Slow Cooker Pumpkin Coconut Curry

The BEST slow cooker dish you'll have this season! If you love the flavors of Indian cuisine, this is a KEEPER!

The BEST slow cooker dish you'll have this season! If you love the flavors of Indian cuisine, this is a KEEPER!

This slow cooker pumpkin coconut curry doesn’t really look like much but let me tell you something: it is the most delicious dinner you will eat this season.

This dish reminds me of a dish you’d get in an authentic Indian restaurant.

Now, I’m not saying mine is an authentic Indian dish by any means but the flavors and ingredients could totally pass for one.

This will definitely be the curry you’ll be making over and over again!

What does it taste like?

It’s hard to even describe to you how delicious this slow cooker pumpkin coconut curry is.

It’s slightly sweet but has the right amount of savory notes to it and it gets better and better each day.

I feel like its also got that rich, creamy flavor due to the coconut milk and also the starchy vegetables in this.

The BEST slow cooker dish you'll have this season! If you love the flavors of Indian cuisine, this is slow cooker pumpkin coconut curry is a KEEPER!

Can you make this on the stovetop?

Yep! I’ve made it on the stovetop before when I didn’t have time to make it in the slow cooker.

Just cook it until the vegetables are tender.

Can you make this in the Instant Pot?

YES! The beauty of the Instant Pot is that you can make this super fast.

I recommend 20-25 minutes on high pressure.

Pour in the coconut milk after you have released pressure.

I remember reading somewhere that people have had issues with coconut milk in the pressure cooker

The BEST slow cooker dish you'll have this season! If you love the flavors of Indian cuisine, this is slow cooker pumpkin coconut curry is a KEEPER!

Specific curry powder

This is the curry powder I highly recommend.

It is what I use in all my curry dishes and it is the most potent and flavorful that I have found.

It is a bit spicy, which is what I love, so use accordingly.

It’s not like a spicy where your mouth is on fire but it’s a warm spice.

Omitting spices

Please don’t omit spices. They are what make the dish.

The spices that are used in this recipe are relatively easy to find and widely available in grocery stores these days.

If you are having difficulty sourcing them, use Amazon or another online retailer!

What do you serve this with?

We always serve curries with white rice.

You pour it over top of white rice in a bowl and it’s SO good and filling!

The BEST slow cooker dish you'll have this season! If you love the flavors of Indian cuisine, this is slow cooker pumpkin coconut curry is a KEEPER!

What kind of vegetables can you substitute in?

You can use regular potatoes and you any kind of root vegetable that you want.

What kind of proteins can I put in?

Well so this one has chicken but you can use shrimp (add it in last because shrimp takes no time to cook through).

You could also use ground turkey or ground chicken!

If you love curries and Indian flavors, you’ll love these dishes:

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Coconut Curry
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 5 mins

If you love the flavors of Indian cuisine, this slow cooker dish is a KEEPER!

Servings: 6
  • 1: 15 ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk (full fat, not light)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes. cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  1. In the insert of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, chicken stock, curry powder, tumeric powder, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Whisk together to make sure it is all combined and spices are evenly distributed.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken breasts, and lime juice to the mixture. Stir to coat and incorporate.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Serve over rice!
  5. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to seven days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Do not omit any of the spices as they are essential for this curry to taste just as made. Most of the spices are available at your local grocery store and if not, widely available on Amazon: Tumeric powderGaram masalaCurry powder

There are affiliate links within this post.


Posted on October 06, 2014

dinner for two by julie wampler



Perfect for: singles & couples, newlyweds, empty-nesters, college students, YOU!


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  1. Hana
    11/02/2014 at 4:16 pm

    Not great… needed to add way more curry powder, salt, garlic for more flavor, still tasted a bit muddy/non nonflavorful.

    • Julie
      11/02/2014 at 4:51 pm

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy this as much as we did. You can certainly adjust to your own taste but thank you for the feedback!

  2. Olly
    11/03/2014 at 1:52 pm

    I made this last night and am now having a bowl for lunch. I made the recipe exactly as stated. As a lover of all things curry especially if it has coconut milk in it. I have a suggestion of maybe frying the onions until soft and slightly caramelized. I did not do this and although the onions are soft, they taste a bit “raw” and I think it would add “something’ to the dish. Otherwise this is a great recipe for a colder November day. Wish I had a piece of Naan!

    • Julie
      11/04/2014 at 8:42 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and definitely feel free to caramelize the onions! Sounds like a great addition of flavors!

  3. jessica
    11/03/2014 at 6:44 pm

    great inspiration! since my slow cooker was busy today cooking pumpkin to puree i made this on the stove top instead.. and omitted the curry and the chicken.. and turned it into a soup.. and added a scotch bonnet to the mix.. lol, so basically not the same recipe at all but it was inspired by this and delicious all the same.. i will try the real recipe soon :)

    • Julie
      11/04/2014 at 8:40 am

      I’m glad this recipe was of inspiration to you!

  4. 11/10/2014 at 3:04 pm

    Just threw all this in my crockpot and I’m psyched! I’ve made your holy yum chicken and honey chicken and loooooved those recipes! It’s finally cold enough in LA to feel like slow cookin so I’m excited for this! I’m a rookie cook and was just curious what the official culinary opinion is on raw chicken contamination when adding to a slow cooker? Did you cook your chicken cubes before adding? These people ( seem to think raw is ok – but I wasn’t sure????

    • Julie
      11/10/2014 at 4:02 pm

      I never cook my chicken when I throw it in the slow cooker and I’ve never gotten sick. I can’t guarantee you won’t get sick, obviously, cause that’s a liability issue but I know numerous people who do it and I do it for all my slow cooker recipes that have chicken :) can’t wait for you try this!

  5. Kristin
    11/13/2014 at 5:02 pm

    I hate to say this, because I wanted so bad to love it, this recipe was a miss for me. I have to agree with other commenters about the bland and watery issues. I think the pumpkin really hides the wonderful curry/garam masala flavor, which is weird because you don’t get an overwhelming pumpkin flavor either. I too felt the need to load it down with salt, garlic, cayenne etc. I was at least able to thicken it up with a little corn starch. Oh well, you’re photos are lovely and I had fun trying something new :)

    • Julie
      11/13/2014 at 8:11 pm

      Aw bummer, Kristin! Sorry it didn’t turn out for you. Maybe if you ever choose to make it again next time, add 1/2 tablespoon more curry powder and some more garam masala and your extra seasonings? Not quite sure why it’s watery – mine was pretty thick! I’ve made this two others times since I posted this, too, and it’s come out the same. I’m wondering if maybe it’s the pumpkin puree. I’ve always used the same brand. Anyway – thank you for letting me know and I’m thrilled you tried something new even though it didn’t work out for you :( xo

  6. shelley
    11/16/2014 at 10:46 am

    is it topped with parsley?

    • Julie
      11/16/2014 at 1:22 pm


  7. 11/22/2014 at 11:42 pm

    Hi Julie,
    My step daughter posted this recipe on Facebook with the comment “best dish I’ve made all year” That totally got my attention as Allegra is no slouch in the kitchen. I linked to your site for the full recipe and realized I had every ingredient in the house. What I didn’t have was six hours to wait….so I made a cooktop version of the dish. I did saute the onions and garlic with olive oil in the dutch oven and then added the chicken and browned it. I deglazed with the chicken stock and then added all the rest of the ingredients. Based on my palette and the other comments, I increased the salt and black pepper to 1 tsp and increased the garam masala to 3 tsp. Brought it to a boil and then reduced to simmer for an hour. OMG….this was AMAZING! and I can’t wait to make it for friends this weekend. Thanks so much for sharing this amazing recipe.

    • Julie
      11/23/2014 at 9:52 am

      Awesome! I’m so glad your daughter posted the recipe link so you could find this recipe and make it your own!! :)

  8. Masha
    12/17/2014 at 1:07 pm

    Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned?
    Thank you!

    • Julie
      12/17/2014 at 8:52 pm

      Yes, you may.

  9. Courtney
    01/04/2015 at 3:20 pm

    Do you think it would be ok to sub ground beef for the chicken? Or maybe leave chicken out and add ground beef after the curry is cooked?

    • Julie
      01/04/2015 at 6:20 pm

      I would leave the chicken out and add the ground beef (cooked) after the curry is done.

  10. Alicia
    01/09/2015 at 7:53 am

    Based on other reviews I made a slightly modified version of this recipes yesterday and it was delicious! First, I doubled all the spices. Added two garlic cloves vs. one. Added one whole onion, and an additional small chicken breast. It was thick and flavorful, not watery or bland. I did use a culinary full fat coconut milk made for cooking. Maybe that helped with thickness? I’m not sure but I will certainly be making this again. Thanks!

    • Julie
      01/10/2015 at 8:34 am

      I’m so glad you made modifications for your own liking and enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Tammy
    01/17/2015 at 12:54 am

    I love all things Indian food. This is cooking in my crock pot right now. We don’t have chicken or potatoes, so I slightly blended up a can of garbonzo beans drained. My pumpkin was fresh. I first cooked it in the crockpot in halves with about 4 c. of water. When soft, I removed the pumpkin and scooped out the meat and placed back in the crockpot with the water that was already in it. I used a potato masher to crush. I doubled all the seasonings except still only used half the onion. The onion and garlic I put through the processor first. Since I was out of chicken stock, I added 3 beef boullion cubes. I have to run to the store for coconut milk, but even now, it tastes so good. It’s thick, it’s chunky, it’s packed with flavor. Thank you!

    • Julie
      01/17/2015 at 8:21 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this with your adaptations! Chickpeas sounds like a great alternative to chicken and potatoes!

  12. Samantha Joy
    01/17/2015 at 1:37 am

    I made this today, and my husband and I both like it very much.

    I tripled the spices, onions, and garlic, and added extra potatoes to thicken it. Instead of standard curry powder I went with Spicy Madras Curry Powder, and it did give a kick, but we both like very spicy foods.

    I used standard Russet potatoes and coconut cream (instead of milk) because that’s what I had in the pantry and I didn’t care to brave the store.

    It was plenty thick, not watery at all. A+++, will make again.

    • Julie
      01/17/2015 at 8:21 am

      I’m so happy that you and your husband both enjoyed it. That spicy madras curry powder sounds awesome!

  13. Nancy
    01/25/2015 at 11:26 pm

    Loved the recipe! I added additional curry powder, masala, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Used 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves. Thank you.

    • Julie
      01/26/2015 at 7:40 am

      wonderful!! thanks for the feedback!

  14. Kat
    01/29/2015 at 7:01 pm

    Made it tonight! I thought it was great, and my boyfriend who is new to curry even liked it. So, here is what I changed:
    Cooked on stove top –
    sauteed onions, added carrots, some broth, and some butter. Added 1/2 the spices and simmered. Separate pan, cooked chicken, added potatoes when nearly done and some broth. Removed chicken, cut small, added to other pan with onions and carrots, added a bit more broth. Left sweet potatoes cooking, added a teaspoon of the spices to them, and let it sit. Simmered garlic in broth (forgot it at beginning) and then combined with onions, carrots, and chicken. Added Trader Joe’s Coconut CREAM (whipped texture), pumpkin, and used a bit extra broth. Added remaining spices, salt and pepper, then combined into sweet potatoes, added enough broth for right consistency, lime juice (1/2 lime), extra spices to taste (almost double on GM and curry), and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Served over brown basmati. It was great! Lots of leftoevers, too.
    IDEA: Add raw cashews next time! :)

    • Julie
      01/30/2015 at 8:04 am

      Awesome! It sounds amazing and I’m glad you were able to cook it on the stovetop!

  15. Kat
    01/29/2015 at 7:04 pm

    Oh, and topped with chopped cilantro. :)

  16. Raae
    02/02/2015 at 9:21 pm

    YUM. I made this recipe today and I just taste-tested it and it’s DELICIOUS. Perfect comfort food for a slow January day. I’m wondering if what didn’t work for other people was the use of homemade pumpkin puree with a higher water content or thinner coconut milk? Could be counteracted by using more concentrated chicken stock? We didn’t feel the need to add any extra spices. Soooo good. :) (Oh! and my can of puree actually only had 1.75 c of pumpkin puree)

    • Julie
      02/03/2015 at 8:46 am

      Good thought, Raae! Thanks for your feedback! I’m so glad you enjoyed this :)

  17. Annie
    03/06/2015 at 10:29 pm

    What is the green stuff in the pictures? According to the ingredient list, there are no green things. I am curious because I made this recipe and it was delicious but maybe it was missing something? thai basil, perhaps?

    • Julie
      03/08/2015 at 6:54 pm

      The green thing on top is parsley. I just used it as a garnish to make the photos pop a little more :) You don’t need to use it if you don’t want to.

  18. kathryn
    03/22/2015 at 6:46 am

    I made this today and thought it was fabulous – full of flavour and recipe allowed plenty of leftovers for easy workday lunches :)

  19. 04/02/2015 at 2:34 pm

    I made this last night and I have to say it was delicious!! Except I didn’t put enough salt and I think it could use a tad bit more of the spices. I doubled the recipe because my bf usually eats A LOT! But overall it was pretty good! I would recommend using the brand Aroy-d for coconut milk. My local grocery was out of that brand of coconut milk and I had to get another brand and when I opened the can I could tell right away it wasn’t a flavourful coconut milk! I will definitely be making this again!

  20. Connie Tebbe
    08/23/2015 at 1:30 pm

    I made this last night and was happy to finally re-create the curry sauce I loved at a Thai restaurant in Miami. I will definitely be making this again and again. It was absolutely perfect for me and my son. Tomorrow I will make the Guinness stew. I already made the spicy sausage and lentils which was eq

  21. Connie Tebbe
    08/23/2015 at 1:32 pm

    sorry, got cut off, meant to finish by saying it was equally as delicious.

  22. 11/03/2015 at 1:02 am

    Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I doubled the spice amounts before even tasting it, because my husband and I like tons of extra flavor. We also used chicken thighs instead of breasts because we prefer those. This one is definitely a keeper! Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!!

  23. 11/04/2015 at 1:40 pm

    Hi! What size crockpot does this call for? I only have a small one that cooks for two people generally…maybe a 2-qt?

    • Julie
      11/04/2015 at 9:39 pm

      Mine’s a 6-quart :( but you could halve this recipe!

  24. DeePe
    11/20/2015 at 5:43 am

    This recipe is super easy and a true keeper! I went with popular suggestions and doubled the spices, perfection! I added frozen cauliflower. The next time I might add peas. And for fun, I will substitute chicken wings because that’s how my mom made Asian curry when I was a kid., with meat-falling-off-the-bones-so-good-you-wanna-eat-it-with-your-hands chicken wings. Thx for the super recipe!

  25. 12/04/2015 at 1:14 am

    Holy cow this was good! I also made it on the stovetop, not the crockpot and didn’t have any problems with it being thin or tasteless. I added a touch more curry powder, and used 4 cloves of garlic ( I love garlic!) and it was delish! I also tossed in some kale, because I had kale, but no carrots, and it felt like it needed some color contrast in there. It thickened up nicely with the sweet potatoes in there, Thanks for the yum!

  26. Joel Lis
    12/29/2015 at 2:13 pm

    I will modify this recipe to suit my tastes (spicy), and report back later. I do want to point out to any who care that the correct spelling of tumeric is turmeric, with an r. Easier to find if you know what you looking for!

  27. Joel Lis
    12/29/2015 at 4:01 pm

    A few tips to consider when making this dish: My slow cooker has a sear function so I used that setting to pre-cook the onions in coconut oil. Once they begin to colour add the seasonings and cook for 2 more minutes to bring out their fragrance, then deglaze with the chicken stock and continue from there. Increase the seasonings to suit your taste. I doubled the amounts and subbed cayenne for the turmeric, which is a component of virtually every curry blend anyway (adding more is redundant in my view). Also, I drained the cooked, mashed pumpkin to avoid a watery result. Mine was fresh, not canned, and about a cup of water was removed by draining it. Use thighs or drumsticks (dark meat) to get better flavour. About half an hour before it is ready to serve add a cup or so of green peas or rough chopped spinach to add some colour. Garnish with fresh coriander (a.k.a. cilantro). Finally, add lime at the table (not as a cooking liquid) or it’s flavour is too diluted to be detectable. Basmati rice would be best, but any rice will do. Thanks for a great recipe, Julie!

    • Sheri Meadows
      01/15/2018 at 10:01 pm

      Thank you Joel Lis! I followed your advice! We loved it! I also taste my food before serving so i can adjust my salt and pepper.

  28. Abbie
    02/02/2016 at 9:27 pm

    The first time I made this I thought it was kind of bland, so I doubled the salt and all the spices and marinated the chicken in them with the garlic and lime juice overnight prior to throwing everything in the crockpot. I used boneless/skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts to add more richness. Sriracha and a sprinkle of cilantro on top. Yum!

  29. Rachael
    02/18/2016 at 4:17 pm

    I’m so glad you shared this! I bought turmeric and garam masala to make an Indian dish with chicken and spinach. But I also want to find more uses for kabocha pumpkin that is readily available here in Hawaii. This looks so delicious!

  30. Amy Pulliam
    05/05/2016 at 3:53 pm

    I love this recipe!! I’m making it for the fifth time! I have begun to add frozen peas right at the end, which turn bright green just as I’m serving. It’s even better the next day. I am shocked you’ve gotten negative comments. Of course, I’m using home made stock, home grown sweet potatoes, and usually fresh-roasted pumpkin, not canned.

    I did make it on the pressure-cooker function once, and prefer it slow-cooked. My Instapot needs to be on medium in order to fully cook the sweet potato chunks.

    Thanks and best wishes!

  31. aishwarya
    05/13/2016 at 7:49 am

    i prepared it last night it was so yummy and tasty too
    thank u dear

  32. 05/15/2016 at 3:38 pm

    I found this on Pinterest and made it exactly as written. After putting the lid on the crockpot I saw the comments and wondered if I should change the recipe, but decided I would give it a try as-is.

    I have to say, this is FANTASTIC. Seriously, this is just like the pumpkin curry I have ordered at many Indian and Thai restaurants! THANK YOU! I cannot tell you how many years I have been searching for this!!!

    I want to take a moment to possibly trouble shoot- before anyone tosses a perfect recipe away. I used full-fat coconut milk, in a container that was so think I couldn’t even hear liquid when shaking the can. I also used canned pumpkin puree. I used a good quality curry and other spices as well- there IS a vast difference in the quality of curries, so maybe that is why some found it weak? Not sure.

    This was not hot and spicy, if you went out and ordered curry I would say it is a 1 on the heat scale- but the flavor was absolutely perfect. I can see adding more spice if you wanted it more spicy- but to say it “needed” spices is quite incorrect. I would suggest making it as is, it is really fantastic! And for those who like it to be a 2, 3, 4, or 5- go ahead and add more next time! (or simmer some curry in some oil, add a bit more onion and garlic, and stir it in at the end- so you can be sure it will be exactly the heat you want!)

    Thank you, again. Seriously been hunting for the perfect pumpkin and sweet potato curry for YEARS!!!!

    • Julie
      05/16/2016 at 6:54 am

      So glad you loved this!! And thank so for sharing tips for others!

  33. Ana
    08/27/2016 at 2:53 pm

    I live in Hawaii and pumpkin is always available. Can I substitute the sweet potato with that?

    • Julie
      08/28/2016 at 8:52 am

      If you can make the sweet potato into a puree-like consistency, then I don’t see why it wouldn’t work!

  34. Meghan
    10/14/2016 at 12:09 pm

    Just wanted to chime in for future readers and say give this recipe a chance! Despite the mixed bag of comments I made this yesterday and was extremely happy with the result. I followed the recipe exactly except that I doubled the spices. It yielded a thick, deeply flavorful (but not at all spicy) curry that was wonderful over rice on a windy fall night. My advice would be to taste the pumpkin/coconut milk/spice mixture *before* you add the raw chicken (obviously!) to get an idea of how much spice you want in there. This is a really delicious recipe that I’ll be making again! Thank you!

  35. Cindy
    01/29/2017 at 7:29 pm

    This is really quite good with a couple of modifications: Leave out the chicken stock. The coconut milk/pumpkin/spice mix is thick to begin with, but as chicken cooks there is more liquid. Double the spices as others mention, and add a lump of palm sugar/jaggery. Add chicken a few hours in so it’s not overcooked and tough. Finally, this curry is even better after a night in the fridge.

  36. Karolina
    05/05/2017 at 12:11 pm

    Love this recipe so much and have made it a few times already ! I added in 2 cups of homemade pumpkin puree because it tastes better than canned pumpkin, and 1 extra clove of garlic! I didn’t have any issues with it being too watery like commenters have said and the flavors were all there and tasted great! It’s now my boyfriend’s new favorite dish that i’ve ever made, so I will definitely continue making the pumpkin coconut curry! Can’t go wrong with two of my favorite flavors in one dish!

  37. Sinclairika
    07/08/2017 at 6:29 pm

    Based on previous comments I ended up about tripling the spices. I’m a vegetarian so I used vegetable broth and added russet potatoes instead of the chicken. I also added peas. It turned out great. Thanks for the inspiration.

  38. Talia
    09/27/2017 at 9:02 am

    Are there any spices that you would recommend replacing these with if your guests do not eat these? Thanks!

    • Julie
      09/28/2017 at 8:46 am

      Unfortunately, no. All the spices in this curry are needed for flavor!

  39. Lauren
    10/12/2017 at 12:43 pm

    I agree with everyone else that this needed a LOT more spices and SALT. But I loved the pumpkin, coconut, everything. Once it’s doctored up right, it’s very good and SUPER filling with that pumpkin base. I put mine over some quinoa. Thanks for the idea!

  40. jenny
    06/22/2018 at 2:15 am

    I love barre and this recipe looks delicious!

  41. Lisa
    10/08/2018 at 10:53 pm

    Intrigued by the recipe due to many yummy versions across Asia…could you present this starting with the whole pumpkin, and no chicken?? 😁

    • Julie
      10/10/2018 at 1:50 pm

      I’m not quite sure I understand what you are saying.

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