Instant Pot Red Curry Lentils

Red curry lentils in a bowl with rice.

Guess what’s for dinner? Creamy, spicy, delicious red curry lentils, made in the Instant Pot.

It’s almost embarrassingly easy: lentils, cooked with a can of tomato sauce, some warm spices, and the essential onion-garlic-ginger trifecta, and made creamy with a little bit of coconut milk and/or butter and/or ghee.

Scoop it over a pile of steamy rice and throw some fresh greens on there and you’ve got a serious comfort food situation that is hard to quit.

It’s amazing for dinner and more amazing for leftovers.

Here’s how it goes:

Put everything in the Instant Pot.

Ingredients for red curry lentils in the Instant Pot.

Cook it up. Mix it with something creamy (hello, coconut milk).

Red curry lentils in Instant Pot with coconut milk.

Annnd you’re done.


This is so good on so many levels.

Red curry lentils in a bowl with rice.

This recipe was based off of the original red curry lentils of way back when – a tried and true favorite that does not require an Instant Pot!

And here’s a big-batch crockpot version which freezes super well for those who are as obsessed with these humble little lentils as I am.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Instant Pot Red Curry Lentils:

Red Curry Lentils in a deep dish with a spoon.

Instant Pot Red Curry Lentils

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Guess what’s for dinner? Creamy, spicy, delicious red curry lentils, made in the Instant Pot. This is the BEST easy, filling, healthy dinner!


Into The Instant Pot:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoonred curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlicminced
  • one 1-inch knob of gingerminced
  • a few good shakes of cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (more to taste)

And Then:

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee (optional)
  • cilantro for garnishing
  • rice for serving


  1. Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Natural pressure release (meaning just let it sit) for 10 more minutes.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk and butter. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Serve with rice, top with cilantro, and be amazed at the yumminess of the humble little lentil.


What to serve with: I often serve this with some extras – like, whatever produce we have hanging around in the fridge. Roasted bell peppers, slices of mango, avocado chunks… this is a very flexible recipe and works great as the base of a healthy and delicious fridge-clean-out bowl!

Crockpot Version: Follow this recipe.

Stovetop Version: Follow this recipe.

Freezing: This recipe freezes super well, cooked OR uncooked. I froze mine, uncooked, without liquids (just lentils, onion, garlic, ginger, spices) and then added the water and tomato sauce when I cooked it. Timing should be the same either way!

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Thai-Inspired

Keywords: instant pot red curry lentils, red curry lentils, red curry recipe

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One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our best Instant Pot recipes page. Check it out!

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