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thai lentil curry in bowl with cilantro and rice
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5 from 2 votes

Spicy Thai Lentil Curry

Spicy, bold, and incredibly flavorful, this Thai red lentil curry is proof that humble ingredients can work together to create magic! With a simple ingredients list, and no need to even sauté, this recipe works great for a weeknight dinner, or for meal prep.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 8
Calories: 204kcal


  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 13.5 oz can coconut milk 400 mL; full fat recommended
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste see note 1
  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce see note 2
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar see note 3
  • 1 cup stock chicken or vegetables
  • 1 cup red lentils see note 4

Serve with

  • rice
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • steamed vegetables


  • Combine ingredients- In a 4 quart or larger pot, combine the onion, coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, fish sauce (or soy sauce), brown sugar, stock and red lentils. Stir to combine, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
    thai lentil curry in pot before cooking
  • Simmer- Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring and using the spoon to mash the curry paste into the mixture (this is important, otherwise you could have chunks of curry paste in your curry- not great!). When curry is thickened and lentils are softened, the curry is ready to serve.
    thai lentil curry in pot after cooking



1- red or green curry paste may be used in this recipe. I've tested using Thai Kitchen and Cock brands of curry paste. If vegan, ensure the curry paste does not contain shellfish.
2- if vegan, use soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos.
3- this curry is ever so slightly sweet; if you do not enjoy a sweet curry, cut back to half and taste. You can always add it in after!
4- you may use uncooked red or green lentils in this curry. If using green lentils, increase the cook time to 45 minutes, or until softened to your liking.
5- serving size is strictly an estimate; nutritional information does not include rice or other suggested accompaniments.
Cool curry completely, then portion out in meal prep containers with rice and steamed veggies, OR leave it as a larger portion.
  • refrigerate for up to 4 days
  • freeze for up to 3 months
Heat individual portions in the microwave until steaming hot. Heat larger portions in a pot on the stove over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through.
If frozen, depending on the quality of your meal prep container, you may be able to reheat from frozen on low heat. Otherwise, thaw and reheat in the microwave until steaming hot.
Freezer packs
You can assemble all ingredients except for the red lentils (green can be added) ahead in a sturdy freezer bag (1 gallon), meal prep container or silicone bag. Squeeze as much air out as possible.
  • freeze for up to 3 months
  • thaw before dumping into a pot (add red lentils if needed)
  • cook as directed above in this recipe card.


Serving: 1cup (see note 5 | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 3mg