Squash & Carrot Stew

Healthy winter comfort food, a low-calorie but hearty vegetable stew made with chunks of butternut squash and carrots rich with winter spices like cumin, coriander, ginger and paprika. Perfect for simmering atop the stove or in a slow cooker. Weight Watchers who follow myWW love this recipe, no points for a main dish serving!

Fresh & Seasonal, Perfect for Cold-Weather Meals. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Very Weight Watchers Friendly, Zero Points! Whole30 Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.
Squash & Carrot Stew ♥ KitchenParade.com, a low-calorie spice-rich vegetable stew with butternut squash and carrots. Two versions, one for the stovetop, another for a slow cooker. Vegan. Zero Points for Weight Watchers Freestyle. Gluten Free.

  • "This was FANTASTIC!" ~ Marie
  • "My seven-year-old son loves this!" ~ Anonymous

“Feast with Friends. Fast in Solitude.”

Last January, book club was scheduled for my house. I planned a winter menu that finished with a feast-suitable squash and pear pie.

By the morning-of, however, the weather was iffy with ice so, just in case, I switched to a still-festive squash and goat cheese pizza that could be made at the last minute.

Once the roads turned dire, we cancelled book club. So much for feasting with friends!

But happy accident! I went looking for winter comfort food, vegetarian but substantial, low in calories but full of flavor. Enter this gorgeous vegan (but don’t tell!) stew, perfect for post-holiday dieters, perfect for "fasting in solitude".

Still, doesn’t fasting imply fastidiousness, a tediousness, a plainness, a spareness, a certain blandness?

Trust me, there’s nothing bland about this stew. The color is enlivening. The spices meld together, creating a whole new flavor set. We just might be forced to share.

RESOURCES Other book clubs may be interested in my reading group's book list. We've been reading together since 1994!

THE QUOTE? I wish "Feast with Friends. Fast in Solitude" were mine! Instead it came from Olga, a yoga instructor in Kansas City.

What Makes Squash & Carrot Stew Distinctive

Ingredients for Squash & Carrot Stew ♥ KitchenParade.com, a low-calorie spice-rich vegetable stew with butternut squash and carrots. Two versions, one for the stovetop, another for a slow cooker. Vegan. Zero Points for Weight Watchers Freestyle. Gluten Free.

Two things make Squash & Carrot Stew such a stand-out recipe.

  • THE SPICES This is a "spice forward" recipe, meaning that there's no holding back. The spices don't overwhelm the vegetables but they do turn them into something that's warm and satisfying. There's no "heat" here, just flavor but if you're concerned about "too much flavor", no problem, the first time you make this, just use half the spices.
  • THAI GREEN CURRY PASTE Curry paste is powerful stuff, packed with heat. That's why this recipe uses just a little, a mere 1/8 teaspoon – but again, if you're concerned about "too much heat," just use half. I don't recommend skipping it though, the curry paste adds a unique flavor dimension that's hard to replicate. Be sure to use green curry paste, the red paste is even hotter!


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 4 - 5 hours
Makes about 10 cups but easily halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon – each, yes each! – ground pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon Thai green (not red) curry paste (see TIPS), stirred into a tablespoon of water
  • 28 ounces (800g) canned diced tomatoes
  • Juice of 2 lemons, about 4 tablespoons
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 2-1/2 pounds/1100g), trimmed, peeled (see TIPS) and cut into 1-inch cubes (yields about 26oz/750g cubes)
  • 1 pound (450g) carrots, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (key ingredient, try not to skip)

START ON THE STOVE In a large pot or Dutch oven (or a skillet if finishing in a slow cooker), heat the oil on medium heat til shimmery. Add onion and garlic, toss to coat with oil, then cook until turning gold, stirring occasionally. Stir in the paprika, salt, spices and green curry paste mixture, let cook 1 minute.

FINISH ON THE STOVE Add tomatoes, lemon juice, squash, carrots and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer, cover and simmer for 3 – 4 hours until vegetables are fully cooked and liquid has slightly thickened.

~OR~ FINISH IN A SLOW COOKER Transfer skillet mixture to a slow cooker. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, squash, carrots and water. Cook on low for about 7 hours.

TO SERVE Spoon stew into individual serving bowls. Stir in cilantro and mint, then a spoonful of something creamy like Greek yogurt, sour cream, even mashed potatoes. Serve immediately. Keeps for several days.

ALANNA's TIPS If you like, substitute the smoky Spanish paprika called pimentón for the sweet paprika. This is a spice-forward dish! For something more subtle, use half the spices and half the green curry paste. If you like, stir in more vegetables, corn and cauliflower come to mind. How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup 92 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 48mg Sodium; 20g Carb; 4g Fiber; 7g Sugar; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle 0 & myWW green 0 & blue 0 & purple 0 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = slightly generous 1 cup (3g protein).

More Hearty Vegetarian Fare

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from Kitchen Parade

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More Recipes for Winter Squash

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Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Spiced Chicken with Cauliflower Tagine Slow Cooker Curried Vegetable Stew
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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2008, 2018, 2019 (repub) & 2020

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This was FANTASTIC ... served it with barley ! YUMMY ! I have lost 52.5 pounds on WW and am anxious to "hear" about the new program ( from Canada ) tomorrow.
    Thanks for your web site !

  2. Anonymous1/20/2011

    My seven-year-old son loves this! He asks for it at least once per week. Even his dad, who hates squash, cooked carrots, and tomatoes said it was "okay" and ate the whole thing.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna