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
I love all your quinoa recipes….I love curry dishes also! Anything you’ve posted has been amazing!
You do a great job and your website is a valued resource to me. However, this is one of the few lentil recipes you have posted. With that said, I would love to see more recipes for main dishes featuring lentils. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!
I would love to see healthy versions of popular kid snacks.
Made it & loved it. I was sure that it would be delicious, so I went ahead and doubled the batch. So glad I did. Will definitely be making it again.
I love curry recipes so more curry is always good, also any detoxing recipe would also be good – I am UK based so don’t enter me into the competition:)
Would love to see recipes for leftover pulp from juicing or from making nut milks. I haven’t found a recipe of yours that my family and I didn’t like. I enjoy coming to your blog and reading it. Thanks for all your hard work.
This sounds wonderful! More easy and flavorful dishes like this one. I cannot wait to try it.
Please post more savory indian-inspired recipes. Winter is just around the corner and I’ll need “comfort” food ideas!
I love this blog! I really love veggie-rich one-pot meals, especially ones that make great leftovers! Would love to see more of those 🙂
Did you soaked and cooked the lentils first?
Nice recipe. Didnt have sweet potato so made with regular ones, very tasty.
This recipe looks awesome. We’ll be trying it tonight.
More recipes for kids please. I think we’ve tried every one on this site. The kids love cauliflower cruse pizza recipe.
Great curry. I would like to see more one pot meal.
i’d like to see more main entrees, esp vegan or vegetarian!
Love all vegggie – no dairy – quick dinners!
Would love to see more recipes like this…quick, tasty meals. I can do this after work! Add a salad, and it’s a meal.
Love your website- all the recipes I have tried of yours have been great. I would like to see more recipes without any honey/agave/sugar along with crockpot meals? Its getting to be that season of soups and easy slowcooker meals 🙂
Thank you for all you do!
I can’t wait to try this!
I’d love to see more entree recipes like this curry – although I absolutely love the healthy dessert recipes!
Just found the site. Love it and a big fan of Choosing Raw! I love anything with lentils and as always, 100% vegan!
I would love to see healthy remakes of store bought items
That’s a great idea!! I wish I would have thought of that!!
more salads i always love your dressing recipes!
I think recipes that can be made ahead and frozen for busy nights would be awesome! Quick and filling breakfast items too!
This recipe is very similar to one I make and its a winner every time.
I want to see more grain free recipes and also I love asian-indian flavors.
I would love easy weeknight dinners like this!
Being a new mom, I am really into one pot recipes.
I love your quick dinner recipes and healthy desserts and snacks. But over the next year, I’ll be on the lookout for baby/toddler recipes!
I recently stopped not eating any animal products except eggs. (its been one week know) And it would really help to see more vegan entrees (lunch and dinner ideas) that are filling and easy to make. Nothing with a huuge list of ingredients or something so simple that it doesnt fill you.
Perhaps a few more main dishes or hearty soups. I adore this site and every recipe I’ve tried has been wonderful!
fast and easy meals that freeze well are helpful
Love your blog! Would love more green smoothie recipes!
I love any and all soup recipes – and anything I can make large amounts of and freeze. I am cooking for one most of the time, and the same thing everyday gets boring!
I always come to your blog when I’m creating my grocery list. I want to make sure I have my frig & pantry stocked with items from new recipes (& old) you post like this one. Lentils, sweet potatoes and curry added. Everything else are staples.
I’m revisiting ideas for healthy lunches for the picky 9 year old. Thermoses are no longer “cool” and I’m feeling a sense of dread at the beginning of this school year. Love the recipes I find here, and appreciate the uptick in ideas!
Just made this dish and it is delish! Have made many of your recipes. All great! Look forward to seeing your new posts every day.
This is a perfect example of what I’d love to see more of-ethnic foods vegan-style! Nevertheless, I love your blog, it is very inspiring!
I would love to see more juice/smoothie recipes!! 🙂
More easy, yummy, filling brown bag lunch options.
This blog rocks! I just found it the other day and have been reading pages past. 🙂 happy and excited to try some recipes! I also love and appreciate seeing what you eat in a day -I struggle with eating right, I love veggies but am a wife and mother to 8 picky eaters and too often I give in.. Big thanks
Healthy lunch ideas, please. Tired of sandwiches and salads…
I would like to see more easy, simple weeknight meals that are gluten, soy, dairy, and grain free.
This curry looks amazing! I am looking for lactose-free, lower sugar recipes. We are trying to lose a substantial amount of weight by making gradual changes like eating more frequent vegetarian and vegan meals.
I would love to see more breakfast recipes! And maybe some that are friendly for Football Sundays 🙂
Love to see more raw vegan recipes 😉
More vegan Indian meals! 😉
I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. I would love to see more dinner recipes!
Comfort meals, quick meals, and vegan meals that may appeal to non-vegans.
I would love to see more one pot/crockpot meals! Good food prep on the weekend for weeknight dinner type stuff 🙂
More vegan and gluten-free desserts, please! Love your blog! xx
Made this last night and it was really good. Would like to see more easy dinner ideas.