Butternut Coconut Noodles with Greens, Herbs & Smoky Coconut Crunch

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 10 votes

These delicious butternut coconut noodles are simple to prepare and perfectly spiced with ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and ground chillies. This vegan main has a lush texture contrasted with a smoky coconut crunch. Ready in about an hour, green onions, basil, and baby spinach make these noodles extra nourishing.

An up close, overhead shot shows a braiser pot filled with creamy butternut coconut noodles mixed with fresh basil, green onions, and crunchy bits of smoky coconut on top.
An overhead shot shows a serving of butternut squash coconut milk noodles in a shallow bowl. A fork is sticking out to the side.
An overhead shot shows ingredients for a vegan butternut squash noodle dish with herbs, spices, and greens.
A 3/4 angle shot shows a blender pitcher with puréed butternut squash sauce, backlit by a beam of sunlight.
An overhead shot shows a puréed butternut squash sauce being poured into a braiser pot with sautéed shallots, ginger, and garlic.

I love it when a vegan main is comforting and fresh at the same time! These butternut coconut noodles accomplish that intersection really well. A tangle of noodles combines with a luxurious and super flavourful sauce, some wilted greens, plenty of fresh herbs, and an irresistible smoky coconut crunch finish for a little texture contrast. This recipe comes together in about an hour, mostly on the stovetop with a quick little detour to the blender.

Some tips for making these Butternut Coconut Noodles:

  • This recipe calls for squash purée! I like to cook a halved squash in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Then I scoop out all the flesh and use it in soups or recipes like this one. One small honeynut squash (butternut’s petite/sweeter relative) gave me the perfect amount for this recipe.
  • The smoky coconut crunch is optional if you’re looking for a slightly easier/less fuss supper. I love the texture and flavour contrast, but the noodles are also delicious without it.
  • I used brown rice spaghetti here and it worked really nicely. Whatever noodle you like should be good.
  • You could make up the sauce portion ahead of time! Once you’ve mixed the squash/coconut milk purée with the sautéed shallots and spices, just seal it up in a jar and keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

What would I serve with these noodles? I recommend just some simply seasoned and seared tofu cubes/triangles or even this sticky ginger tempeh crumbled into it would be nice. I like nice little dabs of chili crisp on top of mine for some extra heat.

Fans of this recipe might also enjoy my creamy vegan orzo risotto with butternut squash and Brussels sprouts or this ginger sweet potato coconut milk stew.

An overhead shot shows a baking sheet filled with crispy and smoky roasted coconut chips.
An overhead shot shows a braiser filled with a creamy butternut squash sauce, cooked rice noodles, baby spinach, chopped basil, and green onions.
An overhead shot shows a braiser pot filled with creamy butternut coconut noodles mixed with fresh basil, green onions, and crunchy bits of smoky coconut on top.
An overhead shot shows two servings of butternut coconut noodles in wide bowls along with the braiser serving pot that also contains the noodles.
An up close, overhead shot shows a serving of butternut squash coconut milk noodles in a shallow bowl. A fork is sticking out to the side.

Butternut Coconut Noodles with Greens, Herbs & Smoky Coconut Crunch

These delicious butternut coconut noodles are simple to prepare and perfectly spiced with ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and ground chillies. This vegan main has a lush texture contrasted with a smoky coconut crunch. Ready in about an hour, green onions, basil, and baby spinach make these noodles extra nourishing.
5 from 10 votes
An up close, overhead shot shows a braiser pot filled with creamy butternut coconut noodles mixed with fresh basil, green onions, and crunchy bits of smoky coconut on top.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients

Smoky Coconut Crunch

Butternut Coconut Noodles

  • 1 cup butternut squash purée
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 large shallot, fine dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground chillies
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 16 oz (454 grams) long noodles of choice
  • 4 cups baby spinach, lightly packed
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced (plus extra for garnish)
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced (plus extra for garnish)
  • chili crisp, for serving (optional)

Equipment

Notes

  • I like to cook a halved squash in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Then I scoop out all the flesh and use it in soups or recipes like this. One small honeynut squash (butternut’s petite/sweeter relative) gave me the perfect amount for this recipe.
  • The smoky coconut crunch is optional if you’re looking for a slightly easier/less fuss supper. I love the texture and flavour contrast, but the noodles are also delicious without it.
  • I used brown rice spaghetti here and it worked really nicely. Whatever noodle you like should be good.

Instructions

  • Make the smoky coconut crunch. Preheat the oven to 300°F and set out a large baking sheet.
  • Place the coconut flakes on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, tamari, smoked paprika, salt, liquid smoke, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the coconut on the baking sheet. Massage the oil and spice mixture into the coconut, trying to coat every piece as evenly as possible. Spread the coconut out into a single layer.
  • Slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake for 23-25 minutes, lightly stirring the coconut up at the halfway point. The coconut should be deep brown and lightly crisp on the edges. It will crisp completely as it cools.
  • Start on the butternut coconut noodles. In an upright blender, combine the squash purée, vegetable stock, coconut milk, and Tamari. Blend on high until completely smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat a large, deep skillet (or braiser) over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, pour in the oil and swirl it around. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat if shallots are browning.
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the turmeric, coriander, and chillies to the pan. Continue to stir and sauté until fragrant, another full minute.
  • Pour the puréed squash and coconut milk mixture into the pan, scraping out every last bit! Season the sauce with salt and pepper at this point, and add the lime juice. Give everything a stir and taste it. Adjust the seasoning here if need be. Turn the heat off.
  • Cook your noodles according to package directions and then drain them. Turn the heat back on under the butternut coconut sauce. To the sauce, add the baby spinach, basil, green onions, and drained noodles. Give everything a big stir with tongs until all is combined, steamy hot, and creamy-dreamy!
  • Top the butternut coconut noodles with the smoky coconut crunch, extra basil and green onions, and chili crisp if you like!
An up close, slight 3/4 angle shot shows a braiser pot filled with creamy butternut coconut noodles mixed with fresh basil, green onions, and crunchy bits of smoky coconut on top.
09/11/2022 (Last Updated 05/08/2023)
Posted in: autumn, coconut milk, creamy, gluten free, main course, nut free, pasta, salty, sauce, side dish, smoky, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

20 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Brian

    5 stars
    Absolutely phenomenal dish. Loved the coconut crunch, the squash sauce was super flavorsome

    Reading the recipe I was worried that it would be too much basil but it wasn’t and it complimented the dish beautifully

    I used spaghetti, will probably do bucatini next time

    And there definitely will be a next time

  • Alyssa

    5 stars
    One of my favorites!

  • Liz

    5 stars
    Lovely recipe. I added chicken breast, used lite coconut milk, and cut the noodles down to 4 oz for our family of four. Next time I will cut the coconut crunch in half because we had so much leftover.

    • Laura Wright

      Glad that you were able to make it your own, Liz! Leftover coconut crunch keeps in a sealed container for a couple weeks. It’s great on salads!
      -L

  • AMC

    I had just about everything except the coconut, so I ended up making a panko-crunch topping instead. (Used 1c panko and everything else as listed; crisped it in a cast-iron skillet instead of putting it in the oven.) It turned out great!

    • Laura Wright

      Panko crunch sounds delicious!! Thanks for sharing your method with us! :)
      -L

  • Meredith M.

    5 stars
    This was so delicious! I am gluten free and we used rice noodles which got really weird and sticky, so we’ll try something else next time. But omg, all of the flavors in the sauce and the coconut crunch were *chef’s kiss* good! Thank you! We’ll definitely be making this recipe again soon!

  • Alyssa

    Hi! Is ground chilis the same thing as chili powder? If not, do you have a link for it so I can know what to look for?

    • Alyssa

      Sorry, I realized there is a link! If I don’t use that, what would you recommend as a substitute? Cayenne pepper?

      • Laura Wright

        Hi Alyssa!
        You can use chili flakes instead!
        -L

  • jude

    5 stars
    laura, the coconut crunch topping is out of this world. not only did i enjoy it on this dish but i had leftovers and have sprinkled them on soups. they add so much flavor and texture. thank you!

  • Avi

    Would I be able to sub sage for the basil? Thanks!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Avi,
      I think sage might me too strong of an earthy flavour here. I would just leave it out!
      -L

  • Natasha

    This sounds delicious! Curious if I could use frozen cubed butternut squash? Or even just fresh cubed butternut squash? If so, would I roast it first and how much would you recommend? Thanks so much in advance!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Natasha!
      Yes you could use fresh or frozen squash cubes here. Just roast a heaped cup of them in a 400 oven with a light toss of oil salt and pepper until tender–about 25-30 minutes. Then you’ll simply blend those into the sauce!
      -L

  • Jacquie

    5 stars
    Made these for dinner tonight and they are just delicious!!

  • Sair Goldenberg

    5 stars
    This was soooo delicious. Used leftover canned pumpkin i had on hand instead of butternut squash. Thank you for this really delicious and satisfying recipe! Top marks in all areas-and have lots of extra coconut ‘bacon’ leftover. Yum!

    • Laura Wright

      I love your pumpkin substitution, Sair! Sounds delicious :)
      -L

  • Alex

    Delicious looking recipe as always!
    I am a little confused, however, regarding the coconut flakes. Is it fresh coconut? Or dried flakes?

    Cannot wait to make this :)

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Alex! It is dried coconut! I’ll specify in the recipe.
      Thanks!
      -L