This pumpkin lentil curry with chickpeas is a nutrient-dense pantry meal thanks to lentils, canned chickpeas, and canned pumpkin! Read on if you’re looking for a canned pumpkin recipe that isn’t a dessert!
Before I tell you about this recipe, I’m going to wax poetic on canned pumpkin. I keep pumpkin purée in my pantry all year round. If you’ve been grabbing a can at Thanksgiving for your annual pumpkin pie, this recipe will make you see canned pumpkin in a new light.
The benefits of 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! Now, 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 considered the time saved!
The best part about canned pumpkin is that it has no flavorings or sweeteners, so it also works well in savory applications. It’s a perfect addition to any pantry meal! It was a no-brainer choice for this lentil curry with chickpeas recipe!
How to make this pumpkin lentil curry with chickpeas:
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.
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, 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 with fresh herbs or greens, like cilantro, microgreens, or minced scallions. Enjoy!