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A chicken curry with roasted butternut squash simmered in a creamy, dairy-free yogurt sauce! Served on top of fluffy cauliflower rice.
Grab your cast iron for this one-pan, chicken curry recipe made in just 45 minutes! We'll keep it simple and convenient, and filled with lots of healthy ingredients, like roasted butternut squash, zucchini, carrots, chicken thighs and creamy, dairy-free yogurt.
It wasn't until I ordered one of my favorites, pumpkin yellow curry, that I remembered all about my family's crockpot dinners. They were always plopped right in the center of the table, "family style". I particularly remember the crockpot curry chicken because my sisters and I always had to race for seconds! Craving a chicken curry, I pulled out my mom's old cookbooks filled with dozens of paper snippets and hand written recipes, and flipped to the crockpot curry. This is how this dairy-free, gluten-free chicken curry came about and the recipe is now ready for your stovetops! Butternut squash makes a healthy, filling starch for this dish. It's very similar to pumpkin in texture and flavor, but is a little easier to find at grocery stores throughout the seasons. My husband and I have been getting one in our Farm Fresh to You box, so butternut has been at hand for some spontaneous cooking. If you haven't heard of spontaneous cooking, it's the idea of cooking what you're feeling like in the moment, in addition to what you already have in the fridge. It's a way to adjust your meals depending on how your body is feeling. For example, if I had a salad for lunch, you can bet I'd be ready for this hardy chicken curry for dinner! With this style of cooking, you do less planning and more cooking!
You might be wondering why roast the butternut when everything else cooks in the pan? Roasting the butternut before adding it to the curry ensures that it doesn't overcook. Now all the other ingredients have more room to cook evenly and simmer in the sauce for maximum flavor. And now for the curry sauce! A curry bowl is nothing without its sauce companion. Instead of coconut milk, the sauce is mixed with plain, almond milk yogurt. It has less fat than canned coconut milk, but still a good amount where it makes a creamy sauce. I especially like the plain and unsweetened kind by Kite Hill because it's thick and has no added sugar (found at Whole Foods).
As for the chicken, boneless thighs work great for this recipe because they cook super tender and moist; although, you could use bone-in chicken if you like, but you'd just have to adjust the cooking time longer.
Pro tip: For thicker sauce, leave the lid off to let the liquid evaporate. For thinner, but still creamy, cover the pan to trap the steam. Time for the second layer to this dish—drumroll, please—cauliflower rice! This Paleo alternative to rice is low carb, high in fiber and doesn't spike insulin. You can find a cauliflower recipe here by Minimalist Baker. And for your curry leftovers for lunch, try toping the curry on a bed of greens for a warm salad—the sauce acts as the dressing!