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Yumlicious Lentil Curry

You’re shocked, right? No chocolate, and no sprinkles today!

You might not know it from my recent posts, but I promise I don’t sit around all day eating chocolatey desserts… Today I’ve decided to break the “desserts-only” streak, on which I’ve been for the past month or so, with a savory recipe featuring one of my fave legumes: the lentil!

vegan lentil curry

When I do make a lentil dish, I always say to myself, “I should cook with lentils more often!” Such was the case with last night’s dinner.

vegan lentil stew

Yumlicious Lentil Curry

(Lentils… perfect for Lent!)

  • 2-4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • Optional: 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 3 minced garlic cloves (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) lentils (See the note below this recipe, in regards to whether to use 1 cup uncooked or cooked)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped (I use 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • optional: pepper (I only use a small dash)
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality red wine vinegar
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes with a knife until they are coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes (and the juice in the can), lentils, broth, curry powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Check occasionally to be sure the liquid is still simmering.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to sit covered for another 10 minutes. Add the vinegar. Season to taste and serve hot. Enjoy!

Cooking Mishap!

The original recipe, based off one from The Barefoot Contessa, is supposed to be for lentil curry. So I could not figure out why mine looked more like soup. Finally I realized: when it called for 1 cup lentils, it meant un-cooked. I’d used 1 cup canned! Oops!

All was not lost, however. I simply drained the liquid and poured it into a separate container. This gave me the curry for which I’d hoped… and now I had the most delicious, broth-y soup, besides. Two dishes from one recipe!

vegan curried lentils

And just because it wouldn’t be a CCK post without chocolate…

Chocolate Cake Batter Shake 

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Published on March 25, 2011

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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120 Comments

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  1. Danni (Healthy Kitschy Vegan) says

    It is kind of fun when you screw up a recipe and it ends up being kind of awesome. That sorta happened to me the other day. I was making a madras curry from 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East, and HATED how it turned out. So I imagined what I wanted it to taste like, and made a freaking DELICIOUS curry-like dish that I am going to make quite often now!

  2. catalinamaya says

    I just made this as dinner for parents and myself; the aroma and taste is moksa as the Hindus would say – it’s like Vishnu the Preserver has taken another avatar as the curry itself! 😀

    All jokes aside, my father, who is famous for his own Indian chicken curry, and my mother, being half Indian has grown up on curries, both said it was delicious, and between the three of us, we devoured the whole recipe!

  3. Amy says

    I made this today, and it turned out great! My grandma, who pretty much won’t eat anything that I call healthy, loved it!

  4. Heather says

    Katie,
    So I know this is a pain but I am a calorie counter and am making this recipe for dinner this week was wondering what the nutritional break down is for a serving I saw that it served 6. Do you happen to have that available?

  5. Paula says

    re: vegetable stock — Katie how do you acquire yours … do you make it from scratch, buy it, maybe use vegan bouillon? I wind up buying the Imagine or Pacific brand but it gets a bit expensive. If you make your own stock, please share at some point. Thanks in advance.

    This looks delish

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      I don’t really like the taste of the Imagine veg one, but I do like their No-chickn broth.
      I wait until I find coupons, and I always freeze what I don’t use in ice cube trays, so at least I never waste any. Yeah, I should probably make my own… but I pay for convenience :-(.

  6. Jade says

    Oh this is just so yummy, I can’t believe how much of it the recipe makes as well, I’ve got enough easily for a week’s worth of food here! I didn’t have any courgette but I’ll definitely try it with it next time.

    I love your blog Katie, I’m not a vegan, I’m not even a vegetarian, but your recipes are so wonderful they are definitely making me considering turning veggie (not sure about vegan though, I am far too much of a cheese lover unfortunatley!!).

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Haha I hear you on the cheese thing! Oddly enough, I used to be the BIGgest cheese lover… my aim screenname even had “cheese” in it! I moved to China, though, where they don’t eat much cheese and so I wasn’t eating it anymore and suddenly found I’d lost my taste for it. It was the weirdest thing, because I could eat a bowl of macaroni and cheese like nobody’s business lol.

      In any case, I’m glad you like the recipes! No one says you have to be vegan to enjoy vegan foods, right? 😉

  7. Paula says

    Yes, but as someone who had breast cancer, I feel a caring duty to tell people that dairy is bad news any way you look at it.

  8. Paula says

    Is there a particular colored lentil that is best? I have a lot of red lentils in the house. They tend to cook up very fast and get soft. So I guess I’ll have to watch them.

    Anyway just wanted to know people’s preferences on lentils for this recipe. Thanks in advance.

  9. Paula says

    By green, I take it you mean the ones used for green split pea soup. That’s cool. I do prefer the yellow when I’m using curry … I just like it better color-wise. Well, I just got back from supermarket and got me a bag of brown lentils. But for now I’ll use the red lentils and see how it comes out. This will be my first try at one of your non-dessert recipes. Will report verdict 🙂

  10. Paula says

    I have only used red lentils in the “Fat Free Vegan” version of Isa’s chickpea cutlets called Quinoa & Red Lentil cutlets. It seems a bit too mild … it’s good … but I think I like the chickpea one better.

  11. Paula says

    Verdict: Mmmmm mmmmmm good! Spunky, especially with the dash of red wine vinegar at the end. I used a can of crushed tomatoes instead of plum tomatoes, but there’s no real difference in the end, is there? I cut down on the salt, and was careful with the curry, using only 1 tsp at first, but found it wouldn’t be overkill to add the other at the end.

    This a real nutritious winner Katie! So grateful you do what you do with these easy delicious VEGAN (no animal harmed!) recipes.

  12. Paula says

    I’ve made this twice now, first with the crushed tomatoes and second with the plum tomatoes. I think I like the crushed tomatoes better … it comes out thicker and makes the house smell like there’s spaghetti sauce cooking. Still a great recipe, and delicious cold. My boyfriend thought it could use a little something else. Maybe I’ll put some cubed potatoes in it next time.

  13. Sally says

    I made this recipe tonight for our dinner with some cheesy cornbread. Mmmm! I did substitute sweet potato for the carrots and celery for the zucchini since we didn’t have either. Turned out well too. Thank you for your many tasty recipes!

  14. Erin says

    I feel a bit strange commenting on a post made over a year ago, but I just wanted to say I made this tonight for the first time and it was incredible! 😀 I was a little skeptical at first because it didn’t LOOK all that great… but mmmm 🙂

  15. Leigh Benigni says

    My husband and I are SO VERY THANKFUL we found your blog. As new vegans we were struggling with what to make for everyday lunches and dinners. Plus, we have two children and this makes it a little more challenging to find things that they will find yummy too. I can’t tell you how much ti means to find easy to make everyday dishes using ingredients that I can find at our local market. THANK YOU CCK!!!

  16. Barbi says

    Please make lentil based desserts :] Haha. I’m vegan and gluten-free, and like you I always need my cocoa fix. And often put cocoa into ‘odd’ foods like beans, rice, and avocados. Just now I mixed cocoa powder in some plain lentils and it wasn’t great but I feel like you could master something out of it! Absolutely love your blog, have for safe to say over a year. Thank you for it.

  17. Ciara says

    I made this for dinner tonight for me and my meat loving boyfriend and even he couldnt get enough Katie u are a genius!! Will def make again

  18. N says

    Looks yummy! But curry is supposed to be soupy- your liquidy version looks way more like curry than the drained one! I think maybe non-liquidy curry is a Western interpretation? Not sure but in most traditional curries, the soupy part IS the actual “curry”

  19. Pamela says

    Thanks for this recipe, Katie! I made it for the second time last night, because it seemed like the perfect dish on a snowy evening. Like you, I always forget about cooking with lentils, but love them every time I do. I started following you for your dessert and oatmeal recipes, but I really love all your savory dishes. Tonight we are going to have your Mexican Tamale Pie 🙂

  20. Gail Fuller says

    Made this tonight – my first time trying lentils. My 2 year-old twins and I LOVED it! We’ve been slowly trying all of your dinner recipes and have loved every single one. I’ve been desperate for some new recipes so I was so happy to find your site and excited to try even more recipes. Thank you!

  21. Kim says

    Would this freeze well? I cook and freeze meals for my daughter to eat while away at college and this recipe looks amazing!

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      I cook and freeze many of Katie’s recipes, and they all hold up well, just as good heated up as when fresh.

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