These curried sweet potato lentils are so delicious and easy to make! They’re ready in under an hour, and the leftovers will keep you satisfied for days.
I’ve been making this dish of soupy, sweet, savory curried sweet potato lentils for years now. It’s a favorite: flavorful, easy to prepare, and very filling. You can serve the recipe over quinoa or rice, or you can pair it with some whole wheat pita, naan, or chapatis.
The recipe is also adaptable—more on the many variations of ingredients you can use below.
Best of all, it’s perfect for your weekly meal prep. As with soup, I think the leftovers of the curried sweet potato lentils only become more flavorful. The dish freezes very easily, too.
I love the simple ingredient list in this recipe. Here are the highlights:
Red lentils are a favorite of mine thanks to their super speedy cooking time and creamy texture. They “melt” into soups and stews like this one, without any need for blending.
I usually think it’s fine to swap French, pardina, brown, or green lentils within recipes. But I don’t recommend swapping red lentils for those, and vice versa.
If you need to substitute in this recipe, yellow lentils are my recommendation! They cook just as quickly as red, and they’ll also give these curried sweet potato lentils a pretty, orange color.
Any orange or white sweet potato will work in the recipe. I don’t recommend purple sweet potatoes, only because they’ll give the dish a swamp-y color.
If you don’t have sweet potatoes, you can use cubed winter squash (kabocha or butternut) instead.
When I first developed this recipe, I always added coconut milk for creaminess at the end. I still like that variation, but I generally use cashew cream rather than coconut milk in my recipes nowadays. It’s lower in saturated fat, which I like, I think it’s creamier, and I prefer the sweet, neutral flavor of cashews to the taste of coconut.
So, use full-fat coconut milk or my all-purpose cashew cream here: whichever suits your preferences and needs. Or, you can also use a heaping half cup of unsweetened, plain vegan yogurt. There are lots of varieties available nowadays!
My spice blend in the curried sweet potato lentils is a mix of turmeric, curry powder, and garam masala. There is some overlap here (the curry blend contains turmeric, and garam masala and conventional curry powder usually share some spices in common), but each adds something different.
There are many curry powder variaties, so of course seeing “curry powder” in an ingredient list can be a little misleading! Generic, pre-made “curry powder” in grocery stores is usually derived from a British, colonial adaptation of curry spice blends.
I use one and a half teaspoons of that type of curry in this recipe. I prefer a mild curry powder, but you can use a Madras curry powder if you would like a little heat.
Not exactly. Garam masala may have some of the same ingredients as a curry powder blend, but it usually has fewer components. While it is often stronger in flavor than curry powder, it’s usually less hot.
I always taste the cardamom in garam masala—it’s such a distinctive flavor, and it really enhances these curried sweet potato lentils.
This dish is so straightforward to make, there’s not a lot to say about the actual cooking process.
But it is worth noting how great the curried sweet potato lentils are for leftovers! The leftovers get more flavorful as they sit in the fridge. You can store them there, in an airtight container, for up to five days.
If you don’t plan to eat the curried sweet potato lentils within that time, you can freeze them (in a big portion or small portions), for up to six weeks.
I love using this dish in weekly meal prep/batch cooking. It takes very little effort to make, encourages me to blend up some cashew cream (which I can then use in other dishes), and it’s so enjoyable to eat.
What is it about the combination of lentils and sweet potatoes? For whatever reason, they just work beautifully together. A lot of my favorite recipes feature both. For example:
Hope this easy, satisfying, flavorful dish will become as trusted and beloved a part of your meal prep as it is mine!
Leave a Comment
You didn’t mention peeling the sweet potatoes. I didn’t, but I see in your picture that you did, so this could be clarified in the recipe. The spices are nice. I put this through my Vitamix to make it smooth and process those skins.
I added that instruction—thanks for mentioning it!
This was absolutely amazing. Filling and so flavorful. The only thing I did different was use an immersion blender to make it creamier. That said, the base is so good. My only mistake is not doubling the recipe and making more.
So glad you liked it, Roni!
I don’t usually comment on recipes, but I made this tonight for my husband and he loved it. The only thing I changed was I used silken tofu instead of the coconut milk so that it was a low fat meal. Great low fat option! Thanks!
So great to know about that option! Thanks for sharing and so glad you enjoyed.
Delicious recipe!! Question, it says in the ingredient list to use lemon juice but in the instructions to use lime juice. I used lemon, but which should it be? Thanks for the great recipe!!
You can use either! I probably meant to say that. Will correct the recipe, thank you 🙂
Looking forward to making this! If I were to make it in the crockpot, would I set it to low for two to three hours? Do you think that would work? The stove in my apartment only functions on high or not at all, so I am looking for an alternative!
I’d do low for 3-4 hours, or high for 7-8. I hope it turns out and that you enjoy it, Robin!
Just made this last night and it was delicious! We added a little less water and it was perfect 🙂
Woohoo! Glad you liked it, girl!
I will be adding this to my tried and true soup recipes. Easy to make and wonderful to enjoy.
Loved how simple and tasty this recipe was! I get overwhelmed when recipes have too many ingredients and usually end up buying things I never use again. This is something I could easily make on a regular basis. Thanks!
Hi, this looks absolutely delicious! My question is: since I do not have coconut milk in my house as a regular food item, can I omit it or substitute it for almond or soy milk? what option would be best in your opinion? Thank You
Love dishes that serve well as leftovers. So good!
Any recs for curry powder? I’ve not been too impressed when I use random curry mixes in recipes (they’re typically bland, but always need some adjusting or something that just throws the whole recipe off).
This sounds yummy; curry is one of my favorites, and for some reason I don’t make it very often. We eat soups and stews year round-love them! Thnx for sharing!
Hi! Add the onion sauté time 🙂
Looks great. Lately I’ve been able to find organic Japanese sweet potatoes and I’ve been using them instead of regular sweet potatoes. I wish I’d tried them years ago. Just a nice alternative… kind of crumblier, denser, a little sweeter even. And they make goooood fries.
Love this recipe! Its funny because I do the same thing, I write all about eating seasonal and then on a warm 80 degree day I find my self craving soup! Its good to eat with the seasons but its also important to listen to your body! Thanks for sharing:)
as much as im excited for the spring, i cant say no to a good curry 🙂
This recipe REALLY makes me wish my stomach tolerated lentils:) SO hearty and delicious! Great recipe Gena, and such a refreshing twist on sweet potatoes:)
Hi Heather, I can imagine that any beans or peas would be great here (kidney beans, cannellini, chickpeas, pinto beans, etc). Or for something quite different, but still delicious, you could use crumbled up tempeh 🙂
I haven’t made curry in a really long time. It was always one of my favorite flavors, but ever since a bad experience I had about five years ago (yes, FIVE!), I’ve had a slight aversion. Damn, food aversions can last so long. This looks amazing, though. It’s making me miss curry! Love the side of kale, by the way. Haha! You just can’t help yourself. #kaleaddictsanonymous (It’s okay. I’m a member, too.)
My boyfriend got sick from a tomato soup at Jewel probably almost ten years ago and he still. won’t eat. tomato soup. lol…
Yum! I love curries! Especially ones with coconut milk, and double especially ones with sweet potato! 🙂
Couple questions: idk if this is my computer, but the instructions say sauté the onion for XX minutes?
And: is the coconut milk full-fat canned or lite?
Looks fabulous – I love soup in any weather! Just a note: Do you mean to say “stir in the 1/2 cup coconut milk” instead of oil?
UGH, of course it is! Thanks for the catch, lady. I’ll fix this when I get back home!