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!
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
What’s in Sweet Potato Curry?
- Sweet potato
- Coconut milk
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
If you try this Sweet Potato Curry recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below. I’d love to hear what you think!
Questions and Reviews
This looks great! I would also like to see more “kid-friendly” recipes as well as recipes that are quick and easy!! Thank you!
I love global type recipes, mix it up. I will be making this curry for lunch
I can’t wait to try this. I would love to see more recipes with lentils, so good for you and one of the easiest legumes to digest. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of Gena’s book! Trying to eat more raw meals, I am sure her book would inspire me!
I have lentils..going to get some sweet potatoes looks great !
Cant wait to try this simple recipe with all these super healthy ingredients! Thanks for sharing it!
This looks great! How about some recipes for snacks. When I’m in a rush and have nothing on hand is when I tend to reach for something quick and it’s not always healthy.
Looks yummy! I love all the sweet treats and the “how to make” your own from scratch. Almond butter, almond milk…
this looks so yummy and easy.. more quick and easy ones like this please.
More non-starchy recipes with not too many ingredients, or only easy to find ingredients!
With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon I’ve been looking for healthy appetizers and/or treats I can serve to my guests. Also, as a busy mom with a full-time job outside of our home, I love anything that can be put in the slow cooker or freeze ahead meals!
Keep doing what you’ve been doing! It’s a great variety and my family and I love trying all your recipes!
Can’t wait to make this!! Would love any gluten free recipes!!
Love this curry. I would love to see foods beneficial to post menopausal women.
This looks delish! I am not Vegan but LOVE any/all vegan dishes I have ever tried. I would like some quick and easy recipes for weeknight meals. The last thing I want to do after working for 9 1/2 hours and commuting for 3 hours is spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen preparing an evening meal.
Going to try this for dinner tonight! I would love to see more Salad recipes. 🙂
I love soups and spicy foods.
More main course dishes like this one!
More recipes for picky eaters! 🙂 People who are “new” to healthy eating and averse to veggies, for instance, as several of my extended family members are!
I am sensitive to gluten, dairy and soy and my husband is vegetarian so I would love to see more recipes like this one! Simple and easy to rope are with items on hand.
Vegan foods that baby will enjoy too!
I’m always looking for more hearty dishes (that are easy and quick!) since my family has transitioned to a vegan/raw/gluten-free/paleo-esque lifestyle. With fall right around the corner, I can’t wait to try this!
Would love to see more of easy recipes like this. I’m a college student and work part time and this recipe looks inexpensive and quick! Thank you!!
As a new mom trying to find balance I would like quick, healthy or made ahead meals
Kid friendly recipes!!!
Am looking forward to trying this recipe. More easy main course dishes would be good.
I would love more one put meals that are gluten and meat free. Also love all the gluten free muffins, cookies and treats. I love your simple, easy to make recipes.
All your recipes are great…more gluten free cracker recipes!
Would really like to see more main dish recipies
Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!! I would like to see more main dish meals. It’s hard to come up with ideas but your website inspires me!!
I am a newbie to eating and cooking raw so any and all recipes are of interest to me.
Love to bake and make pies with nut crusts.
Hello! I would like food on the good and that can be eaten cold (besides salads) so i can take with me to work, now that I am pregnant.
Gabriela — I had the same issue when I was pregnant, trying to find lots of stuff to eat cold.
I’m guessing like me you don’t want to use a microwave to heat anything up. If you ever want to take something hot to work I used this: http://mightynest.com/shop/reusable-gear/food-containers/insulated-food-containers/stainless-steel-thermos
I did as the directions suggested put hot water in it(then you dump it out before putting your food in), heated my food on the stove before I left for work, and then put in this container.
This recipe for lentil and sweet potato curry looks absolutely yummy!
This curry recipe looks delicious! Thank you for the opportunity to win the cookbook :). I would love to see more grain free lunch recipes. I have recently decided to go gluten/wheat/grain free. I am new to your website, but I absolutely love it! I have loved every recipe I have tried so far! You are really helping me make better food choices and I feel so inspired :). Keep up the good work!!
This looks delicious! I’d love to see more main dish / dinner recipes. I do love your dessert recipes, but I haven’t even made half of them yet. 🙂
I love the recipes you post already! Interested in salad and dressing variety, and on the go breakfast/mid morning snacks 🙂
I’d like to see more dessert/snack recipes. If you post them I KNOW they’re healthy!
I’d love to see more slow-cooker recipes. I’m a grad student, mom to a 4 year old, and we have another little one on the way, so quick & healthy meals are a must in our house!
This recipe sounds amazing and I am going to try it for dinner tonight. I would love to see more quicky meals and more desserts. Thank you…
Love seeing salads and dressings, as well as grain-free and nut-free treats.
This recipe looks amazing! My husband and I just went vegetarian about a year ago, love quick and easy but healthy recipes.
Looks delecious, always looking for quick and easy began recipes
Love your recipes! main dish recipes are always good to have.
I would like to see more breakfast and snack recipes! 🙂 I absolutely love your website and recipes!!
i love all your recipes! i’d love to see not necessarily vegan, vegetarian, or any diet-label recipes, but just healthy and detox-ilicious ones 🙂
Looking forward to trying the Lentils, Sweet potato, Coconut Curry Recipe…thanks for sharing! I am a lover of all kinds of beans and advocado so I would like to see more recipes using those items and more stew/soup recipes!,
Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes
Love your recipes! I would love to see more one pot ethnic meals!
I’m a new mom, so I’d love to see either quick filling snacks you can grab and eat with one hand, or main dishes you can make ahead!
I would love to remake older recipes into healthier options!
I’d love to see some more grain-free (paleo) snacks!
Quick, filling, kids friendly recipes. Thank you! …and, I hope I’ll win! 😉