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Slow Cooker Red Lentil Butternut Squash Curry

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Spring is the busiest time of year for me. Yearly homeschool testing, church musical, church lock-in, ordering ribbons for swim team, and the list goes on. I just signed up to be director for our Classical Conversations (CC) group as well, so I’ve spent a portion of the last two afternoons making preparations for our group. Today, was the craziest day I’ve had in a long time, and because we ate junk while camping last weekend, I’m trying to keep it healthy around here.

In between taking my girls to swim, picking up swim team ribbons, taking the girls to pottery, hitting Costco, and a meeting with our CC host church, I managed to throw a red curry into the slow cooker. I planned to leave pottery at 5 to be home in time to make rice before my husband left for his 6:30 church meeting. However, my daughter Anna was working on a sculpture and wanted to finish, so we didn’t get out of the studio until 5:20. As we scurried out to the parking lot, my worry shifted from the rice being done on time, to the ominous sky and slightly swaying trees which told me we were about to get some weather. I was right, we got weather — rain pounding down, and blowing across the road while tree branches snapped. I drove slowly, praying I would make it home without incident. After I pulled in the driveway, I tried to wait the rain out, but again, the rice. So I got out of the car, and it was literally like standing in a shower on full blast. It was worth it though, because I got the rice done just in the nick of time to feed my husband.

I’m aware butternut squash isn’t in season, but for people like me trying to rotate their pantry/freezer stock, this works! If you don’t have butternut squash available in your own freezer or pantry, Trader Joe’s sells it frozen.

This recipe can be thrown together the night before, and plopped in the slow cooker base, or even assembled in a gallon bag before cooking, and stored in the freezer.  This makes enough for 6-8 people. I freeze leftovers for my daughters and myself as quick dinner for when my husband is travelling.

My family loves this recipe, and I might add my 9 year-old doesn’t give a rip about pleasing me at the dinner table, and made lots of yummy noises. This is healthy, hearty, and delicious. Don’t skip the lime juice and a light sprinkle of salt right before serving, as it brightens the dish.

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Butternut Squash Curry

To slow cooker, add:

4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock (if homemade and low in salt, add 1 TBSP chicken bouillon)
2 cups red lentils
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 cup minced onion
1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups chopped butternut squash
15 ounces of diced tomatoes
1 TBSP curry powder
1 TBSP tomato powder (optional)

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Mix it all together.

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Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over hot rice, and squeeze a little fresh lime juice on top of curry, and sprinkle with a bit of salt.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Nancy May 2, 2016, 2:06 PM

    This looks absolutely delicious!

  • Jenny May 2, 2016, 2:33 PM

    I bet Doug can make rice. Problem solved! 🙂

  • Linda Nietz June 11, 2016, 5:27 PM

    could you use fresh butternut squash?

    • Laura Macklem June 11, 2016, 5:35 PM

      Hi Linda. You can absolutely use fresh butternut, but just cut into smaller chunks.

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