Quick & Easy Slow Cooker Curried Lentils
Meet a hearty vegan, dairy-free dish that’s crock-pot friendly and a crowd pleaser!
This flavorful slow cooker lentil curry is one of the easiest curries you can make and a comforting dish for chilly nights.
Hearty lentils, peppers, and onions are cooked in a rich coconut cream curry sauce. Cumin, curry powder, ground ginger, and garam masala add a ton of flavor to this dish without a lot of heat and spice.
What’s even better is that prep time takes 5 minutes. Put all the ingredients into your slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4- 5 hours until lentils are cooked through. Time for dinner!
Serve over Jasmine or Basmati rice or quinoa. It’s also delicious with fresh bread sticks.
Why we love these ingredients
Lentils became popular during World War II as an affordable meat substitute. Today, research shows that these tiny beans can make a significant difference to your overall energy and health.
Lentils are packed with plant-based protein—only soybeans contain more. The protein in lentils supports healthy muscles, bone density and skin. It can also help you manage your appetite, because it makes you feel full faster.
They’re also a great source of fiber to fuel the good bacteria in your gut and
keep your digestive system moving. What’s more, lentils are gluten free, which makes them a great option for vegetarian and vegan diets
Bell peppers add a dash of bright color and high nutritional value. Peppers contain Vitamins A, C, E and Folate and are a great source of antioxidants and gut-healthy fiber.
Garam Masala is an Indian spice mix that can make even the blandest of meals interesting. But there’s so much more to it than taste! In Ayurveda, Garam Masala is known increase ‘digestive fire’, which means it supports regularity and healthy transit time. Other research shows it supports a healthy heart and blood pressure and reduces inflammation.
Some pro tips to get you started
Cooking your onions well and allowing your spices to bloom at low heat before you add everything into your slow cooker will result in a deeper and heartier lentil curry. Yes, it is one more pot to clean up but trust us when we say your efforts will be rewarded.
Lentils are available in different colors. You can use green or black lentils [although black lentils may take longer to cook.] Stay away from red lentils, though—they don’t hold up well in the cooking process and you’ll end up with a pile of mush.
We recommend full-fat coconut cream – the kind that comes in a can. The richness of the coconut cream is what gives this sauce it’s amazing texture.
Looking to give your lentil curry more nutritional goodness? Try adding in some fresh spinach or arugula. And don’t be afraid to include more veggies, like carrots, parsnips, or potatoes.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. And yes, you can store it in the freezer for additional goodness at a later date.
Slow Cooker Lentil Curry
This savory meal is packed with flavor, health benefits and is easy to double up and store meals for a later date.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced or grated)
- 1 yellow or red pepper (diced)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced or crushed)
- 2 Tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
- 1-1/2 cups green lentils
- 2 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 7oz. diced tomatoes
- 1 14oz. can coconut cream
- 3 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 5oz bag of baby spinach [optional]
- Rinse and pick your lentils. Then set aside while you get your curry started.
- Heat your oil in pan over low-medium heat. Add your onions and diced pepper to the pan. Do not rush them to avoid burning at all costs. Cook slowly until they have softened and become fragrant.
- Reduce your heat to low and add your garlic and ginger. Allow to cook for a minute.
- Add your spices to the pan and allow them to cook slowly until they become fragrant and begin releasing some oil. Keep a close eye on the spices, stirring constantly to avoid any sticking or burning of the spices. Add a splash of water to the pan if you need to reduce the heat or add some moisture.
- Add all your ingredients (except your greens) to your slow cooker and stir.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 ½ – 5 hours. Check periodically and add more liquid if needed.
- Toward end of cooking time, add spinach and stir until wilted.
- Serve over cooked Basmati or Jasmine rice and enjoy!