Say hello to the best pantry meal of 2023. This pumpkin lentil curry with chickpeas is easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. You’ll love this canned pumpkin recipe!
Don’t let anyone tell you that canned pumpkin should be relegated to pies and autumn desserts. I keep canned pumpkin in my pantry all year long. It’s a great way to add a subtly sweet flavor to a number of different savory dishes, like curry or chili.
Why use canned pumpkin?
- Fiber! Canned pumpkin has 7g of fiber per 1 cup serving. Using it in place of tomatoes is a great way to sneak some extra nutrients into the dish.
- Nutrients! It has potassium, protein, vitamin A, and iron.
- Thickener! It’s a great way to thicken soups, stews, and curries.
- Low effort and cheap! I’m always big on using fresh veggies when possible. You can get a whole pumpkin for pretty cheap, but you’ll need to peel it, deseed it, cook it, and then purée it. Canned pumpkin purée is usually $1.50 a can, so it’s a good economical option, especially if you consider the time saved!
How to make this pumpkin lentil curry with chickpeas:
This is such a great pantry meal. You’ll need a few spices, a few canned goods, and dry lentils from your pantry. A handful of fresh vegetables, like spinach, onion, and mushrooms can be added as well. Feel free to riff on the veggie component of this dish though. The best part about this recipe? All the magic happens in just one pot! You’ll cook everything in batches and then simply simmer for about 30 minutes. That’s it!
Step 1: Start by sautéing the veggies. I used onions and mushrooms, but get creative! Try it with sweet potato, squash, cauliflower, eggplant, or even carrots.
Step 2: Add the curry powder once the veggies have softened a bit. Cook it until it becomes fragrant.
Step 3: Throw in the lentils, chickpeas, and canned pumpkin and toss to coat and combine everything together.
Step 4: Pour in water or vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the lentils are tender.
Step 5: Finish with baby spinach and simmer it for 5 minutes until wilted.
That’s it! Just 5 easy steps. You can serve this curry with basmati rice and vegan naan. You could also add an extra 2 cups of liquid and a can of coconut milk and serve this as soup instead.
Want another canned pumpkin recipe? Try this Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili!
Pumpkin Lentil Curry with Chickpeas
- Large pot
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- Cayenne powder or crushed red pepper, to taste
- 1 cup green or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 15- ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 15- ounce can pumpkin purée
- 4 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar, optional
- 4 ounces baby spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cooked basmati rice and fresh herbs or microgreens, for serving
Cook the vegetables:
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3–4 minutes until they begin to sweat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 8–9 minutes until they brown and crisp up around the edges. Season with salt and pepper.
Bloom the curry powder:
- Sprinkle the onion and mushrooms with the curry powder. Add cayenne or crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for 30 seconds over medium heat until fragrant.
Cook the lentils:
- Add the lentils to the pot and toss to coat. Add the chickpeas and toss to coat. Season again with salt and pepper.
- Add the pumpkin pureée to the pot and stir to combine.
Simmer the curry:
- Pour in the water or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and brown sugar if using. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes or until the lentils are completely tender and the curry has thickened. Stir in the spinach and simmer for 5 minutes until wilted. Taste and season.
- Serve the lentil curry with cooked basmati rice and fresh herbs or greens, like cilantro, microgreens, or minced scallions. Enjoy!