Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry

bowl of pumpkin curry over rice with fresh cilantro and crushed cashews
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Tired of your weeknight dinner regimen? Spice things up with our slow-cooker chicken curry! Rich with coconut milk, chicken breast, crisp veggies, and fresh pumpkin—dinner is ready, set, DONE.

The Great Pumpkin King

The poor pumpkin. Plucked from the patch and carved with great joy, only to be left on the porch a bit too long before its soggy remains finally get tossed in the compost. Despite this cruel treatment, pumpkins are really the king of all squash. Easy to grow, and even easier to cook and eat—we’re talking edible pumpkins here, not ornamental ones!—sugar pie pumpkins are the not-so-secret, sweetly savory ingredient in our easy chicken curry recipe. 

bowl of slow cooker pumpkin chicken curry over rice

Say Hello to the Chicken Curry of Your (Thai-Takeout) Dreams

True story: Thai curry from our favorite restaurant is pretty much our greatest delivery expense. Well, it WAS—until we developed this Thai coconut chicken curry. It’s a simple recipe with big flavor that warms and comforts from the inside out. Here’s what you’ll need:  

  • Cubed pumpkin
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast 
  • Jarred red curry paste. We put this stuff in EVERYTHING and we have no regrets. 
  • Coconut milk—full fat is our fave, but light coconut milk is OK in a pinch. The curry won’t be nearly as creamy as it would be with full-fat—consider yourself warned! 
  • Fresh veggies give this  easy Crock-Pot curry a nice textural crunch. 
pumpkin curry with bell peppers, chicken and spinach being stirred with a wood spoon in a crock pot

Speaking of Pumpkin—What Kind of Pumpkins Can You Eat?

While those jack-o-lantern-type pumpkins technically are edible, they’re nothing compared to the creamy sweetness of pie pumpkins, which are bred especially for eating. Look for smallish ones (about four pounds) under the names Autumn Gold, Naked Bear, or sometimes simply labeled ‘Pie Pumpkins’. You can wash, roast and steam them just as you would any other squash. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed with vitamins A, B6, C, and E, calcium, magnesium, and loads of fiber. Our favorite use for this mighty little squash? Obviously this creamy, Thai-ish chicken pumpkin curry. 

How to Make Our Chicken Curry Recipe:

Homemade curry is easier than you think—especially when you break out that slow-cooker!

  • Prep pumpkin: scoop out seeds (and save to salt and roast!), then cube with a super-sharp knife. You can leave the peel on!
  • Add all ingredients to slow-cooker (really, it’s just that simple) and cook on high.
  • After blending the pumpkin into the curry add the shredded chicken back to pot and stir in the fresh veggies for the last few minutes of cooking to help them stay nice and crisp.
  • Serve the pumpkin curry in over-sized bowls. Because you’re going to want seconds, and that way you don’t have to get up. 
slow cook pumpkin chicken curry in a bowl over white rice and topped with fresh cilantro and toasted cashews

Tools You’ll Need for This Pumpkin Chicken Curry:  

Fluff up some rice and grab a fork. Our chicken curry with coconut milk is a cinch to pull together. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Crock-Pot. Really, we don’t even know why we bother to put it away this time of year.
  • Rice paddle. Sure, you could use a wooden spoon, but how pretty—and multi-purpose—are these? 
  • Easy citrus juicer. We literally use this thing every day.
slow cooker pumpkin chicken curry in a bowl over white rice topped with cilantro and cashews

Ready to Break Up With Take for Good?

Or maybe just for tonight? Check out these other takeout-inspired dishes we love:

Crock-Pot Curry Chicken Has Never Been Better

Our slow-cooker chicken curry among your favorite easy chicken curry recipes? Crack open your crockpot and show us your curry—tag us @themodernproper and #themodernproper. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 14 oz can coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 cups sugar pie pumpkin or butternut squash (3/4 inch cubed)
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tsp salt
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 heaping cups baby spinach, fresh
1 lime, juiced
steamed rice
lime wedges
cilantro
cashews, toasted

Method

  1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, stir the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Add the pumpkin and chicken and nestle until it is submerged in the liquid.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Switch the cooker to high if it’s not already, and transfer the chicken to a bowl. Season the liquid with salt and using a fork or a hand blender (for smoother texture) mix the pumpkin curry together.
  3. Using two forks, shred the chicken (it will shred very easily) and return to the cooker along with the bell peppers. Cover and cook the curry for 10-15 minutes longer. Add spinach and the juice of 1 lime to the pot and stir until spinach begins to wilt. Serve over steamed rice with extra lime, cilantro and cashews.