This vegan Ginataang Kalabasa is one of the simple Filipino vegetable dishes that you will make. It’s full of nutrients, heartwarming, and a great dish to eat with steamed rice!
Love Filipino vegetable recipes? Try my Easy Jackfruit Humba, Vegan Laswa (Vegetable Soup), Bicol Express (Tofu with Vegetables), or Stir Fry Mung Beans.
What is Ginataang Kalabasa?
Ginataang Kalabasa is a creamy and delicious Filipino dish that is very popular in Filipino culture. This healthy recipe is made with two key ingredients: kabocha squash (kalabasa) and coconut milk(gata).
The flesh (yellow part) of the kalabasa makes any dish creamy, but when cooked with coconut milk or cream, the creaminess intensifies as if there was milk mixed in.
Ginataang Kalabasa is considered one of the Filipino comfort foods and a favorite to those who love coconut milk and coconut cream. (Like me :))
What is Kalabasa?
Kalabasa also known as kabocha squash looks like a small pumpkin, is green with white/yellow spots. And the inside of the kalabasa looks very similar to a pumpkin, but it’s a bit more on yellow side.
Health Benefits of Kalabasa
The vegetable is high in:
- Vitamins A
- Vitamins C
Filipinos love meat and seafood in their soups, so they often add in pork, shrimp, and even dried fish. Nevertheless, this vegetarian Ginataang Kalabasa is a delicious dish in itself without the meat and seafood. But feel free to add your favorite vegetarian meat.
Tips and Procedures:
- Look for young squash with a greenish colored peel and not brown because it is tough and flesh is very firm and ready to be cooked.
- When cooking squash or kalabasa, you can either have the skin peeled or not. If you are sure that the kalabasa is grown organically, you can choose not to peel it.
- For variation, add mung beans (monggo beans) to this dish. Make sure to boil the mung beans ahead before adding them to the Ginataang Kalabasa to save cooking time.
- Adding chopped string beans to this dish makes it much more delicious and healthier!
- For non-vegans: You may use fish sauce or add fried dried fish in this Filipino recipe.
- Storage: Since it has coconut milk, this dish must be stored in the refrigerator and up for 3 days.
How to Make Ginataang Kalabasa Recipe:
Gather the ingredients for this Ginataang Kalabasa – Vegetarian-Friendly and once the ingredients are all ready, let’s begin!
- vegetable oil
- kalabasa (kabocha squash)
- pure coconut milk or coconut cream
- moringa or spinach leaves
- green onions
Heat a nonstick pot over medium heat and add oil. Add the onion, garlic and cook until transparent or for about 1 minute:
Then add ginger and cook until fragrant:
Add the kalabasa squash and cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes:
The squash or kalabasa should look like this, an almost translucent yellow color. You can try to poke it with a fork or knife to see if it is already soft:
Next, add 3 cups of water and cover until it boils. (Keep an eye on it, you might have to add more if the water starts to evaporate):
Next add coconut milk or cream, salt, and allow it to simmer for about 3-5 minutes:
Season with salt and a pinch of pepper:
Then add moringa leaves:
Next, add the green onions and mix until just combined:
There you have it! This vegetarian soup is slightly sweet and savory at the same time. The sweetness comes from the squash or kalabasa.
You can never go wrong if you eat this Ginataang Kalabasa with steamed rice!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes! First, make sure to allow the soup to cool down completely before freezing it. When you are ready to serve, heat the Ginataang Kalabasa on the stovetop for 5 minutes or until it bubbles or microwave it for 60 to 80 seconds.
Use water spinach, water spinach, or kale.
Squash in coconut milk.
Here are more delicious Filipino Recipes:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion minced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 2 cups kalabasa kabocha squash, 1-inch cubes
- 3-4 cups water
- 1 can pure coconut milk*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup moringa or spinach leaves
- 2 green onions sliced
- pinch of pepper
- Heat a nonstick pot over medium heat and add oil.
- Add the onion, garlic and cook until transparent or for about 1 minute.
- Then add ginger and cook until fragrant, add the kalabasa squash and cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Next, add 3 cups of water and cover until it boils. (Keep in eye on it, you might have to add up to 1 cup of water if the water starts to evaporates)
- Next add coconut milk or cream, salt, and allow it to simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
- Then add moringa leaves, green onions, and mix until just combined.
- Season with salt and a pinch of pepper and serve with steamed rice.
Jamie Tafani says
Love how the dish looks. Vegetable recipes like this are nice and healthy to try out.
Hi Jaime, thank you so much! I try to incorporate vegetables in all my recipes! What’s your favorite vegetable?
This is fantastic recipe. It’s great now —very thematic fro fall weather. Squash is available all year long. This can be enjoyed all year long. This is a vegan recipe.
Hey there, thank you for your kind words! I appreciate it. Yes, this is a vegan recipe. Do you love vegan foods? I hope you can try this. 🙂
Joanna Underwood says
Is it possible to cook this recipe with butternut squash?
Yes, I use butternut squash when making this recipe and it’s delicious!
Hi Katrina! It’s good to know that you’ve tried this recipe already using butternut squash. Thank you for visiting my blog!
Yes, you may try to use butternut squash for this recipe. Enjoy!
I think I put too much water (din’t have a measuring cup and used a glass instead lol) because mine’s a bit bland hahaha but I ate it anyways and it was okay. Not bad but not great either. Will follow the exact measurements next time😅
Thank you for trying out this recipe. I appreciate it! Please let me know how it goes when you cook this dish again. Enjoy!
Hi Lainey, my friends love this recipe and has asked me to make them a batch every winter, but I was wondering if you have metric measurements? I want to keep the taste the same but 4 cups of squash is a hit or miss with the rest of the ingredients. I bake a lot and used to weights as opposed to volume. Thank you!