Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries

Rich and thick curried coconut chicken with squash and dried cherries in one hearty flavorful meal that’s full of healthy ingredients.

Curried Chicken over rice served on a white plate with a fork. A bowl of rice sits to the side.

Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries

Are you ready for a nontraditional knock-your-socks-off dinner? Ok, good. I present to you – Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries. The name is a mouthful and so are the flavors. The sweet and creamy coconut pairs perfectly with all those spices. The sweet squash cooks up nice and soft and then you bite into little tart yet sweet pops of dried cherries that have started to come back to life from simmering in the dish. Mmmmm. I have half of this recipe hiding in my freezer for an easy meal later and I may just have to get it out tonight. If you are a curry lover this is sure to become a favorite fast.

Honestly, I never even tried curry until after I was married and our friends introduced us to it. Now I love all types from Thai to Indian. I think part of why I love food so much is because there is always something new to discover. If you are new to or shy of curry, have no fear and give it a try. A huge portion of the earth’s population eats it daily, and there’s no way all those people are wrong! Try it… you’ll love it.

Keep Calm and Curry On.

Curried Chicken over rice served on a white plate with a fork. A bowl of rice sits to the side.

What can I serve the curry over instead of rice?

If you don’t want to use rice, there are tons of other options: Cauliflower rice, steamed vegetables of all kinds, noodles, naan, couscous, etc.

Can I use something besides coconut milk?

Coconut milk can easily be substituted with heavy cream instead if you don’t have coconut milk or are allergic to coconut. You can also use half-and-half with a dollop of sour cream.

How can I store curry?

If you don’t gobble down all your curry, leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, and you can also keep it in the freezer for 2-3 months.

A white plate of rice topped with curried chicken with butternut squash and dried cherries

Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 min.
  • Cook Time: 45 min.
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x


Rich and thick curried coconut chicken with squash and dried cherries in one hearty flavorful meal that’s full of healthy ingredients.



  • 3 T. oil (peanut, olive, coconut)
  • 2 T. curry powder
  • 1 T. plus 1 tsp. garam masala, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1  can diced tomatoes, with the juice (14.5-ounce)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 4 cups cubed winter squash (banana, butternut, pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot cooked rice for serving


  1. In a large stock pot or dutch oven heat the oil, curry powder, and 1 tablespoon of garam masala over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. If it starts to stick add more oil, you don’t want it to burn.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Again, add more oil if it starts to stick too much.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the squash and dried cherries. Cook the curry at a low simmer until the squash is very soft and the mixture thickens, 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. 5 minutes before serving, stir in the last 1 teaspoon of garam masala.
  7. Serve over hot, cooked rice.


  • Curry is one of those dishes that only improve with time. If you have more time, let it cook! The leftovers are better the second day too.
  • No cherries? Traditional or golden raisins are a great sub (but the cherries were SO good…).
  • The garam masala is added twice because some of its flavor is heightened while cooking and some of it is lost. Adding it in the beginning and again at the end helps to not miss out on any of its goodness.
  • You can substitute sweet potatoes for the squash if you’d like.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 267.3 Fat: 5.8g Cholesterol: 63mg Sodium: 306.6mg Carbohydrates: 44.6g Sugars: 5.2g Protein: 1g Vitamin A: 27µg Vitamin C: 2.6mg

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This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated in July 2019.

Try out curried coconut chicken with squash and dried cherries for a filling dinner that is a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. It will knock your socks off!

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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I have to say THANK YOU – I have been working my way through your 14 day plan and still have a few items left to try. I was awesome to jump start us into clean eating. Tomorrow is the curry and I am looking forward to it. I have to admit the BEST part was the shopping list.

Any way to get nutritional values added to your recipes? They all look so yummy but need to watch calories, sugar and carbs. Thanks

This is delicious! I have it cooking on my stove RIGHT now. Edits for me: I can’t find Garam Masala in Beijing (I live in China at the moment) so I omitted this and I used Sweet Potatoes instead of squash because I just like them better. Had a taste during the simmer stage and I am fighting the urge to hover over the stove till its done – thats how badly I want to eat it right now! Thanks for this recipe!

made this tonight and it was delicious. Didn’t change a thing. I also tried your Chicken Tettrazini the other night and that was a big hit as well.

I’m assuming the squash is peeled although it does not say anything about it in the recipe or ingredients or directions. It helps to be specifi

Made this tonight for dinner. It was delicious. In the future,I will half the chicken stock and use additional coconut milk in its place. Also, I will add the cherries way later in the simmering process. I wanted them to be a big tart pop in the mouth, but the tartness was cooked out of them. Regardless, it was delicious as is! FYI.. found the garam masala at my local Publix. McCormick makes it.

I made this last night and it turned out much better than I was expecting (I’m still new to this whole cooking thing). THANKS for this recipe! I have so much left over!

I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! I bought a butternut squash at the farmers market and wasn’t sure what to do with it until I saw your recipe. I think I might add some fresh ginger and a jalapeño next time for a little extra kick.

WOW, super easy and super delicious! I didn’t have garam masala but looked it up on line and used what I had to make my own: cumin, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, and it worked great. I substituted the rice for some steamed broccoli, and sprinkled some roasted almonds on top for some crunch. I recommend to anyone who is going to try to make this to not skip the dried cherries (or raisins) the sweetness from the fruit really hits this dish home. This dish will become one of my weekly staples. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

Just found this recipe thanks to Texanerin Baking. It looks absolutely wonderful, and I hope I can get a chance to try it soon. (I have to make sure my husband is willing to try it.) 🙂

I’ve been making my way through your 2 week plan, and this is my favorite dish yet. My only edit- I used red curry powder instead of garam masala- loved it! Thank you for the recipe and easy-to-follow plan!

Loved this dish! I love curry, coconut milk and butternut squash so I had to make it….and am so glad I did! Definitely will be making this curry again. Thanks for the recipe Melissa!

This just looks so darn good! Maybe next time we see each other… ??

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.