These easy curried lentils are packed with spices for a delicious flavor! This recipe is a budget-friendly dinner that is also vegan and gluten-free! Try this for your next meatless meal!

curried lentils in a bowl

Why I Love This Recipe

Lentils are such a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with tons of protein and fiber. Plus, they last a long time in your pantry so you can have them on hand for an easy weeknight meal! This is a great plant-based recipe that is also budget friendly! This dish really is built on pantry staples. You don’t need a ton of fresh produce, so you’ll probably have things on hand to make this at any time. And while lentils do take a little time to cook, this recipe is pretty hands-off. That means you can prep it, get it on the stove, and have the kitchen all cleaned up before dinner is served! These are my favorite types of recipes.

Curried Lentil Ingredients

  • Olive oil- A little olive oil helps enhance the flavor of the onion and curriy powder.
  • Onion- I used a small white onion but a yellow onion works fine too.
  • Garlic- I prefer fresh garlic, but you can use garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Curry powder- This is what give this dish it’s signature curry flavor so be sure to use a fresh, high quality spice.
  • Diced tomatoes- These add body and flavor to this dish.
  • Bay leaf- This adds a savory, deep flavor to the broth.
  • Lentils- I used green lentis but you can use green or brown lentils.
  • Vegetable broth- Look for a low sodium broth so you can control the saltiness of this dish.

Where to Buy Lentils

You can find dried lentils at most grocery stores. They’re often sold by the dried beans and rice, but you can also find them in bulk bins. They tend to be a bit cheaper in the bulk bins, but even the pre-bagged lentils are very affordable. 

Types of Lentils

  • Brown or green lentils are very similar, and that’s the type of lentil we’ll use for this recipe. They maintain their shape when cooked, but get soft but are still structured These lentils work best for this recipe.
  • Red lentils become very soft when cooked. These can be great for pureed soups because they can thicken the broth, but they’re too soft for this recipe.
  • French lentils are sometimes called lentils de puy. These small, black lentils keep their shape well, and they’re great tossed on salads or in wraps. These are great for meal prepping because they won’t get mushy after being cooked. They’re a bit too firm to use in this recipe.
lentil soup in a bowl

Do lentils go bad?

While lentils do last a very long time, they don’t last forever! They keep for about a year, although they’re likely safe to eat beyond that. That’s a long time, but if that bag of lentils has been sitting in the back of your pantry for over a year, they may not soften properly.

Tips for Perfect Curried Lentils

  • You’ll need to use green or brown lentils. Red lentils won’t hold their shape in a dish like this and will produce a mushy result. Green or brown can be used pretty much interchangeably. 
  • I like to use Edward & Sons “not-chicken” broth, but feel free to use your favorite vegetable broth!
  • Make sure your curry powder is fresh. It should smell fragrant. If the curry powder has long its fragrance, it’s likely lost it’s flavor, too.

How to Store Leftovers

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 1 month. To reheat, simply defrost then microwave until heated through. These leftovers reheat well so it’s a great meal prep recipe!

What to Serve with Curried Lentils

This recipe is a great one to pair with fresh bread or a hearty salad. Try serving these lentils with this 5 ingredient olive oil bread or pair it with a salad like this chopped kale salad!

More Lentil Recipes

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curried lentil soup

Easy Curried Lentils

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup


These easy curried lentils are packed with spices for a delicious flavor! This recipe is a budget friendly dinner that is also vegan and gluten free! Try this for your next meatless meal!


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small, white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 fresh cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup green lentils, washed and picked over
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat
  2. Add the diced onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic and curry powder and cook for 30 more seconds.
  4. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the lentils and salt and cook for 8 more minutes.
  6. Turn the heat to high and add all the vegetable broth and water.
  7. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 30-35 minutes, until the lentils become soft.
  8. Remove the bay leaf.
  9. Using an immersion blender, blend part of the soup so the broth thickens, but leave the soup chunky. If you don’ thave an immersion blender, take 3 cups of soup out and blend it, then add it back in.
  10. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Keywords: curried lentils