Serve this easy and flavorful coconut curry lentils dish with rice or flatbread for an easy and very satisfying meal.
There is something so comforting in a simple meal made with simple ingredients. And this meal couldn’t be more quick, easy, or comforting. These coconut curry lentils require less than 10 ingredients and only a few minutes of prep work. The stove does all the work!
This lentil dish has a tomato base flavored with cozy spices like garam masala, turmeric and paprika. I like to add a little frozen veggies to help bulk up the meal and add a touch of color, but the swirl of coconut milk and sprinkling of fresh cilantro at the end may be my favorite part. It’s completely vegetarian, but still full of so much savory flavor and heartiness. These lentils are one of my favorite easy weeknight meals!
Ingredients you’ll need
You likely have most or all of these ingredients in your pantry and freezer!
- Green lentils
- Canned tomato sauce
- Garam masala spice
- Ground turmeric
- Smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Coconut milk (you can use regular or light)
- Frozen peas and carrots
How to make coconut curry lentils
- Cook spices in butter. The hot butter will infuse with the flavor and oils of the spices, creating a deep and richer flavor.
- Cook lentils in tomato sauce till soft. Add lentils, tomato sauce, and water or broth and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer until lentils are soft but not mushy, about 35 minutes.
- Don’t forget to stir! While lentils cook, stir every 5ish minutes to make sure they don’t stick and burn to the bottom. If ever if seems like they are too thick or dry, add more water or broth.
- Stir in veggies and coconut milk. When lentils are done, add frozen peas and carrots and stir in coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Top with fresh cilantro and serve. Spoon lentils over rice or serve with flatbread for dipping.
These coconut curry lentils are probably even better the next day. Save some leftovers if you can!
Other easy weeknight meals to try
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Homemade Marinara Sauce with pasta
- Sheet Pan Sausage and Potatoes
- Instant Pot Thai Chicken
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Coconut Curry Lentils
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water or broth , plus more as needed
- 1 cup green lentils
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 14 oz can coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- Fresh cilantro
- Melt butter in pot over medium low heat. Add spices and cook for 3-4 minutes until aromatic.
- Add tomato sauce, water or broth, lentils, and salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot with a lid, and cook until lentils are soft but not mushy, 35-40 minutes. Be sure to remove lid and stir lentils every so often to prevent sticking and burning. Add more water/broth as needed.
- Add frozen vegetables and stir in coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Top with fresh cilantro and serve with rice or flatbread, or as desired.
- You can use either water or broth (chicken or vegetable) in this dish. Water will keep this dish simpler, but broth will add more flavor.