Thai Pumpkin Curry [Instant Pot or Stove]

pumpkin curry in black bowl with spoon

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Yield: 8 Cups 


  • ▢2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, or other high heat oil
  • ▢1 large Carrot, diced
  • ▢1/2 large Onion, diced
  • ▢3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ▢1 inch Ginger Root, peeled and finely grated
  • ▢2 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (or yellow or green), or any curry paste
  • ▢1 15 oz. can Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree
  • ▢1 15 oz. can Diced or Crushed Tomatoes, or 1.5 cups fresh tomatoes
  • ▢1 1/2 cups Cooked Chickpeas, or 15oz can (drained)
  • ▢1 cup Uncooked Brown Lentils
  • ▢1 15 oz. can Coconut Milk, reserve 1 Tbsp. for garnish
  • ▢1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth, or any cooking liquid
  • ▢1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • ▢4 cups Kale, loosely chopped

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  • ▢chef’s knife
  • ▢cutting board
  • ▢Microplane fine grater
  • ▢6 quart Instant Pot or 4 quart soup pot
  • ▢stirring utensil
  • ▢can opener
  • ▢airtight food storage container(s)


Thai Pumpkin Curry (Instant Pot Instructions)

  • Select “Sauté” on the Instant Pot, add OIL, and wait until display reads “Hot”.
  • Add CARROT, ONION, GARLIC, GINGER and sauté until tender, stirring as needed.
  • Add CURRY PASTE and sauté a few minutes, stirring as needed.
  • Stir in PUMPKIN PUREE, TOMATOES, CHICKPEAS, LENTILS, COCONUT MILK, VEGETABLE BROTH, and SALT.Note: The kale can be added during or after pressure cooking cycle.
  • Secure lid and turn pressure release valve to “Sealing” position.
  • Select “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” on HIGH for 6 minutes.
  • When cook cycle ends, allow a 10-minute (NPR) natural pressure release, then turn pressure release valve to “Venting” to release any remaining steam.
  • Open the lid, stir in the kale (or other leafy greens), cover the pot, and allow it to rest long enough to wilt.

Stove Top Instructions

  • Heat COCONUT OIL in a 4-quart soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add CARROT, ONION, GARLIC, GINGER and sauté a few minutes until tender.
  • Add CURRY PASTE and sauté a few minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Increase heat and bring just to a boil, stirring as needed.
  • Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked to your liking. Stir in the kale (or other leafy greens) during the last 5 minute of simmering to allow it to wilt.
  • If you want thicker curry, continue simmering until it thickens to your liking, stirring as needed. For a thinner consistency, stir in 1/4 cup amounts of water as needed.

Serving and storage

  • Serve warm garnished with Thai basil or cilantro and a drizzle of the reserved coconut milk.To store, allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 30 days in the freezer (or longer if vacuum sealed).

Ingredient substitutions

  • pumpkin – This recipe uses canned pumpkin for convenience, but fresh pumpkin can be substituted in equal amounts.
  • curry paste – I prefer red curry paste for its color and medium spice level, especially for pumpkin curry. You can use any color of Thai curry paste (red, green, or yellow).
  • canned tomatoes – use chopped, fresh tomatoes in place of canned tomatoes in equal amounts.
  • coconut milk – any dairy or non-dairy milk can work for this recipe, it just won’t be as thick as coconut milk.
  • lentils or chickpeas – substitute diced potatoes in equal amounts
  • vegetable broth – you can use any cooking liquid (water, stock, broth, etc)

Pumpkin curry recipe tips

  • Reduce waste of leftover pumpkin puree by buying the 15oz can instead of the 28 oz can for this pumpkin curry recipe. It uses exactly 1 whole 15 oz can.
  • This recipes uses unsweetened canned pumpkin. You can always sweeten the recipe later, if desired.
  • Increase or decrease the spice level of your curry by simply adjusting the amount of curry you add to the recipe.
  • Prep-ahead your aromatics (carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger) to save time when you go to make pumpkin curry.
  • Use a microplane fine grater to grate the ginger and garlic to prevent large chunks from entering the dish.
  • I like to serve curry next to a bowl of rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. The grains compliment the pumpkin curry because they offer a starchy vehicle to help soak up that delicious sauce and the flavor.
  • Level up your presentation by serving Thai Pumpkin Curry with a drizzle of coconut milk and fresh Thai basil or cilantro. The garnishes are optional, but beautiful for presentation.
  • If you detects any bitterness or if you accidentally over-spice this dish (or any curry), you can always stir in small amounts of any liquid sweetener to help balance the flavors.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 445mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5564IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg

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