Creamy Vegan Curry Lentil Casserole Recipe


Make this easy Vegan Curry Lentil Casserole whenever that craving for restaurant-style creamy lentil dishes hits. Brown lentils simmered in a fragrant coconut curry broth served over rice! So easy, so delicious. Gluten-free, too.

two bowls with rice topped with creamy coconut curry lentil casserole

We all have that bag of dried lentils somewhere in the back of our pantry, just waiting for us to find them, add some spices and simple pantry staple ingredients to them, and create an unexpectedly delicious and healthy dish that everyone will LOVE!

This recipe for vegan Lentil Curry Casserole is one of those unexpectedly AWESOME lentil recipes that has to potential to become a family favorite! Especially if you are a fan of rich and creamy curries! It is one of my family’s favorite weeknight dinners – packed with plant-based protein, nutrients, and spicy goodness! A simple and nourishing curry casserole the whole family will enjoy tucking into.

two bowl with rice and creamy coconut lentils sprinkled with cilantro and drizzled with coconut milk

Just look at that thick and creamy gravy – all those amazing coconut and curry flavors are layered deeply into the lentils as they slowly bake. The perfect one-pot / one-casserole meal and the perfect comfort food dish for the cold season!

Think of this lentil casserole as an easy westernized version of restaurant-style Indian daal, with plenty of warming spices, creamy coconut milk and some nut butter for extra richness. You might have most ingredients at home already. Let’s get cooking!

creamy Indian Lentil Casserole served in two bowl over rice

MORE INDIAN DISHES TO TRY

This is a simple one pot meal baked into a casserole instead of on the stove top. Baking allows for amazing roasted flavor and also hands off cooking. You can easily convert it to stove top.

This is a generic curry inspired from Indian flavors. You can change up the spices and flavors to preference. Let’s make it!

Lentil Curry Casserole

Make this easy Vegan Curry Lentil Casserole whenever that craving for restaurant-style creamy Indian lentil dishes hits. Brown lentils simmered in a fragrant coconut curry broth, served over rice! So easy, so delicious. Gluten-free, too. 

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time1 hr 20 mins

Total Time1 hr 25 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: lentil casserole, lentils with coconut milk, vegan lentil curries

Servings: 6

Calories: 274kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup (40 g) onion finely chopped
  • 1 hot green chili finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ – 1 tsp garam masala or curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • tsp black pepper
  • 1 good pinch of cinnamon
  • ¾ cup (144 g) of lentils brown or green
  • 14 oz can (28.35 g) tomatoes
  • 14 oz can (396.89 g) coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter or cashew butter or use sun butter to make it nut-free – warmed
  • 2 ½ cups (591.47 ml) broth divided
  • ¾ tsp salt divided
  • Lemon juice and cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • Add oil to a casserole dish. Add in garlic, onion, green chili, spices and ¼ tsp salt – mix well. Preheat the oven to 400℉ (205C)

  • Once heated, place the casserole dish in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until onions start to turn golden

  • Remove dish from the oven and add in the lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk, remaining salt and 2 cups of broth, mix well

  • Place the dish back in the oven and cook for 1 hour or 1 hour and 10 mins or until lentils are cooked to preference (taste using a spoonful to see if they’re done)

  • Once done, remove the dish from the oven, and while the mixture is still hot, first mix almond butter with warmed 1 cup of broth, add this mixture in, and stir until combined

  • Adjust flavor and spice as needed. Add in some lemon juice and cilantro for garnish, as desired

  • Serve with some fresh rice, flatbread, naan bread, or pita bread

Notes

  • You can also use red lentils in this recipe. Use 1 cup red lentils and check to see if they are done after 35 minutes.
  • I recommend full-fat coconut milk for the ultimate creaminess.
  • You can use sun butter instead of almond butter to make it nut-free.
  • As always, feel free to add more veg or more seasoning to really make this your own.
  • To make this without garlic and onion, omit them and add 1/8 tsp fenugreek seed powder to the spices.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Lentil Curry Casserole

Amount Per Serving

Calories 274 Calories from Fat 171

% Daily Value*

Fat 19g29%

Saturated Fat 11g69%

Sodium 333mg14%

Potassium 432mg12%

Carbohydrates 20g7%

Fiber 8g33%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 49IU1%

Vitamin C 5mg6%

Calcium 39mg4%

Iron 5mg28%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Ingredients for Vegan Curried Lentil Casserole:

  • like any curry dish, we start with the umami-boosting trifecta of onion, garlic and fresh chili
  • spices: ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala or curry powder, pepper, and cinnamon
  • Lentils: For this recipe, I use brown lentils but you could use red lentils.
  • canned tomatoes – a must for lentil dishes
  •  coconut milk, you can also use unsweetened oat milk or soy milk
  • almond butter or cashew butter or any other nut or seed butter for that perfect creaminess. But I do recommend you go with a subtle taste. Peanut Butter, f.ex. would be a bit dominant in flavor.

Tips & Substitutions:

  • You can also use red lentils in this recipe. Use 1 cup red lentils and check to see if they are done after 35 minutes.
  • I recommend full-fat coconut milk for the ultimate creaminess.
  • You can use sun butter instead of almond butter to make it nut-free.
  • As always, feel free to add more veg or more seasoning to really make this your own.
  • To make this without garlic and onion, omit them and add 1/8 tsp fenugreek seed powder to the spices.

ingredients needed for making vegan lentil casserole

Add oil to a casserole dish

 a white casserole dish with some oil

Add in garlic, onion, green chili, spices and ¼ tsp salt – mix well

onion, ginger, chili and spices in a casserole dish

Preheat the oven to 400℉. Once heated, place the casserole dish in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until onions start to turn golden.

roasted onion, garlic and chilies in a casserole dish

overhead shot of a casserole dish with roasted spices, onions and garlic

Remove dish from the oven and add in the lentils, tomatoes, coconut milk, remaining salt and 2 cups of broth, mix well

broth and coconut milk being added to spices and onion garlic mix in casserole dish

Place the dish back in the oven and cook for 1 hour or 1 hour and 10 mins or until lentils are cooked to preference (taste using a spoonful to see if they’re done)

vegan Indian Curry Lentil Casserole fresh out of the oven

Once done, remove the dish from the oven, and while the mixture is still hot, first mix almond butter with warmed 1 cup of broth, add this mixture in and stir until combined. Adjust flavor and spice as needed

Add in some lemon juice and cilantro for garnish, as desired. Serve with some fresh rice, flatbread, naan bread or pita bread

nut butter being stirred into creamy vegan lentil casserole

What to serve with this Curry Lentil Casserole?

This vegan lentil casserole is best enjoyed

  • Over a plate of steamed basmati rice, or cauliflower rice
  • With some fresh bread or Vegan Naan Bread
  • You could  use leftover lentils as a filling for a wrap, lentil lettuce wraps, or spoon some into tacos

two white bowls filled with rice and vegan Indian Curry Lentil Casserole



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