Shrimp, squash and spinach with cashew curry sauce

A deliciously easy 30 minute meal!

This dish is as flavourful as it is satisfying, thanks to the simple, creamy curry sauce loaded with chopped cashews. The sauce can be prepared up to 48 hours ahead of time, making the rest of the meal come together very quickly. For a vegetarian or vegan version, simply omit the shrimp and double the amount of squash. If you love adding butternut squash to enhance the flavour and vegetable quotient in a dish, you might also enjoy this speedy pasta with vegetables and chevre.


  • 1 cup (150 g) roasted, salted cashews, divided
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) plain yogurt (regular or dairy-free)
  • 1/4 cup (5 g) roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp (7 g) chopped fresh peeled ginger root
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) mild or hot curry paste
  • 1 tbsp (13 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2.8 g) each salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup (26 g) chopped onion
  • 1 cup (140 g) peeled, diced butternut squash (in 1/2 inch / 1.25 cm pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon (7.5 g) cornstarch
  • 24 large, raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (75 g) chopped spinach
  • 3 cups (500 g) cooked jasmine or basmati rice (from 1 cup / 210 g dry), to serve
  • Fresh lime wedges, to serve
  • Cilantro leaves, to garnish


  • In a food processor or powerful blender, pulse 3/4 cup (115 g) of the cashews until finely chopped. Add yogurt, cilantro, ginger root, curry paste, brown sugar, salt and pepper and process until smooth. Refrigerate if not using within the hour.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add onions and squash and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent and squash is beginning to soften (but has not turned mushy), about 10 – 15 minutes.
  • While onions and squash are cooking, rinse rice and cook according to package directions.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, toss the shrimp in the cornstarch. Push the squash and onions to one side of the skillet. Add remaining oil and let it heat for about 30 seconds, then add the shrimp to the oil. Cook, turning once, until pink and curled (about 2 – 3 minutes). Pour the sauce over top, scraping the work bowl or blender clean. Add the chicken broth then stir the sauce into the shrimp, onion and squash mixture so it is evenly distributed. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.  
  • Stir in chopped spinach then remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes so spinach will wilt and flavours will blend. While it sits, chop the remaining 1/4 cup (35 g) cashews to use as a garnish.
  • Divide hot rice among 4 serving dishes then add hot curry. Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro; serve with wedges of lime.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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