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Sweet Potato Lentil Curry – Vegan & Gluten-Free

Sweet Potato Lentil Curry – Vegan & Gluten-Free

This sweet potato lentil curry is an easy and wholesome vegan meal made with simple ingredients. Lentils and sweet potatoes are simmered until tender in a satisfying Thai curry broth. Creamy coconut milk mellows things out, while lime juice brightens and spinach adds extra color and nutrition. This family favorite is ready in as little as 20 minutes!

Thank you to Stahlbush Island Farms for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

When the cupboards are looking a little bare, curry is a meal I often fall back on. While curry often brings to mind the many types of Indian dishes, this stew (or thick soup?) is Thai-inspired. It has a subtle sweetness from the (you guessed it) sweet potatoes, heartiness from the lentils, and rich flavor from Thai curry paste. Serve over a bed of rice or simply with side of bread for a quick and nourishing vegetarian main.

How to Make Sweet Potato Lentil Curry

Step 1: Prepare your ingredients

There’s very little in the way of chopping or preparation for this recipe, except for an onion, ginger and garlic. I also saved time by using Stahlbush Island Farms’ Frozen Chopped Sweet Potatoes. Having your ingredients measured out makes things go much smoother and the whole cooking experience pretty relaxing!

All of the ingredients set out on a marble countertop for the sweet potato lentil curry

Step 2: Sauté the Onion and Aromatics

This step takes only a few minutes. Once the onion has softened and the garlic, ginger and curry paste are fragrant, we’re onto the next step! We’re adding in a bit of tahini here as well for some warm umami flavor and richness.

Step 3: Add the Soup Stock (or Water) and Lentils, &; Simmer

Depending on the lentils you use, you may add the sweet potatoes at this stage, too. Red split lentils take about the same amount of time to cook as the sweet potato. If you use another variety of lentil, give them a head start here; add the sweet potatoes later so they don’t become overcooked. In either case, you can step away from the stove for about 15 minutes while dinner takes care of itself.

Step 4: Add the Last Few Ingredients, and Enjoy!

After 15 minutes, if you aren’t using red lentils, this is when you add the sweet potatoes. In goes the coconut milk and soy sauce for a bit more umami, and let everything simmer another 20 minutes .

If you’re using red lentils and they’re cooked, you can add the rest of the ingredients. Here, we’re adding a squeeze of lime to cut the sweetness and baby spinach for some greens. Other varieties of leafy greens work well here, too, like chopped chard or kale cut into ribbons.

Serve the Sweet Potato Lentil Curry over hot rice, quinoa, mashed potatoes or rice noodles. It’s great on its own in a bowl with a side of warm flatbread.

A white enamel cast iron pot filled with sweet potato lentil curry. Beside the pot are serving bowls, cooked rice and garnishes like lime wedges and cilantro

Tips for Making Sweet Potato Lentil Curry:

I used to make this curry a lot when my son had started solids and he loved it. It purees well for babies or for those who aren’t big into texture. If you’ve added the spinach before blending, the color will be somewhat brownish. To keep it pretty , leave the spinach out, adding it once it’s pureed if you like. Thin with water or broth to the desired thickness.

Thai Curry Paste

I like to use yellow Thai curry paste in this recipe. Most big grocery stores carry red Thai curry paste, but Asian markets often carry a variety of Thai curry pastes. The most common Thai curries are yellow (the mildest), red, and green (the hottest.) While our kids are pretty good with spiciness, red and green Thai curries tend to be too hot for them. The yellow curry paste I use is perfect – it has a bit of heat but isn’t numbing like red or green can be.

Curry paste also varies wildly in heat across brands so go conservative if you’re sensitive to heat. You can always add more in, but it’s hard to temper once the curry paste has been added. Add more once everything is cooked, by whisking the paste in a bit of hot water before adding it in. Take note of the ingredients as well, as some do contain fish or shellfish.


Lentils are inexpensive nutrition powerhouses, really easy to cook and don’t require any soaking like other legumes or dried beans. There are different types, each with their own characteristics.

For the images of the Sweet Potato Lentil Curry you see here, I used French lentils. I like how they keep their shape when they cook so the curry isn’t as thick.

Red lentils cook in as little as 15 minutes and will add creaminess and their pretty color to the curry. They don’t hold their shape once cooked so they’re excellent for thickening soups and curries like this one. Leftovers may have to be thinned with additional broth or water to get the consistency desired. I’ve used red lentils in this curry and we loved it, especially for pureeing. Red lentils can be cooked for the same amount of time as the sweet potatoes, about 20 minutes.

Brown lentils are somewhere in the middle – they maintain their shape better than red lentils but still tend to fall apart and thicken things. Lentil varieties other than red lentils need about 35-45 minutes to cook.

Want to learn more about lentil varieties? This lentil article is a short but comprehensive one!

Two bowls of lentil sweet potato curry served with rice and cilantro

Make Ahead

As with most curries or stews, the flavors in this Sweet Potato Lentil Curry are even better the next day. Lentils continue to thicken the curry once cooled, so you may wish to thin the curry with water or broth when reheating.

This curry freezes really well, too. Perfect for meal prep and your freezer stash of last minute healthy meals!

More One Pot Dinners:

If you make this Sweet Potato Lentil Curry, please give it a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!

White bowl filled with sweet potato lentil curry garnished with cilantro, slices of lime, and pomegranate arils

Sweet Potato Lentil Curry

This sweet potato lentil curry is an easy and wholesome vegan meal. Lentils and sweet potatoes are simmered until tender in a satisfying Thai curry broth. Creamy coconut milk mellows things out, while lime juice brightens and spinach adds extra color and nutrition. This family favorite is ready in as little as 20 minutes!
4.93 from 13 votes
Print Pin Save Recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Sweet Potato Lentil Soup, Vegan Sweet Potato Curry, Vegan Thai Curry
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 475kcal
Author: Bronwyn


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger microplaned
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-3 tbsp Thai curry paste*
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 cup lentils** sorted and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water, adding salt to taste at the end of cooking
  • 566 g frozen cubed sweet potatoes or about 4 cups peeled/cubed sweet potatoes (3/4"/2 cm pieces)
  • 15 oz canned coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce use tamari to make this gluten-free
  • 3 oz baby spinach (may use chard or kale ribbons) about 3 cups
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • fresh cilantro and toasted sesame seeds for serving, if desired
  • rice, quinoa, rice noodles, mashed potatoes or flat bread for serving


  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the onion until softened, 2-3minutes. Add in the ginger, garlic, curry paste and tahini, stirring to coat the onions and cooking for a minute.
  • Stir in the broth and lentils. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender about 15 minutes. If using red split lentils, add the sweet potatoes now with the lentils, otherwise give the lentils a head start so your sweet potatoes don't overcook.
  • After the 15 minutes, stir in the sweet potatoes (if not using red lentils), coconut milk and soy sauce, simmering for another 20 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in the spinach and lime juice. Serve over hot rice or rice noodles, if desired. Garnish with cilantro, toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges if desired.

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Sodium: 873mg | Potassium: 945mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 15452IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 5mg


*If you’re sensitive to heat, start with one tablespoon of the Thai curry paste. Once the sweet potatoes and lentils are cooked, taste and add more curry paste as desired – whisk into a few tablespoons of hot water to break it up before adding it into the pot. 
**Any variety of lentil works in this recipe. Red lentils cook in the same amount of time as the sweet potatoes and will create a thicker curry/stew because they fall apart. French lentils will hold their shape and create a brothier curry, but need 20 minutes more cooking than the sweet potatoes. Green or brown lentils also need the extra 20 minutes but will fall apart a bit more than the French lentils. 
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The Nutrition Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the Nutrition Information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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Sunday 4th of December 2022

Wow this was absolutely delicious! Easy to make on a lazy winter Sunday afternoon! I used the same yellow curry paste you use and found 2 TBSP to be perfect. Not spicy at all but 3 tbsp probably would have been too salty given the high salt content of that paste. Thank you!!

Bronwyn Fraser | Crumbs & Caramel

Monday 5th of December 2022

So happy you enjoyed the curry, Shannon! Thanks for taking the time to share!

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