How To Cook The Best Ginataang Kalabasa With Malunggay

Squash or Calabaza is one of the crops that the Philippines used to cook in many dishes. One of the famous dishes cooked with squash is the best Ginataang Kalabasa with malunggay recipe. 

It is a simple yet healthy vegetable dish that everybody would love to eat. It is an original dish from the Filipino food palette of flavors. 

It is commonly a main dish or appetizer serve in different restaurants. If you are interested in this featured dish, you could research this dish. 

But you don’t have to make yourself overwhelmed to research this dish if you want to recreate it because we already do that for you. So, check it throughout this article.

What is Ginataang Kalabasa With Malunggay

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Ginataang kalabasa is a Filipino well-known dish because of its ingredients and wonderful taste. It is a stew dish made from Calabaza and coconut milk, and other spices. 

The dish includes many ingredients like yardlong beans, moringa leaves, shrimp, crab, meat, bagoong, or many other varieties of ingredients to create this wonderful dish. 

It is a very creamy dish that incorporates umami-laden flavor with a naturally sweet taste because of the Calabaza. It is a ginataan type of dish. 

This dish is popular, and you could find it throughout the Philippines. It also has different names in different places and regions. 

It is simple and easy to cook this where you have to cook the vegetable and the onion, garlic, and ginger. You could saute the ingredients for a few minutes, then add the coconut milk. 

You could finally season it with fish sauce or salt and pepper to add more taste and flavor to the featured dish. Simmer it until the cooked vegetables are perfect. And finally, add the coconut cream to thicken the sauce of the dish. 

You could serve it as a soup, comfort food, appetizer, or main dish.

Ways to Cook Ginataang Kalabasa With Malunggay

Credits To: Melys Kitchen

There are few cooking ways for a particular dish. Here are a few cooking methods you could use in cooking squash in a coconut milk dish.


It is the traditional and easiest way of cooking the dish. When you are about to cook a dish with sauce, a stove is a perfect method. It requires the use of a burner and casserole when you saute and simmer the vegetables. 

Instant pot

On the other hand, this method of cooking the squash featured dish is quicker and faster than the first method of cooking. It allows you to use a multi-cooker where you could saute and simmer at the same time.

Other Delicious Variants and Recipes

Cooking a vegetable dish would give you many variations since it could adapt and adjust to the flavor and ingredients you would add to it. Below, we give you some of the variations you could try to cook in the comfort of your home. 

Ginataang Kalabasa With Malunggay and Dilis Recipe

It is a version where you could add dilis and moringa as another ingredient added to the dish. The salty and fishy taste of the dilis is perfect and great to partner with the Ginataang Kalabasa. The dilis saltiness balances the flavor of the creamy sauce of the featured recipe. 

Dilis or Anchovies are the most common saltwater forage small fish marinated in salt and brined. It could also use it as the main ingredient in pickled vinegar. It could also be an Anchovy paste and fillet. It has a strong flavor that compliments the featured dish. 

Moringa leaves, however, are the most common and healthy leaves that mostly add to the recipes. 

Kalabasa With Malunggay at Sitaw Recipe

Another variation is the Squash and Moringa and sitaw. This version is a dish elevated by adding yardlong or asparagus bean or sitaw in the Filipino language, also known as Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw.  

Asparagus bean or Sitaw is one of the very common vegetables combined with squash and made as a main dish like Adobong sitaw and Ginataang sitaw. It could also add in many recipes like Sinigang, Pinakbet, and Kare-Kare. You could cook it either stir-frying, steaming or sauteing.

With Tuyo 

One of the great versions that Filipinos love about the featured dish is Ginataang Squash with tuyo. It is a dish that balances the creaminess and saltiness of it. 

Tuyo is a dried fish made from the Philippines that uses a traditional drying method: salting and smoking. Tuyo is a salted, dried fish mixed with other ingredients because of its taste and flavor. 

With Crabs

Aside from tuyo, you could add crabs to the dish. It is one of the popular versions of the dish, wherein you add the crabs as another ingredient to give new flavor and taste to the dish. It elevated the dish because of the ingredients used in it. 

Crabs are a crustaceans ingredient used and prepared in many ways because of its unique and delicious taste. You could eat as a whole thing, but you could use it as an added ingredient like in the featured dish. 

With Pork Recipe

Like the crab’s version, this version also adds pork to the dish as an added ingredient. Many Filipinos used this version when creating the Ginataang Squash dish because many Filipino kids love to eat meat like pork. 

Pork is a versatile ingredient and very common to use in various recipes in the culinary field. Its taste and flavor make a dish stand out. You could serve it as added ingredients, side dish, or main dish. But in the featured dish, it is an ingredient added to it to execute more flavors. 

With Chicken Recipe

Ginataang Squash with Chicken is another version similar to the pork, tuyo, and crab version wherein you put the chicken in the dish as an added ingredient. It is also one of the popular versions children love to eat. 

Chicken is a slice of very well-known meat that the Filipinos consumed in the market today. Many use it in varieties of culinary recipes and cooked in many ways as well. The method of cooking included roasting, braising, grilling, baking, and frying. And in this version, it is an ingredient used to add more flavors to the featured vegetable dish. 

With Shrimp Recipe

Among the other versions, this version is the most common and popular dish in Filipino traditional food. They add shrimp in the dish to make it tastier and flavorful since the shrimp has a delicate taste and fine texture that adapts all the spices and herbs used to the featured dish. 

Ilo-Ilo style 

The Ilo-Ilo style of cooking the featured, which is very well-known as Linutik, is mashing the squash instead of cutting it into cubes. You have to boil the squash first then mash it. Afterward, you could cook it in coconut milk and other ingredients. 

The process and cooking method of this version is very similar to the classic version. The only thing that makes the dish elevated is the squash’s texture, which makes the dish look like a squash soup since you have to mash the squash. In this way, it helps to thicken the sauce.


Squash and Moringa with Coconut Milk is a dish known as Kalabasa sa gata in Filipino, Nilatik na Kalabasa in Hiligaynon kielbasa ha gata in Tausug. The dish’s name could also vary or change depending on the secondary ingredient you used in the featured dish. 

Did you know that squash has many health benefits? It is a vegetable high in Vitamins A, Vitamins B6, Vitamins C, Folate, Magnesium, Fiber, Riboflavin, Phosphorus, and Potassium. 

It is also a vegetable that is beneficial and great for the heart and weight loss. It prevents cancer, makes your bones and eyes healthier. The squash boosts the immune system, reduces PMS symptoms, is great for colon health, maintains prostate health, and prevents you from having constipation. 

These are the few benefits you could get when you eat squash. 


When cooking a simple dish, tips are essential to pull the dish very well. So, here is some of the information you need to make this outstanding dish. 

  • Rinse the ingredients you need to make the dish. 
  • Ensure that you choose the right vegetables, especially the main protein, which is the squash.
  • Cut or slice it in the same sizes to cook it in uniform. 
  • Season it very well with herbs and spices. 

Troubleshooting when cooking these Filipino recipes

Errors are vital when cooking, so we searched for some ideas to give a solution to save your dish. 

  • When the meat or seafood is still tough, and the vegetables cooked is perfect, separate the meat and the vegetables. Then, simmer the seafood or meat again. 
  • You could add more water when you overpower salt or flavoring agent in your dish. 
  • Add more seasonings when it tastes plain and has no finite flavor. Adjust the seasoning depending on your desired taste.

Best Serve With

This wonderful dish is a classic and popular dish to serve in many restaurants. So, we provided you with all the recipes that would complement the featured vegetable dish. 

  • Plain Hot Rice – is perfect for this dish because it helps the dish incorporate great aroma and flavor. 
  • Fish Sauce- is another condiment that is perfect with the featured dish because it would balance the creaminess and saltiness taste of the dish. 
  • Java Rice– is another rice dish that is perfect for the creamy and saucy Squash in Coconut cream dish. Java rice has a unique taste that complements the featured dish.
  • Pineapple Shake – is a sweet beverage that helps the dish execute the creamy and salty taste of the featured dish. 
  • Maruya saba banana is a banana dessert dish perfect for a vegetable dish like the Ginataang Kalabasa dish. 
  • Fish Fillet – is a simple and popular dish perfect for Ginataang recipes because vegetables with sauce are perfect for fried recipes. 
  • Mango Graham Cake – is the most popular dessert that many people would love to eat along with vegetable recipes like the featured dish. 
  • Camaron Rebosado– is a seafood dish perfect to combine with the dish. You could serve the dish as an appetizer or side dish along with the featured Ginataan dish. 
  • Breaded pork chop is a pork cuisine with a great flavor source and, most of all, perfect for vegetable dishes because its saltiness and savory flavor highlight the vegetables. 
  • Tortang Dilis– is one of the perfect dishes to serve with our menu. It is the right dish to eat with the featured dish. 
  • Inihaw na Panga ng Tuna– is a grilled cuisine that is perfect for serving along with the Ginataang Kalabasa recipe here. It complimented the taste of the vegetable dish. 
  • Grilled pork belly – is another grilled dish perfect for serving along with the Ginataan featured dish. The ginataan dish could be a side dish. 
  • Roast Pork Belly– is a roast dish perfect for serving along with our menu. It incorporates the right taste and flavors when you eat it. 
  • Roast beef is another roast meat dish complimented with the vegetable dish’s taste and flavor featured here. 
  • Inihaw na Pusit– is a Filipino seafood dish grilled and perfectly cooked to serve along with a creamy vegetable recipe. It helps to highlight the taste and flavor of the featured dish. 
  • Fried Chicken– is a slice of fried meat usually served along with a vegetable as a side dish. But it is perfect when you partner it with a creamy and saucy dish. 
  • Fried Tilapia– is a fried fish perfect with our menu. 
  • Chicken Inasal– is another perfect dish that helps the featured Ginataan dish to highlight and stand out. 
  • Coke/Sprite- is another perfect drink to serve with a creamy vegetable dish.


If you want your children or picky eaters household to eat veggies, this featured dish would be the right answer. 

It is a portion of delicious food with many variations you could choose to recreate to make them love squash and other vegetables. You could cook it with pork, chicken, seafood like shrimp, crabs, and fish to make it more attractive and pleasing to them. 

Thus, we present to you all the cooking ideas, preparing, and making the featured vegetable dish. So, get your notes and pen to take it all. 

If you desire to know more about other Filipino vegetable dishes, you could check out our website for more outstanding dishes that you would cook and try for your family.

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Best Ginataang Kalabasa na may Malunggay

Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Vegetable recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 514kcal
Cost $5-$10


  • 1 lb Squash cubed
  • 3 cups Malunggay leaves
  • 2 cups Coconut milk
  • 1 pc Onion diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Shrimp shelled
  • 1 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 cup Shrimp stock


  • Heat oil in a cooking pot.
  • Saute garlic and onion until brown.
  • Add the shrimp and season with salt. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Then pour-in shrimp stock and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the coconut milk and stir well until it boils.
  • Put-in the squash and cover the pan. Cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Then add the malunggay leaves and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and transfer into a serving plate
  • Eat while hot! Enjoy.


Sodium: 755mg | Calcium: 927mg | Vitamin C: 418mg | Vitamin A: 12054IU | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 1200mg | Cholesterol: 81mg | Calories: 514kcal | Saturated Fat: 22g | Fat: 31g | Protein: 23g | Carbohydrates: 41g | Iron: 7mg
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