This Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry is chock full of veggies and red lentils and stewed in a flavorful tomato base. It’s finished with coconut milk, just in time to put a pot of rice on to cook. It’s simple to pull together and full of curry flavors we love! Serve slow cooker veg curry with a side of Naan and dinner is done. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and easily gluten-free.
Simple and Comforting Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry
A simple and comforting meal, this slow cooker veg curry is full of flavor, and SO satisfying. It ranks right up there on my comfort-food-O-meter and best of all, it’s made ahead so later when you’re hangry, it’s ready!
This Curry Recipe Is:
- Hearty and Flavorful
- An Indian Inspired Veggie Curry
- Versatile: Cook on Low or High
- Make it Spicy or Mildish
Ingredients You’ll Need for Slow Cooker Veg Curry
- Coconut Oil – use unrefined for best coconut flavor.
- Yellow or Red Onion – for a boost of flavor.
- Fresh Garlic and Ginger – you’ll grate these on a microplane. There’s no need to peel the ginger.
- Garam Masala – a warm and fragrant Indian spice blend, with cardamom, cinnamon, and clove.
- Chili Powder – a robust spice blend with chili peppers, cumin, garlic, and oregano. This spice can vary widely. I use Frontier Co-op brand.
- Ground Cumin – an aromatic spice that pairs perfectly with and balances the spicy notes of this vegetable curry recipe.
- Red Chili Flakes – the main contributing spice component, adjust to taste!
- Canned Diced Tomatoes – add richness, moisture, and flavor.
- Red Lentils – the main protein component, look for red lentils in the bulk bins for best value.
- Cauliflower – adds fiber, texture, and bulk.
- Red Potatoes – add texture, bulk, and heartiness to this satisfying curry.
- Coconut Milk – use full fat for richness and flavor.
Quick Guide: How to Make Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry
Since slow cookers vary in their temperature settings, use recommended cook times as a guide. Here’s how to make this mouthwatering crockpot vegetable curry (see recipe card for details):
- First, spread a bit of oil over the bottom and walls of the slow cooker.
- Second, in a skillet, saute the onions until soft then stir in the ginger, garlic and spices. Deglaze with a bit of water. Set aside.
- Third, in the slow cooker, layer in the ingredients – tomatoes, lentils, potatoes, water, and cauliflower. Scrape in the onion and spice mixture and sprinkle in the salt. Stir. Lid.
- Next, cook on Low for 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 hours or High for 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours, stirring once or twice while cooking.
- Last, pour in the coconut milk and allow the curry to set unlidded for about 30 minutes to thicken slightly.
The curry is done when the potatoes and lentils are tender. Share this flavorful slow cooker vegetarian curry family style with preferred garnishes and sides like lime, Tamari, cilantro, Jasmine or Basmati rice, and a side of Naan or Pita bread.
Veggie Curry FAQs
Is Vegetable Curry Healthy?
Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry can be a part of a healthy diet. It offers healthy fats, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and plant based protein. It’s a hearty and nourishing meal with only 356 calories (estimated) per serving (not including rice).
Can I Toss All the Ingredients In the Slow Cooker at Once?
You can, but sautéing the onions, garlic, and ginger and blooming the spices before adding them to the slow cooker unlocks their best potential for flavor, allowing the richness of their flavor to shine. Cooking these ingredients also reduces the potential for bitter flavors.
Can I Substitute the Potatoes?
You can substitute sweet potatoes for the red potatoes in this veg curry. Cook them until just fork tender.
How to Store Slow Cooker Veg Curry
Refrigerator – store in a lidded container for up to three days. For lunch/meal prep, store in smaller individual containers with rice.
Freezer – cool the curry completely, then store it in a lidded container for up to two weeks. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then gently reheat on the stovetop.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Curry
- Add Some Crunch: This slow cooker curry is next level with a crunchy sprinkling of chopped cashews. They’re optional but highly recommended!
- Must-Have Rice: Traditionally, Indian cuisine is shared with Basmati rice, however, this recipe is just as lovely with fragrant Jasmine rice (pictured with brown Jasmine rice).
- Bread: Naan is a traditional Indian bread, but this recipe is also delicious with regular or Sourdough Pita Bread for scooping and dipping to your heart’s desire!
A Few Recipe Notes
- More Spice? There’s a 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes in this recipe which adds a hint of spice. But feel free to increase it by another 1/4 teaspoon. Fair warning – it’s spicy!
- Mind the Time: Since slow cookers vary in their temperature settings, use cook times as a guide.
- Soak it Up! This slow cooker curry tends to be a little looser than traditional curries, so it’s best shared with something to soak it up like rice and/or Naan.
More Slow Cooker Recipes to Love
Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry Recipe
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil melted, or Olive Oil + more for the crock
- 1 1/4 cup (185 gramps) Red or Yellow Onion medium dice
- 4 Large Cloves of Garlic grated, about 1 1/4 tablespoons
- 1 Inch (2.54 cm) Fresh Ginger grated, no need to peel, about 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala ground
- 2 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes add another pinch for extra heat
- 3/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/2 cup (118 grams) Water divided
- 28 ounce (794 grams) Can of Diced Tomatoes + its juices (one large can)
- 2 cups (270 grams) Potatoes red, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 medium)
- 1/2 cup (105 grams) Red Lentils
- 4 cups (450 grams) Cauliflower cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 medium head)
- 1 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt adjust to taste
- 13.6 ounces (385 grams) Coconut Milk full fat (one can)
- Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 cup (145 grams) Raw Cashews optional *see notes
- Tamari, Cilantro, Basmati or Jasmine Rice, Naan, Lime Wedges
- Use a paper towel or pastry brush to lightly spread oil over the bottom and side walls of the crock. Set aside.
- Prep the Seasonings: In a saute pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and bring to a shimmer. Add the onions and pinch of salt and saute on medium-low for about 7-8 minutes or until the onions are slightly tender. Stir in the grated garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds. Then, sprinkle in the spices: garam masala, chili powder, ground cumin and red pepper flakes.Stir for about 1 minute until the onions are coated and spices are fragrant. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup (60 grams) of water. Allow the water to steam off while stirring. The mixture will become pasty and thick. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Layer the Ingredients: To a 6 quart slow cooker, add the tomatoes, potatoes, lentils, cauliflower and remaining 1/4 cup (60 grams) of water. Scrape the onion/spice mixture over the cauliflower, then sprinkle with salt. Stir gently and throughly to mix. The mixture will seem dry at this point, but the it will moisten as it cooks.
- Cook It! Lid the slow cooker and cook on Low for 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 hours or High for 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours OR until the potatoes are fork tender and the lentils are soft. Stir once or twice half way through the cooking process.
- Finish the Curry: Stir in coconut milk and allow the curry to continue cooking with the lid off for about 30 minutes to warm through and thicken slightly. Squeeze in the juice of a half of lime and stir. Taste for salt and add teaspoon or two of Tamari if desired. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve family style with rice and naan.
- To Store: Store in a covered container, in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer (with or without rice) for up to two weeks.
Is there a way to convert this recipe to an Instant Pot?
Hi Michele..! I’m afraid I have no experience with an instant pot. Maybe we’ll have a community member share how. I’m sorry I’m unable to help.
I made this yesterday, it was perfect. I am definitely making it again, only next time, I won’t forget the cashews! Darn. I prepared it in the morning, walked one of the dogs in the afternoon, tripped on uneven side walk, bloody nose & forehead, achy – perfect comfort food for dinner!! I love so many of your recipes.
Oh nooo, Maggie! What a rough and tumble dog walk! I hope you’re doing okay. But what a delicious ready made dinner to come home to afterwards. I appreciate your note, kind words and sending a smile!