut milk to make a creamy, dairy-free sauce.

A creamy red curry chicken recipe that combines authentic South Asian spices with everyone’s favorite orange squash.

Recipe Highlights

  • Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, & Whole30
  • Prepped & Ready in under 40 minutes
  • Authentic Thai flavors & spices
  • A festive, delicious Fall dish!

Ingredient Notes

ingredients for making pumpkin chicken curry

Pumpkin Puree: Wondering which pumpkin is best for pumpkin chicken curry? Make sure to use regular canned pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling!

Ginger Paste: This can be found at your local grocery store, but you can also use fresh ginger (minced) if you prefer.

Jarred Red Curry Paste: When making red curry chicken, I love Thai Kitchen’s jarred paste. You can find their red curry paste at your local grocery store. I don’t prefer curry powder for this particular recipe.

Coconut Milk: I prefer to use full-fat coconut milk, but if you only have light coconut milk, that will be ok.

Chicken Breast: I get my boneless, skinless chicken breast from ButcherBox and slice the breasts into chicken pieces or cubes to make it easy to saute.

Recipe Step by Step

four steps pictured for how to make pumpkin chicken curry
  1. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet. Add in the cubed chicken pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. It’s ok if it’s not fully cooked through – it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  2. Next, add the remaining 1 tbsp coconut oil to the pan along with the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, carrots, and ginger. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the red curry paste and stir until fragrant.
  4. To make the sauce, mix in pumpkin puree, coconut aminos, coriander, turmeric, salt, and coconut milk. Stir. Add the chicken back into the pan and stir. Let everything simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. 
  5. Add in the broccoli florets and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until they are bright green and tender. 
  6. Serve the pumpkin curry chicken as-is or over jasmine rice or cauliflower rice, and top with cashews and fresh cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
overhead view of curry and chicken in a gray skillet with a silver handle and a wooden spoon resting in the curry with a white background

Alternative Cooking Methods

Instant Pot

  1. Using the Instant Pot sauté feature, sauté the chicken, then remove it.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and pepper and sauté.
  3. Add the chicken back in along with the coconut milk and everything else and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  4. Quick release, then add the broccoli and cook on sauté again for 2-3 mins.

Slow Cooker

  1. In a pan over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic ginger, and bell pepper.
  2. Add it to the slow cooker.
  3. Top with full chicken breasts and remaining ingredients minus broccoli.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours then add broccoli during the last 30 mins of cook time.
and overhead shot of two bowls of pumpkin chicken curry served over white rice

Mary’s Tips & Tricks

Protein Substitutions: You can easily substitute Shrimp or Beef in this pumpkin chicken curry recipe. Follow the same instructions, just adjust the cooking time for the protein you choose. Shrimp will only need about 1-2 minutes on each side!

Rice: For this Thai-inspired red curry chicken recipe, using Jasmine rice is ideal! This differs from white rice in that it is long grain and is primarily grown in Thailand.

Optional Toppings: For extra crunch, topping with cashews is a delicious addition to this recipe. You can also top with fresh cilantro, which adds delicious flavor!

Storage: Store leftover red curry chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat within 4-5 days.

Recipe FAQs

Is this pumpkin chicken curry Thai?

Yes! Curry is a traditional dish with sauce/gravy in South Asian cuisine. It features spices such as turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili pepper, and ginger. It is often made with coconut milk, and meat, and served over rice. While this red curry chicken recipe may not be as traditional, it features many of the same authentic flavors and spices. Curry is typically naturally gluten-free.

Can I make vegan pumpkin curry?

Yes! If you are looking for vegan recipes with curry, you’re in the right place! Simply eliminate the skinless chicken breast to make this recipe vegan. You could also add your favorite tofu to your vegan pumpkin curry for added protein.

Can I use butternut squash to make curry?

Yes! You can easily swap the pumpkin puree for canned butternut squash puree if you prefer.

Is this red curry chicken recipe Whole30 compliant?

Yes! This recipe is dairy-free and gluten-free, and all other ingredients are compliant, except the rice. Be sure to serve over cauliflower rice to make it a Whole30-friendly meal.

Can I freeze pumpkin chicken curry?

Yes! You can store this red curry chicken sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Be sure to freeze the sauce separately and make fresh rice when ready to serve.

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Easy Pumpkin Chicken Curry

This dairy-free, Thai-inspired pumpkin chicken curry is a delicious red curry chicken recipe with tasty authentic spices, creamy coconut milk, fresh veggies, and pumpkin puree. The ultimate Autumn dish!
5 from 8 votes
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup carrot chips, or regular sliced carrots
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste , or minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, 100% pumpkin, NOT pie filling!
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

Optional Toppings

  • cashews
  • cilantro

Equipment

  • Deep 12 inch skillet

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet. Add in the cubed chicken pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. It's ok if it's not fully cooked through – it will finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Next, add the remaining 1 tbsp coconut oil to the pan along with the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, carrots, and ginger. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the red curry paste and stir until fragrant.
  • To make the sauce, add in the pumpkin puree, coconut aminos, coriander, turmeric, salt, and coconut milk. Stir. Add the chicken back into the pan and stir. Let everything simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes.
  • Add in the broccoli florets and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until they are bright green and tender.
  • Serve the pumpkin curry chicken as-is or over jasmine rice or cauliflower rice, and top with cashews and fresh cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Protein Substitutions: You can easily substitute Shrimp or Beef in this pumpkin chicken curry recipe. Follow the same instructions, just adjust the cooking time for the protein you choose. Shrimp will only need about 1-2 minutes on each side!
Rice: For this Thai-inspired recipe, using Jasmine rice is ideal! This differs from white rice in that it is long grain and is primarily grown in Thailand.
Optional Toppings: For extra crunch, topping with cashews is a delicious addition to this red curry chicken recipe. You can also top with fresh cilantro, which adds delicious flavor!
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat within 4-5 days.
Alternative Cooking Methods:

Instant Pot

  1. Using the Instant Pot sauté feature, sauté the chicken, then remove it.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and pepper and sauté.
  3. Add the chicken back in along with the coconut milk and everything else and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  4. Quick release, then add the broccoli and cook on sauté again for 2-3 mins.

Slow Cooker

  1. In a pan over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic ginger, and bell pepper.
  2. Add it to the slow cooker.
  3. Top with full chicken breasts and remaining ingredients minus broccoli.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours then add broccoli during the last 30 mins of cook time.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 618mg, Potassium: 958mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 11948IU, Vitamin C: 61mg, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 5mg

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This post was originally published on October 12, 2021 and updated with new copy and photos on July 29, 2022.