Slow Cooker Cauliflower Lentil Curry

5 from 26 votes
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Slow Cooker Cauliflower Lentil Curry is healthy comfort food at its finest. Red lentils and cauliflower florets simmer in a rich, aromatic curry sauce for a feel-good, fill-you-up meal. Serve this slow cooker curry over rice or noodles with fresh herbs for an easy, hands-off dinner.Cauliflower and lentil curry served over white rice in a gold bowl

This slow cooker curry is total fall comfort food.

It’s packed with aromatics like garlic, ginger, curry powder and fragrant red curry paste. All of this magic swims in a luscious sauce, amped up with velvety coconut milk. For a touch of sweetness and welcomed texture, chopped dates work some serious magic in the mix.

Serve over rice with a flurry of fresh herbs for a cozy weeknight meal.

How to Make Slow Cooker Lentil Curry:

Like most of my slow cooker recipes, this cauliflower curry requires almost very little prep work. Simply mix the ingredients together in your slow cooker, set it, and forget it!Bowl of lentil curry topping with pomegranate arils and cilantro

The Ingredients

  • Cauliflower: Cauliflower florets help bulk up the mixture for very little added calories. You need 6 cups of florets, which amounts to 1 small head of cauliflower. 
  • Lentils: I love using red lentils, which become super soft after being cooked. They make the curry mixture even creamier while adding a one-two punch of protein and fiber. 
  • Red Curry Paste: This flavor-loaded condiment is made out of red chiles, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime. Look for Thai Kitchen brand of red curry paste in the international aisle of your grocery store. And use any leftovers in this recipe for Coconut Curry Shrimp.
  • Aromatics: A mix of onion, garlic, and fresh ginger add an aromatic backbone to the curry.
  • Spices: A blend of turmeric and garam masala season the dish with fragrant, earthy flavors.
  • Broth: You need 1 quart (4 cups) of broth, which can be vegetable, chicken, or even bone broth.
  • Coconut Milk: For luscious, velvety richness, canned coconut milk gives this curry major body. If you’re looking for a lower saturated fat alternative, homemade cashew cream also works great! 
  • Dates: Chopped dates meld into the curry mixture, adding pops of sweetness in every bite.

The Directions:

Step 1: Combine Ingredients in Slow Cooker

Place the lentils in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the onions, garlic, cauliflower, ginger, curry paste, salt, turmeric, garam masala; stir to coat. Add broth and stir well to combine.

Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 7 to 8 hours, until the lentils are soft and cauliflower is tender.Cauliflower, lentils, spices, and coconut milk in a black slow cooker

Step 2: Add Coconut Milk

Add coconut milk and dates; stir well to combine. Serve curry over rice, noodles, or enjoy as is.

How to Store and Reheat:

  • To Store: Place leftover curry in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat: Gently rewarm leftovers in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. You can also reheat in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until warm. 
  • To Freeze: Store curry in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Crockpot curried lentils served in a gold bowl

More Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes:

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Crockpot Golden Lentil Soup

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 26 votes

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Lentil Curry

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Lentil Curry is healthy comfort food at its finest. Red lentils and cauliflower florets simmer in a rich, aromatic curry sauce for a feel-good, fill-you-up meal. Serve this slow cooker curry over rice or noodles with fresh herbs for an easy, hands-off dinner.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 1/2 cup dry red lentils
  • 6 cups caulfilower florets
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. garam masala (sub 1/2 tsp. ground cumin + 1/2 tsp. ground coriander)
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (adjust for desired level of heat)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (sub chicken broth or bone broth)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 to 3 pitted dates finely chopped

For serving:

  • Cooked white or brown rice, fresh cilantro, and pomegranate arils or pickled red onion for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Place the lentils in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Add the cauliflower, onions, curry paste, garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, salt, and cayenne; stir to coat. Add broth and stir well to combine.
    Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 7 to 8 hours, until the lentils are soft and cauliflower is tender.
  • Remove lid, turn slow cooker OFF, and stir in coconut milk and dates. Let sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes, before serving over rice or grain of choice.
    Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, and pomegranate arils (or pickled red onion), if desired.

Notes

  • To Store: Place leftover curry in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat: Gently rewarm leftovers in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. You can also reheat in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until warm. 
  • To Freeze: Store curry in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 580mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!

 

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46 Comments

  1. deb dolle says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this amazing magic for 2 years and still haven’t gotten enough. The flavors are delicious and this recipe goes together so easily. Have also started adding extra vegetables, red pepper, mushrooms, and carrots and I like using the green or brown lentils to me. The red ones get too mushy for me. If you’re thinking about trying this recipe, do it you won’t be disappointed.

  2. Debbie says:

    5 stars
    Love this delicious easy recipe, it has become a regular at my house I’ve added carrots and last time a couple handfuls of quartered mushrooms. I bought a red pepper to put into it this time but thinking I need to charge it and take the skin off and add it towards the end. I really appreciate you sharing this delicious recipe!

  3. Ingrid says:

    Hi Jamie,,
    Do you think it will work ok to use lite coconut milk with this instead of full fat since it goes in at the end?
    I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  4. Rio says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for healthy vegan/vegetarian meals that are easy to cook and not made of chickpeas or quinoa, and even though I’ve never cooked let alone tried lentils, I gave this recipe a go and it was a real winner for me. I did make a few adjustments: instead of broth, I used vegetable bouillon and water, I used precut cauliflower, and I don’t like dates or raisins so I skipped them. I didn’t find that I needed cooking spray and I also cooked it for just over 3 hours on high, and by that point it was beyond well done–the lentils had just about turned to puree. It may just be my slow cooker, but I don’t really think this recipe needs 4-5 hours cooking time. Nevertheless, it was tremendously delicious! I served over instant coconut brown rice with some sliced mango, and it was just perfect for a winter night. I guess my only complaint is that my office didn’t fill with wonderful aromatics although it did smell wonderful when I lifted the lid!

  5. Deb says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this dish, I can’t stop making it! So delicious, just as good as my favorite Indian restaurant and so simple. Load crockpot and enjoy the aroma! Love it I’ve made it a few times now and the only thing I did different was adding some diced carrots and sweet potato. The diced dates really top it off. I will be having some leftovers today adding in some cooked greens and mushrooms can’t wait for lunch thank you again

  6. Misty Fontenot says:

    5 stars
    I always look for a good slow cooker recipe – and they are sometimes hard to find. It’s so nice to put it starting in the morning and be able to forget about it. This recipe is so hardy and so delicious. I’ve made it several times. We love dunking a piece of garlic naan in it!

  7. Kellie says:

    Do you have to use fresh cauliflower or can frozen florets be used?

    1. Michael says:

      5 stars
      I have made this recipe twice now with frozen cauliflower, and it has turned out fairly well both times. I reduced the amount of broth slightly to account for the liquid from the frozen veggies; the first batch turned out a bit soupy but was still delicious. I’ve also added frozen peas for a little pop of colour.

      Great recipe for meal prep. I make a double batch on Sunday and have more than enough for the week and plenty in the freezer as well (it holds up very well after reheating). It is definitely part of my permanent rotation.

    2. Dominique van den Broek says:

      Will the cold coconut milk make the dish too cold?

  8. Nancy Galanty says:

    You are my favorite source of recipes and I have made countless delicious dinners that are now mainstays for my family from you. This was the first that was a miss. It just wasn’t special, came out a bit mushy, and the dates / pomegranates tried to bring it to to life but instead felt like odd add-ons. I feel I must have done something wrong. I won’t remake this to try to figure it out. But, I will definitely continue to explore your recipes because this was the first miss among many that my whole family loved.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Nancy – I’m so sorry to hear that! Thank you for your honest feedback. It’s much appreciated.

      1. mike says:

        HI Jamie – I had a similar experience as Nancy in that it came out mushy. I am not sure how to avoid the cauliflower not getting soft after 4hrs in the crockpot. Curious as to how you came out like the picture. We did however like the taste and enjoyed it.

        1. Marti says:

          I intend doing this on the stove top. Red lentils cook in 20-30 minutes so I figure that this will be long enough. I will add the cauliflower halfway as I like my cauliflower crispy