Acorn Squash and Red Lentil Curry

It’s hard to ignore all the different beautiful squash in the grocery stores. We purchased an acorn squash without really knowing what we wanted to do with it. In the end, we decided to make a simple Indian style curry with the squash. Most recipes call for the squash to be roasted in the oven, but we opted for a simple one-stop shop with the Instant Pot. The prep required to prepare the acorn squash was a little daunting, so if you want to skip the hard stuff just know you can replace the acorn squash with any other type of squash!


  • Acorn Squash
  • Red Split Lentils (2/3 cup)
  • Tomatoes (2, finely chopped)
  • Garlic (8-10 cloves, finely minced)
  • Onion (1, finely chopped)
  • Diced Canned Tomatoes (1 can, no salt added)
  • Greek Yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • Cashews (1/2 cup, toasted, whole)
  • Mustard Seed (1 teaspoon)
  • Cumin Seed (1 teaspoon)
  • Tomato Paste (1 tablespoon)
  • Masala Simmer Sauce (15 oz, purchased at Trader Joes but any Tikka Masala Sauce would do)
  • Jalapeno (1)
  • Olive Oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Salt

Recipe (4-5 servings)

  1. Wash and rinse the lentils multiple times until the water is clear and soak for 1 hour. Then drain the water.
  2. The acorn squash is tough to cut and even tougher to peel. Most people roast it in the oven and peel afterwards. But since we wanted to cook it in the Instant Pot, we had to get rid of the peel prior to cooking. To make it easier, we used the microwave. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Microwave the acorn squash on high heat for 3 minutes. Let it cool. Once cool, use a vegetable peeler to get rid of the peel and then cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the Instant Pot on “Saute” setting. once hot, add the cumin and the mustard seed and roast for 1 minute until the seeds are sizzling in the oil. Add the garlic next and cook for another minute. Next, add the onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until soft.
  4. Once the onions are softened, add the diced acorn squash. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the diced and canned tomatoes next, followed by the tomato paste. At this point, you can also add the drained lentils. Toss in the oil for about 3-4 minutes. Lastly, add the Simmer Sauce and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Close the Instant Pot. Change setting to Manual on “High Pressure” and cook for 15 minutes. Manually release the pressure when complete.
  6. Serve a large amount of the curry with some greek yogurt and garnish with jalapeno and add the cashews on top for crunch! This dish freezes really well! It also tastes better the next day!

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