This slow cooker butternut squash lentil curry is the healthiest comfort food you can find. Plus it’s packed full of protein to keep you full!
Did I ever tell you guys that I went on a once of a lifetime trip when I was just 15 years old? As part of a school trip, 20 or so of us visited Nepal for a month, visiting Kathmandu and trekking through Annapurna. We fundraised for over 2 years to contribute money to a charity that builds schools and water systems in rural parts of Nepal, and then got to go visit and meet the people who live there.
Now that I think back on it, I can’t imagine sending a 15-year old to Nepal, let alone a whole bunch of us with a few adults. It seems crazy! This was back when Nepal was much more politically stable, but still. That’s a very different environment than Canada.
Well visiting Nepal taught me to never take what I have for granted, because I had never seen what poverty really looked like until that trip. I definitely had a new perspective on how fortunate I am to grow up in a country like Canada when I returned home from Nepal.
PS- I just had to dig out my photo album and post a couple of photos. This is from 1999!! What an awesome trip that was. I’d love to go back someday!
PPS- I was feeling soooo sick in that second photo but we had to hike that day. Hence the sad face.
That trip also taught me to be more adventurous with my eating. And one of my favorite recipes from the whole trip was dal. Or dahl? Or daal? So today I’m paying homage to Nepal with my twist on dal with this slow cooker butternut squash lentil curry.
Of course I couldn’t go straight up traditional dal, could I? I thought the flavors would be awesome with some butternut squash and, I was totally right!
The best part about this slow cooker butternut squash lentil curry is how easy it is to make. It’s another one of my dump and go slow cooker recipes. You really just dump all the ingredients into the crock pot, give it a stir, and walk away.
And it’s also great because you can cook it up to 8 hours (I haven’t tried any longer than that), and it will be creamy perfection when you are done your day.
This slow cooker butternut squash lentil curry is vegan but TOTALLY filling. Ben is slowly coming around to the fact that vegetarian (and even vegan) food can still be completely satisfying. He loved this one!
I like serving mine with some naan bread wedges and a salad.
This post has made my heart happy. I feel the older I get, the more I love nostalgia, and one of the best ways to revisit a memory is through food.
I’d love to hear if you have any travel memories that you revisit through food? Leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail, I’d love to hear!
More international slow cooker recipes for us:
- I’d love to visit Ethiopia one day, but for now I’ll settle for this Slow Cooker Ethiopian Chicken & Lentil Stew
- After visiting Nepal, India was added to my bucket list. Still haven’t made it there but I can still enjoy the flavors with this Slow Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potato Korma
- Last but not least, Spain!!! I dream of visiting Spain someday, but for now, I’ll enjoy this Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken Stew
9/2017: this post has been updated with instructions to assemble ahead and freeze for an easy freezer slow cooker meal.
10/2018: this recipe was retested and spices adjusted for a more flavorful curry.
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Lentil Curry
- 2 cups red lentils (dried; uncooked)
- 4 cups butternut squash (peeled, seeds scooped out, and cubed; roughly 1/2 of a large butternut squash)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated or finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 13.5 oz coconut milk (1 can; 400mL- use full fat)
- 19 oz diced tomatoes (1 can; 540mL; see *notes; including juices)
- 3 cups stock
- 1/2 lime (juiced)
- salt (if needed)
- Combine all ingredients except for lime juice in the base of a large slow cooker and cook low 8 for hours.
- Add salt & lime, adjust to taste.
- Mash everything up with a potato masher or serve as is.
- After cooking, butternut squash lentil curry may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Freezer Crockpot Meal:
- Combine all ingredients except for the stock in a gallon-sized freezer bag, reusable silicone bag, or large meal prep container. Remove as much air as possible.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely, then add to the base of a 5 quart slow cooker with the stock. Cook on low for 8 hours