Coconut Red Lentil Curry (vegan)

Published on: 01/18/2023
red lentil curry recipe in bowls

This coconut red lentil curry is vegan is probably my favourite fall and winter meal. It’s easy to make, uses pantry staples (which means you can make it even when you don’t have much in your fridge), and it’s very filling – lots of protein, fibre and carbs! Add a salad, and it’s balanced!

Plus, it freezes really well. So, it’s perfect for meal prepping and batch freezing to make life easier for future you. Recipe is inspired by Bon Appetit’s Vegan Coconut Lentil Soup.

If you’re looking for other dinner ideas that are perfect for fall and winter, check out my Coconut Turmeric Carrot and Lentil Soup or Lentil Shepherd’s Pie here.

Why you’ll love this coconut red lentil curry

  • Quick & Easy: this is a set and forget kind of meal. There’s a little chopping to start, but then it simmers for 30 minutes, which means you can do other things!
  • Balanced: a balanced meal usually includes a source of protein, carbs, veggies and healthy fats. This curry has all of those things.
  • Meal prep: this recipe makes a lot of servings, so it’s something you can easily make for the whole week. And I would say it’s better after a couple days as the flavours blend.
  • Freezable: it also freezes really well. So if you don’t get around to eating it fresh, just freeze, thaw, re-boil and enjoy!

What you’ll need to make this recipe

You’ll need the following to make this tasty curry:

  • Red Lentils: the based on this recipe, providing texture, plant-based protein and fibre.
  • Coconut milk: add creaminess, and extra flavour. I usually choose full fat, but you can choose lite or a lower fat version to reduce the overall fat content.
  • Red chili flakes: these are optional, but I like to use them since they give a little heat without being too over-powering
  • Fresh ginger: this adds so much flavour. You can use a microplane to mince it. Or you can use ginger paste

Additions & Substitutions


  • Veggies: you can add kale (fresh or frozen) or spinach (fresh) to this to add some veggies. And I like to pair it with a side salad.


  • Diced tomatoes: the recipe calls for crushed tomatoes, but if you prefer more texture then you can use diced tomatoes.


Can you freeze red lentil curry?

Yes! That’s one of the greatest things about this recipe. It freezes so well. Makes sure it’s completely cooled before freezing. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, thaw it in the fridge and then transfer to a pot, bring to a boil, and then enjoy!

Is red lentil curry healthy?

It definitely can be! Red lentils are a good source of protein and fibre. This recipe uses garlic, curry, red chili flakes and fresh ginger to gives lots of flavour without adding additional salt or sodium. Add some kale to the curry, and enjoy with a salad on the side to add more veggies, fibre and micronutrients.

What to serve with red lentil curry?

I like to serve this curry on basmati rice, and with a large green salad on the side to make it a well balanced meal.

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red lentil curry recipe in bowls

Coconut Red Lentil Curry

My favourite cozy winter meal. Prefect for nights you don't have much in your fridge, because it uses lots of pantry staples. And it freezes well, making it great for meal prepping.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6


  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Large pot
  • 1 Medium pot


  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes (more if you like heat)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 796ml can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • basmati rice


  • Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Cook diced onion until fragrant and translucent.
  • Add ginger and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.
  • Add curry powder and chili flakes. Mix until well combined and the onion mixture is well covered in spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk, broth, water and red lentils. Stir until combined.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are cooked, 10-15 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes. Stir well until everything is combined.
  • Meanwhile, cook basmati rice according to directions on the package.
  • Let curry simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until reduced to a consistency you enjoy. It should be thicker than soup.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add basmati rice to a bowl. Ladle curry on top. Garnish with coriander and more chili flakes (optional). And serve with some warm pitas and a salad.
Keyword curry, high protein, plant-based, red lentil, winter

Lastly, if you tried this coconut red lentil curry recipe , let me know in the comments! TELL ME HOW YOU MADE IT YOUR OWN!

Follow me on instagram @harvesttablenutrition for more plant-based nutrition and cooking tips, tricks and info!


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Hi there! I’m Bailey!
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I’m a Plant-based Culinary Dietitian helping people transition to a plant-based diet, and showing the most delicious side of plant-based eating. Happy eating!

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