This creamy Red Lentil Curry includes sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and just 9 other ingredients! Made in just one pot, it's also vegan, gluten-free, and healthy!
It's winter, which means soup/stew/curry season.
I personally love ending a long, chilly day with something cozy and comforting. And this red lentil curry does just the trick. It's easy to make, it's got an ultra thick, creamy texture and has just the right amount of spice.
We're using hearty sweet potatoes with high-protein, creamy red lentils for what I think might just be the ultimate vegan red curry!
All About Red Lentils
The three most common kinds of lentils at grocery stores here in the US are green, brown and red. All three are high in plant-based protein and fiber, are semi-quick to cook (in bean land at least), and are easy to incorporate into many dishes. They're probably also one of the most common legumes consumed across the world.
Red lentils are the sweetest and also the fastest cooking. They take about 15 – 25 minutes to cook. Unlike hardier lentils, red lentils don't hold their shape like other varieties. They will get mushy when cooked. This makes them perfect for things like red lentil dahl, but also for thickening soups and stews.
And that's exactly how we're using them in this red lentil curry: to thicken and to add protein!
How to Make Red Curry
Fundamentally, curries are pretty easy to make and can be easily customized. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of variations out there and they can be flavored in all sorts of ways.
Curry is also a classic dish in many cuisines including Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern, Korean, Chinese, Nepalese, etc. And each has its own flavor twist.
For this recipe, we're using Thai red curry paste to elevate the flavor of this vegan red curry without having to source a long list of ingredients.
To build major flavor in this vegan curry, you'll use
- Red curry paste. Make sure it's vegan––some curry pastes contain fish sauce.
- Coconut milk. I recommend full-fat, but light coconut milk also works.
- Ginger. This adds a nice amount of spice that's not hot.
- Garlic. For plenty of allium flavor.
You can add any veggies you like. Here's what I add:
- Sweet potatoes help bulk up the curry
- Lentils add protein and a creamy texture
- Tomato to round out the sweetness and elevate the flavor of the curry paste.
- And just a touch of vegetable broth to get everything cooking!
Steps to Make Easy Red Lentil Curry
This simple recipe uses just one pot and 11 ingredients. It's also ready in about 40 minutes, most of which is hands-off cooking. Here's how to put it together:
Start by sauteing the aromatics (garlic, onion and ginger) in oil in a large pot.
Next, add the tomato paste and red curry paste and let it become fragrant.
From there, add the sweet potatoes and lentils, followed by the coconut milk. Let this cook for a few minutes to infuse the sweet potatoes with coconut flavor.
Finally, add the vegetable broth and cook for another 15 minutes. Finish the dish with salt and pepper. Serve your warm sweet potato and lentil curry with cooked rice, cauliflower rice, and/or naan. Enjoy!
Bonus points… this curry can is great for meal prep! Let it cool fully, then freeze for up to six months. Defrost the curry overnight in the fridge, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave when you're ready to dig in.
More Healthy One-Pot Meal Recipes:
If you make this Sweet Potato & Red Lentil Curry, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!
Creamy Sweet Potato & Red Lentil Curry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 white onion , diced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste (I like this one)
- 4 cups cubed sweet potato (2 medium)
- 3/4 cup red lentils
- 1 (14.5 oz) can lite coconut milk (or full fat)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cauliflower rice to serve
- Cilantro for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or dutch oven. Add the onions and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the ginger, garlic and curry powder and cook for another minute.
- Once the mixture is starting to be fragrant, add the tomato and red curry pastes. Stir everything together until combined.
- Stir in sweet potato and lentils and cook for another 30 seconds before adding the coconut milk. Bring this mixture to a boil then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir in vegetable broth, then season with salt and pepper. Cover again and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Serve warm with rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, etc., as well as some cilantro. I also love serving this with a side of sauteed spinach or kale!