Vegetarian Thai Pumpkin Curry

Fall is synonymous with pumpkins. And what better way to celebrate the season than with a Thai pumpkin curry? Don’t have any pumpkins left over from Thanksgiving? No worries. You can substitute acorn squash or butternut squash for pumpkin in this versatile recipe. Whichever squash you decide upon be sure to pair with La Crema Monterey Chardonnay.

Most Thai cuisine doesn’t require any special equipment or hard to find ingredients. If you’ve ever wanted to make Thai cuisine, now’s the season. Why? Because pumpkins and winter squash are at the height of their flavor and are the perfect accent to your holiday meals.

A curry everyone is sure to love, that works with whatever squash you have on hand–acorn squash, butternut squash, or pumpkin–is perfectly suited as a vegetarian complement to your Thanksgiving meal. Pair with La Crema Monterey Chardonnay and its mango notes complement the delicate sweetness of your squash.

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New to Thai cuisine? Pumpkin curry is the perfect introduction. It’s not too sweet or too spicy and can be made with ingredients easily found in your local supermarket.

Tofu is often under appreciated. To make a vegetarian curry or stir-fry your guests will be talking about for a long time, pan fry your firm or extra-firm tofu until each side is a deep golden brown. This gives the tofu a little bit of a crunch.

Pumpkin is expected this time of year. What’s not expected is its presentation in a Thai curry.

Pumpkin Curry

Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6


  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces Firm or Extra-Firm Tofu, 1 inch by 1/2 inch by 1/4 inch thick, thoroughly drained
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup Thin soy sauce (if not vegetarian, you can substitute Fish sauce)
  • (Optional) 1 Tablespoon Sugar (not necessary if using butternut squash)
  • 2 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 16 ounces pumpkin, acorn squash, or butternut squash (approximately 1/2 a medium butternut squash), skinned and deseeded, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 Red bell peppr, roughly chopped
  • 5 to 8 Thai Basil leaves


  1. Roast pumpkin or squash in the oven at 350 degrees until fork tender (about 15-20 minutes). Set aside.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. When warmed, add Vegetable oil.
  3. When oil is heated (starts to shimmer) add firm tofu. Do not crowd the tofu. If necessary work in batches. Cook tofu on one side until golden brown. When golden brown, flip with a slotted spoon. When both sides are golden brown, reserve and set aside.
  4. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. When warmed, add Coconut milk, Thin soy sauce (or Fish sauce if not vegetarian), and Sugar (if using pumpkin or acorn squash).
  5. When sugar is dissolved add the Thai red curry paste. Mix well.
  6. When curry paste is thoroughly mixed, add he butternut squash and bring to a boil, approximately three to five minutes. NOTE: Be careful not to let the curry boil for too long as the coconut milk will curdle.
  7. Reduce heat to a slow slimmer and simmer with pot covered for about ten to fifteen minutes.
  8. When the butternut squash is tender, add the tofu and bell pepper.
  9. When the tofu is heated through, add the Thai basil leaves and cover for one to two minutes.
  10. Serve immediately with steamed brown rice.

Pumpkin curry pairs beautifully with Chardonnay. The pumpkin (or other squash) gives the curry a hint of sweetness that offsets the delicate heat of the Thai red curry paste. Because the curry isn’t too spicy, the squash and the nuttiness of the brown rice amplify the mango notes of the Chardonnay.

When selecting a rice to serve with your pumpkin curry, look for one that is nutty in flavor such as a Jasmine or brown rice.

When selecting a rice to serve with your pumpkin curry, look for one that is nutty in flavor such as a Jasmine or brown rice.

Tofu can be a little intimidating. There are a couple of tricks to making yours mouthwatering. The first is to start with a high quality brand. The second is to pan fry your firm or extra-firm tofu. By pan frying your tofu, you’re creating a golden brown crust with a light crunch. Be careful when adding your pan fried tofu that you don’t bury it under your other ingredients as that will soften the crust.