Curried Lentil, Quinoa and Vegetable Stew

Flavored with coconut milk, curry, spices and fresh ginger, this easy recipe combines red lentils, quinoa, carrots, kale and red bell pepper to make a hearty vegetarian stew. Despite the long ingredient list, the dish comes together fairly quickly, and any leftovers you end up with will make a great lunch the next day.

Curried Lentil, Quinoa and Vegetable Stew

Curried Lentil, Quinoa and Vegetable Stew

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Richly flavored with coconut milk, curry, fresh ginger and spices, this easy vegetarian stew is made with a hearty combination of red lentils, quinoa, kale and carrots.


  • 3/4 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1-2/3 cups light coconut milk (13 to 14 ounce can)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 3 to 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Place the quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Check out our article on Cooking With Quinoa to learn more.
  3. Combine the curry powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, sprinkle with the spice mixture and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  5. Stir in 1-3/4 cups of the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Add the tomato paste, stir until blended, then add the carrots and continue simmering for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the lentils and continue cooking until tender and nearly all of the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 12 minutes. If you find the liquid is evaporating too quickly, reduce the heat and add a little extra broth.
  7. Add the bell pepper, stir in the coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring often, for an additional 2 minutes, then add the kale and combine well.
  8. Continue cooking until the kale is wilted and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the scallions along with the reserved quinoa. You may need to add a little extra broth at this point as well.
  9. Taste and adjust the seasonings and continue cooking just long enough for the quinoa to heat through. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
  10. Spoon individual portions into shallow bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of chopped scallions and serve alongside toasted naan if desired.