Vegan Red Lentil Recipe – A Fusion Of Flavors

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The Homemade Vegan Red Lentil Recipe transform into a vibrant, nutritious dish. It’s easy and quick, making it great for busy days. The ground spices meld for a flavorful experience. This homemade delight is rich in protein, making it a great choice for health-conscious food lovers. You can enjoy it with your favorite bread. It’s not just food; it’s nourishment for the soul. Try it once, and you’ll love it forever.


  • Our Vegan Red Lentil Recipe elevates plant-based dining with a harmonious blend of aromatic Indian spices and fresh produce. 
  • Red lentils create a hearty base, while light coconut milk adds creaminess without dairy. 
  • The medley of veggies ensures a nutrient-packed meal, showcasing that vegan cooking can be both flavorful and satisfying.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO RECIPE HERE!

Do you need help finding a nutritious and easy-to-whip-up meal? I faced the same dilemma until I discovered the magic of Vegan Red Lentil Recipe.

As a busy professional and a health enthusiast, I often found myself torn between quick, uninspiring meals and time-consuming healthy options.

That’s when the simplicity and versatility of red lentils changed my game.

Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

I stumbled upon this recipe in my quest for a balance of health and convenience. It was a revelation. Not only did it offer a rich tapestry of flavors, but it also aligned perfectly with my Vegan red lentil recipe lifestyle.

The best part? It’s incredibly easy to prepare, even on those hectic weekdays. This Vegan Red Lentil Recipe became my go-to, transforming my meal times into an effortless yet satisfying experience.

Let me share how this delightful dish can do the same for you.

What Is A Vegan Red Lentil Recipe? 

A Vegan Red Lentil Recipe dish is a plant-based recipe that features red lentils as the main ingredient. Red lentils are a type of legume that are rich in protein, fiber, and various nutrients.

They are commonly used in vegan cooking as they cook relatively quickly and have a mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Vegan red lentil recipe can include soups, stews, curries, salads, and more, offering a versatile option for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

These dishes are often seasoned with herbs, spices, and vegetables for added flavor and nutrition.

Fun Fact: Red lentils are rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. They cook faster than other lentil varieties, making meal prep efficient.

Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

Recipe Directions

  • Rinse Lentils: Begin by rinsing the red lentils in cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Sauté Aromatics: Heat a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil. Once hot, add cloves garlic, Ginger, fresh turmeric (if using), and Serrano pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  • Add Spices: Introduce cumin, coriander, chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant, stirring constantly. If using ground turmeric, add it now.
  • Combine with Broth: Pour in the vegetable broth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown lentil bits from the pot. Add the rinsed lentils and tomato paste. Mix well.
  • Simmer: Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are soft. If needed, add extra broth and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add Creaminess: Remove the lid. Stir in the coconut milk and almond butter. Season with more salt and pepper. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 5 to 8 minutes until the curry thickens.
  • Final Touches: Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Turn off the medium heat. Lightly purée the curry with an immersion blender for a creamier texture.
  • Serve and Store: Serve with brown rice and Indian flatbread. Garnish with extra cilantro. Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days.

Fact: Boost flavor in vegan red lentil dishes by adding a pinch of smoked paprika for a subtle, smoky undertone.

Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Curry Twist: Infuse your red split lentils dish with curry powder for a fragrant and spicier profile.
  • Mediterranean Flair: Incorporate olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and oregano for a Mediterranean-inspired twist.
  • Thai Fusion: Add coconut curry paste, lemongrass, and lime leaves for a Thai-inspired flavor explosion.


  • Quinoa or Rice: Serve over quinoa or rice for a heartier meal and extra texture.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Elevate flavors by roasting veggies like cauliflower or sweet potatoes separately and mixing them in.
Vegan Red Lentil Recipe


  • Avocado Slices: Creamy avocado adds richness and a buttery texture.
  • Crunchy Seeds: Sprinkle pumpkin or sunflower seeds for a delightful crunch.
  • Herb Drizzle: Top with basil or cilantro-infused olive oil for freshness.
Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Zucchini Or Eggplant: Replace bell peppers with zucchini or eggplant for a unique flavor and texture.
  • Butternut Squash: Swap tomatoes with butternut squash for a slightly sweet and hearty twist.
  • Kale Or Swiss Chard: Substitute spinach with kale or Swiss chard for a robust leafy green addition.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Introduce sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes for added sweetness and a nutrient boost.
  • Broccoli Or Cauliflower: Experiment with broccoli or cauliflower to bring a cruciferous crunch to your lentil creation.
  • Mushrooms: Enhance umami by incorporating mushrooms, such as cremini or shiitake, for a savory depth.

Tip: Enhance flavor by adding a splash of balsamic vinegar or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a savory, umami boost.

Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

Best Side Dishes

  • Basmati Or Jasmine Rice Fluffy and aromatic, these rice varieties complement the richness of the lentils.
  • Indian Flatbreads: Roti naan, or paratha offer a delightful way to scoop up the lentils.
  • Roasted Vegetables Try seasoned and roasted carrots, cauliflower, or broccoli for a healthy, crunchy side dish.
  • Quinoa Or Couscous These grains add texture and are great for soaking up the lentil’s flavors.
  • Green Salad A simple salad with a light vinaigrette balances the heartiness of the lentils.
  • Cucumber Raita A cool, yogurt-based side (use a vegan yogurt) is refreshing and cuts through the spices.
  • Pickled Vegetables Adds a tangy, crunchy element to the meal.
  • Steamed Greens Spinach, kale, or Swiss chard, lightly steamed, add color and nutrients.
  • Papadums Crispy Indian crackers that add a pleasant crunch.
  • Mango Chutney Its sweetness contrasts beautifully with the savory lentils.
Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

How To Serve?

  • As a Soup: Red lentils make a delicious and nutritious base for a soup. Serve it hot, garnished with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a side of crusty bread or crackers.
  • Over Rice or Quinoa: Cooked red lentils can be served over a bed of rice or quinoa for a hearty and filling meal. Add some steamed vegetables or a side salad for a balanced dish.
  • In a Wrap or Sandwich: Use the cooked lentils as a filling for wraps or sandwiches. Add some sliced vegetables, greens, and a spread like hummus or tahini for extra flavor.
  • With Bread or Roti: Serve the lentils with a side of flatbread, such as roti or naan, for a traditional touch. The bread can be used to scoop up the lentils.
  • As a Dip: Blend cooked red lentils with some spices, garlic, and lemon juice to make a creamy dip. Serve it with pita chips, crackers, or vegetable sticks for dipping.
  • As a Side Dish: Serve the lentils as a side dish to accompany a main course. They pair well with grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes, or a protein of your choice.
  • In a Salad: Mix cooked red lentils with chopped vegetables, herbs, and a vinaigrette dressing to make a nutritious salad. This can be served cold or at room temperature.

Tip: Boost flavor in vegan red lentil dishes by adding a pinch of smoked paprika for a subtle, smoky undertone

Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigerate: Allow the curry to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: This curry freezes well. Place it in a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Prep Simple Ingredients: Chop all your veggies and measure out your spices in advance. Store them in separate containers in the fridge to save time on cooking day.
  • Cook In Batches: Making a double or triple batch of this curry is a great meal prep method. You’ll have several meals ready and only need to reheat them.
  • Reheating: Gently reheat the curry on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of water or vegetable broth if it’s too thick. You can also reheat it in the microwave, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

Fact: Red lentils contain more protein than other lentil varieties, making them a nutritious foundation for a satisfying vegan dish.

Time-Saving Tips 

  1. Prep Ingredients Ahead: Chop garlic, Ginger, and vegetables beforehand and store them in the fridge.
  2. Use Canned Tomatoes: Saves time compared to chopping fresh tomatoes.
  3. Pre-Measured Spices: Measure out spices in advance for quick addition during cooking.
  4. Rinse Lentils In Advance: Rinse and drain lentils earlier in the day so they’re ready to cook.
  5. Batch Cooking: Cook a larger batch and store it for future meals.
  6. Quick-Release Cans: Opt for cans with pull tabs for faster opening.
  7. Immersion Blender: If you prefer a smoother texture, use an immersion blender for quick pureeing.
  8. Use a Pressure Cooker: To significantly reduce cooking time, cook lentils in a pressure cooker.
  9. Frozen Pre-Cut Veggies: Use frozen, pre-chopped vegetables to skip the chopping.
  10. Keep A Well-Stocked Pantry: Having all spices and canned goods readily available avoids last-minute grocery runs.
Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

Recipe by Julia

This Vegan Red Lentil Recipe is wholesome, flavorsome, rich in nutrients, and easy to prepare.

Perfect for health-conscious individuals, it’s versatile, easily adaptable, and sure to be a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire.

Course: Dinner
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  • Tablespoon Coconut Oil (refined/virgin) or Neutral-Flavored Oil

  • 4 Cloves 4 Garlic, minced

  • 2 Inches Pieces 2 Fresh Ginger, minced/grated

  • Fresh Turmeric, minced or Ground Turmeric

  • 1-2 1-2 Serrano Peppers diced

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Ground Cumin

  • 1/2 Teaspoon 1/2 Ground Coriander

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Indian Red Chili Powder or Regular Chili Powder

  • 2 Teaspoons 2 Curry Powder

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Garam Masala

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Kosher or Sea Salt

  • To Taste Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

  • 1 Cup 1 Red Lentils or Split Red Lentils

  • 2 Cups 2 Low-sodium Vegetable Broth

  • 1 Can 1 Crushed Tomatoes

  • 1 Can 1 Full-fat Coconut Milk

  • 3 Tablespoons 3 Creamy Almond Butter, unsweetened

  • 1/2 1/2 Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Rinse Lentils: Place red lentils in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. This removes impurities and excess starch.
  • Prepare Aromatics: Heat a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add minced garlic, minced Ginger, minced fresh turmeric (if using), and diced Serrano pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often to prevent the garlic from lentil recipe vegan
  • Spice It Up: Add ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant, constantly tossing to prevent the spices from burning. If using ground turmeric, add it now with the other spices.
  • Add Liquids and Lentils: Pour in the vegetable broth. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. This adds more flavor. Add the rinsed lentils and crushed tomatoes. Stir well to combine.
  • Simmer: Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover the pan with a lid. Let it cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the lentils are mostly softened. If the lentils are still firm after 25 minutes, add a bit more broth or water and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Creamy Texture: Once the lentils are cooked, remove the lid. Add in the full-fat coconut milk and creamy almond butter. Stir well. Continue cooking on low heat, uncovered, for another 5 to 8 minutes until the curry thickens and becomes creamy.
  • Final Touches: Stir in the fresh lemon juice and roughly chopped cilantro. Turn off the heat. For a creamier consistency, use an immersion blender to purée the curry lightly.
  • Serve and Store: Serve the lentil curry with Basmati or Jasmine rice and Indian flatbread like roti, paratha, or naan. Garnish with additional cilantro. Store any leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Deep Skillet or Large Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula
  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Can Opener
  • Chopping Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Lemon Juicer
  • Immersion Blender (Optional)
  • Airtight Storage Containers


  • Rinsing Lentils: Essential for removing debris and reducing starchiness.
  • Aromatic Base: Garlic, Ginger, and turmeric form a flavorful foundation.
  • Spice Blend: Cumin, coriander, and garam masala offer depth and warmth.
  • Cooking Process: Gentle simmering ensures the lentils are perfectly cooked.
  • Creaminess: Coconut milk and almond butter add a rich, smooth texture.
  • Final Flavors: Lemon juice and cilantro bring freshness and zest.
  • Serving: Best enjoyed with rice or Indian flatbreads.
  • Storage: Keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days, ideal for meal prep.

red lentil recipe vegan

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Other Types Of Lentils For This Recipe?

Yes, you can use yellow or green lentils as substitutes. Remember that cooking times may vary, and the texture might differ slightly. Red lentils tend to cook faster and have a softer texture when cooked.

Is It Necessary To Soak The Lentils Before Cooking?

No, it’s not necessary to soak red lentils as they cook quickly. However, rinsing them is important to remove dust or impurities, reduce cooking time, and improve digestibility.

Can I Make This Recipe Without Coconut Milk?

Yes, you can use other plant-based milks like almond or soy milk, though they will have a different flavor and a less creamy texture. You can also increase the almond butter for added richness.

Vegan Red Lentil Recipe

How Can I Make This Recipe Less Spicy?

To reduce the heat, use fewer Serrano peppers or replace them with milder peppers like jalapeños. You can also reduce or omit the chili powder.

What Are The Best Ways To Store And Reheat Leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water or vegetable broth if the lentils have thickened.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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