Next-Level Vegan: Red Lentil Pasta in Coconut Curry Sauce (One-Pot!)

This red lentil pasta in coconut curry sauce is a must-try. It’s super easy to make and perfect for a quick dinner. It is packed with fresh veggies like broccoli and spinach. Ideal for a simple, gluten-free meal.

A white bowl full of red lentil pasta with a fork in the background.

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This red lentil pasta in coconut curry sauce combines the warmth of Indian spices with the creamy richness of coconut milk. The addition of fresh vegetables like broccoli and spinach not only enhances the flavor but also adds a satisfying texture to the dish.

It’s a vegan and gluten-free option that’s perfect for those looking for a simple yet flavorful meal. I love that I can make it in one pot, making cleanup a breeze. It is also quick to prepare, ideal for busy weeknights.

Serve it hot in a bowl, garnished with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime for an extra burst of flavor. Pair it with a side of naan or a simple salad to complete the meal.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make red lentil pasta on a marble surface.

Red Lentil Pasta: Red lentil pasta is a fantastic gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat pasta. It has a slightly nutty flavor and a firm texture that holds up well in sauces. It’s also a great way to incorporate more legumes into your diet.

Aromatics (Onion, Garlic, Ginger): Finely chopped onion, minced garlic, and freshly grated ginger form the aromatic base of the sauce. The combination provides a sweet, savory, and slightly spicy foundation that enhances the overall flavor profile.

Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Ketchup: Canned diced tomatoes provide a rich, tangy base for the sauce. Tomato ketchup adds a touch of sweetness and enhances the umami flavor, perfectly balancing the spices. You can adjust the amount of ketchup depending on the desired level of sweetness.

Spices: My recipe uses a blend of curry powder, ground cumin, and chili powder. These spices bring warmth, earthiness, and a subtle smokiness to the dish.

Veggies: I like to use a mix of green vegetables, including bell peppers, peas, broccoli, and baby spinach. The bell pepper adds a sweet crunch, peas provide a pop of sweetness, broccoli brings a hearty element, and baby spinach wilts quickly to add a leafy green component.

Coconut Milk: For a rich, creamy sauce, I recommend using full-fat coconut milk. It balances the spices and gives the dish its characteristic smooth texture and coconuty flavor.

See the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and quantities.

Step-by-step Instructions

Sauted onion, ginger, and garlic in a large pot.

Step 1: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are softened.

Tomato and spices cooked in the pot.

Step 2: Add the diced tomatoes, tomato ketchup, cumin, curry powder, chili powder, and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Veggies cooked in onion-tomato base.

Step 3: Add bell peppers, frozen peas, broccoli florets, and vegetable broth or water. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

Red lentil pasta cooked with vegetables and tomato base.

Step 4: Add the red lentil pasta directly to the pot. Stir to combine, making sure the dry pasta is immersed in liquid. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Coconut milk and spinach mixed into the cooked pasta in the pot.

Step 5: Reduce heat to low. Slowly pour the coconut milk into the pot along with the spinach. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Expert Tips

  • Make sure the dry pasta is covered in the liquid. If any pasta sticks out above the liquid, gently push it down to ensure even cooking.
  • Cut the vegetables into similar-sized pieces for even cooking. Add spinach towards the end to maintain its texture and color.
  • Add the coconut milk towards the end of the cooking process and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. High heat can cause coconut milk to curdle, so adding it later helps maintain its creamy texture and smooth consistency.
  • Top the finished dish with fresh cilantro or basil for a burst of fresh flavor. A squeeze of fresh lime juice just before serving can also brighten the dish.

Serving Suggestions

Pair this red lentil pasta in coconut curry sauce with warm naan or crusty bread to soak up every bit of the creamy sauce. For a refreshing contrast, serve alongside a simple green salad tossed with a light vinaigrette.

These side dishes not only add texture and variety but also create a well-rounded meal that will satisfy your taste buds.

Storing Leftover Red Lentil Pasta

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating, gently warm the pasta on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or coconut milk if needed to maintain its creamy texture.

While you can freeze red lentil pasta in coconut curry sauce, the texture may change slightly upon thawing. To freeze, transfer the cooled pasta to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove or in the microwave. Adding a splash of water or coconut milk during reheating can help restore the creamy consistency.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use regular wheat pasta instead of red lentil pasta?

Yes, you can substitute regular wheat pasta if you prefer. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions.

I don’t have coconut milk handy. What can I use instead?

You can substitute coconut milk with an equal amount of vegetable broth or a combination of vegetable broth and light cream. However, the final dish will have a slightly different flavor profile, lacking the richness and creaminess of coconut milk.

How do I prevent the coconut milk from curdling?

To avoid curdling, add the coconut milk towards the end of the cooking process and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

Can I add other vegetables to this dish?

Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, green beans, or chopped mushrooms.

Can I add meat or protein to this dish?

Certainly! To make the dish heartier, you can add cooked chicken, shrimp, tofu, or your favorite protein.

Can I make this dish ahead of time for meal prep?

Yes, this dish reheats well and is perfect for meal prep. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for longer storage.

Red lentil pasta in a white bowl topped with cilantro.

More Indian Recipes

  1. Looking for a quick & easy weeknight dinner? This Indian Yellow Lentil Buddha Bowl is your answer! Protein-packed lentils, roasted cauliflower, and a cooling raita dressing – all in under an hour.
  2. Turn weeknight dinners into cozy escapes with a warm bowl of Palak Khichdi! This vegetarian recipe combines rice and lentils with vibrant spinach for a complete and flavorful meal.
  3. Start your day right with these savory Indian-inspired red lentil pancakes! They’re vegan, gluten-free, and oh-so-delicious. Pair them with flavorful cumin-spiced potatoes for an impressive breakfast or brunch.
  4. Spice up your breakfast routine with this Savory Red Lentil Granola! Packed with goodness and crunch, it’s the perfect way to kickstart your day

If you tried this Red Lentil Pasta in Coconut Curry Sauce Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

Red lentil pasta on a marble surface with spinach leaves in the background.

Red Lentil Pasta

This red lentil pasta in coconut curry sauce is a must-try. It's super easy to make and perfect for a quick dinner. It is packed with fresh veggies like broccoli and spinach.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Shilpa Kerur

Equipment

  • Large pot

Ingredients

  • 9 ounces red lentil pasta
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder adjust as per taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust as per taste
  • 1 bell pepper any color, diced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1-1¼ cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 5 oz baby spinach

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are softened.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato ketchup, cumin, curry powder, chili powder, and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add bell peppers, frozen peas, and broccoli florets along with vegetable broth or water. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
  • Add the red lentil pasta directly to the pot and stir well. If any pasta sticks out above the liquid, gently push it down to ensure even cooking. If needed, you can add a small amount of additional liquid to fully submerge the pasta.
  • Bring the mixture back to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, or according to the package instructions for the red lentil pasta.
  • Reduce heat to low. Slowly pour the coconut milk into the pot along with the spinach. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Notes

  • Make sure the dry pasta is covered in the liquid. If any pasta sticks out above the liquid, gently push it down to ensure even cooking.
  • Cut the vegetables into similar-sized pieces for even cooking. Add spinach towards the end to maintain its texture and color.
  • Add the coconut milk towards the end of the cooking process and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. High heat can cause coconut milk to curdle, so adding it later helps maintain its creamy texture and smooth consistency.
  • Top the finished dish with fresh cilantro or basil for a burst of fresh flavor. A squeeze of fresh lime juice just before serving can also brighten the dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 967mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4802IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 5mg
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