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.
I love this recipe! I make it all of the time, and I’ve recommended it to many friends/family members. It is easy to prepare and always tastes delicious. :)
Yay! So happy to hear that!
Made this before and loved it!
I only have red split lentils in the cupboard today will these work the same?
My question too! Did it work?
I love this recipe! Can it be made as is in an instant pot?
I would like to make this, but my children don’t like any spicy food (the best they will eat is butter chicken).
Could you tell me how spicy this is? and can the amount of spices be reduced?
This is actually pretty mild, depending on the curry you use. and cut back a little on the ginger if your kids are really sensitive. The coconut milk helps mellow things out.
Garam Masada and curry powder do not contain heat ingredients.
Hi Kelly, thanks for the delicious, hearty, and simple recipe.
I just have a quick question – is the calorie total per serving (376kcal) with or without rice?
The nutrition facts are for the curry only, no rice.
How much is a serving? 1 cup?
Yes, about that!
I loved making this so healthy and nutritious I added a fresh green chilli for an extra kick absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe! Its become one of our family favorites!!
Made this last night and it was lovely. Going to have whats left with steamed fish tonight, Thank you
Going to try this recipe this week. It looks delicious! Would like to avoid using sugar. Can I simply leave this ingredient out or would you recommend a substitute?
You could leave it out!
I love Indian food and thought this recipe looked great. I had never tried lentils before and they are going to be something I cook with often now. I’m a vegetarian and my boyfriend is not, but he was crazy about the dish too! Great recipe, very happy with the results. Thanks!
Have to try this!
Funny that you associate slow cookers with fall. IMO, summer is the perfect season to get out the Crockpot because it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
Thanks for this great recipe.
That’s a good point!
Will reduced fat coconut milk work?
Yes, it just won’t be quite as creamy.
Did you pre-soak your lentils? Or just placed the dry lentils straight into the crock-pot?
Just put the dry lentils in the crock pot! After rinsing and picking them over first.
I realize I am late to the party for this recipe, and I don’t normally comment. However, you need to know that this is the favorite recipe I have ever tried on my family. It’s everything. It has my whole family eating lentils, something we NEVER. EVER. did before (including me). It’s super cheap, and many of the ingredients are easy to keep around in the pantry. It’s a perfect slow cooker meal–just dump and run. It even freezes well ahead of time. All my processed-food-loving, salted meat aficionado, picky eater children (and adults) eat it, ask for seconds, and fight over who gets the leftovers the next day. I’ve made it at least five times, and I have three more in my freezer to get us through the winter. I don’t know what the magic is here, but I just needed to say thank you. Can’t seem to select a rating, but I give it five stars!
Yay, I am so happy to hear that you love this recipe! Thank you for letting me know! The ratings are working now, I’m sorry it wasn’t before!
Wonderfully spiced and easy to prepare recipe.
So glad to hear this, thanks for letting me know!
I cannot use coconut milk (anaphylaxis response). Please could you suggest a suitable alternative.
Made this tonight and my husband and I loved it! Probably the best curry I’ve had at home. My 3 year old didn’t even die in disgust while eating it! Which is a rarity. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I did switch a regular onion for a red onion. I think I’ll do the same for future makings.
So glad you loved it! Thank you for letting me know!
This recipe was easy and excellent! Thanks for sharing :)
This was amazing. All I had was red bell pepper and orange/yellow lentils. It was fabulous. Thank you so much.
So glad you loved it! Thanks for letting me know!