Thai massaman curry with chicken and butternut squash stewed in thick aromatic coconut milk sauce. This comforting, flavorful meal is perfect for those evenings you’re craving healthier comfort food.
Have you ever had Massaman Curry? I only recently began making it at home, and I daresay it’s been giving my all-time favorite, Red Curry Chicken, a run for its money.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve noticed I’ve had a torrid love affair with Thai red, green, and yellow curry, and have also dabbled into the wonderful world of Indian curries. To me, there is simply nothing more comforting than protein and vegetables all snuggled up in a flavor-infused sauce with just the right amount of kick!
While I love all these classic curries, I wanted to break out of my curry mold and dig a little deeper into the wonderful world of aromatic coconut milk sauces, which is how we arrived right here. Today, Massaman is making its debut on The Roasted Root. You guys, I think you’re going to LOVE this!
If you’ve never tried it, I’ll just spoiler alert you now and tell you, it’s basically on the Top 5 list of Most Comforting Curries (<- totally a thing), right next to Panang curry. The sauce is ultra thick, silky, and aromatic. It’s like combining the comforts of fuzzy socks, a down comforter and fleece sheets into one beautifully flavored dish. For those times you just want to feel FULL, Massaman is your hero.
The combination of chicken and butternut squash swaddled in that ultra comforting sauce yields a healthful, satisfying meal. You can easily use this recipe as a gateway to all your massaman curries, replacing the chicken with beef or pork and swapping the butternut squash with your favorite potato or winter squash.
Per usual, here are some ideas for adaptations and also meal prep options for both customizing and preparing this recipe:
- Use beef instead of chicken
- Replace butternut squash with Yukon Gold potato
- Serve curry with choice of “riced” vegetables, such as cauliflower rice, quinoa, roasted vegetables or side of choice to make this recipe grain-free
- The chicken can be marinated up to 24 hours in advance.
- Cook the rice up to 3 days ahead of time
- Recipe saves very well, so the whole dish can be prepared up to 5 days in advance
Get that comfort food!
Chicken Massaman Curry
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons red curry paste
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil or coconut oil
- 1/2 small butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces, 4 cups
- 2 (14-ounce) cans full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 to 5 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 to 3 tablespoons unsweetened creamy almond butter optional*
- cooked basmati rice
- Thai basil
Place chicken in a mixing bowl along with the red curry paste and 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Stir well and allow meat to marinate at least 15 minutes (up to 2 hours in the refrigerator).
While chicken is marinating, peel and chop the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes.
Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken and brown 2 to 3 minutes (don’t cook meat all the way through).
Add the remaining ingredients except the kaffir lime leaves and almond butter (butternut squash through sea salt) to the pot and stir well. Cover and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered for 1 hour. Remove the cover and cook at a gentle boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened. Stir in the kaffir lime leaves. Stir in the almond butter for an even thicker, more luscious sauce.
Remove cinnamon sticks and star anise.
Serve massaman curry with basmati rice (or spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice).
*Or peanut butter
Looking for additional curry inspiration? Check out these recipes:
- 30-Minute Thai Green Curry with Avocado
- Coconut Curry Vegetable Soup
- 30-Minute Summer Vegetable Red Curry
- 6-Ingredient 30-Minute Vegetarian Curry
- 30-Minute Thai Chicken Curry