With plenty of kale, creamy coconut milk, tomatoes and warming spices, these curried green lentils are not only delicious, they’re hearty and easy to prepare. And, made in the slow cooker, these lentils require very little hands-on time and cleanup is a cinch! Lentils in the slow cooker never tasted so good!
This time of year, heading into winter, makes me crave (big time) hearty comfort food.
After outside on a cold day, I just want to curl up with a big bowl of something warm, satisfying and delicious. You too?
This slow cooker lentil recipe fits the bill perfectly, which is why it’s made pretty regularly in our home.
And, don’t you just love the slow cooker? You put everything in there, set your timer and go about your business until it’s ready.
I go through bouts of using the slow cooker, do you? And whenever I remember to take it out again, I wonder why I don’t use it more often.
Once you try these slow cooker curried green lentils, you’ll want to use yours more often too!
Why We Love Curried Green Lentils
- This recipe is made in one pot for easy cleanup (and who doesn’t love that?).
- Made with mostly pantry ingredients, it’s pretty budget friendly.
- These lentils can be enjoyed as is or part of a multi-course meal.
- Of course, they taste delicious!
Do I Need to Soak the Lentils?
Nope! Green lentils don’t have to be soaked prior to using in this slow cooker lentils recipe.
However, you’ll still want to pick them over for any rocks, foreign objects or imperfect lentils and discard those.
I like to give them a little rinse and drain, too.
How To Make This Recipe
- Place the prepared lentils in the slow cooker with canned tomatoes, coconut milk, vegetable broth, tomato paste, curry paste, coriander, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, chili peppers, onion, garlic and black pepper. Stir to combine everything.
- Add chopped kale and stir in.
- Cover and cook.
- Stir in salt, lemon juice and cilantro. The lemon juice and cilantro really brightens the curried lentils. I just love it! (Full recipe ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Can I Use Brown Lentils Instead?
Absolutely! Dried green or brown lentils work in this slow cooker lentil recipe.
Slow cookers can vary, so just cook until the lentils are tender and cooked through (typically, in my slow cooker, it takes about 6 to 7 hours on the low setting).
What Can I Use Instead of Kale?
Don’t have kale on hand? Substitute with fresh baby spinach. If using baby spinach, you can simply stir in at the end of cook time and the residual heat will wilt it.
What To Serve With Curried Lentils
- Naan (so good for dunking into the lentils)
- Dollop of plain yogurt (use your favouite dairy or non dairy variety, whatever you prefer) over top upon serving
- Poached or fried egg over top (great for any meal of the day, really)
More Yummy Lentil Recipes
If you make these slow cooker curried green lentils, be sure to leave a comment below!
This curried lentils recipe was originally published August 15, 2016 but has been updated.
Curried Green Lentils (Slow Cooker Lentils)
- 1.5 cups dried green lentils, picked over (remove and discard any rocks, foreign objects and imperfect lentils), rinsed and drained
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, roughly break up tomatoes before adding to slow cooker
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk, a 400 millilitre can
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste, or curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 red Thai chili peppers, minced (or to taste)
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chopped kale (bite-sized pieces, leaves only, no stems)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from about ½ of a lemon (or use lime juice)
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro, plus more to taste for optional garnish (or parsley)
- chopped chives or green onion, garnish to taste (optional)
- Set slow cooker to low setting and add lentils, canned tomatoes, coconut milk, vegetable broth, tomato paste, curry paste, coriander, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, chili peppers, onion, garlic, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add kale and stir again until everything is well combined. Cover and cook for 6 to 7 hours or until the lentils are cooked. (Slow cookers can vary. I cooked mine for 6 hours and the lentils were just done.)
- After six hours stir in salt, lemon juice and cilantro.
- To serve, divide the lentils into bowls and garnish with more cilantro and some chives or green onion (if desired). Enjoy!
- Canned tomatoes can vary in salt content. For me, ½ teaspoon of salt was good, but you can totally season to taste.
- If you like things less spicy, use less chili peppers (or omit entirely). If you don’t have fresh chili peppers, feel free to add some crushed red pepper flakes or ground cayenne pepper to taste.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!