Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash With Toasted Coconut (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

The first in this month’s vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe series from Beth of Tasty Yummies.

This month I will be sharing a series of vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes, sure to liven up any feast you have planned. I plan to share some classic recipes re-imagined and some unique and totally non-traditional recipes that you aren’t used to seeing amongst your traditional Thanksgiving spreads. This recipe pairs the classic Thanksgiving ingredient, butternut squash, with the not-so classic flavors from traditional Indian food. It is so perfect, rustic, and comforting. It’s a great side dish for anyone at your celebration, but a perfect satisfying creation for any vegan and gluten-free folks at your feast! I ate this as a meal on it’s own, actually. The Indian spices are so robust and complimentary to the squash, and the creamy texture from the squash is so nice with the crispy toasted coconut on top. A perfect dish for Thanksgiving or any feast, really! Check back throughout November as I share a new vegetarian Thanksgiving creation each week!

indian-spiced butternut squash

Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash with Toasted Coconut (Gluten-free + Vegan)
serves 4-6

2-3 lb butternut squash, halved and seeded, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely minced or grated
1 tablespoon garam masala powder (you can add more if you want the flavor to be even more powerful)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup coconut milk, full-fat canned kind
1/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
fresh cilantro for serving, optional

Preheat the oven 400ยบ F.

Toss the squash with oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan. Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. While the squash is roasting, arrange the raw coconut in a single layer on another baking sheet. Once the squash comes out, place the coconut in, bake for about 3 to 5 minutes, toss around and then bake another 3 to 5 minutes. Watch it carefully, as it can burn quickly.

Once the squash and coconut are both ready and out of the oven, heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add in the mustard and cumin seeds, heat for a few minutes until the spices begin dancing around the pan, popping and jumping. Add in the garlic, ginger, garam masala powder and salt. Stir around for a minute or two, reduce the heat to low or off, add in the roasted squash cubes and coconut milk and mash by hand with a potato masher, until as smooth and creamy as you’d like it to be. Salt to taste, serve immediately topped with toasted shredded coconut and a little fresh cilantro, if you’d like.

indian-spiced butternut squash

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Do you like the classic traditional dishes at your Thanksgiving dinner or are you open to fun, new creations?

For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.

More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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11 years ago

Looks delicious! :))

11 years ago

I can’t wait to try this recipe! It sounds fabulous and my son LOVES Indian spices :)

11 years ago

Just made this tonight for my birthday dinner… it was incredible!! So rich and creamy, you would never know its vegan. I think vanilla bean would be a great addition!! Thank you Free People for the never-ending updates on good stuff :)

11 years ago

I had been dreaming of making this for days….today was the day and I was NOT disappointed. My only regret, that I did not double the batch. Thanks for sharing, I truly enjoyed the explosion of flavors!

11 years ago

Thanks Hai-Yen!
Maggie, thank you! I love that your son loves Indian spices, what a sophisticated palate! :)
Chelsea – I am so so glad to hear you enjoyed it, I love the idea of adding vanilla. I will have to try that. Thanks for sharing!
Patty – awesome, I am so glad you made it and enjoyed it. That was my regret as well immediately, that I didn’t use the very much larger butternut squash that I have. Guess I will have to make it again soon :) Thanks again for your nice comment!

11 years ago

I also love Indian dishes. They are always spicy in taste. My mouth watering… Yummy..

11 years ago


8 years ago

mouth-watering recipe. this is tempting my appetite. anyways thank you for sharing

7 years ago

Thanks for the post about this favourite recipe.thanks for the post