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.
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!