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Tomato Lentil Curry

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This cozy tomato lentil curry recipe is made with the most delicious coconut curry tomato broth, it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan, plus it’s a breeze to make and always a crowd fave.

Tomato Lentil Curry Recipe

This tomato lentil curry is exactly what I am craving this time of year. ♡

It’s super-hearty and comforting and made with the coziest curry spices that are certain to warm you up on a chilly end-of-winter’s evening. Yet at the same time, it’s still nice and healthy (also gluten-free and vegan) and full of the feel-good ingredients that I’m craving right now as we transition into spring. And it is simply so delicious.

We’re talking a rich savory coconut tomato curry broth, lots of tender hearty lentils, diced sweet potatoes and veggies, plus a swirl of coconut milk and fresh cilantro sprinkled on top of each serving. Altogether, the flavors here are perfectly balanced and downright irresistible. And it’s one of those recipes that tastes even better the next day, making it perfect for easy meal prep if you would like (plus it also freezes well).

Alright, let’s make some tomato lentil curry!

Tomato Lentil Curry Ingredients:

Alright, let’s talk about your grocery list! I love this curry recipe because it’s made with pantry ingredients and fresh produce that is easy to find year-round, which is especially nice in the middle of winter. ;)  To make this lentil curry recipe, you will need…

  • Onion and garlic: Sautéed in a bit of olive oil, to serve as the foundation for our broth.
  • Curry spices: For this recipe, we will use a combo of ground cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric and cayenne.
  • Canned tomatoes: Two cans of diced tomatoes. (Or if you would like a saucier broth, I recommend one can of crushed and one can of diced tomatoes.)  I would also highly recommend using fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor, if they are available at your grocery store.
  • Coconut milk: We will stir half of one can into the broth, and reserve the rest to drizzle on top of the curry just before serving.
  • Sweet potato: Finely-diced, so that it will cook quickly.
  • Veggie stock: Or chicken stock, whichever you prefer.
  • Lentils: I like to use green or brown lentils in this recipe, so that they will hold their shape well once they have cooked. That said, red lentils would totally work too — they will just get a bit more mushy (also note that they will cook faster).
  • Salt and pepper: As always, to season.
  • Fresh cilantro: If you love cilantro, I recommend adding a generous pile on top of each serving as a garnish.

How To Make Curry

How To Make Lentil Curry:

To make this tomato lentil curry recipe, simply…

  1. Sauté the veggies and spices: Sauté the onion and garlic until softened, and also let all of those delicious curry spices toast for a minute before adding the broth to help bring out their best flavors.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Add everything else (minus half a can of coconut milk, which we will save for later.)
  3. Simmer. Then bring the soup to a simmer, and reduce heat to continue simmering until the lentils are tender.
  4. Season. As always, taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Serve. Then dish this lentil curry up nice and warm with rice, quinoa and/or naan. Then I recommend drizzling on a bit of coconut milk just before serving, and garnishing each bowl with lots and lots of fresh cilantro.

Tomato Curried Lentils Recipe

Possible Variations:

There are all sorts of delicious ways that you can customize this lentil curry! For example, feel free to…

  • Use red lentils: These will work great in place of brown or green lentils and will cook faster too. They will just not hold their shape as well and may get a bit mushy the longer they sit. (That said, if you make this soup with red lentils, it would also be delicious pureed!)
  • Add greens: Stir a few handfuls of baby spinach or kale into the curry a few minutes before serving.
  • Add protein: Cooked chicken, pork, beef or tofu would also be delicious stirred into this lentil curry.
  • Make it spicier: Of course, feel free to add in extra cayenne if you would like this curry to have more heat.
  • Use cream: If you prefer not to cook with coconut milk, you are welcome to add a drizzle of cream to this recipe instead. (Or just skim the cream/coconut milk altogether.)

Lentil Curry Recipe

More Lentil Recipes:

Looking for some more favorite lentil recipes to love? Here are a few of my faves…

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Tomato Lentil Curry

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 10 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


This cozy tomato lentil curry recipe is made with the most delicious coconut curry tomato broth, it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan, plus it’s a breeze to make and always a crowd fave.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (or 1 can crushed tomatoes + 1 can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk, divided
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups or 8 ounces)
  • 3 cups veggie stock
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Sauté the veggies and spices: Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Add cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric and cayenne and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.  Add the tomatoes, 2/3 cup of coconut milk, sweet potato, veggie stock, lentils and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.
  3. Simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer.  Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender.
  4. Season.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.  (I added about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.)
  5. Serve.  Serve warm with rice and/or naan, drizzled with the remaining coconut milk and garnished with lots and lots of fresh cilantro.


Source: Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.

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17 comments on “Tomato Lentil Curry”

  1. I’m already in love with this! Sounds like it would make a wonderful breakfast with a couple of eggs cooked right on top ??

  2. I love tomato based bean dishes! Can’t wait to give this a try.

  3. Did you want us to use fire roasted tomatoes or regular ones?
    Thank you!

  4. You nailed it with this one Ali! I’ve been searching for recipes that are good for you, but don’t lack flavor. The only change I made was I used Lite Coconut milk & I had cooked lentils on hand that I was trying to use up so I was able to add them to the end of the cooking process. Great job!

  5. Just made this. One of the best currys I’ve ever made. Raves from everyone! You don’t miss meat in this recipe. Don’t modify the recipe, it’s perfect!

  6. How can I make this in my Instant Pot? :)

  7. We made this last night for our family and it was so delicious! We added chicken and topped with avocado just for some refreshing lightness. Our almost 2 year old devoured the chicken and sweet potatoes. Can’t wait to make it again!

  8. Yum so delicious, I would love to make recipes as like you. This looks so amazing and delicious also I would love to share this blog with my friends.

  9. Do you think this recipe would work with some spinach thrown in at the end? Also, I don’t have any sweet potatoes…

  10. This recipe is DELICIOUS!! I didn’t have the exact ingredients so I improvised with the following: Used one 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes, one 19-oz can of lentils drained, 3 cups of chicken broth instead of veg broth. I let it simmer for double the time and served over basmati rice. Definitely saving this recipe to make again and again! Thanks, Gimme Some Oven!

  11. This is a fabulous recipe filled with so much flavour! Thank you!!

  12. I’ve made this at least 4 times since finding the recipe. As a non-vegan, this is my favorite vegan meal. It is so delicious. I always add baby spinach.

  13. Made it. It is so simple and super delicious.

  14. Fantastic. My whole family of seven ate it right up. From ur two year old to our 11 year old and of course the Hubby ☺️ Fabulous. I doubled the recipe and it will provide three full meals for us. We served over steamed rice, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and a side of avocado. Will definitely save this recipe! Thanks so much ?

  15. This recipe is soooo good!! I had to sub diced carrots because I was out of sweet potatoes, but they worked beautifully. The curry flavor is warm but not too spicy which allowed even my toddler enjoy it. Topped each bowl with lots of fresh cilantro and avocado and served with warm garlic naan from Aldi. Yum!