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Instant Pot Red Lentil + Cauliflower Curry

Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Super Fast
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

If you have an Instant Pot, you know that it cooks things super fast, but they can also get mushy. I’m also always surprised how long it takes to come to pressure and then release. This recipe though is meant to be soft in texture and it only cooks for 5 minutes, but still will take about 30. The beauty in it is that it’s almost completely hands off - easiest prep ever.


  • 12 Red Onion
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • 1 Sweet Potato (small, about ½ pound at most)
  • 12 cup Red Lentils
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 15-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups Water (divided)
  • 112 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 cup Couscous
  • 1 bunch Green Kale
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar

Cooking Instructions


    Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Dice the cauliflower into florets. Peel and dice sweet potato. Add all to the Instant Pot.

    Add the lentils, curry paste, turmeric, tomatoes, coconut milk, 1 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

    Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Immediately release the pressure to prevent overcooking the veggies. Stir and season with more salt if needed. Give it a few minutes to cool and thicken slightly.


    Bring 1 cup water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Stir in the couscous and cover. Turn off heat immediately, let sit for 12 minutes then fluff with a fork.

  • 3. KALE

    Wash and tear kale. Add olive oil and vinegar; add a pinch of salt. Massage with fingertips until it wilts.

  • 4. SERVING

    Serve couscous topped with stew and kale on the side.

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    butternut squash cubes are great, or a russet potato
    try with fresh tomatoes
    try with quinoa or green lentils too
  • KALE:
    omit and serve with an arugula salad
    see Culinary Skills section for stovetop instructions

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • When slicing the sweet potato, leave a few pieces in large rounds so you can serve them separately on their plate - or you can mash these bigger pieces without the curry sauce
  • You can do the same with cauliflower; leave a large quarter of a head on top and it will cook through but be easier to pluck out and serve “plain”

For Toddlers

  • This is a great meal for a toddler since its soft and flavorful but not spicy. But if it’s new to them, serve with pasta or bread or a quesadilla - something that’s familiar and likely to make them feel comfortable trying it

For Choosy Eaters

  • The stew could be a tough sell, separate out some potato and cauliflower before cooking and microwave until soft. Toss with butter and garlic powder or parmesan. Offer a bite of stew
  • Try orzo or rice instead of couscous
  • Swap kale for cucumbers, carrot sticks or fruit
  • If not vegetarian, add fish or meat to complete the meal

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

Cook it entirely, reheats well in the microwave or on the stove top

Culinary Skills

To cook this on the stovetop, dice all of the veggies. Sauté in a large pot over medium-high heat with a few teaspoons of olive oil. When things are fragrant, add the curry paste, water and coconut milk. Simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about 20 – 30 minutes or until the lentils and all veggies are tender.

Rate this recipe:
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