What’s better than a warm, hearty, and flavorful chicken, vegetable, and lentil curry (/stew) full of healthy vegetables, protein, and fats? Well that would be one where you throw all the ingredients in a slow cooker, turn it on and forget about it until the incredible smells start wafting through the house. Or hits you after coming home after a long day of work or errands.
I think that’s what I like best about slow cooker meals – you cut everything up, add it to the bowl, turn it on, and then go about your business. It’s then outta sight, outta mind (for me anyway…). And then, BAM, and I’m thinking, “what is that wonderful smell? Oh, yeah – dinner!” It’s like someone is cooking it for you and all of a sudden I can’t wait for dinner. 🙂
I’ve tried a lot of slow cooker recipes and for some reason many of them are rather blah. Maybe it’s the long cooking time? I’m not sure because there are others that are full of flavors, which is always what I aim for in one of my recipes. And this lentil curry with chicken, onions, carrots, cauliflower, and spinach DELIVERS. But really, how can you go wrong with an Indian curry? I’m in love with curries – the spice, the depth of flavor, and how they make whatever ingredients you use taste amazing. I keep both hot and mild curry on hand, but we mainly use the hot curry because we like things on the spicy side. I also added more turmeric to this dish because of all the health benefits – not just for dogs – and I’m trying to add it to whatever dishes I can.
You can serve this with a side of rice or naan and a topping of yogurt, like a traditional curry, or like I did – more as a stew with a side of artisan bread. Choices, choices.Print
Slow Cooker Chicken, Vegetable & Lentil Curry
A hearty, flavorful, fix-it-and-forget-it meal perfect for cold, wintery evenings.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 20 mins
- Yield: 6-8 servings
- 1 lg. onion, chopped
- 2 c. chopped carrots (about 3 lg.)
- 1 sm. head cauliflower, cut (or frozen*)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. dried lentils, rinsed (about 1 1/4-c.)
- 2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pcs.
- 1 TB hot or mild curry powder (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne (to taste – omit if using hot curry)
- 1 1/2-tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 4 c. chicken broth, preferably homemade bone broth
- 1-2 tsp. salt, depending on type of broth (unsalted homemade = 2 tsp.)
- 3-4 c. chopped, fresh spinach** (or 10oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed)
- optional toppings: chopped parsley, yogurt
- Add all ingredients into the bowl of a 4 to 6 qt. slow cooker in order listed, EXCEPT spinach (and frozen cauliflower, if using – see note below*).
- Cook on High 4 hours (stirring halfway through), and add the spinach at the 3 1/2-hr. mark, stirring it in, covering and cooking for the last 30 minutes OR cook on Low for 6-7 hrs (stir halfway through), again adding the spinach in the last 1/2-hour of cooking BUT, turn the cooker up to High for that last 30min.
- Serve with a side of rice, naan, or artisan bread and optional toppings.
*If you use frozen cauliflower, thaw it first by running under warm water and add it during the last 30 minutes along with the spinach with the cooker on HIGH.
**Chopped chard or kale work, too.
**One note on the slow-cook time: overcooking does happen with this dish (contrary to things I’ve read that you can’t overcook slow cooker dishes…) and results in mushy cauliflower if left longer than 4 hours. If you know your cooker cooks fast, as some do, then you’ll want to check for doneness at the 3 hour mark to be able to add the spinach and cook for another hour. Bottom line: test for the doneness of the vegetables according to your tastes.
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