Quick Red Lentil Curry with Spinach

Hello! You've landed on an older recipe. Sometimes the older recipes aren't written as clearly as they should be or something might need to be clarified. If something seems confusing or a question arises, send me an email and I'll help!

Quick Red Lentil Curry with Spinach | Naturally Ella

This red lentil curry is on standby for nights when I need to cook something with minimal effort. It's a rich dish, thanks to the whole-fat coconut milk. But it's balanced with healthy red lentils and spinach. The store-bought curry is a lifesaver and I almost always have leftover rice hanging around. Also, if you want to try your hand at making your own red curry paste, here's a good recipe. The flavors will have more depth but I find when I want to make something quick, the store bought kind suffices.


Quick Red Lentil Curry with Spinach

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: dinner


  • 1 1/2 cups whole-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste (see note)
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • Plain yogurt, garnish


  1. In a skillet with high sides, whisk together coconut milk, water and curry paste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add red lentils. Let simmer for 22 to 25 minutes, just until the red lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  2. Remove pot from heat and stir in spinach until wilted. Serve curry over cooked grain, with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.


Tips & Tricks: I'll often keep a jar of store-bought curry paste for this dish. You can find these curries in most grocery stores.
Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: red lentils, coconut milk, brown rice

Nutrition: See the information. 


  • Calories: 534
  • Sugar: 1
  • Sodium: 110.4
  • Fat: 21
  • Carbohydrates: 74.3
  • Fiber: 8.4
  • Protein: 16.4
  • Cholesterol: 1.5

Red Lentil Curry


As mentioned above, I use this as a go-to meal when I'm not really sure what to make (or we are almost in need of going to the store). I keep the red lentils but I'll play with the add-ins a bit.

Greens: Add Swiss chard or turnip greens in place of or with the spinach.

Fresh Herbs: I enjoy adding fresh cilantro and parsley to the mix, usually on top with a spoonful of yogurt.

Extra Spice: I kept this dish as simple as possible, but you can raid your spice cabinet for extra flavor. Try adding a half-teaspoon of garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne for a bit of heat.

Vegan Spinach Red Lentil Curry | Naturally Ella

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

52 comments on “Quick Red Lentil Curry with Spinach”

  1. I enjoy your posts and recipes whenever you are able to post them, no matter how sporadically! (Every time I see that word, it makes me think of Clueless - "How do you know if you're doing it sporadically?" "Sporadic means once in a while. Try using it in a sentence.")

  2. Oh please, keep posting even when it´s sporadic! Your blog is so delicious, not just because of the recipes but also your pictures. It encourages me to cook! 🙂

  3. Love this post. I think every food blogger comes to that same point -- should I or shouldn't I. I guess the good thing to know is that you can always change your mind down the road, so whatever decision you make right now is the right one. And this curry lentil dish is definitely the right kind of thing to be making right now. Looks delicious!

  4. Oh that looks utterly delish! Give me a big spoon so I can tuck in right now! I've been meaning to make my special coconut lentil curry for a while now and this has pushed me over the edge!

    Can't wait to try it.

  5. It’s hard to label ourselves, esp. as traditionally a “job” has been something you’re paid for - but in today’s world, that’s becoming less and less true…it’s confusing.

  6. This looks so easy and yummy, I am definitely going to make this soon! Perfect because these are all ingredients I nearly always have on hand.

    The only thing I would say is that with most red curry pastes I have ever used, 4 Tablespoons in this amount of a dish would be completely inedible. Maybe you are using a really mild curry but the kind I use would make a pretty spicy dish with 1 tablespoon.

    I hope you keep blogging! I always look forward to your posts.

    1. I thought the same - I had just green thai curry on hand, so planned to use just a Tablespoon. My husband got started cooking before I could pass on my thoughts on this and had included the full 1/4 cup! It was NOT a problem at all. I am very spice-wimpy, and found this recipe as-is just right! Enjoy!

  7. Wow, this reciepe really looks delicious! This would be a great dinner to serve when the wind is howling outside and rain is falling on the window pain 🙂

  8. Thank you for this recipe!! Easy to find ingredients...no funny leaves or pastes or sauces to try to track down in an ethnic grocery store (which are nowhere to be found near me). This looks delicious. I love a good warm curry.

  9. First of all: your images always look so good! 2nd: my hubby doesn't like lentils, unfortunately, but likes curry's after our round trip in Sri Lanka. I will try to feed him lentils by using this recipe. If it works out I will post the recipe on my site, crediting it to you. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This dish is TO DIE for. The coconut milk makes the lentils creamy and savory and the curry paste gives the perfect amount of heat. I've made it twice already: once as instructed with quinoa and once as an accompaniment to BBQ'ed salmon (sorry I do eat fish).

  11. So, I got done working out. I bought all the ingredients earlier this week but was lazy and really just wanted to order Jimmy John's. However, the recipe says "quick" so I put that to the test. Beyond this being the first time I ever cooked quinoa, this recipe came together very quickly and gives me even more of a reason NOT to eat out all the time. So good and very inexpensive. I added a little sriracha sauce for extra heat.

    Thanks for sharing. =)

  12. Erin! Good for you for being honest with yourself. As you know, I've grappled with similar thoughts and at the end of the day, I decided that posted 3 recipes / week was just not sustainable for my general well being, and I was going to stop obsessing over google analytics. I think having clarity around your goals can help you find so much more fulfillment in side projects, in life, in everything. xo

  13. I really admire the way that you are staying true to yourself 🙂 It's all about trusting your gut, right?
    On another note, this looks delicious. Pinned 🙂

  14. My boyfriend and I absolutely love this dish! We make it at least once a week. Super quick and easy for work nights.

  15. Any advice on which curry paste to use? My local grocery store has two varieties: 1.) Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste, and 2.) Patak's Original Concentrated Curry Paste (Hot).

  16. My friend showed me this recipe and we made it together one evening, I haven't stopped making it since then. And my boyfriend loves it! It is so comforting and even more so since it's healthy!

    Catherine x

  17. I made this recipe for the first time over the weekend. I also added some chopped fresh basil and the juice of half a lemon. Turned out great!

  18. I just made this and it is so good *_* may have gotten a bit overexited with the curry paste but I like spicy food, so all is well. 😀 Thanks for the great recipe!

  19. I just made this and LOVED it! It was so easy. the easiest curry i've ever made! My grocery store was out of red curry paste so i made it with green. It was delicious, but next time I want to try it with red to get the full experience of the original recipe.

  20. Woah! So good! I love how simple, quick, and easy this was to make. My favorite thing about the recipe is that no cutting board was required! This is going to be a new staple for me.
    Thanks for the genius!
    xx Sydney

  21. I made this on Saturday (1/9/16) for my lunches this week. I am sitting here on Monday (1/11/16) having my first bite....OMG, this is the most awesome taste in my mouth. I love it....I'll definitely be making this again, soon!

  22. I made this dish and found it really rich with out the spice, flavor depth or a little something that would be in a thai curry.

  23. AMAZING, made it twice in once month. So easy! Just wondering how much calories ... I'm trying to look at my intake.

  24. I have orange lentils. Will they work? Also I have coconut milk but it doesn't say if it's whole fat. How can I tell?

    1. Orange are the same as red- so you're good there. And usually if it doesn't say, it's whole fat. The cans that say 'lite' are the ones to avoid!

      1. Okay I made it and it was delish. Only thing is I felt it was a bit bland. Did I do something wrong? Maybe I'll use vegetable broth in place of water next time?

        1. Vegetable broth might help- which curry paste did you use? I think some brands aren't as flavorful as others.

  25. Hi, Ella, I made this tonight, and it was fantastic! It was my first time cooking with curry paste, and I'm in love. The recipe is better than the Indian food delivery I order -- my new favorite! Thank you so much for sharing! Nicki

  26. This recipe is in my regular rotation, I love it so much! Thank you for the great recipes. This is my go-to site when I'm looking for something new.

  27. I made this recipe tonight and I absolutely love it! I added a parsnip and a bunch of spinach. I couldn't be more delighted. I love your recipes!

  28. This is one of my very favorite recipes! My toddler loves it, too 🙂

    The link for curry recipes no longer works. I followed it a few years ago and made a great one that was fast and easy, and I can't seem to find it anywhere! Would you mind sharing some good curry paste recipes?


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

Do away with ads, get access to the back issues of casual, be the first to know about upcoming events, and more.
become a member

beans. beans. beans.

Have a nerdy food question, need a recipe recommendation, or just want to share something exciting you've made?
magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram