Sweet Potato Curry

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If you’re looking for a comforting vegetarian dinner, this Sweet Potato Curry is for you. It’s made with quick-cooking red lentils and creamy coconut milk, for a satisfying meal!

sweet potato curry with spoon in small bowl

This recipe is allergy-friendly, since it’s naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

It comes from my friend Gena from The Full Helping, and her first cookbook, Choosing Raw. Serve it with white rice (try Instant Pot white rice), or cooked quinoa, for a comforting meal that is ready in just 30 minutes.

Love curry recipes? You may also love Coconut Curry, Pumpkin Curry, or Salmon Curry.

Ingredients You’ll Need

sweet potato curry ingredients

What’s in Sweet Potato Curry? 

  • Sweet potato
  • Lentils
  • Coconut milk
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Curry powder

You can add any other vegetables you like to this dish, such as bell pepper, spinach, or diced tomatoes. Adding a big handful of fresh cilantro at the end takes the flavor to the next level, and you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lime juice, to brighten it up, if you’d like.

It’s very easy to customize!

How to Make Sweet Potato Curry

1. Saute the aromatics. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add in the onion. Saute until it’s softened, about 5 minutes.

Add in the turmeric, curry powder, garlic, and ginger, and saute briefly, just  until they are fragrant, about 1 minute.

onions and spices in pot

2. Simmer. Add in the water (or use vegetable broth), lentils, and sweet potatoes, along with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and cover.

Cook until the lentils and sweet potatoes are both tender, about 15 minutes.

before and after of sweet potatoes and lentils in pot

3. Finish. When everything is tender, add in the coconut milk and cilantro. Stir well, then adjust any seasoning to taste.

Serve warm, with cooked rice or quinoa, and extra cilantro on top, if you like. You can also serve it with lime wedges, so everyone can add an extra squeeze of lime juice, if they’d like to.

coconut milk and cilantro added to the finished dish in pot

Storage Tips

This sweet potato curry will be soup-like when it’s warm, and will thicken as it cools, so don’t be surprised if it thickens up significantly when the leftovers are stored in the fridge.

It will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you reheat it, the sauce will thin-out again, but you can always add a little extra water or broth, to thin it out even more.

sweet potato curry with ladle in a white pot

Frequently Asked Questions & Substitutions

Do I have to use lentils? No, but you’ll need to adjust the liquid if you leave them out. If you’d like to use canned chickpeas, or another protein instead, I would remove 2 cups of liquid.

Can I use green lentils? Yes, but the cooking time will increase, which will also make the sweet potatoes softer. Green and brown lentils tend to cook in 25 to 30 minutes.

Can I use curry paste? Sure! You can replace the curry powder with 2 tablespoons of red curry paste, for a similar flavor.

Prefer to skip the coconut milk? Use almond milk, oat milk, or even heavy cream, if you don’t need a dairy-free recipe.


Thai Sweet Potato Curry: Add a squeeze of lime juice and a tablespoon of maple syrup, for an added sweet and sour flavor, similar to my Thai Chickpea Curry. You can also add fresh basil!

Peanut Butter Curry: Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of peanut butter to the sauce, and top the dish with crushed peanuts. Peanut butter curry also goes well with crushed tomatoes or tomato paste, if you’d like to add that in.

Indian Sweet Potato Curry: Try adding in a can of diced tomatoes and a teaspoon of ground cumin, for a different variation. Indian curry tends to be a little heartier and warmer, so you can also add a pinch of cinnamon or cloves, if you like.

sweet potato curry with spoon in small bowl
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4.77 from 56 votes

Sweet Potato Curry

Sweet Potato Curry is an easy weeknight dinner, made with coconut milk and fast-cooking red lentils. Serve it over white rice or cooked quinoa for a warm and comforting meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Keyword sweet potato curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 314kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 medium sweet potato , cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger , minced
  • fine sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and saute the onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the turmeric, curry powder, garlic, and ginger, and stir for 1 more minute, just until fragrant.
  • Add in the broth or water, lentils, sweet potatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot. Cook until the lentils and sweet potatoes are both tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk and cilantro, and adjust any seasoning to taste. I usually add more salt, about a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, but this will vary based on if you used broth or water. (I add an extra full teaspoon of salt when using water.) Season to taste, with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, if you'd like to brighten the flavor, then serve warm over cooked rice or quinoa.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will thicken when chilled, but the sauce will thin out again when you heat it up.



Nutrition information is for 1 of 4 servings. This is automatically calculated using third-party software, so it's just an estimate, not a guarantee. For more accurate results, use the labels on your ingredients at home.
If you'd like to use green or brown lentils, you'll need to increase the cooking time to 25 or 30 minutes, which will make the sweet potatoes much softer.
See the full post for more additional notes & tips.


Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 765mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8049IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 5mg

If you try this Sweet Potato Curry recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below. I’d love to hear what you think!

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Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolate

This recipe looks incredible. Actually, I would love to see more soups over all on the blog…it is getting to be that season (!!!)


    This looks Yummilicious! I just got into this lifestyle, so I’m learning every day 🙂 Would love to see some coconut Milk recipes!

Liz S.

Great curry dish recipe! I would love to see more healthy dessert recipes.

Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming

more vegan desserts!!!


This is perfect! I am currently making meals that my husband and I can eat with my 8 mo old. She is not a fan of textures, so I will be blending half of this batch up and freezing it. Thank you for this:)


Forgot the stars! Easy and a great source of nutrients and plant based protein for my baby!


Any healthy grab-and-go recipes are always appreciated! Love your site!


Love your site! This curry dish looks wonderful, Can’t wait to try it!


I’d like to see more quicky and easy recipes!


Id like to see more meat recipes since i eat so much of it! Also eggs would be good, too!


Thank you for the curry lentil dish-what a great combination, can’t wait to try it! Since fall is right around the corner I’d love to see more heartier dishes (stews, soups, curries-pretty much anything that will warm your soul and body)! Thank you for all you do!!!

Natalie Stakich

This sounds delicious! I’d love to see more recipes with honey in them. Love your site!


PINNED – can’t wait to try this recipe and check out Gena’s blog. I’d love to see more easy ‘breakfast as I run out the door to work’ recipes – I usually have a smoothies but sometimes want something savory.


I would like to see more soup/stew recipes, since Fall is right around the corner 🙂


I made something very similar to this last night! Even though it’s still hot here, my husband is a bit under the weather, so I decided a “whatever is hanging out in the fridge soup” was in order. Carrots, celery, two kinds of lentils, red potatoes, and finished off with a few handfuls of spinach that were a bit past their best.

I like recipes that are easily adaptable, like soups and stir-frys. Most of the time I have a meal plan, but sometimes I’m left with random leftover ingredients, and I don’t like to see food go to waste. Thanks!


Sounds delicious! I love your recipes. I could always use more breakfast suggestions. I know I need to start the day with a protein-rich breakfast but I usually have coffee and don’t eat until lunch. I need some inspiring recipes to get me to eat breakfast.


Yum! This is what Im making for dinner! I am new to juicing, but get bored with the same old thing…I would love to see some of your favorite juice combinations!


I’m going to make this mu husband loves curry I want to surprise him thank u so much for sharing plus I’m diabetic I think it would be great for me as well


That looks great! The type of recipes I’d like to have more of are things like casseroles that require little handling and can be used for leftover but are still healthy!


More one-pot meals!

Lauren M.

YUM! I always like recipes that are so simple it probably feels silly posting them – really simple dinners that can be made after work when I’m starving! Thanks!


I’d love to see more recipes like this one. I’m going to take a giant leap forward in my lifestyle and try to be completely vegan. I’d love some more dinner, lunch vegan recipes. Perhaps using tofu, definitely beans and lots of veggies!


    Ditto, minus the Tofu. We’re a soy free, grain free house. Would love to see more lunch/dinner recipes like this one. Also would love some easy to pack lunch ideas for transporting to school/work. Thanks!


Congrats to Gena ! I have seen her blog before thanks to you letting us know. I would love to see more ethnic inspired recipes that are not too complicated, but yummy and healthy. Maybe some grocery store buying tips too. Thanks !


I’d love to see more dessert recipes that are nut & dairy free! 🙂


The recipe looks great! I’d love to see more easy lunch recipes


I’d like to see more non-starchy one pot meals!

Jennifer R.

creamy soups that are both dairy and nut free

Courtney Chu

+1 for more stew/soup and grab-n-go recipes!

Kristin mo

more curries please! Indian and Thai are the favorites in this house. thanks!


Quick and Easy recipes! Juicing recipes! Sugar free desserts! Love your site 🙂

Cheryl Isbell

Everything you post seems to make my family happy. I always enjoy trying to teach my teenagers that you can eat healthy and still have it taste good. I want to be an example for their eating habits but feel like I’m not getting any where with all the fast food joints popping up at every corner. Show me what I can inspire them with:) Thanks for all your wonderful ideas so far!


I would love soup recipes! This one sounfpds delicious!!


Thanks for the opportunity to win the book. I would like to see more high in protien recipes. Thanks.


The one-pot meal idea is awesome! More of those please 🙂

Stacey Stallard

This looks Ah-mazing! I would love more clean eating crockpot recipes. Thank you 🙂


Would love to see more one-pot mains that are easy on a grad-school time and financial budget!

Dawn Gilmore

I LOVE recipes that can be put in the crock pot & not have to touch again.


Anything with curry


This looks amazing! I really love your healthy/gluten free versions of comfort food and would like to see more of these! Some more recipes with meat would be amazing as well!


I would love to see more recipes that are pre-workout and post-workout meals and snacks. I would also love to see meals that are kid friendly and easy to chew. My daughter is 16-months old and only has 8 teeth. It is hard to find recipes that are healthy, easy to chew and kid friendly.


I’d like to see more meals that are vegan with veggies:)))!


I am fairly new to your site but so far I have loved every recipe I have tried. I would love to see more easy dinners that are healthy.


More vegetable curry! 🙂

Sheri McNeely

More cook ahead meals that can be paired with other sides for new meals later in the week.


    Me too!!!!!!!

Sue L

Wheat-free and/or grain-free bread


This recipe looks so good! 🙂 I’m hoping to see more recipes for vegan foods that are usually not vegan, such as vegan (hot) dogs or vegan cheesecake and stuff like that.

Mona Han

I’d love to see more of recipes from international cuisines. I know that people in other countries can’t afford to eat meat protein every meal, and there are many creative, delicious, plant-based dishes that we can expose our taste buds to. I’m always amazed by the use of herbs and spices that takes the flavor to the next level. 🙂


    Yes to more international cuisine!! That’s just what I was about to put. Good going, Mona Han! Megan, I love when you post yummy Indian (my favorite cuisine), Mexican & Thai meals & would love to see cuisine from all over Africa, as well!! (Yes to all over the world, too. Those are just my favorites.) I look forward to devouring this meal you posted, here. I love curried almost anything.


Fabulous! Can’t wait to try it!


As a person who is a wee bit lacking in the creativity (and cooking confidence) departments, I appreciate each of the recipes you share! I especially like these hearty vegetarian recipes and always look for those. It’s nice to feed my family well without the expense of meat at every meal!


This looks delicious! I would love to see more “kid-friendly” recipes!


Love recipes that are high in protein and low in carbs:)

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