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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Curry (Paleo, Whole30-Friendly)

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Curry – This cozy pumpkin curry recipe has tender chicken, colorful veggies & a mega-flavorful sauce to warm you up from the inside out. (Gluten-Free, Paleo & Whole30-Friendly)

Close up overhead view of Healthy pumpkin chicken curry topped with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro

We’re on day 4 of Pumpkin Week, and my pumpkin enthusiasm is still going REALLY strong. How’s yours?

Today I’m highlighting another savory pumpkin recipe with this cozy Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Curry. This is the kind of recipe you should definitely scoop into a bowl and eat while you tuck into a good book. It’s warm and cozy in all the best ways and filling to boot. Exactly the kind of recipe you need as we head into fall and winter!

Plus, it’s made from pretty simple ingredients. (Win!) Here’s how you’ll get started…

Overhead view of a bowl of Healthy pumpkin chicken curry topped with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE OUR SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN CHICKEN CURRY:

  • A Slow Cooker! You can’t really make slow cooker pumpkin curry without a slow cooker! We own two (because #foodblogger). This one  is a great budget-friendly pick that looks adorable and gets the job done. If you’re ready to level up, this one is programmable to get more specific with your cook-time and has lid clips to keep the lid secure if you’re transporting the slow cooker to a potluck, party, or dinner.
  • Pumpkin Puree. Good old pumpkin puree is the base of our pumpkin curry sauce. Make sure you’re buying unsweetened pumpkin puree, NOT sweetened pie filling!
  • Coconut Milk. I highly recommend full-fat canned coconut milk for this recipe. You’ll get the best creamy texture and flavor.
  • Red Curry Paste. To add our curry flavor, we’re using red curry paste here. It’s got lovely warmth and depth that’s just gorgeous with squash or pumpkin recipes like this one!
  • Fresh Garlic & Ginger. Our curry paste will add lots of flavor on its own, but I find adding a bit of fresh garlic and ginger really pumps up the flavor!
  • Tamari or Coconut Aminos. Umami is the name of the game, and I find a little gluten-free tamari or paleo/whole30-friendly coconut aminos makes this pumpkin chicken curry recipe SING. Don’t skip it!
  • Peanut Butter or Cashew Butter (Optional). I love adding a tiny bit of peanut butter or cashew butter (paleo) to curries for the creaminess, umami, and flavor balance. That said, it’s not strictly necessary, so if you have a nut allergy or simply don’t care for it, feel free to leave it out.
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast (Or Chicken Thighs)
  • Bell Pepper. Just like in our Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup, I love adding bell peppers. The red is gorgeous and the flavor it infuses the sauce with can’t be beat!
  • Fresh Spinach. An easy way to squeeze in some greens! Spinach balances the colors, but also fills this out a bit more and adds a little extra nutrition to every bite. SO good.
  • Fresh Cilantro + Lime Juice + Salt to Finish! Lastly, you’ll finish things off with some fresh cilantro for freshness, lime juice for brightness, and some salt to balance the flavors.
  • Garnishes. If you want, you can garnish your pumpkin curry with some crushed peanuts or cashews, some red pepper flakes, or more cilantro!
Front view of Healthy pumpkin chicken curry topped with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro

MAKE IT A MEAL! HERE’S WHAT TO SERVE WITH PUMPKIN CHICKEN CURRY:

SO MANY THINGS is my real answer!

  • Instant Pot Coconut Rice, Instant Pot Brown Rice, or good old basmati rice. Something to soak up all the lovely curry sauce.
  • Cauliflower Rice. If you’re grain-free, paleo, or in the middle of a Whole30, cauliflower rice is your best bet!
  • Thai Cucumber Salad. I LOVE the light, fresh flavors of our Thai cucumber salad with heavier dishes, like curry. It’s such a nice balance + so refreshing!
  • Steamed or Roasted Green Veggies. Keep things simple with some steamed broccoli, snow peas, or your favorite green veggies!
  • Fresh Fruit. Something cool and refreshing, like pineapple or grapes can be lovely next to a warm, hearty pumpkin curry.
Close up overhead view of Healthy pumpkin chicken curry topped with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro

FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN CHICKEN CURRY:

Can I Use Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breast For Curry? You bet! Just make sure they’re skinless so you don’t add extra fat to the sauce (it’ll get greasy).

Can You Make This In The Instant Pot Instead? I haven’t tried it that way yet, but Natalie over at Perry’s Plate has a great guide for converting slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot recipes. I’d love to know how it goes if you give it a try!

Can You Make Dump And Go Pumpkin Chicken Curry? This pumpkin chicken curry recipe is (more or less) a dump-and-go recipe! I just recommend giving the sauce a stir before you add the chicken so you don’t have any clumps of curry paste or nut butter (which can sometimes scorch).

I like a thicker sauce. Can you thicken this? Yes! You can add a slurry of 1 Tbsp. water + 1 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot during the last 4-5 minutes of cooking to thicken the sauce more.

Close up view of Healthy pumpkin chicken curry topped with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro
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Overhead view of a bowl of Healthy pumpkin chicken curry topped with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Curry (Paleo, Whole30-Friendly)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 4.5 hours
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This cozy pumpkin curry recipe has tender chicken, colorful veggies & a mega-flavorful sauce to warm you up from the inside out. (Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-Free)


Ingredients

Scale

For The Pumpkin Chicken Curry:

  • 1 (14 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened–do not use pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 Tbsp. red curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp. gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter or cashew butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 11.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast (or chicken thighs)
  • 34 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped or torn with your hands a bit
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • Salt to taste (I like about 1/2 tsp.)
  • Optional, for garnish: crushed peanuts or cashews, red pepper flakes, additional cilantro.

Instructions

  1. Add coconut milk, pumpkin puree, curry paste, tamari/coconut aminos, peanut butter/cashew butter, garlic, and ginger into the crock of your slow cooker.
  2. Whisk until sauce is uniform and no large clumps remain. (This helps prevent burning)
  3. Add chopped bell pepper and chicken breast and stir to coat the chicken with the sauce.
  4. Cover and cook on HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8 hours, or until the chicken shreds easily with a fork.
  5. Shred the chicken with two forks (try to keep the pieces fairly large at first).
  6. Stir in spinach, cilantro, and lime juice and stir 1-2 minutes to coat. Cover 2-3 minutes or until spinach is fully wilted.
  7. Taste the curry and salt, to taste.
  8. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice and garnish with crushed peanuts or cashews, more cilantro, or red pepper flakes, as desired.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pumpkin curry, pumpkin chicken curry, paleo pumpkin chicken curry, paleo pumpkin curry, whole30 pumpkin curry, gluten free pumpkin curry

2 Comments

    1. I wouldn’t recommend that substitution. I’m using a mild red curry (Thai Kitchen brand), so if it’s heat you’re worried about, this stays mild!

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