Healthy Recipe: Real Family Kitchen’s Shrimp & Pumpkin Curry

Cook up something seasonal and full of flavor.

With all of those pumpkin recipes flooding your e-mail inbox in anticipation of Thanksgiving, give the pumpkin flavor an irresistible twist with this spicy Shrimp & Pumpkin Curry. Whipped up by Jessica James, an executive chef working in culinary innovation and development at Applebee’s, one of our 2014 Most Wanted Honorees and a food blogger that believes in creating a place for real families to get real recipes, you’ll want to make this over and over.

Shrimp & Pumpkin Curry

Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1/4 cup minced fresh ginger (about a 3-inch long piece)

2 tablespoons mild curry paste (Patak’s is readily available and very good)

1 can coconut milk

2 limes, zested and juiced

1/2 acorn squash (Use the whole squash and omit the shrimp to make the dish vegan)

1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Serve with:

2 cups long grain rice, cooked according to package instructions


In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, heat olive oil over high heat. Add onion and ginger and sauté for about ten minutes, or until the onions begin to lightly brown. Add curry paste, and stir with a wooden spoon to thoroughly incorporate the paste with the onions and ginger.  Allow to cook for one to two minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk and lime juice. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, wash the squash and using a vegetable peeler, peel along the ridges to remove the majority of the peel. (It’s impractical to try and remove all of the peel, and James likes it because it adds some color and texture to the finished dish.) Cut the squash half into 1-inch chunks and add to the simmering curry. Simmer the squash and curry covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*This is a good time to start cooking your rice.

Once the squash is tender, add the shrimp to the pot and simmer for another three to five minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque and barely cooked through. Once shrimp are cooked, immediately remove the pot from the heat, add the fresh cilantro and lime zest and stir to combine.

Divide the cooked rice between four bowls or plates.  Top each plate with curry and enjoy!

For more amazing recipes by Jessica James, visit