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Warming and comforting, this hands-off crockpot lentil curry makes enjoying a flavorful and rich curry dinner so very easy! Throw everything into your pot, set the timer, and let the delicious flavors meld. Earthy lentils absorb aromatic spices that are mellowed by the creaminess of the coconut milk and finished with bursting cherry tomatoes and fresh cilantro. Return to an effortless, satisfying curry dinner!
This crockpot lentil curry is so easy – almost too easy! You can even put all the ingredients in your slow cooker in the evening. Store it in your fridge overnight, then turn it on in the morning before you head out the door. When you come home 8-10 hours later, dinner will be waiting for you!
While the convenience factor alone is worth celebrating, it's the irresistible fusion of flavors that truly steals the show. The crave-worthy flavors meld together slowly for a well-balanced and nutritious curry that is as delicious as it is easy to prepare.
Crockpot curry lentils are made with a handful of wholesome and nutritious ingredients. This is what you need:
- Brown lentils: These tiny legumes are packed with protein and fiber! You can use green lentils if needed.
- Coconut milk: Use unsweetened coconut milk. Light coconut milk works, or you can opt for regular to make it extra creamy!
- Other ingredients: Fresh ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne powder, can of crushed tomatoes, head of garlic, onion, water, sea salt, cilantro, and cherry tomatoes.
- Optional: Cooked rice for serving.
How to make crockpot lentil curry
Making these crockpot curried lentils is so incredibly easy! With just minutes of prep time, it's a lifesaver on busy days or when you just want lots of flavor with minimal effort. These are the instructions:
- Throw it in: Pop everything (except the salt, coconut milk, cilantro, and cherry tomatoes) into your crockpot and set the timer. Walk away!
- Serve it up: When it's done, come back and stir in those final ingredients. Serve the curry on its own or with some steaming rice! Enjoy.
Adding vegetables to crockpot lentil curry
If you're looking to add a few of your favorite veggies, you can just pop them right in the crockpot for a little extra boost of nutrition. Depending on how hard the veggie is, you can either add it at the start, or towards the end of the cooking time.
- Add at the start: Cubed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, or cauliflower.
- Add at the end: Spinach, kale, green beans, or peas. If you'd like your bell peppers to maintain a little crunch you can add them in the last 20-30 minutes.
What to serve with crockpot lentil curry
Can I store leftover crockpot curried lentils?
You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. If you'd like to enjoy it beyond that, you can also stash it in the freezer for up to three months. Crockpot lentil curry freezes really well!
Can I use another type of lentil or canned lentils?
You sure can – just note that each variety of lentils will have a different cooking time. Green will have a similar time to brown, but red lentils or yellow lentils will cook much quicker, so would go mushy if you cooked them for this long.
The same goes for canned lentils. As they are already cooked, they'd turn to mush if you tried to use them in this recipe. If you want to use canned lentils, follow our coconut lentil curry recipe, adding the canned lentils while omitting the water, and simply heating them up.
How do you avoid the lentils remaining tough?
Lentils that have been sitting on the supermarket shelf or in the pantry for longer will take a long time to go soft, so check the date and ensure they're fresh. Add the salt towards the end of the cooking process.
What do the whole cumin and coriander seeds taste like?
The cumin seeds meld into the curry, adding flavor but not being too noticeable. The coriander seeds stand out, giving a little pop of flavor when you bite into them. If you're worried that the flavor will be too strong, you can use ground cumin and ground coriander instead.
- 1 ½ cups dried brown lentils
- 2 tablespoons ginger (minced)
- 1 tablespoon EACH: cumin, coriander, turmeric
- Optional: 1-2 teaspoons cayenne powder
- 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 head garlic (chopped)
- ½ medium onion (finely minced)
- 3 cups water
- 15 ounce can coconut milk
- 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- A few handfuls of cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- Optional: cooked rice for serving
- Add the dried brown lentils, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, if using the cayenne, crushed tomatoes, garlic, onion, and 3 cups of water in your crockpot. Put the lid on and set the timer for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.1 ½ cups dried brown lentils, 2 tablespoons ginger, 1 tablespoon EACH: cumin, coriander, turmeric, Optional: 1-2 teaspoons cayenne powder, 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, 1 head garlic, ½ medium onion, 3 cups water
- Stir the coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, cilantro, and cherry tomatoes into the curry. Taste and add extra salt to taste.15 ounce can coconut milk, 1 cup chopped cilantro, A few handfuls of cherry tomatoes, 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
- Serve the curry on its own or over a bed of rice.Optional: cooked rice for serving
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.