Curried butternut squash and lentil stew with apple

Curried butternut squash and lentil stew with apple
Butternut squash is a delicious winter squash, but its tough skin can be intimidating. Try the preparation tips in this recipe — or share your own in the comments — and you’ll find the effort is well worth it. Adapted from a 2011 New York Times recipe, this stew gets its bright, zesty flavor from curry, ginger and the tartness of green apple. Using red lentils reduces the cooking time, but brown lentils would work equally well — just simmer 15 minutes longer in step 2. To make the dish vegan, you can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils (or brown lentils)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups peeled butternut squash cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see below)
  • 1 large unpeeled green apple, diced
  • 8 ounces baby spinach

To peel the squash, use a sharp chef’s knife to slice off the stem and bottom so both ends are flat. Slice the squash in half just above the point where it begins to widen, and scoop out the seeds in the bottom half with a metal spoon. Rest one of the flat ends on a cutting board, and use a paring knife or peeler to remove the skin in downward strokes.


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and sauté onion and carrot until almost soft. Add garlic, ginger, curry and salt, and let cook a few more minutes until fragrant.
  2. Stir in red lentils (or brown lentils), broth and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes (or 25 minutes, if you are using brown lentils).
  3. Add squash and apple, cover and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until vegetables and lentils are tender.
  4. Remove lid and stir in spinach until wilted. Serve as a simple, hearty meal with whole-wheat bread and a green salad.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 262
  • Total fat: 6 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 709 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 45 g
  • Dietary fiber: 10g
  • Total sugars: 9 g
  • Protein: 12 g