Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

It’s HOT outside, so I’m experimenting a lot with my slow cooker this week. Slow cookers are awesome not only because they’re mostly hands-off, but also because they contain their heat well and don’t cause that dreaded ambient heat rise in  your kitchen. So, while I totally could have just boiled these Coconut Curry Lentils on the stove top, I saved myself some steam and sweat by cooking them in my slow cooker.

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Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

A bowl of Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils garnished with red onion and cilantro

How to Serve Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

My only issue with using my slow cooker a lot in the summer is that slow cooker recipes are often warm and heavy, more like winter recipes. To freshen these Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils up a bit, I topped them with finely diced red onion and a liberal sprinkle of chopped cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro, you can add some sliced green onion for a similar effect. For even more freshness, try adding a dollop of plain yogurt and a squeeze of lime juice.

Can I Freeze Coconut Curry Lentils?

This recipe makes a lot but luckily it freezes well–rice and all! Just portion everything out into single serving freezer safe containers, chill completely in the refrigerator, then transfer to the freezer.

What Size Slow Cooker Should I Use?

This makes a super big batch of lentils, so I would suggest using a 6-quart slow cooker. I use a very basic slow cooker from Hamilton Beach, which is so old that it’s not in production anymore, but you can find a similar slow cooker here. (affiliate link)

See This Recipe in Action:

 
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4.73 from 90 votes

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils are an easy, hands-off, fiber filled, freezer friendly vegan dinner. 
Keyword: Crock Pot, Slow Cooker, Vegan, Vegetarian
Total Cost: $9.86 recipe / $0.99 serving
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 10 cups

Ingredients

COCONUT CURRY LENTILS

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.37)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 cups brown lentils ($1.36)
  • 1 sweet potato (about 3/4 lb.) ($0.98)
  • 2 carrots ($0.22)
  • 3 Tbsp curry powder (hot or mild) ($0.45)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional) ($0.03)
  • 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes ($0.65)
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce ($0.99)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth* ($0.39)
  • 14 oz can coconut milk (full fat) ($2.47)

FOR SERVING

  • 10 cups cooked rice ($0.99)
  • 1/2 red onion ($0.40)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro or green onions ($0.40)

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Peel the sweet potato and carrots. Dice the sweet potato (1/4-1/2 inch cubes) and slice the carrots.
  • Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, carrots, lentils, curry powder, cloves, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. Once cooked, the lentils should be tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed.
  • Stir the can of coconut milk into the lentils. Taste and adjust the salt or other spices as needed (the amount of salt needed will depend on the type of broth used and the salt content of the canned tomatoes).
  • To serve, add 1 cup cooked rice to a bowl followed by 1 cup of the lentil mixture. Top with finely diced red onion and fresh cilantro.

Video

Notes

*I use Better Than Bouillon to make my vegetable broth.
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Side view of a bowl of Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

Overhead shot of Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils in a bowl

Step by Step Photos

Lentils and Vegetables in Slow Cooker

Dice one onion (it’s under all that stuff) and mince two cloves of garlic. Peel one sweet potato (3/4-1 lb.) and peel two carrots. Dice the sweet potato and slice the carrots. Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, and carrots to the slow cooker, along with 2 cups uncooked brown lentils.

Tomatoes and Spices in Slow Cooker

Also add one 15oz. can of petite diced tomatoes, a 15oz. can of tomato sauce, 3 Tbsp curry powder (mild or hot–your preference), and 1/4 tsp ground cloves. I’ve decided that I really like cloves in my curry, but if you’re not a clove person you can leave it out.

Sharwoods Curry Powder

This is the curry powder I use, BTW. It’s just something I picked up at the grocery store, but it has pretty good potency. Curry powders can vary quite a bit from brand to brand in both flavor and potency, so you might have to experiment to find one that you like. I like to buy mild curry powder and then just add cayenne to dishes when I want things spicy.

Vegetable Broth in Slow Cooker

Finally, add 3 cups vegetable broth to the slow cooker and give everything a good stir.

Slow Cooked Lentils

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. If your slow cooker runs extra hot or doesn’t hold in moisture well, keep an eye on the cooker to make sure the lentils are not drying out. If they begin to look dry or burned on the edges, add more water. After cooking the lentils should be tender and most of the broth absorbed.

Add Coconut Milk to Slow Cooked Curried Lentils

Stir in one 14oz. can of full-fat coconut milk. Give the lentils a taste and adjust the salt or other spices if needed. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of your vegetable broth and canned tomatoes. Mine had plenty of salt, so I added none. If you find the lentils to be bland at this point, add a 1/2 tsp of salt or so to see if that makes the flavors pop.

Finished bowl of Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils topped with red onion and cilantro

To serve the lentils, add 1 cup cooked rice to a bowl, followed by 1 cup of the coconut curried lentils. Top with finely diced red onion and fresh cilantro (or green onions if you’re not a cilantro person). Other optional toppings include: plain yogurt, a squeeze of fresh lime, or thinly sliced jalapeños. 

Close up of a forkful of Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils

These Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils are sure to fuel ALL of your summer adventures! :D

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils are a hands-off, fiber filled, freezer friendly vegan dinner. Budgetbytes.com