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Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry

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bowl of pumpkin curry over rice with fresh cilantro and crushed cashews

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.

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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.
ingredients for slow cooker pumpkin curry in small bowls
crock pot with coconut milk and red curry
raw chicken breasts and cubed pumpkin stirred with red curry and coconut milk in a slow cooker
pumpkin curry in a slow cooker with whole cooked chicken breasts

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. All that said, yes, you can use canned pumpkin in a pinch. It won’t be quite as delicious, but it’s an option.

crock pot of pumpkin red curry being blended with an immersion blender
pumpkin curry with shredded chicken and raw red bell peppers in a slow cooker
chicken pumpkin curry topped with fresh spinach in slow cooker
slow cooker pumpkin curry in a crock pot with shredded chicken, bell peppers and fresh baby spinach

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.
pumpkin curry with bell peppers, chicken and spinach being stirred with a wood spoon in a crock pot

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 Out for Good?

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

slow cook pumpkin chicken curry in a bowl over white rice and topped with fresh cilantro and toasted cashews

Crock-Pot Curry Chicken Has Never Been Better

Is our slow-cooker chicken curry among your favorite easy chicken curry recipes? Crack open your Crock-Pot and show us your curry—snap a photo and tag us @themodernproper and #themodernproper.

Slow Cooker Chicken Pumpkin Curry

Originally published: October 6, 2017

  • Serves:6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 4 hrs
  • Calories:308

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, shaken
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds sugar pie pumpkin, pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 4 cups) or 2 (14-ounce) cans pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

For Serving

  • Cooked rice
  • Lime wedges
  • Minced fresh cilantro
  • Toasted cashews

Method

Slow Cooker

  1. In the slow cooker pot, combine the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Nestle the pumpkin and chicken into the pot, submerging completely. Cover and cook until pumpkin is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

  2. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

  3. Season the remaining liquid in the slow cooker with the salt. Using an immersion blender, or a blender, blend the pumpkin until completely smooth. (Skip this step if you used pumpkin puree.)

  4. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and add the bell peppers. Cover and cook the curry until the bell peppers begin to soften, about 30 minutes on high.

  5. Stir in the spinach and lime juice. Serve over cooked rice with extra lime, cilantro, and cashews to garnish.


Instant Pot

  1. In the Instant Pot, combine the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Nestle the pumpkin and chicken into the pot, submerging completely. Lock the lid in place, being sure to close the vent valve. Cook on manual high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release if needed.

  2. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a cutting board . Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

  3. Season the remaining liquid in the slow cooker with the salt. Using an immersion blender, blend the pumpkin until completely smooth. (Skip this step if you used pumpkin puree.)

  4. Return the chicken to the Instant Pot and add the bell peppers.Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode and cook, stirring often, until the bell peppers are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

  5. Stir in the spinach and lime juice. Serve over cooked rice with extra lime, cilantro, and cashews to garnish.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories308
  • Protein29 g
  • Carbohydrates16 g
  • Total Fat14 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol83 mg
  • Sodium786 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Questions & Reviews

Avg: 4.8