This curried butternut squash and beets is an easy, elegant side dish that elevates simple roasted squash and beets with the addition of hot curry powder, a generous drizzle of lime juice, and a garnish of parsley or cilantro.

At first glance, this simple recipe for curried butternut squash and beets may seem like your standard roast vegetable side dish. However, tossing your veg with curry powder before roasting and incorporating a generous splash of lime juice at the end makes it not only more complex but vastly more surprising.Angie Zoobkoff

*NOTE What is Madras Curry Powder?

Madras curry powder is a slightly hotter version of curry powder due to the addition of ground dried chiles, usually kashmiri chiles, resulting in a slightly redder hue. It’s important to clarify that Madras curry powder, though named for an Indian city, is actually British in origin. If you can’t find Madras curry powder, simply use regular curry powder and add a pinch of kashmiri chile powder or cayenne pepper. Or, if you care for a milder burn, simply swap your usual curry powder.

An earthenware bowl filled with curried butternut squash and beets, on a plate with a fork resting beside the bowl

Curried Butternut Squash and Beets

5 from 1 vote
Simple roasted squash and beets are elevated to entertaining-worthy status with the addition of hot curry powder, lime juice, and cilantro.
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories203 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • 14 ounces red and/or golden beets (about 3 medium)
  • 10 1/2 ounces butternut squash or Hokkaido pumpkin (red kuri squash)
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder* (see NOTE above)
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Peel the beets. Halve the squash or pumpkin, scrape out the seeds, and wash the skin well, then cut both the beets and pumpkin into 3/4 –inch (2-cm) chunks. Place the beets on 1 baking sheet and the squash on another. Sprinkle half the curry powder, oil, salt, and pepper on the beets and half on the squash and toss to combine. Spread the vegetables in a single layer.
  • Bake until the vegetables are soft but not overcooked, 35 to 40 minutes. (The beets may take longer than the squash.) Sprinkle the lime juice over the vegetables, add the parsley or cilantro, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Adapted From

Copenhagen Food

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 203 kcalCarbohydrates: 18 gProtein: 3 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 2 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10 gSodium: 82 mgPotassium: 638 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 9 gVitamin A: 1083 IUVitamin C: 17 mgCalcium: 52 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2018 Trine Hahnemann. Photo © 2018 Columbus Leth. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This is a simple roasted vegetable recipe made more interesting with curry powder.

I roasted the beets on a separate baking sheet because of the volume and not wanting to have the red color bleed onto the orange butternut squash.

Normally, I would have roasted at 425°F but this worked fine. I have to say the room smelled heavenly while roasting with the curry powder on the vegetables.

The vegetables tasted great—sweet from roasting and spicy from the curry powder. The lime juice added just enough acid to brighten.

Great weeknight dish yet special enough to be part of weekend entertaining. The lime juice was just the bright note needed, and I used a bit of sea salt to finish. Since I hadn’t ventured out for fresh parsley I used cilantro which was very compatible with the curry.

I used a mix of tender golden and red beets and butternut squash, a coarse grind of Madra curry blend, and an extra-virgin olive oil. Peeling the beets and chopping the squash and beets meant prep was done in the 15 to 20 minutes it took the oven took to come to temperature.

Hearty vegan side for 4 or as a main dish for two people.

We made this curried butternut squash and beets dish twice and will make it again. Easy to throw together, wonderful scents as the dish roasts, and good flavor. The lime at the end makes everything sing.

After stops at two markets to look for Madras curry with no luck, we settled on a salt-free curry blend of cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cloves, cayenne, and black pepper. We added 1/8 teaspoon additional cayenne after reading that Madras curry is hotter than other varieties.

Peeling the beets and and chopping the beets and butternut squash took less than 15 minutes. Our roasting time was longer than the stated 40 minutes, almost an hour until the squash was fork-tender.

The second time we made this dish we used pre-cut butternut squash and the flavor was fine. Served 6 as a side dish with steamed beet greens on top.

I really loved the flavor of the curry powder on the roasted veggies and the lime juice really brought out the sweetness. The squash was done in 30 minutes but the beets needed another 10 minutes to get softer.

Originally published March 26, 2019

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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