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If you’re looking for a curry which is gluten free, vegan and budget-friendly, this slow cooker butternut squash and chickpea curry is the meal of your dreams!

Making curry in the slow cooker is one of my favourite things to do and butternut squash curry always goes down a treat.

This dairy free, vegetarian curry is mildly spiced but packed full of flavour. Everyone will love it!

If you’re trying to cut down your meat consumption this butternut squash chickpea curry is the perfect meat-free meal.

The chickpeas make it hearty enough for a main meal but it also works equally as well as part of a curry spread or as a side dish.

Why not make a vegan, gluten free curry spread with my slow cooker chickpea and potato curry as well?

Or you could serve it up alongside my gluten free tandoori chicken as a delicious side dish. The choices are endless!

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Ingredients and Substitutions

There’s a printable recipe card below with the full ingredients and method, but here are the main ingredients and ideas for substitutions.

  • Tin of Chickpeas – You can use dried chickpeas if you prefer but always make sure you soak them first as per the pack instructions. For me I find the tinned ones quicker and easier and they’re cheap to pick up in the supermarket.
  • Frozen Butternut Squash – I always use frozen butternut squash just for ease. You can prepare fresh squash if you like but you might need to cut the cooking time a little. The frozen stuff come ready peeled in chunks. It means you can just throw it all in! And if you don’t like butternut squash, you could try sweet potato instead.
  • Full Fat Coconut Milk – I always use full fat coconut milk in tins as I find this gives the best flavour in curries. A reduced fat coconut milk will work but you may find the curry has a runnier consistency. If you can’t have coconut but can tolerate dairy you could use double cream instead for a richer curry, but I’d probably add this at the same time as the spinach in the recipe.
  • Red Onion – I use red onion in this recipe but you can use white onions or even shallots if you prefer.
  • Garlic – You have a few options here. Use garlic cloves and peel then finely chop or crush them. You can also use a garlic paste or frozen chopped garlic too.
  • Ginger Paste – I am lazy so find the pastes easier but again you can use frozen, chopped ginger instead. Or peel a thumb-sized piece of ginger and then grate or finely chop it.


I use a mixture of curry powder, cumin, garam masala, turmeric and salt in my butternut squash curry spice mix.

These are spices I always have in the cupboard and I use them in lots of my recipes including my chicken and coconut curry.

That way you don’t have to always buy numerous spices for each of my recipes because once you’ve made one, you’ll have them already!


How to make butternut squash and chickpea curry

Making my vegan butternut squash curry with chickpeas is actually super simple.

You can make this in the oven or on the stove (see the tips below) but I make mine in the slow cooker.

This means you only need five minutes of work – simply throw everything in, stir and pop the lid on.

If you like, you could add some extra veg in like fresh baby spinach – I’d recommend doing this in the last half an hour of cooking.

How to serve my chickpea and butternut squash curry

I also like to chop up fresh coriander (cilantro) to generously sprinkle on top but you can omit this if you don’t like it!

This curry is also great with a squeeze of fresh lime juice on top.

You can add a dollop of mango chutney on the side, or simply serve it up with basmati rice for a delicious and simple meal.

And if you have any questions, check out these FAQs below before heading to the recipe card underneath…


Is a slow cooker economical?

I know a lot of people are worried about the cost of living and looking for cheaper alternative to turning on the gas or electric oven.

The good news is slow cookers are actually pretty efficient to run!

I’ve done a bit of research online and it looks like a slow cooker costs roughly 16p a day to run, compared to 87p a day for an electric cooker.

It seems slow cookers, microwaves and air fryers are ultimately a cheaper option, which is why I think you’ll love this recipe so much!


Which slow cooker do you use?

I use a Crockpot 3.7-litre slow cooker I was gifted from a family member – I think this is the newer model of mine.

I’m addicted to making things in the slow cooker at the moment, including my chickpea and potato curry and my slow cooker pulled pork.

I know a lot of people are worried about the cost of living and looking for cheaper alternative to turning on the gas or electric oven.

The good news is slow cookers are actually pretty efficient to run!

I’ve done a bit of research online and it looks like a slow cooker costs roughly 16p a day to run, compared to 87p a day for an electric cooker.


What if I don’t have a slow cooker?

No problem! You can either make this recipe on the hob or in the oven.

You’ll need to gently fry the onions, garlic and ginger until soft (around 5-8 minutes) before adding the rest of the ingredients.

For the hob, then cover with a lid and cook on a low/med simmer for around 30-40 minutes until the squash is cooked through.

And if using the oven I’d recommend cooking with a lid on at around 180C (Gas Mark 4) for around an hour.

Ultimately this recipe is made for the slow cooker so I’d definitely recommend it as the best and most efficient way to make it!


My butternut squash and chickpea curry recipe

This slow cooker butternut squash and chickpea curry recipe is a really easy dinner idea for those days you’re short on time.

You can simply chuck everything in the slow cooker in the morning and then by the evening you have a delicious dinner.

Plus it’s easy to size this recipe up or down depending on the size of your slow cooker.

If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. I love seeing your creations!

And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.

Yield: 4

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

This gluten free butternut squash and chickpea curry is an easy, budget-friendly recipe which is made in the slow cooker. It's dairy free and vegan and can be served with rice and a gluten free naan bread as a main dish. It's also lovely as a side dish to a meat-based curry too!


  • 400g tin chickpeas (drained)
  • 500g frozen, chopped butternut squash
  • 400ml full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 tsp ginger paste
  • 3 tsp chopped garlic

For the spice mix:

  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Add all of ingredients to a slow cooker and mix well until combined. Pop the lid on and cook on high for 3-4 hours (or low for 6-8 hours).
  2. Serve with rice and gluten free naan breads, sprinkled with a generous helping of fresh coriander.


If you don't have a slow cooker and want to cook this on the hob or slow cooker, see my tips in the blog post above for cooking times.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 445mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 18gSugar: 22gProtein: 14g

Need more slow cooker recipe inspiration?

Here are some more gluten free slow cooker recipes you can try out once you’ve made this Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry.

If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. 

If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!

Like this Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry recipe?

Make sure you follow me on Pinterest and pin this recipe card below for later!


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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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  1. This was so delicious for such a quick supper. Next time I’m going to try adding fresh spinach towards the end.

  2. This was delicious
    I served it with added spinach, naan and mango chutney
    We will definitely be having it again. Very easy to cook. Texture and taste were excellent

  3. Novice here! Am I putting the butternut squash in frozen, or do I need to defrost it first? And can I freeze portions once cooked? Thank you.