Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup over Rice Noodles

So you know how much I love the coconut curry combo, right? I was actually a bit in denial that I might have a real coconut curry addiction until I compiled this list of my favorite coconut curry recipes. Have you made any of these? Heaven. Pure heaven, each one.

Coconut Chicken Curry
Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce
Red Coconut Curry Noodles
Shrimp Stir-Fry with Snow Peas and Coconut Curry Sauce
Grilled Lime Coconut Curry Chicken
Coconut Shrimp Curry
Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

Amazingly, I discovered with the recipe I’m sharing today that coconut curry is even tastier with butternut squash. It’s hard to believe, I know, but this butternut squash coconut curry soup is crazy good and catapults right to the top of the best coconut curry recipes I’ve made. The sweet butternut squash paired with the red curry paste and creamy coconut milk has only solidified the fact that coconut curry and I belong together forever.

Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup over Rice Noodles

The soup is incredibly simple to put together – basically everything simmers together in a pot and as the squash slightly breaks down, the soup thickens to a silky, creamy consistency that makes it irresistible, especially with the light sweet/spicy flavor combo going on. Luci, the lovely reader who sent me the recipe (thanks, Luci!), suggested serving it over rice noodles and that is probably the best decision I’ve made all year. You could certainly serve it without the noodles but they give a fabulous lift in texture and heartiness.

As a nod to my gluten-free friends, this soup is naturally gluten-free (be sure to use gluten-free broth) and righteously delicious no matter what food philosophy you follow.

What To ServeHot, cooked rice noodles
Sliced, Whole Wheat Bread
Creamy 5-Cup Fruit Salad

One Year Ago: Mosaic Heart Jello Jigglers
Two Years Ago: The Best Broccoli Beef
Three Years Ago: Homemade Chocolate Dessert Cups

Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp and Rice Noodles

Yield: Serves 4-6

Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp and Rice Noodles

Luci, the kind reader who forwarded me this recipe, says she uses chicken. If doing so, you'll want to allow more time for the chicken to cook in the simmering liquid since it takes longer than shrimp so adjust the recipe accordingly (I haven't tried it personally yet). I often have cubed butternut squash in the freezer and it works great in this recipe; I throw it in frozen and add a few minutes to the simmering time. You can prepare the rice noodles in a separate pot toward the end of the 20-25 minute simmering time. I prefer boiling rice noddles as opposed to soaking them (many brands give both directions) - they only take a few minutes to cook. I rinse them briefly in cold water after draining so they aren't super sticky.


  • 2 teaspoons canola or coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste, more to taste, if needed
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, about 4-5 cups
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, if needed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6-8 ounces brown or white rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a 4- to 5-quart pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Take care not to let the garlic and ginger burn.
  2. Stir in the curry paste, sugar and salt and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
  3. Stir in the squash, broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add additional broth during the cooking time if you want the soup more soupy and less thick.
  4. Stir in the shrimp and simmer just until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and add additional salt and/or pepper to taste, if needed. Serve immediately over cooked rice noodles with lime wedges for garnish.

Recipe Source: adapted from Whole Foods Market (sent to me by a reader, Luci)

34 Responses to Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp and Rice Noodles

  1. Sally says:

    Should I use light or whole fat coconut milk? Thanks!

  2. Helene says:

    I made this recipe as you stated and it was delicious. The only thing I did different was added 2 tablespoons of fish sauce… Very very yummy!
    Thanks again for a great reciepe1

  3. Leslie says:

    Do you happen to have a recipe for just a good, plain butternut squash soup? Or is there one you’d recommend?

    • Mel says:

      I don’t have one yet, Leslie – but interestingly, I have a couple I’ll be trying out in the next few weeks. I’ll report back if one is a keeper.

  4. Kylee says:

    Wow! Made this tonight. Amazing.

  5. Nichole says:

    I don’t have red curry paste, think I can substitute for yellow?

  6. Mary A says:

    I have coconut cream, not coconut milk. Do you think that will make a difference? If so, should I elimintate or bump up some other ingredient?

    • Mel says:

      As far as I know, coconut cream is very, very sweet (is it the kind used for drinks?). I wouldn’t use it in this recipe because of the high sugar content (if it is the stuff I’m thinking of). I usually use it in desserts like coconut tres leches cake.

  7. Melody says:

    Hi Mel,
    Do you think pumpkin would be easy to substitute for the butternut squash in this recipe?
    Thanks! Melody

    • Mel says:

      Melody – I haven’t tried it but I think pumpkin should sub pretty well since it is so similar to butternut squash. Good luck if you try it!

  8. Mamalala says:

    This is the third night I’ve made this. This dish is so good and has a great presentation of WOW! Factor. Thanks for another great dish.

  9. Tiffany says:

    All I could find at my grocery store was green curry paste. Could I use that with a little srirachi for heat?

  10. We went to visit my husband’s Godmother and she had made your soup. It was delicious. I love the sweetness the butternut squash added and the nice heat from the curry. Yum!

  11. Bri says:

    That is a bold statement. Really the best out of all of them?! So trying this!!!!

  12. Ariane says:

    We really enjoyed this tonight! I used the rice noodles as suggested and put in about a 1/2 tsp extra of the paste. I knew going into it that I did not have fresh cilantro so I put in some dry cilantro, and a little sage and cumin after taste testing. The fresh lime was so good…it really finished it off nicely. Thank you for sharing Luci and Mel!

  13. Ellen Renee says:

    I thought of you when I opened an email from another blog I follow – Completely Delicious – she made a coconut curry chicken pot pie.

  14. Barbara says:

    This was delicious! I made it last night. I added another full teaspoon of the red curry paste and it was still very mild. Too mild for my husband and one of my sons, and just right for my other son. Someone brought the sriracha sauce to the table and that fixed it for the heat-lovers I think. I used chicken in my soup, but I sliced it up very finely, almost minced. Because it was in such small pieces, it cooked quickly and I actually wished I had added it after I had cooked the squash longer. I wanted more of the squash to just kind of smoosh and meld in with the soup before serving time, so that my son who thinks he is a squash hater wouldn’t realize it was in there. The squash makes it so creamy smooth and sweet and delicious! He avoided the chunks of squash, but even with the visible squash, he took second helpings. I agree that serving it with the rice noodles was really fun. I would have normally put it over rice, as I do other curries, but the noodles were a very fun, delicious alternative I hadn’t thought of before.

  15. Cindy Harris says:

    This looks delicious. Thanks to you I am a lover of all things coconut/curry!

  16. Amalia says:

    A little off topic – sorry! However, I’ve been trying multiple of your recipes for me and my boyfriend (he doesn’t eat certain things, I don’t eat certain things… together we are tricksy and its hard to come up with things we both like).

    Last week I made 7 meals, four from your site, and ALL FOUR WERE HITS.

    Thank you – on behalf of both my kitchen and my stomach.

  17. Liz K. says:

    We are having you coconut curry soup tonight. It’s one of my favorites from your site. I don’t even think it’s possible to have too many curry recipes. Everyone of them we’ve tried we have loved!

  18. mia phillips says:

    Hi Mel,

    Sorry to get off the subject! I love your website and try your recipes religiously….I remember reading a post about coconut yogurt and granola that said something about changing up your homemade yogurt recipe significantly and reposting about it in maybe January? Over the past month or two I’ve read and learned a lot about yogurt, probiotics and cultured foods and the amazing effect they can have on your health. So I finally feel ready to take on making yogurt in my home (and skipping all the added sugar, coloring and preservatives) but don’t want to try it until I get your latest and best method of doing it. I realize this will mean buying a few supplies and I am totally excited to take the plunge and improve my family’s health and bottom line (financially). Anyway so I just wanted to ask, are you still planning on redoing your original post on homemade yogurt? I know how life can be! Not trying to put the pressure on, I just want to know for sure that that is your plan and I’m not waiting in vain! Otherwise I’ll study your previous post and do my best. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you make possible my success cooking at home and reducing dramatically the amount of processed garbage from store aisles. You are seriously a wonderful blessing in my life! Thank you so much for teaching me all you know. Love it!


    Mia Phillips

    • Mel says:

      Hi Mia! Thanks for your comment. I am planning on updating my yogurt post; actually I’ll probably just do an addendum post (post a new one) with my new and improved process but to be honest, I’m not sure when that will be. I would love to answer any specific questions in the meantime if you have any. Otherwise, I have updated my past homemade yogurt post with some of the newer info if you want to read through the notes on that post. Just let me know if there are any specific questions I can answer for you!

  19. Erin says:

    I am a huge fan of your coconut shrimp curry recipe and have made it many times! This one looks amazing, I’ll definitely be buying ingredients for it on my next grocery run. 🙂

  20. So pretty! I have some certain people in my house who love shrimp. This soup would be devoured for sure!

  21. alisia says:

    This looks amazing! I already pinned it to my Pinterest for later use.
    Thanks for sharing this dish

  22. What a beautiful soup! This sounds crazy delicious!!

  23. I don’t mind one bit that you love curry + coconut + shrimp combos! I think it’s delicious, too!

  24. This looks amazing!! Bookmarking it to make next week 😀

  25. Kim in MD says:

    This looks so delicious! I will have to substitute chicken for the shrimp, but I’m sure it will still be just as good!

  26. Sheila says:

    Red curry powder? I never used curry powder until I brought the yellow from Pensky’s Spices for your tasty Coconut Lime Chicken. And rice noodles –never heard of them. I stepped out of the box to make your yummy Coconut Lime Chicken. This looks amazing and I may get up the courage to leap out of the box to make this.

  27. So…you’re bringing this over around six-ish, right?

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