This vegan curried lentils and quinoa recipe is easy to make in 1 pot in under an hour for a healthy and nourishing plant-based meal.

A bowl of vegan curried lentils with quinoa topped with chopped cilantro with a sliced lime beside the bowl and a pot of lentils in the background.

Recipe Features

  • dietary needs – vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and soy free
  • healthy comfort food – rich, creamy, comforting for a healthy and delicious plant-based meal any time of year
  • easy – ready in less than an hour in 1 pot

Ingredient Notes

A bowl of lentils, container of quinoa, a lime and a few containers of spices sitting on a counter top.
  • coconut oil – can be omitted if needed, olive oil is also suitable
  • lentils – this recipe is best with green or brown lentils, for a red lentil recipe, I’d recommend my red lentil dahl or lentil quinoa bowls
  • quinoa – any variety works here (red, white, tri-colour)
  • broth – use homemade or store-bought cubes or carton broth
  • greens – I like spinach best here but kale and are hearty greens also work
  • coconut milk – use full-fat or light coconut milk to keep things quick and easy, alternatively you can use cashew cream (see recipe card below for details)

The complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.


Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Saute the onions until tender and translucent, then add the garlic, stir and cook for a few more minutes.

Quick Tip: For an oil-free recipe, saute the onions and garlic in 1 tbsp of broth or water instead of coconut oil.

Step 2. Add the salt, spices, lentils, quinoa and broth. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and lightly simmer for about 25 minutes.

A dish of dry green lentils being dumped into a pot on the stovetop.
A pot of broth with lentils and quinoa simmering on a stovetop.

Quick Tip: If the curry is overly thick after cooking, stir in up to 1/2 cup of water or broth to adjust the consistency.

Step 3. Add the greens, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes, letting the greens steam while the sit on top.

Stirring spinach into a pot of cooked lentils and quinoa on the stovetop.

Stir the greens in, add the coconut and lime, stir and enjoy right away topped with fresh cilantro.

Squeezing lime juice into a pot of lentils, quinoa and spinach on the stovetop.

How to Store

  • Fridge: Let cool then store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Let cool then store in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Reheating: Reheat stovetop or in the microwave until warmed to your preference. Can be thinned with additional broth, coconut milk or water if it’s too thick.
A bowl of vegan curried lentils with quinoa topped with chopped cilantro.

This recipe has been reprinted with permission from Power Plates by Gena Hamshaw. If you’re looking for a healthy cookbook full of delicious meals you’ll actually make, I’d recommend purchasing a copy of Power Plates Amazon here.

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Print
A bowl of vegan curried lentils with quinoa topped with chopped cilantro with a sliced lime beside the bowl and a pot of lentils in the background.

Vegan Curried Lentils and Quinoa

  • Author: Gena Hamshaw
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 37 mins
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

It’s hard not to love this one-pot dish, a quick-cooking curry that’s fragrant, creamy, and nutritious. Curries are a mainstay for me, and this one gets bonus points both for its simplicity and the powerful double dose of plant protein from quinoa and lentils.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (200 g) dried green or brown lentils
  • 3⁄4 cup (130 g) quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups (950 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 to 5 cups (120 to 150 g) firmly packed, chopped spinach, chard, collard greens, or kale
  • 1 cup (240 ml) full-fat coconut milk or cashew cream (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings: toasted cashews, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

  2. Stir in the salt, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, red pepper flakes, lentils, and quinoa, then stir in the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. If the curry is very thick, you can add 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) water to thin it slightly. Add the greens, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, letting the greens steam on top of the curry.

  3. Stir in the greens, then stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. Season with black pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Serve right away, with any additional toppings you like.


Notes

Reprinted with permission from Power Plates, copyright © 2018 by Gena Hamshaw. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. 

Cashew Cream (makes 1 cup): 3⁄4 cup (95 g) raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained 2⁄3 cup (160 ml) water 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Combine all the ingredients in a blender (preferably a high-speed blender) and process until very smooth. Find full details on how to make cashew cream here.

Keywords: lentils and quinoa, curried lentils, easy lentil recipe

Update Note: Originally published June 20, 2018. Updated December 2019 with new photos and text.