Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potatoes
Who’s ready to take it slow this weekend? Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potatoes and I are!
Between you and me, I’ve been struggling to cook healthy meals the last few weeks. Since starting this blog and now working on my cookbook, lack of options in the fridge isn’t a position I find myself in often; if anything, we have the happy problem of too many leftovers (not saying we are always in the mood for them, but we do have them!).
The usual blog/book food surplus combined with the fact that our old house wasn’t located near any tempting delivery options meant that for me, cooking dinner from scratch was always the more enticing option than ordering in.
Fast forward to our new place in the city. It’s been chaotic trying to stay caught up with work and unpack, and we now live in the center of the most tempting array of ethnic food options. For our first two weeks at home, we ordered delivery more times than we did our entire four years in the suburbs combined.
Now, I have no problem with delivery every now and then, but I don’t love the way I’ve been feeling after ordering it so many nights in short succession. Our monthly food bill is not loving it either.
This weekend, I’m excited to do some real meal prep and put us in a good position for the week ahead. We’ve been ordering Indian and Thai food the most (LOVE), but this time instead of picking up my phone, I’m pulling out my crock pot.
Healthy Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry—Better Than Delivery
Instead of pricey delivery, let’s both make this easy red lentil curry recipe! It was a regular on our dinner menu earlier this fall, and I’ve been craving its complex layers of spice, creamy texture, and the glowy feeling it leaves me with after I finish my plate.
If you are not ultra familiar with red lentils, then I am so pleased to introduce you to one of the least-expensive, best-tasting, and healthy foods on the planet.
If you are familiar with lentils, then you probably have this simple red lentil curry in your slow cooker already!
Humble and mild, red lentils won’t win a beauty contest, nor do they taste like much on their own. Cooked and spiced properly, however, they are marvelous: creamy but not mushy, hearty and filling, and a canvas for any number of flavors.
Today’s Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry is Indian-meets-Thai. I used Thai red curry paste, which is widely available and sold in the international food or Asian food section of almost any grocery store, and garam masala, which is a blend of many spices and a staple in Indian cooking.
You can find garam masala in the spice section of many grocery stores or online here. Once you have a bottle, in addition to this Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry, you can use it to make my healthy Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala, Paneer Tikka Masala, and Instant Pot Butter Chicken too.
Spices like garam masala and the red curry paste are key allies to cooking that is a) healthy (spice = big taste without extra fat), b) easy (you can measure one spoonful of one spice blend, instead of 10 of individual spices), and c) DELISH.
The sweet potatoes and lentils calm the spices so they are warm and flavorful but not hot, making this red lentil curry recipe accessible to more sensitive palates.
One of my favorite parts of Indian red lentil curry is how creamy it is. I love the way the sauce coats the rice and how rich it the texture makes even an ingredient as healthy as lentils taste.
In a restaurant, that creaminess often comes from cream (surprise!), but I’ve found that you can achieve a similar effect (and make the red lentil curry vegan) by using coconut milk. I used light coconut milk and the curry was plenty thick and satisfying for us, but if you wanted extra indulgence, you could use full fat instead.
For more ways to love lentils and treat yourself to a healthy delivery experience, don’t miss my Instant Pot Lentil Curry (a reader favorite!) and Instant Pot Lentil Soup. For extra veggies, this Slow Cooker Cauliflower Curry is tasty too.
Recommended Tools to Make Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potatoes
- Slow cooker: I like that this one switches to “keep warm” at the end of the cook time.
Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry with Sweet Potatoes
- 2 cups dried red lentils
- 6 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato — (about 3 medium)
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 small shallot — finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic — minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 cup canned light coconut milk
- Cooked brown rice or quinoa
- Fresh cilantro — (highly encouraged)
- Lemon or lime wedges — (optional but tasty)
Coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Rinse the lentils, then add them to the slow cooker. Add the sweet potato, vegetable broth, water, shallot, curry paste, garam masala, turmeric, sugar, ginger, salt, garlic, and tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 7 hours, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk. If you’d like a thinner consistency, stir in additional broth or water.
Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve hot over prepared brown rice or quinoa. Garnish with lots of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1.5 cups) — Calories: 354, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 66g, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 17g, Protein: 17g
Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!
This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.