This flavorful slow cooker lentil curry is easily made with simple ingredients. This hearty vegan dish is a crowd pleaser! You’re sure to love the rich, creamy, dairy free sauce – it’s full of flavor.
When you’re learning how to cook for food allergies, it can be hard to find recipes that you love.
You might get stuck in a rut making simple, safe meals at first. Things like grilled chicken and vegetables, or safe noodles and pasta sauce.
Then you might venture out a bit, and start experimenting with new recipes and new ingredients. And you might be surprised at what you can come up with! I really believe that you can enjoy amazing food even when you have multiple food allergies.
This slow cooker lentil curry is one of those recipes that I just kind of threw together one day that turned into one of our favorite family dinners. It’s hearty, because of the lentils, and full of flavor from the tomato paste, coconut milk, and spices.
When I made this for the first time, it was one of those situations where you can’t stop eating…just a little more, and a little more, just a spoonful of sauce…it’s hard to walk away from. I think you’re going to love this easy curry recipe!
- Lentils – I used half regular green lentils and half French green lentils because that’s what I had in the pantry. You could use just green lentils, or just French green lentils, or even black (Beluga) lentils. If you use black lentils it may take a little bit longer to cook. I would not recommend using red lentils in this slow cooker recipe, because they will just turn to mush.
- Coconut Milk – You need to use full-fat coconut milk – the kind that comes in a can. The richness of the coconut milk is what gives this sauce it’s amazing texture.
- Tomato Paste – Tomato paste is really concentrated, and it adds a nice flavor to the sauce. If you don’t have tomato paste, you can use tomato sauce instead.
- Spices – Cumin, curry powder, ground ginger, and garam masala add a ton of flavor to this dish. This curry is very flavorful, but it’s not hot and spicy, so if you’re not a fan of spicy dishes, this just might be the dish for you!
Feel free to customize this lentil curry – it’s a very forgiving recipe.
- If you don’t have a red onion, try a sweet onion or white onion.
- No fresh garlic? Add some garlic powder or refrigerated minced garlic.
- Add different vegetables if you like – try carrots or potatoes.
Serve this curry over Jasmine or Basmati rice or quinoa. It’s also delicious with homemade vegan naan or fresh bread sticks. If you’d like to make a few types of curry, you could also try this spinach aloo palak or this cauliflower coconut curry.
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make this vegan dinner:
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Slow Cooker Lentil Curry.
Hearty lentils, peppers, and onions are cooked in a rich coconut cream curry sauce – this slow cooker lentil curry is a comforting dish for chilly nights!
- 1 red onion diced – you could also use a yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 yellow pepper diced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups green lentils or French green lentils
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste or ⅓ cup tomato sauce
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 3 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 ½ cups water
- cooked Jasmine rice for serving or Brown Basmati Rice
Place the red onion, minced garlic, diced pepper, and olive oil in the slow cooker.
Pick over and rinse the lentils and add to the slow cooker.
Add all the other ingredients and stir.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 ½ – 5 hours. Check periodically and add more liquid if needed.
Serve over cooked Jasmine rice.
Since models of slow cookers vary, your cooking time may be longer or shorter.
Nutrition facts are for the curry only, not the rice.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for about 4 days.
Hi there, I’m very tempted to try this recipe but don’t own a slow cooker. Would you have any tips on cooking on a normal electric stove? Thanks!
It should work fine on the stove. I would cook the onions with olive oil until softened, then add the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. It will probably take about 40 minutes or so to cook.
Incredible. I was concerned about cooking the green lentils from dry (as opposed to soaking over night). I’ve never heard of that before. I needn’t have been. I ended up adding about another cup of water in the cooking process. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to the letter. Everyone in the family ate it up. This is definitely going in our regular rotation. Thanks for sharing!
Wonderful, I’m so happy you liked it! Thank you for letting me know!
Just wanted to stop by and say this was delicious! It will be a new staple for me. Thank you :)
Awesome! So glad to hear it!
Thanks for the great recipe. I have it going in the slow cooker right now. I’ve made it several times. It it one of our favorites.
Hi, I just discovered your recipe and decided to try it since I needed to prepare something before leaving the house, and what is better for that than a slow cooker right?… well I followed your instructions and your ingredients exactly as you described and the results were amazing! This will become my go-to lentils recipe… I just wanted to leave my comment so you know how much I appreciated your recipe.
Thank you so much for letting me know! I’m so glad you liked it!
This is the most delicious, easiest meal I’ve ever made. My family was raving and keep begging for it. And I’m happy to oblige, because it takes just a few inexpensive ingredients being dumped into a pot and I’m on with my day! I live alone, too – my family just happened to be over for dinner – so one pot lasts me quite a few meals. I’m going to make it again tonight and get double ingredients for next week!
Thank you so much for letting me know! I am just thrilled that you love it! We really like this meal too! :)
This recipe is so good, it’s become a staple here. Adding sweet potatoes to it tomorrow night to switch it up. Thank you!
So glad you enjoy it! Sweet potatoes sound like a nice addition!
This looks amazing! Does it do well in the freezer?
I have never tried freezing it, so I don’t know. Sorry!
YES it does! I’ve done it several times, and it’s perfect. I just wait to add the water until I put it in the slow cooker. Ideally I thaw it overnight, but it also works fine with just a couple hours thawing on the counter. It may add 30 minutes to 1 hr to the cooking time.
So glad to hear that!
This is a fanatic recipe but cooking on low didn’t work very well for me. I ended up having to sauté for an additional 30-ish minutes after turning it up to high on hour 3. I’m trying again tonight on high for 4 hours. Fingers crossed!
I hope it worked out for you!
Can this be cooked on high, to cook faster?
Yes, just watch it, make sure the liquid level doesn’t get too low.
Sarah@Whole and Heavenly Oven
You’ve seriously got me craving lentils and curry right now, Kelly! This looks so cozy and comforting and I love that it’s made entirely in the crockpot!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice
I could shop at Target every day, it’s just too dangerous! This curry looks fantastic, Kelly! I’ve never made this in the slow cooker before, so I can only imagine how delicious it is!
This looks so comforting! Delicious :)
I’m always looking for more vegetarian slow cooker recipes!!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely
The dollar stop at Target is so dangerous! I go a little overboard there too. But hey, it’s only $1! This lentil curry sounds delicious. Love that it’s slow cooker.
Strength and Sunshine
Bring on the curry! And fall apparently :P It’s here and here to stay…even though I don’t want it!
I know, it’s here to stay I guess!