One-Pot Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew
One-Pot Red Lentil Sweet Potato Curry- mashed sweet potato and coconut milk give this easy red lentil stew a rich and comforting texture that’s perfect for cool days. (vegan, gluten-free + grain-free)
Greetings from Northern California! It feels nice to be back on the west coast, if only for a short period of time. I still can’t believe that it’s been almost a year since we moved. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were driving down highway one, taking in the majestic beauty of Big Sur one last time.
So far the weather has been just what I’d expect for September. Crisp chilly mornings and pleasant sunny afternoons. These cool days are the first taste of fall which instantly puts me in the mood for cozy sweaters and comforting soups and stews.
I made this Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew a few weeks ago when we had a cold front come in, right before the hurricane. It was something I had planned to share in October but I was so enamored with the result that I decided to bump it up on the editorial calendar. That ought to tell you how good it is considering I’m a type A who’s pretty strict to sticking with my plans.
What I love so much about this recipe is that, thanks to quick cooking red lentils, it also comes together relatively fast. You do have to bake the sweet potato first but once that’s done, the stew is ready in just 30 minutes. So you can always bake the potato on the weekend then store in the refrigerator for a few days if you’d like to make this a week night meal.
The combination of mashed sweet potato and coconut milk gives this stew a thick and creamy texture that’s plenty satisfying thanks to the protein in the lentils and peas. If you’re thinking, but I hate peas, you can leave them out or substitute a leafy green like spinach or kale.
To top it off, I whipped up a cashew coconut lime cream which adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish. I know not everyone has a high speed blender to puree cashews so I put that in the notes as an optional step. Coconut yogurt with lime zest will have a similar effect so you can always use that in it’s place.
I hope this stew helps keep you warm and cozy on a chilly day. Enjoy!
One-Pot Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew
Yield: 4 large servings
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 20
Total Time: 30
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium-size potato)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño, cored and finely chopped (optional)
- 1 bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon curry
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
- 1 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup coconut milk (preferably full fat)
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (optional)
- cilantro and cashew coconut lime cream (see notes) for serving
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a piece of parchment paper (or foil) on the bottom rack of the oven. Wash and pierce the sweet potato a few times then place on the top rack. Bake for 1 hour or until soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
In a large pot, warm 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the garlic, pepper, and seasonings (curry, cumin, turmeric, and salt), and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the rinsed lentils, diced tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, just until lentils are tender. Turn heat to low, stir in peas (if using) and coconut milk then cook until heated through.
Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, slice down the center and scoop the filling out into a measuring cup. Add 1 cup of the flesh to the pot and stir to combine.
Serve with cashew cream and cilantro, and enjoy!
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 1 month.
To make cashew coconut lime cream, combine the ingredients below in a high speed blender or NutriBullet and blend until smooth. Add more water as needed to thin.
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in very hot water then drained and rinsed
- juice of 2 limes (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water
- salt to taste
Alternatively you can combine coconut yogurt with zest of one lime and use that as a topping.
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