Skip to Content

Easy Lentil Curry Recipe (with canned lentils)

This lusciously creamy and easy Lentil Curry is made with staples from our pantry such as canned lentils, canned pumpkin, and canned coconut milk. Quick, delicious, and filling, this vegan lentil curry had us licking our plates!

Easy vegan lentil curry in a bowl with Sri Lankan roti in a plate near by.

If you are home-bound these days and managed to stock up on canned lentils or canned chickpeas, canned pumpkin and some coconut milk, you can easily whip up this lentil curry.

When it comes to canned coconut milk, not all cans of coconut milk are equal. My favorite is Chaokoh (this is not a sponsored post for it ~ I just love Chaokoh coconut milk products)

What’s on your agenda for dinner tonight?

On our dinner menu is this Easy Lentil Curry with a side of Love Island Season 6 (and nope, that’s not a spice mix)

My Insta has been blowing up with people raving about the TV show “Love Is Blind”. So, of course, I had to check out what all the fuss was about. But, ten minutes into it, I realized that show was just not for me when I got distracted thinking about food – specifically – what was I making for dinner!

However, after dinner, my daughter persuaded me to watch an episode of Love Island, and gosh darn it, I couldn’t turn my eyes away!

In the episode I watched, the girls were so sassy, and the boys were totally whipped. Watching those boys try to impress the girls was just pure entertainment. I ended up watching the rest of season 6 of Love Island with my daughter over the course of several dinners – including this lusciously creamy Lentil Curry ~ made with canned lentils!

Enjoying a bowl of easy lentil curry with some sri lankan roti

How to make Easy Lentil Curry:

I started this curry off with what my mom calls the holy trinity of Sri Lankan recipes: onion, garlic and ginger.

I simply love the flavor a slightly caramelized onion infuses into a curry. So, I usually like to spend a few minutes making sure the onion I am using is sautéed tenderly until it begins to caramelize. Then I add in the ginger and garlic.

Very often, starting a curry with this base of a slightly caramelized onion sautéed with fresh ginger and garlic means I don’t have to use a whole lot of spices for me to get my curry fix.

The longest part of making this curry was sautéing the onion. After that, this curry can be made rather quickly.

Easy steps to make vegan Lentil Spinach Curry For Dinner.

I simply added in half a can of coconut milk, half a can of pure pumpkin puree, some water, some frozen spinach, coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric, and a can of lentils.

I usually prefer using dried lentils (like I’ve done in these lentil vada, lentil patties, and these lentil pancakes). But, as I had some cans of lentils in the back of my pantry, I figured this would be a good time to use them up.

By the way, don’t discard the other half of the canned coconut milk and pumpkin as I have a recipe coming up with those, next week.

I used pumpkin in this curry in place of the tomato paste I often use because I was out of it and I didn’t feel like braving the crowds at stores this weekend.

This lusciously creamy, vegan, easy lentil curry is not only delicious and filling, but it is quite versatile too.

Making Lentil Spinach Curry For Dinner.

This curry is so versatile!

If you didn’t snag any canned lentils when you braved the stores but have chickpeas or any other canned or frozen bean on hand, use that.

If you don’t have pumpkin puree but have tomato paste, then sub that in.

If you don’t like spinach, leave it out or use frozen kale or collards instead.

If coconut milk isn’t your jam and you are not vegan, then go ahead and use cream or milk.

What to eat with this curry:

My daughter made some Sri Lankan Roti (using this recipe) to accompany this lentil curry. You can get your kids involved in making some roti or you can make this easy lentil curry tonight and serve it with some naan, turmeric quinoa, or rice pilaf. Either way, I sure hope you enjoy this lentil curry so much it has you licking your plate!

Quick, delicious and filling, this vegan lentil curry had us licking our plates.
Easy vegan lentil curry in a bowl with Sri Lankan roti in a plate near by.

Easy Lentil Curry Recipe (with canned lentils)

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This lusciously creamy and easy Lentil Curry is made with staples from our pantry such as canned lentils, canned pumpkin, and canned coconut milk. Quick,delicious and filling, this vegan lentil curry had us licking our plates!


  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 of a 13.5 oz can of coconut milk (I used Chaokoh brand - so approximately 6.75 oz)
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz can 100% pure pumpkin puree (I used Libby's brand, so approximately 7.5 oz)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 15 oz can of lentils (I used the simple truth brand for this recipe)
  • 4 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach (not thawed)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cilantro to garnish


  1. Peel and chop red onion, garlic and ginger.
  2. Add oil to a pan over medium heat and add the chopped onion to it. Saute onion until it begins to slightly caramelize (about 15 minutes or so), stir often so onion doesn't burn.
  3. Add in garlic and ginger and saute a couple more minutes.
  4. Then add in the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, water, coriander, smoked paprika, and turmeric and stir well.
  5. When all ingredients are well incorporated, add in the spinach and stir well.
  6. Then add in the lentils and stir well - letting curry cook about a minute or two more.
  7. Remove from the stove and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. When serving, garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy with Sri Lankan roti, naan, turmeric quinoa, or rice pilaf.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 201Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 0mgSodium 75mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 5gSugar 3gProtein 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Easy Date Almond Butter Bars
← Previous
Easy Salmon Burger Recipe
Next →

Easy Oven Roasted Eggplant Recipe - Savory Spin

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

[…] afternoons I try to get some meal prepping done for the week ahead. Sometimes I will make some lentil curry, some zucchini curry, some carrot curry and some roti to last us about 3-4 […]

tricia searcy

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Hi could you tell me the size of the cans for the coconut milk and pumpkin puree in this recipe? Thanks! Looking forward to trying it.


Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Hi Tricia, Thanks for stopping by my blog - the answer is 13.5 fl oz for the coconut milk ( Chaokoh brand ) and 15 oz for the 100% pure pumpkin puree - I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have.

Donald Kerr

Saturday 17th of October 2020

I am interested in Making this. But you say 1/2 can of pumpkin puree. 1 can of lentles. How big are the cans?


Sunday 4th of October 2020

As a novice cook, this is the first time I have made curry. Even more challenging to the recipe, I used a can of green lentils that had been sitting around for over a year in the pantry. I used tomato paste since all I had in the pantry was pumpkin pie filling (and not pumpkin puree). And my diet restricts the amount of spinach I am supposed to have so I used a mix of fresh baby spring greens (much less spinach). Despite all of this it turned out to be amazingly good and not only my vegan daughter but my whole family loved it. I served it with some simple naan I made - what a good meal. Thanks.

Question - when you say "half a can of pure pumpkin puree", are you talking about a 14 oz or 28 oz can? And anyway, since I didn't have it I used an 8 oz can of tomato paste - would you recommend more? In any event, it was great.

Easy Lentil Cheese Burgers ( A gluten-free Recipe)

Saturday 29th of August 2020

[…] I adore lentil curry – I adore lentils more. To me, lentils are so incredibly versatile – easily absorbing […]