Instant Pot Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry is a comforting bowl of soft, creamy veggies highlighted with all the wonderful Thai red curry flavors. It's nourishing, bursting with flavor, and so simple to make!
I start to feel like a broken record over a few things on this here blog. For example:
- Blue cheese is the best, if you don't like it, you're wrong
- Always use White Whole Wheat Flour instead of Red Whole Wheat Flour
- Crio Bru is the love of my life
- And Thai food is the greatest cuisine of all time
All great life rules to live by.
For today, we're obviously covering Thai food.
I didn't even eat at a Thai restaurant until I was in my 30's, but I've spent the last 4 years seriously making up for that.
When I go out to dinner, it's for Thai food. I can make a burger and fries at home, but Thai food, dang, I can never seem to make it taste as good as a restaurant.
I spied this recipe on The Kitchen (a Food Network show) one early morning while running.
“Squash Curry?” I wondered. “It seems too simple, and boring. Could this really be any good?”
Well, a good motto to live by is, “If Geoffrey Zakarian says it's good, it's good.”
So I tried it, and I even topped it with pomegranate seeds like he did (which seemed absurd, so absurd that my husband wouldn't even try it) and let me tell you what . . .
TOP TWO FAVORITE CURRYS OF ALL TIME!!!
And the pomegranate seeds?
STROKE OF FLIPPIN' GENIUS, IT SEEMS SO WRONG, I STILL DON'T KNOW WHY IT TASTES SO RIGHT!
I tweaked it to make it Instant Pot friendly, added some Yukon potatoes to really amp up the silky texture, and for one long sweet moment with my big bowl of curry, my life had no cares, worries, or flaws.
Yeah, I get a little weird when I talk about Thai food. It just happens.
You'll understand soon enough cause this soup is a cakewalk to make.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT BUTTERNUT SQUASH RED CURRY
- Talk about fireworks in your mouth! The flavor is hoppin' and diverse, yet unified and harmonious.
- Soooo creamy!! Creamy broth, creamy squash, creamy potatoes, creamy everything!
- Then to balance the creamy, TEXTURE! Salty, roasted peanuts and tart pomegranate gems – it's genius! Again, how do pomegranate seeds and curry make sense!? It just does!
- One bowl and you feel like you just gave your body and soul the greatest gift of all time. I know it sounds crazy but it's like my body just gave me a big hug.
- If you blend it to smithereens and add a scoop of rice, the kiddos even join in on the lovefest!
HOW TO MAKE CREAMY RED CURRY IN THE INSTANT POT
- Give your veggies a quick saute
- Saute the red curry paste to awaken its flavor
- Add the squash, coconut milk, broth, and fish sauce
- Cook for 5 minutes
- Blend half of the soup until very smooth
- Wilt in the spinach
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
DONE! How simple is that!?
Add a scoop of rice and top it with all the colorful toppings and go to your happy place.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST RED CURRY IN THE INSTANT POT
- Always saute the red curry paste. Whether it's this easy-to-find Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste or my favorite, harder-to-find Thai and True Curry Paste, warming it up for a minute or two really amplifies its flavor.
- For this recipe, I suggest using lite coconut milk. It's thin enough that you won't have any issues with it burning on the bottom of the pot like a thicker, full fat coconut milk might.
- Don't skip the fish sauce. I know it's a weird name, I know it stinks to high heaven, but I use it all the time because the flavor can't be replicated by anything else. I've got more recipes for you to use up your fish sauce, and inevitably, more to come.
- I added cooked, shredded chicken to this a few times and it is fantastic! However, I don't suggest adding raw chicken to the pot to cook with the curry because, 1) it will water down the curry, and 2) it will make it very hard to puree half the soup.
- Serve with rice. Curry soaked rice is just glorious.
- Try the pomegranate seeds! I tried dried cranberries thinking it would be a similar vibe (oh man, gross), but the pomegranate arils are an absolutely unexpected treat.
- Let it rain lime juice! It makes the whole dish come alive!
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE BUTTERNUT SQUASH CURRY
- Store: Cool the curry then refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: This curry reheats perfectly in the microwave, on the stovetop, or on saute in the Instant Pot.
- Freeze: I haven't tried freezing it, but I believe it will freeze perfectly! Freeze flat in a freezer-safe ziplock for quick thawing on a later day. Thaw overnight in the fridge or throw it frozen into a saucepan on the stovetop.
I dare say if we ever meet in person, we will be going out for Thai food or enjoying a big bowl of Butternut Squash Curry in my crazy, chaotic home while my children show off in every possible way.
Either way, it will be over Thai food, and it will be memorable and magical.
Report back ASAP when you try this soup! I'd love to hear your love story as well!
MORE FAVORITE THAI INSPIRED RECIPES
- Instant Pot Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
- Instant Pot Soul Soothing Chicken Coconut Cabbage Soup
- Instant Pot Thai Green Coconut Curry, Pork, and Lime Risotto
- Instant Pot Healthy Butternut Squash Soup with a Thai Twist
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT THAI BUTTERNUT SQUASH RED CURRY
- Instant Pot
- Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste or
- Thai and True Red Curry Paste
- Lite Coconut Milk
- Vitamix Blender
Inspired by Geoffrey Zakarian on the Kitchen's Kabocha Squash Red CurryPrint
Instant Pot Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry
Warm, spicy, comforting Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry with roasted peanuts and pomegranate seeds. Flavor to the max!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup diced carrots
- ½ cup diced sweet or yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 4 cups chopped butternut squash (about 1 inch cubes)
- 1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped (about 1 inch cubes)
- 2 (14 ounce) cans lite coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1–2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 cup baby spinach
For Serving: brown or white rice, dry roasted peanuts, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, pomegranate seeds
- Select saute on the pressure cooker and add butter.
- When melted, add carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper; saute 2 minutes.
- Add curry paste and saute 1 minute.
- Add squash, potato, coconut milk, chicken broth, and fish sauce; stir.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a quick release.
- Ladle about half of the mixture into a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Stir back into the pot.
- Stir in spinach and allow it to wilt; about 2 minutes.
- To serve, put a scoop of rice on one side of a bowl. Ladle squash curry into the bowl, next to the rice. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and pomegranate seeds (see note).
- Already chopped butternut squash is easy to find in the fresh produce section and freezer department and is a great time saver.
- Sauteing red curry paste adds incredible depth of flavor. Don’t skip this step!
- Sausage and diced or shredded chicken is delicious in this. I suggest stirring the cooked meat of choice in after you have pureed half of the soup.
- Spice level for this dish is mild (this could vary with different brands of curry paste) but if you’re worried, start with only 1 tablespoon of curry paste, and stir in more after the soup is cooked if needed.
- The pomegranate seeds might sound a bit odd here, but I LOVED the sweet/tart flavor they added. Give it a try and see what you think!
Keywords: Butternut squash soup, red curry, instant pot soup recipes