This Red Lentil Curry is SUCH a delicious curry recipe ready in an hour! It’s made easily in one pot, is vegan and freezes so well!

This Red Lentil Curry is SUCH a delicious curry recipe made in under an hour! It's made easily in one pot, is vegan and freezes so well! via

Can I share a secret with you? It’s been a while since I last cooked. I mean, I’ve cooked to eat dinner, and oatmeal for breakfast, but after I created all those recipes for the ebook I went into a real and serious burnout mode. Writing a book is such a fun and challenging process, and at the same time, is a pretty exhausting process. I’ll say this – I don’t regret anything. I’m so glad to have finally created my first Jessica in the Kitchen product AND so grateful that the Mr. really took over with ALL the meals.

It feels amazing to be back and I’m really glad to be sharing this insane Red Lentil Curry. Oh my gosh. If you love my Coconut Chickpea Curry you’re going to FLIP for this.

This Red Lentil Curry is SUCH a delicious curry recipe made in under an hour! It's made easily in one pot, is vegan and freezes so well! via

First things first – thank you to everyone for the OVERWHELMING support I got for my ebook!! Honestly, you’re the best. It was the kind of motivation that I needed to jump right back into creating even more delicious recipes to share with you. This Red Lentil Curry is exactly that. Friends, this curry is SO flavourful! I know, I know, I say that all the time, but I HAD THIS FOR BREAKFAST.

This Red Lentil Curry is SUCH a delicious curry recipe made in under an hour! It's made easily in one pot, is vegan and freezes so well! via

Let’s pause right there. I *never* have anything but breakfast foods for breakfast. It’s sort of part of my life code – I love breakfast foods so much that I shan’t ever miss a chance to eat them. I broke that for this curry dish. I found a way to really infuse flavour into those lentils and to create a curry dish your entire family will (guaranteed) enjoy.

This dish reminds me of a dal that I enjoyed while in London that honestly changed my perspective. I’ve always loved Indian food, but I honestly haven’t been the biggest lentil fan. Of course I’ve made it in many recipes but after having Black Dal from Dishoom, I almost cried.This Red Lentil Curry is SUCH a delicious curry recipe made in under an hour! It's made easily in one pot, is vegan and freezes so well! via

Okay, so food gets me really emotional, obviously, but to this day I can vividly remember exactly how I felt after that meal. The flavour profile of that Black Dal was unlike any other. I hope to recreate it one day, but for now, this red lentil curry thoroughly reminds of that dal. I’m not 100% sure whether this curry contains what constitutes a dal dish, but I know for sure that it’s a true winner. All the ingredients here lend a helping hand – the spices, the tomatoes and onions, the coconut milk, the lime – they all come together to create a dish you’ll want to be making and eating over and over. The Mr. is literally eating it again right now as I type this.

This Red Lentil Curry is SUCH a delicious curry recipe made in under an hour! It's made easily in one pot, is vegan and freezes so well! via

I wanted the flavours to come together easily for you, so I went ahead and also added red curry paste to the dish. It really packs that punch I was looking for, and goes beautifully with the fresh spices included. P.S. I use this red curry paste which is vegan and gluten free. I’m now convinced I’ll be using lentils way more than I have been before. They’ve proven to be very versatile and really helped to stretch this dish to serve a LOT of people. It doubles so easily, and I love that it freezes really well. Perfect for the upcoming cold months.

P.S. the world is your oyster with this dish. Feel free to try this red lentil curry with spinach, tofu, cauliflower, and even potatoes! It’s easily customisable. Enjoy, friend!

This Red Lentil Curry is SUCH a delicious curry recipe made in under an hour! It's made easily in one pot, is vegan and freezes so well! via

P.S. This is what I used for this recipe!

This Red Lentil Curry is SUCH a delicious curry recipe made in under an hour! It's made easily in one pot, is vegan and freezes so well! via

Red Lentil Curry – Vegan, One Pot

Red Lentil Curry - Vegan, One Pot

Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Serves: 6-8
Category: 30 Minute Meals
Calories: 229
Get Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
  • Carbohydrates: 22.7 g
  • Fat: 9.1g
  • Protein: 10.3g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions OR 1 red onion (7g)
  • 14 ounces/400g fresh tomatoes, diced (if using canned, do not drain)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 13.5 ounces/383g can coconut milk
  • 1 small lime
  • garnish with red pepper flakes & chopped parsley
  • In a deep pot over medium high heat, add the coconut oil.
  • Add in the onions and tomatoes. Grind some sea salt and ground black pepper over the mixture and stir together. Lower heat to medium and allow to cook down until juices of the tomatoes are naturally released and onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
  • Add in all the other dry ingredients in order. Stir vigorously to combine to ensure the lentils aren't stuck to the bottom. Now add the water and coconut milk and stir again to combine thoroughly.
  • Bring the curry to a boil, and then reduce to medium-low so that the mixture continues to simmer for 35 minutes, cover slightly but allowing steam to escape. Stir occasionally to ensure the lentils don't stick to the bottom. Depending on the kind of lentils you're using, you can check around the 20 minute mark to see if your lentils have finished cooking.
  • Taste the curry and season with salt and pepper if you desire. Remove the curry from the heat and squeeze a lime lightly over the top of the curry, stirring to combine. Don't skip this step!! Allow to cool slightly and then serve. Enjoy!

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If you try this Vegan Red Lentil Curry please let me know in the comment section below, or tag me on instagram with the hashtag #jessicainthekitchen! For more exclusive recipes follow me on Instagram AND on Snapchat: jessinkitchen.



HOW TO STORE: You can store this curry in an air-tight container in the fridge for up a week. It’s an excellent candidate for freezing and can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.


1. This curry lasts for at least 5 days in the fridge as leftovers.

2. You can serve with whole wheat naan bread, basmati rice, or even crispy tortilla chips.

3. You can add so many extra ingredients to this curry. I love adding spinach and other veggies to add even more flavour and body to it.



1. Crushed red pepper flakes: I would start with 1/4 teaspoon in the beginning so that that gets heated up with everything else. Taste and you can always add another 1/4 teaspoon.

2. Harissa paste: if you have a harissa or chili paste, you can stir a little in before the simmer part so that it can heat up with everything. Even sriracha can work.

3. Lastly, and my favourite, scotch bonnet pepper sauce which adds flavours and lots of heat. A few drops right before simmer again, and you can taste and decide whether you want to add more.

Tags: coconut, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Fall, Gluten Free, peppers, Spring, Summer, tomato, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter coconut, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Fall, Gluten Free, peppers, Spring, Summer, tomato, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
by Jessica

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  1. I can have this for the breakfast too. Looks super delicious and comforting, Jessica.

  2. Chantelle Lotter says:

    Hi Jessica, I made this curry last night, it was absolutely perfect! Even my carnivorous loving husband enjoyed it and said I can finally get my Meat Free Mondays, if I serve this curry again! 🙂 It was incredibly satisfying without being heavy. Absolutely loved it, so much so, I am having some for Breakfast right now! Lol

    • Jessica says:

      Hey Chantelle,

      Yay I am SO happy to hear this!! Also, YAY for breakfast lentil curry!! Thanks so much for your feedback!!

  3. val Anderson says:

    Have just made this and it looks really delicious

  4. Michelle says:

    Hi Jessica, do I just add dry lentils to the mixture or do these need to be cooked first before adding. Many thanks x

  5. Michelle says:

    Hi, do I just add dry lentils to the mixture or do these need to be cooked first before adding. Many thanks x

  6. Michelle says:

    Hi, do I just add dry lentils to the mixture? thanks x

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Michelle!

      You add the dry lentils to the mix. I hope that helps and that you enjoy!!

  7. Katelyn says:

    Jessica – this looks AMAZING!! I’ve been craving lentils and I think I want to attempt to make this tonight! xo

  8. Llona Noble says:

    Hi Jessica, I made this recipe for dinner last Thursday and it was delicious. I sent some home with my daughter, also, as her hubby is Vegan and they both loved it. I added chopped sweet potato, just to put a bit more ooompf into it and it was really lovely. I will do it again soon. Another great recipe. I haven’t been able to get coconut oil her in Australia, so I use Canola or Peanut oil, but it doesn’t seem to make it taste anything other than delicious!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Llona,

      Oh I’m SO happy to hear this! Also love your additions and so glad your daughter and her husband loved it too!! Thanks so much for sharing with me!!

    • Janet says:

      Hi Llona, I live in a country town in Victoria, Australia, and have been using coconut oil for at least 5 years. You can get organic virgin coconut oil from supermarkets in the natural food aisles, as well as in health food shops, and online. It’s readily available and worth getting hold of. I love it. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe, too.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi from Australia
      Coconut oil hides out in the health food section of the supermarket – in a jar rather than an oil bottle 🙂

  9. Jacky says:

    This was SO good. It’s even better the next day actually! Next time I”m going to make it then serve the following day. Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Jacky,

      Aww I’m so happy to hear this!! Thanks so much for letting me know and you’re so welcome!! I totally agree – it is SO good the next day!!

  10. Kelli says:

    Hi Jessica!

    This looks awesome! I’m new to meal prepping and making vegetarian/vegan meals. I think this will be my lunch for next week wth some brown basmati rice!

  11. Carys says:

    Love, live, love this recipe. It’s the first of the website I’ve tried and it was delicious! I added some chilli paste (just before the summer stage) and it really impressed my guests. It makes a great amount too so I don’t have to cook again today!
    Can’t wait to try more recipes

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Carys,

      Yay I’m so so happy to hear this!! Love your addition and I agree – it makes a great amount! Thanks so much for sharing with me!!

  12. Amy says:

    Oh. My. God!!!!! Winner!!!!!
    This was ridiculously delicious, and such a major yum for my guy who seriously would have eaten three (pasta sized) bowls of it if there was any more left. Thank you, Jessica!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Amy,

      Oh yay haha SO happy to hear you both enjoyed!! Wanting three pasta sized bowls is a HUGE compliment haha! You’re SO welcome and thanks so much for sharing your feedback with me!!

  13. Jessica Waldman says:

    Hi thank you for your awesome recipes I loved the flavors of this lentil curry but my lentils disintegrated perhaps my simmer was too high but maybe best to remind cooks to check lentils when soft and stop cooking between 20-30 minutes. Otherwise love your recipes and thank you ?

  14. Corinne From Beautiful British Columbia says:

    This lentil recipe is soooo delicious! I didn’t have fresh tomatoes on hand so I used canned fire-roasted tomatoes instead and it was amazing. Served with brown rice and my hubby said he could eat it everyday. Well guess what…he has ate the leftovers for the past 3 days straight and has loved it! I doubled the recipe btw ? thanks so much for your delicious recipes that you create and share. I have made 3 of your recipes in the last week and all were wonderful. Much love!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Corinne,

      Sorry I’m just seeing your comment! I am so so happy to hear that you and your hubby both enjoyed so much!! You’re SO very welcome and thank you so much for your comment!!

  15. Z says:

    Have you tried this in a crock pot? If so, what is the cooking time?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Z,

      No I haven’t, sorry Z! It might help to use a recipe already suited for a slow cooker, I hope that helps!

  16. Romy says:

    As you’re my go-to curry expert at the moment, since the chickpea curry two weeks ago was divine (!), this is cooking as we speak and I can’t wait to try it. Even the hubby, who is trying out a vegan diet, loved the other one, so here’s hoping this will be added to our frequent recipes. Judging by the smell, I have no doubt it will! ?☺️

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Romy,

      Sorry that I’m just seeing your comment! I hope you both enjoyed so much and thank you for your kind words!!

  17. Lana says:

    So delicious!!! Best curry I’ve ever made. I did add some chicken thighs and grated cauliflower and zucchini. I garnished with cilantro and fresh cherry tomatoes. I serves with short grain turmeric rice!!! The dish is totally yellow, looks nice w the garnish!!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Lana,

      I’m so happy to hear and thanks so much for letting me know!! Love your additions!!

  18. Maeve Watkins says:

    I made this red coconut curry tonight and it was absolutely divine. I had a few bites after our meal ended for a delicious dessert, too! My whole family LOVED it. Yum!!!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Maeve,

      I’m so happy to hear that!! Thanks so much for letting me know!!

  19. Brodie/Indiana says:

    YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Will be cooking again it was delish!! Thank you for your hard work getting this recipe together!

  20. Michelle says:

    This was absolutely delicious! My two meat eaters gobbled it up with nothing but praise. And it fed 3 of us (including two grown men) with plenty of leftovers. I plan to add it into my monthly menu. Thank you!

    • Jessica says:

      Hey Michelle,

      Yay I’m so happy to hear that!! You’re so welcome and thanks for sharing your feedback with me!!

  21. LaTisha says:

    Awesome recipe!! Everyone loved It!

  22. Nicole says:

    Do the lentils need to be cooked? Thanks

  23. Evelin says:

    Love your website. I tried this recipe tonight and cooked it for almost an hour and the lentils were hard. I’m used to eating very soft lentils, but I’m also used to green lentils, not red ones. Did I do something wrong? Or is that the consistency of red lentils?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Evelin! I know I replied in email to you, but replying here too in case anyone else has this problem! 🙂 Thanks so much for your comments re my website!! Oh no! Something definitely went wrong. Red lentils are very soft in texture and this curry is very much like a daal.

      It sounds like your red lentils were maybe very old. Sometimes when lentils are old they don’t cook well or at all. I really hope that helps!

  24. Simon Nightingale says:

    Jessica I make so many of your recipes & this one like all the others is delicious!
    I (and the family) love what you do.

  25. Ashley Elliott says:

    Easy to make, not too many ingredients, nutritious and delicious! My kind of recipe! I’ve eaten it for lunch twice, my husband ate it for lunch once, and we shared it for dinner once… And still had a bit of leftovers to freeze! Will make a double batch next time now that I know we love it and will freeze more. My only confusion is that it tasted a bit sweet for my liking – not sure if that stemmed from the onions or the tomatoes or the chili garlic sauce I stirred in near the end. Anyways, we still loved it! Thank you for the great new staple 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Sorry I’m just seeing your comment! I’m SO happy to hear that!! The curry shouldn’t be sweet so it sounds like the extra sauce you stirred in. Thanks again for your feedback!!

  26. Leirana Wolem says:

    Looks delicious. Mouth watering recipes. Really love the recipes.

  27. Sarah says:

    Hi! I can’t wait to prepare this, and I thought I had all the ingredients but it turns out I only have black lentils. I’m assuming they’re fine to use in place of red lentils…?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Oh, black lentils are so divine! Yes, you can use them in place, but they might cook a little bit faster than red lentils, so ensure to check them around the 20 minute mark like the recipe says. I hope you enjoy!!

      • Sarah says:

        Thank you so much for the response! I made this lentil curry for a NYE potluck & it was a big hit! The recipe doubles beautifully, and I’m eating a bowl of leftovers right now. I dare say, it tastes even better days later!

        • Jessica says:

          Hi Sarah,

          Yay!! I’m so happy to hear that!!! Thanks for sharing your feedback with me!

  28. Debra says:

    Just made this last night as we wanted something vegetarian for the start of Lent! I didn’t have all the correct ingredients and couldn’t get out to the shops so subbed in some ground pepper,cardamom and extra curry powder for the garam masala. I had no red curry paste so just added in some fresh red chili. I added in extra aubergine and spinach to bulk it up and served it over roasted sweet potato. It was so flavourful and my husband raved about it. I will definitely make this again and imagine it would be even more tasty with the correct ingredients. So delighted to find a really yummy vegetarian dish as we want to cut down our meat consumption. Thank you Jessica!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Debra,

      Sorry I’m just seeing your comment!! Thanks so much for sharing with me and you’re so welcome! SO happy that you and your husband enjoyed!!

  29. Brandi says:

    This was so good! Perfectly seasoned and so satisfying. Thanks!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Wow Thanks so much Brandi!! We’re glad you enjoyed it!

  30. Jill says:

    I just made the Red Lentil Curry – Vegan, it was very good. My husband and I are trying to eat more healthy dishes. Thank you for posting this recipe.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      You’re welcome Jill! We’re so happy that you enjoyed it! Thank you for trying and reading!!

  31. Diane says:

    Loved this recipe. My husband and son don’t generally like lentils but they really enjoyed this. Definately a keeper recipe thank you

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Diane! Thank you for this kind comment! We’re glad that you enjoyed this recipe!

  32. Nancy says:

    I made this and we absolutely loved it. I added in some cubes of butternut squash. I also adapted slightly as I am on Slimming World so I used Cocnut fry light for onions and substituted coconut milk with quark flavoured with coconut essence. I served it with cauliflower rice also delicious. The recipe has made enough for three meals for my husband and I and I will serve with something different each time. I took a taster for my friends to try (two are meat eaters) and they all loved it. I used extra red curry paste as I forgot to buy curry powder, what difference do you think that would make? I also forgot the very last thing, the lime but will remember to add that next time ? Thank you for such a great recipe. I am a new follower of your website from the UK. Nancy ?

    • Jessica says:

      Love your additions so much Nancy!! Extra curry paste is fine – it might be missing that curry flavour but will still taste amazing! Thanks for being here!

  33. Aurora says:

    This was literally one of the best curries I have ever had, home-made or at a restaurant! So yummy and moreish — I could have eaten the entire pan quite happily! So glad I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow <3 My omni boyfriend loved it too!

  34. Kelly Marlborough says:

    Hi Jessica, I am thinking of making this for my vegan relatives at thanksgiving. Do I use sweetened or unsweetened coconut milk? Also any other suggestions for a main dish? Thanks so much!

  35. Pat Bennink says:

    I tried this recipe last night and it was delicious! I added 125g spinach which I enjoy in a curry and served on basmati rice. Yummy! Thank you!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Pat,

      Thanks so much for sharing and so glad you enjoyed!! You’re so welcome!

  36. Dr. J says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. My wife and I love curry and Indian food in general. I made this last night; the only substitution was leaving out the coconut milk and substituting almond milk (added it at the end, after the lentils finished cooking). It was pretty good and definitely something we’ll make again, but to be honest we both felt the garam masala was way too heavy in this one. I might suggest cutting it in half and doubling the curry powder.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Dr. J we’re glad that you and your wife liked the recipe. Thanks for your suggestions we’ll definitely make the recipe again soon. when we do we’ll keep your suggestion in mind. Thanks for reading!

  37. Haley says:

    Hi Jessica! I made this for my roommates last night and it was amazing. I love how the coconut milk sweetens up the dish! I was afraid it would be too spicy, but it was just right. Thanks for sharing!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Haley we’re so glad that you enjoyed this recipe!

  38. Kiernan says:

    Delicious! I added some leftover spinach I had for extra greens and it blended perfectly. Every flavor blended seamlessly together, the mouthfeel of mushy lentils, tomatoes, and onion bringing softness to the rice. Just excellent. 10/10

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Wow what a nice comment thank you so much Keirnan. Thank you for reading and thank you for such a wonderful review.

  39. Kristy says:

    Hi Jessica!! I absolutely love your recipes!!! Question, what can I do to lessen the heat? I was about to purchase the red curry paste and saw the heat rating so I didn’t buy any. My son and I can’t handle spicy food 🙁

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Kristy thank you so much for reading! The coconut milk really reduces the spicy nature of the red curry paste, but if it is an issue you can definitely reduce it to a teaspoon or remove it all together, it may also be a good idea to remove the black pepper and red pepper flakes in the recipe as well. I hope this helps!

  40. Anna says:

    Made this on Saturday and have just had it for dinner (Tuesday), tasted amazing, there’s still left for tomorrow too 🙂
    We had warm wraps with it.
    Will definitively be cooking this again.
    Thank you

    Rating: 5
    • Jessica says:

      Hi Anna!

      Aww I’m so happy to hear that and so glad you enjoyed! Thanks so much for your feedback.

  41. Simon Nightingale says:

    Made this tonight & very very good! Thanks Jessica for this & all your recipes.

  42. Selina Noack says:

    I absolutely love this lentil curry. We’ve made it vegan as suggested but also love to use chicken breast from time to time. The vegan option is a lovely go to when I’ve got no meat in the house because all other ingredients are always in our house. It’s a perfect option for times when I have little time on my hands because it keeps so well in the fridge. The taste is always a winner for me. Greetings from Germany!

    Rating: 5
    • Courtney | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Selina,

      So happy to hear that you have enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for sharing all the way from Germany 🙂

  43. gerrie M smith says:

    Hi, Just making this and it doesnt say anything about when to add the garlic or ginger?

    • Courtney | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Gerrie! You can add the garlic and ginger to the pot when you add the onion and tomatoes.Thanks for reading!

  44. Sandy says:

    Made this 3 times in the last month for my daughter who has been vegan for around 4 months. She could eat this morning noon and night. So delicious. Going to try the garbanzo bean curry next time.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Wow Sandy this means so much to us we’re glad both you and your daughter like the recipe. Garbanzo bean curry is a go too over here so we hope you like that as well!

  45. Tracy Everett says:

    Really flavorful and easy to prepare. This one is another home run.

    Rating: 5
  46. Candace says:

    I came across this recipe when looking for flavorful ways to increase my veggie intake. I love this dish and the lime at the end really takes it to the next level. Best of all, I love that it freezes well!

    Rating: 5
    • Jessica says:

      Hi Candace,

      Oh amazing!!! So glad you loved this one too and yes I agree re the lime!! Thanks so much!!

  47. Helen says:

    Had to post just to say how absolutely phenomenal this was! I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve never had lentils before, but WOW. I was worried it might be too spicy as I can’t handle even the remotest bit of heat so I used much less red curry paste but it was just incredible and so well-received after a stressful manic Monday!

    Rating: 5
    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Oh wow thank you so much! We are so happy that you enjoyed it and that it made your Monday a bit better. Thank you again for reading and trying our recipe!

  48. Kelly says:

    What is Forbidden Rice and where do you get it, what brand do you recommend?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Kelly Forbidden rice is an ancient strain of rice that is packed with antioxidants its appearance is generally black/ purple. Lotus foods is our favourite brand. I hope this helps!

  49. Kylie Eberhard says:

    The red lentil curry is so easy to make and Devine.

    Rating: 5
  50. Alison says:

    Loved it! I didn’t have the red curry paste and cut back on the coconut milk to lower fat a bit. I added red and orange peppers and two zucchinis just to use it all up. Delicious! Thank you!

    Rating: 5

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