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Easy Vegan Red Lentil Curry

Fast and easy vegan red lentil curry is the perfect power meal for any day that needs a delicious protein boost. It is gluten-free, grain-free, and a good source of plant protein.

easy red lentil curry in a white square bowl atop a wooden cutting board

I’m unsure of the proper nutrition protocol prior to running, scrambling and scurrying through a muddy cow pasture. Heavy on the carbs? A focus on protein? Antioxidants to ward off the scent of dung?

Keeping in line with the rest of my lack of preparedness for my first official mud run (WHOOT!), I chose to wing it the night before by whipping up a quick and easy lentil curry with what I had on hand.

I think I may be on to something with my unplanned pre-race nutrition because I had a great run and tons of fun.

woman running at a mud run

Lentils are one of my favorite power foods in general, and you don’t need to wait for a mud run to add this recipe, or any lentil recipe to your diet. They provide an all-in-one combination of carbohydrates and protein, which is ideal for exercise endurance in general, and scaling hay bales and dodging cow patties in particular.

I may need to have another bowlful asap. I need the strength before tackling my post-run, malodorous laundry.

close up of red lentil curry in a white square bowl, accompanied by lime wedges

Recipe Benefits

  • Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free)
  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • Very high in protein (16 grams per serving)
  • Very high in fiber (18 grams per serving)
  • Fast and easy to prepare
  • Frugal

Ingredients

The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.

To make this humble curry, you will need the following:

  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Red lentils (uncooked)
  • Garam masala (an Indian spice blend)
  • Curry powder (mild, medium or hot, it’s up to you)
  • Canned diced tomatoes and their juices
  • Coconut oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
  • Fresh limes and cilantro (for final garnishes)
ingredients on display for making easy vegan red lentil curry

Step By Step Directions

Note that the complete directions are also in the recipe card below.

Step One: Sauté the Vegetables

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, for six to seven minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.

Step Two: Add the Aromatics

Add the garlic, garam masala, curry powder, and salt to the saucepan. Cook and stir for two minutes longer.

Step Three: Add the Liquids & Lentils

Add the water, tomatoes with their juices, and lentils to the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the liquids come to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are softened.

Step Four: Add the Lime Juice and Cilantro

Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with additional cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.

Dinner, done!

overhead shot of red lentil stew

Storage for the Easy Vegan Red Lentil Curry

You may want to make a double batch of this curry because leftovers only get better. Store the cooled curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Make the Recipe Oil-Free

This recipe has a small amount of oil (2 teaspoons) for sautéing the vegetables. If you prefer an oil-free dish, sauté the vegetables in a small amount of water instead of oil.

Related Recipes

Yield: 4

Easy Vegan Red Lentil Curry (GF, high in protein)

overhead shot of red lentil stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or neutral oil of choice)
  • 1 medium large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 28-oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • juice and zest of 2 medium limes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Additional cilantro and lime to garnish

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and celery; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 6 to 7 minutes until vegetables are softened.
  2. Add the garlic, garam masala, curry powder, and salt; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add the water, tomatoes with their juices, and lentils to the pan. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are softened. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro.
  4. Serve with additional cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.

Notes

Store: Store the cooled curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 266Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 310mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 18gSugar 11gProtein 16g

The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although powerhungry.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands and optional ingredients can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

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Gaby Ampudia via Facebook

Wednesday 1st of May 2013

I'll join you...

Stephanie Barnett Rodriguez via Facebook

Sunday 21st of April 2013

Me too!!!!

Brooke Tupa via Facebook

Sunday 21st of April 2013

Oooo that looks so good! I'm gonna make this bad boy.

Stephanie Barnett Rodriguez via Facebook

Sunday 21st of April 2013

Brooke Tupa This sounds like something you would love.

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