A quick & easy weeknight dinner, 15-Minute Lentil Veggie Curry is budget & pantry-friendly, vegan, deliciously creamy, and with an oil-free option.
Embrace fall with this hearty sweet potato and lentil curry. This dish is loaded with nutrients, including plant-based protein. Plus, it's creamy, and sensationally delicious.
This recipe was inspired by my Chipotle Chickpea & Tofu Stew, and my Tempeh Lentil Stew with Potatoes on this site.
- Brown, Green or Puy lentils
- Oil (optional)
- Yellow Onion
- Curry Powder
- Garam Masala
- Ground Cumin
- Ground Coriander
- Sweet Paprika
- Coconut Milk
- Vegetable Broth
- Tomato Puree
- Sweet Potato
- Baby Spinach
See recipe card for quantities.
This 15-Minute Lentil Veggie Curry is so easy to make, you could almost do it in your sleep! (Please don't try this. It would be a very dangerous endeavor!)
Cook the lentils in water or vegetable broth until al dente. (Cooking them in broth adds more flavor, but water works just fine.) Do not overcook the lentils or they'll become mushy. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the spice mix by combining the 6 spices. It's easier to combine them before you start cooking the curry, so your ginger and garlic don't burn while you are desperately trying to measure each one separately.
Cook the aromatics and the spices before adding the liquids to develop more depth of flavor.
Add the liquids and sweet potato.
When your 15-Minute Lentil Veggie Curry is done cooking, season with salt, and fresh lime juice to taste. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with a grain of your choice.
- Neutral Cooking Oil - instead of oil, you can use broth to cook the aromatics for an oil-free curry
- Rice - Serve with naan, or a whole grain of your choice
- Coconut Milk -Use Lite coconut milk to reduce saturated fat, though it won't be as creamy
- Spicy - Add minced green chili when you cook the aromatics
- Kid friendly - Reduce the spice by using a mild curry powder
The Easiest Thai Red Curry Noodles on my website is another quick cooking coconut curry!
Use a fine grater or microplane to grate the ginger. This adds more flavor to the dish.
Refrigerate any remaining curry in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
These ingredients stand up well to freezing if the sweet potato is not mushy.
💡 Top tip
For all recipes with multiple spices, measure and combine the spices beforehand so they can be added all at once.
Brown lentils are higher in fiber than green lentils. Plus, brown lentils are milder and more earthy in flavor. Green lentils have a robust peppery taste. Green lentils have a slightly longer cooking time because of their firmer texture. This means they hold their shape slightly better too.
Green and brown lentils can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
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15-Minute Lentil Veggie Curry
- ⅔ cup dried brown lentils or green or Puy
- 2 tablespoons neutral flavored cooking oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 inch ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 14 ounces unsweetened coconut milk canned
- 1 cup vegetable broth plus more as needed
- ½ cup tomato puree or strained tomatoes or tomato passata
- ¾ pound sweet potato (about 2 small) peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups baby spinach packed
- Fresh lime juice to taste
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro for garnish
- Cook the lentils: In a small saucepan, combine the lentils with 2 ½ cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the lentils are al dente, adding more water as needed to keep the lentils submerged. Drain and set aside.
- Make the spice mix: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the curry powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric. Set aside.
- Cook the aromatics and spices: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion for about 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, and spice mix. Cook for one minute more, stirring constantly.
- Add liquids and sweet potato: Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, tomato puree, and sweet potato and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potato is just fork tender. Add more broth as needed to keep the sweet potato submerged.
- Add lentils, spinach and season: Stir in the cooked lentils, and spinach and cook until warmed through. Add lime juice to taste. Season with salt. Garnish with cilantro.
- For oil-free, substitute the cooking oil for vegetable broth when cooking the aromatics and spices.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.
We loved this! I am so glad I found your site through your Insta. It's a rainy, cold night and this curry was perfect. Simple and satisfying and the flavor was WOW out of this world. Big fan.
So happy to read this. Thanks for taking the time to let me know.
I'm very grateful that I found your recipe. Hands down, this is the best curry I've every had. I made it 3 times in about 10 days. My friend loves curry and is a vegan. I put more garlic and ginger. I added 3 cans of coconut milk. Put dino kale instead of spinach. Didn't add lime or cilantro. My family and my friend said it was soooooo good! I am very, very appreciative for you sharing this recipe. With much aloha, Neal
Thank you Neal for letting me know. I'm so glad you are enjoying it. Have a great week.
So grateful I found you and your beautiful recipes! I started by following you on IG and really love your site also.
For this lentil dish, have you made it in 1 pot? Like add soaked uncooked lentils along with the sweet potato at the same time... Or do you think the lentils must be cooked separately?
Thanks so much, many blessings!
Hi. Thank you so much for your kind words. For this recipe, I cooked the lentils separately (and simultaneously) until al dente, and then added them to the curry. This is because they will take longer to cook with the acid from the tomatoes, plus I did not want the sweet potato to become mushy. I hope this helps.
Hey Nisha, wondering what a good sub would be for coconut milk? Would another milk free option work? I know might not be as creamy? Thx!!
You can omit the coconut milk and add more vegetable broth for desired consistency. Or use oat or cashew milk.
I've made this a few times now, so perfect! Cheers Nisha!
Yayyy. So glad it's on repeat! Thank you.
This is my favorite lentil recipe! So quick and delish!
Makes my day. Thank you.