Meatless Monday – Slow Cooker Winter Squash Curry 3

Today, my fellow Springdellians, we go totally veggie.

We have enjoyed the practice of meatless Mondays in my family for some time. Meatless Monday often morphs into meatless Tuesday and Wednesday for us as I often make enough for lunch leftovers when cooking up something yummy in the big veggie pot.

Last week, I accidentally made a butternut squash vindaloo. I say “accidentally” because I grabbed the vindaloo paste instead of the curry paste! Consequently, I was left with a curry craving so I just had to make this dish again.

So today our family agenda included preschool, karate practice, a vet trip for the dog, skiing lessons, and a two-year old with a cold. On days like this, I like to play a game called “guess what the slow cooker is going to do with my food” (aka “slow cooker roulette”).   Let us set off on an adventure of culinary proportions!

I usually prefer a large dice with my onion for the slow cooker recipes, so the taste does not get lost in the slow cooker shuffle. I had a container of finely chopped onion unused from another recipe though, so I used that in the name of convenience. As the onion and garlic was browning (I LOVE the brown setting on my slow cooker). I chopped a butternut squash into 1-inch cubes.  I also cut up a carnival squash, just for a different texture, along with 2 carrots from my “root cellar”.  I put in a can of coconut milk (aside from the curry paste and red lentils, was the only other non-Springdell ingredient) and a frozen brick of homemade veggie broth.  It all looked like this:

imageThe irony of this picture is the “shake well before using” on the can, which I clearly forgot to do.  I put on the cooker lid, said a prayer, and was off to the races.

imageThis was what we had 8 hours later! It came out pretty good!  I served it over rice with peanuts and raisins, and a tiny bit of home made naan.  It had a nice mix of flavors and textures.  It would have been even better if I added some green peppers from the chest freezer.  Perhaps I’ll do that on tomorrow’s lunch re-heat.


About that naan…  I wasn’t going to post this, but in the interest of transparency, here’s the “behind the scenes” shot of tonight’s naan:


Note to self:  Don’t get sucked into a board game with the kiddos while the broiler is going…

Today the kids enjoyed apples, the last of the sprouts, a hard boiled egg along and a french toast apple-raisin bake left from Sunday breakfast. 

Slow Cooker Winter Squash Curry
Serves 8
This recipe was just winging it. I'd do it again, though. I like to serve curry with naan and/or rice, and with peanuts and raisins on the side.
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
8 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
8 hr 20 min
  1. 1 can coconut milk
  2. 1 cup veggie broth
  3. 8 cups winter squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  4. 2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias (thickness depending on desired crunch)
  5. 1 cup red lentils, washed and drained
  6. 1 medium onion, chopped
  7. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 3 tbsp red curry paste (ensure vegan curry paste if making the vegan version)
  9. peanuts and raisins (optional for serving)
  1. Brown garlic and onion until translucent, then stir in the curry paste and continue to stir constantly for one minute.
  2. Put the onion mixture in the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Slow cook for 8 hours.
  1. If your nervous about the spice level, you can put in one spoonful of the paste in and slowly add more taste at "halftime". I found 3 tbsp to be quite tame and might go a little more next time.
  2. If you decide to go spicy, you can always serve a little yogurt on the side as well.

Don’t forget to save the seeds from the squash (for toasting up as a snack), and the carrot nubs (for your freezer bag of veggie-broth-friendly scraps!)




About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A long time member of Springdell and a busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food.

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3 thoughts on “Meatless Monday – Slow Cooker Winter Squash Curry

  • Sarah

    Just checking…the coconut milk and broth were enough liquid for the lentils? The crock pot lentil recipes I’ve made in the past use about 4x the amount of lentils. I’m looking forward to coming home to this tomorrow night!

    • Jess Post author

      Hi Sarah, thanks for checking in!
      I wasn’t sure about whether it would be enough liquid so I had an extra “cube” of broth thawing on hand just in case. (I know you are not supposed to open a slow cooker while it is doing it’s thing, but I checked it at “half-time” anyway, and the liquid amounts were working out fine for the amount of lentils I used.) The extra broth ended up in the belly of my 2 year-old with the cold, the curry came out creamy and all was well. I gotta say, I’m eating it right now and I think it’s way better 48 hours later! That being said, I don’t mind a mushier squash texture in exchange for extra melding of flavors.
      You could certainly toss more lentils in, in which case you would probably want to increase the amount of broth… But play with it, make it your own, and I hope you enjoy it! Please check back if you come up with any variations, we’d love to hear what works and what doesn’t!

  • Sarah

    Thanks! I might increase the lentils and broth both since I have hungry teens in the house. It should be great for a cold day tomorrow!