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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Curried Beans and Lentils

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We are very proud to announce we are now the owners of … a slow cooker that actually works!! For months we’ve been making do with the world’s worst slow cooker. We bought it because we weren’t sure how much we’d use it and it was the least expensive model. As it turns out, we got what we paid for. The other week it failed to cook black beans on high for over 12 hours, so I gave up and finished them off on the stove. No bueno. But our new slow cooker is fully capable of cooking beans in the expected amount of time, so I decided to celebrate by sharing one of our favorite make ahead meals! These slow cooker vegetarian curried beans and lentils are easy to make, super tasty, very inexpensive, and a great way to make several meal’s worth of main dish ahead of time.

Vegan slow cooker curried beans and lentils

And by several meals, I mean a whole lot of meals. This recipes makes 12 servings! Serve it up over brown rice for a very filling, completely vegetarian and vegan meal.

slow cooker vegetarian curried beans and lentils recipe

This recipe is so incredibly easy. The most “difficult” part was getting the spice flavor profile how I wanted it! I know it seems like a lot of spices, but there are so many beans and lentils they can handle all the spice. In fact, you may even want to add extra for a spicier experience! Prepared as written, the curried red beans and lentils will taste savory with just the slightest hint of heat. You’ll need to cook these for about 5-6 hours on high or longer on low. The exact amount of time needed will depend on your slow cooker, but cook until the red beans are nice and tender. A very easy way to tell if the beans are cooked is to scoop out a few with a spoon and blow on them. If the skins peel and split, the beans are done. Nifty, huh?

Yield: 12

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Curried Beans and Lentils

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Curried Beans and Lentils
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 lb dry lentils, picked over for stones and rinsed
  • 1 lb dry red beans, picked over for stones and rinsed
  • 1 onion, minced/diced small
  • 28 oz (1 large or two small cans) petite diced tomatoes (look for no salt added!)
  • 1/2 coconut milk
  • 1 tablesppon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a pinch of cayenne or white pepper, if desired
  • 4 cups of water
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving


  • Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, stir to combine, and cook! It should take about 6 hours on high, or longer on low.
  • Add more water, if desired, for a more soup-like consistency, or do not add additional water if you want thicker beans to serve over rice.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick, top with cilantro, and serve!
  • If you’re okay with dairy, topping these beans with feta cheese makes them even more delicious!

    slow cooker curried beans and lentils

    Are you a slow cooker fan? Have you dealt with an uncooperative model before, either one that wouldn’t cook or one that burned everything?


    { 4 comments… add one }
    • Julie February 21, 2016, 23:12

      I’m totally drooling over this…! I love beans. I so need to invest in a slow cooker!

      • Natashalh February 22, 2016, 09:04

        Slow cookers are so convenient because they allow you to come home to a cooked meal!

    • Marieken February 16, 2016, 09:44

      Congrats on the new slow cooker! This must smell and taste amazing.

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