Hungry for a big bowl of warm, spicy, creamy Thai red curry? If you’ve never tried it with kabocha squash before, this is your chance!

Kabocha squash red curry: A simple and inexpensive red curry dish.

My go-to Thai restaurant order is red curry. Until recently, I had never tried it with kabocha squash, but that has now changed and I’m now solidly in the squash curry camp.

You can make really good, restaurant-rivaling red curry at home for a fraction of the cost. The key to making great Thai dishes at home is to learn how to balance the 5 flavors of Thai cooking. Find out more, below.

Kabocha squash red curry: Use homemade red curry paste, or jarred - either way it's delicious!

Why Kabocha Squash?

Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese squash, is a sweet and creamy squash with edible skin.

Kabocha squash is the ideal pick for this red curry because it doesn’t need to be peeled, and the red curry sauce permeates the flesh so each bite is full of flavor.

The other thing I love about kabocha squash – or any squash, for that matter? Affordability! Squash is a budget-friendly food that can be prepared in a million different ways. I paid $2.53 for 1/2 kabocha squash from an Asian grocery store.

Kabocha squash, used to make kabocha squash Thai red curry.

Homemade Or Jarred Red Curry Paste? Your Choice.

This recipe is delicious whether you use jarred red curry paste or make your own.

But if you’re up for a culinary adventure, consider making your own homemade Thai red curry paste. This may require a trip to an Asian grocery store for some ingredients, but once you have them stocked you’re on your way to making other Thai-inspired dishes.

Note: This homemade Thai red curry freezes well. Freeze portions in an ice cube tray, pop out when frozen, and store in a plastic freezer bag and use one at a time for curry on-the-go.

I followed this Thai red curry recipe.

Kabocha squash red curry, served with basmati rice: Inexpensive, delicious and bursting with flavor!

Balancing The 5 Flavors Of Thai Cooking

There are 5 flavor elements to Thai cooking, and the key to making delicious Thai food at home is learning to balance them:

  • Sweet
  • Sour
  • Spicy
  • Creamy
  • Salty

This recipe incorporates all 5 flavors: Sweet (brown sugar or palm sugar), sour (lime juice), spicy (Thai curry paste + sriracha sauce), creamy (coconut cream or coconut milk), and salty (chicken broth). 

The amounts listed in the recipe, below, will yield a tasty red curry on the mild side. If you want a sweeter, spicier, more sour, etc., curry, feel free to adjust the amounts of each corresponding ingredient.

Kabocha squash red curry: Inexpensive and delicious, make this warming dish tonight!

Recipe Tips And Info

  • Feel free to add protein to this recipe: Chicken, shrimp, tofu, mock duck, etc.
  • Serve with other Thai-inspired dishes like Thai peanut cabbage slaw, Thai fried cashews
  • Serve on top of basmati rice
  • This dish is gluten-free, and would fit a paleo diet if you serve without rice
Kabocha squash red curry: Inexpensive and delicious, make this warming dish tonight!

Kabocha Squash Red Curry

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Feel free to adjust the amount of sweetener (brown or palm sugar), sour (lime juice), or spice (sriracha + red curry paste) up or down to your liking.

You can also add protein to the curry, such as chicken, shrimp, tofu or mock duck


  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 medium kabocha squash, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 13.5 ounce can coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (jarred or homemade)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or palm sugar)
  • Juice from 1/2 lime


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot, sauté chopped onion in coconut oil over medium-high heat, for about 2 minutes. Add green and red bell peppers and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add kabocha squash and sauté for 2 more minutes. for
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the pot and turn down heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the squash is tender and the sauce begins to thicken. Add more sugar, lime juice or sriracha sauce to your liking, if desired.
  3. Serve curry over basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro and lime segments.

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