Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry

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When it comes to curry, the recipe possibilities are endless! This combination of red lentils and spicy red curry is just delicious and incredibly simple to prepare. Once the ingredients are tossed into your slow cooker and before you know it, the aromas of India have filled your kitchen. It’s a slow cooker recipe your whole family will love.

If you are new to cooking lentils, have no fear! With very little effort, these legumes offer awesome nutritional benefits. They are excellent sources of fiber and protein, are low in calories, and contain almost zero fat.


Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry

Yield: 8-10 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup |Calories: 199 | Total Fat: 2.9 g | Saturated Fat: 1.3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 528 mg | Carbohydrates: 31.4 g | Dietary Fiber: 14.4 g | Sugars: 3.5 g | Protein: 12 g | SmartPoints (Freetyle): 0 |


  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala (found in the spice section or see below for recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 (25 oz.) can tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • top with green onions
  • (serve with rice)
  • Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg


  1. Rinse the lentils and discard any bad ones.
  2. To your slow cooker, add the onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, curry paste, garam masala, and turmeric. Stir well.
  3. Pour tomatoes over the lentil mixture in the crockpot. Re-fill the can with water and add to the slow cooker. (Make sure that the lentils are covered with liquid!)
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours until the lentils are soft. Add salt to taste and coconut milk just before serving.
  5. If desired, serve Red Lentil Curry over a bed of brown rice or quinoa. Top with a fresh mint.

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29 Comments on "Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry"

  1. Ilene  April 28, 2014

    I made this tonight and it is very good… I could not find any curry paste so I just added 2 tsp curry and it's good too…

  2. Ilene  April 28, 2014

    I made this and it was really good… I turned the crock pot off for an hour while I went to the gym… OMG it was DELICIOUS when I cam back home from a good workout! I put it on a bed of brown rice…

  3. Jamie  July 7, 2014

    do you know if these freeze well after cooking?

    • SkinnyMs  July 8, 2014

      Jamie, Yes, cool this to room temperature and place in an airtight container to freeze. This should last in the freezer for 4 months.

      • Ilyse  August 29, 2014

        How would suggest reheating it?

        • SkinnyMs  September 2, 2014

          llyse, Allow it to thaw enough to remove it from the container, and then place in a partially covered heavy bottomed pot on the stove top over low to medium low heat. Enjoy:)!

  4. krystle  July 29, 2014

    made this tonight! was sooooo good! we served it over organic basmati rice 🙂 yum!!!

  5. Kelly L  August 21, 2014

    What size crockpot did you use – 4 qt?

    • SkinnyMs  August 22, 2014

      Kelly L, Yes a 4- QT crockpot size will work well. This recipe yields under 3 quarts.

  6. graham  October 8, 2014

    i'm using a slow cooker do i fill it to the top with water once i have added all the ingredients ? thanks

    • SkinnyMs  October 9, 2014

      Graham, Just put enough water so that the lentils are covered with liquid, no more than that.

  7. Katie  March 19, 2015

    Does this really make 8-10 servings. Planning to make it for friends and there will be 6 total. Wondering if I should double it?

    • SkinnyMs  March 19, 2015

      Katie, Yes, but the servings are smaller. If you're making it for a gathering where guests will probably eat larger servings, I would double it. You can always freeze or refrigerate the leftovers.

  8. Anne  March 22, 2015

    Hi! I want to make this during the week, but don't have a timer on my crockpot or six hours when I get home from work in the evening. Can it be cooked on high for less time? Thanks!

    • SkinnyMs  March 23, 2015

      Anne, You can cook this on the stovetop in 1-1/2 hours or leave it in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low.

  9. anessa  April 28, 2015

    I am so glad I tasted and cut the red curry paste in half before adding it to the mix, because 3tbsp would have been way too spicy (and I eat a lot of spicy food). Next time I make this recipe, I'll be cutting down on the paste even more. Perhaps the red curry paste I picked up at the Thai grocery store is spicier than what's in a regular grocery store? (The brand is Mae Ploy). Anyway, may be a good idea to have folks taste the paste for spice level before adding it to the mix. I've seen other recipes call for 5tbsp, and I'm just like "nope."

  10. Yvonne  February 6, 2016

    I am making this now and adding chicken to up the protein. Thank you soooooo much for my my food life more tasty! ?????

  11. Kristen RD  February 24, 2016

    Hi! I’m experimenting with lentils in a bolognese sauce in the crockpot. I used 1 cup of lentils and 1 3/4c water on low for 6 hours. My lentils are still crunchy and the time is almost up. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Gale Compton  February 25, 2016

      Oh dear, I’m guessing the recipe is done? Lentils generally only take about 20 minutes to cook on the stove top and no more than a few
      hours in the slow cooker. How long did you have to cook for?

  12. Robyn  October 16, 2016

    I’ve made this recipe 3 times and I love it! I serve it with basmati and green onions or cilantro. I add a little bit more coconut milk than it calls for but follow everything else exactly. It freezes well so my household of 3 gets 2 meals out of the recipe. Thank you!

    • Nichole  October 17, 2016

      Great suggestions, Robyn! Glad you enjoy the recipe!

  13. Maria  March 14, 2017

    If I added cubed chicken breast to this when should I put it in the crock pot? Thanks!

    • Gale Compton  March 14, 2017

      Maria, If they’re bite size cubes, a few hours in the slow cooker should be fine.

  14. Graham  June 14, 2017

    Stumbled upon this recipe looking for slow cook lentil recipes. It. Is. AMAZING. Proper 9/10. I didn’t add the coconut milk (as i didn’t have any) but followed it apart from that and we just ate it with a naan. Will definitely be making a massive batch next time I have people round. Great sharing dish. Thanks for this. Bookmarked!

    • Gale Compton  June 14, 2017

      Graham, Thanks so much for the feedback. Happy you enjoyed! 🙂

  15. Gabriël  June 27, 2017

    This was incredible, thanks.

  16. Vicki P  August 17, 2019

    I made this today and we all loved it! I did add some cooked chicken, cut up. I don’t think anything else is needed (like Rice) it was very filling and flavorful! Thanks!

    • Nichole Furlong  August 17, 2019

      We’re so glad to hear you love the recipe, Vicki!


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