Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal on a plate with a fork

Spinach, sweet potato & lentil dhal

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(365 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4

A comforting vegan one-pot recipe that counts for 3 of your 5-a-day! You can't go wrong with this iron-rich, low-fat, low-calorie supper

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal397
  • fat5g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre11g
  • protein18g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 400g/14oz), cut into even chunks
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 250g red split lentils
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 80g bag of spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 4 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal, to serve
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • ½ small pack of Thai basil, leaves torn, to serve



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


  1. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wide-based pan with a tight-fitting lid.

  2. Add 1 finely chopped red onion and cook over a low heat for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened.

  3. Add 1 crushed garlic clove, a finely chopped thumb-sized piece of ginger and 1 finely chopped red chilli, cook for 1 min, then add 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric and 1 ½ tsp ground cumin and cook for 1 min more.

  4. Turn up the heat to medium, add 2 sweet potatoes, cut into even chunks, and stir everything together so the potato is coated in the spice mixture.

  5. Tip in 250g red split lentils, 600ml vegetable stock and some seasoning. 

  6. Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 mins until the lentils are tender and the potato is just holding its shape.

  7. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then gently stir in the 80g spinach. Once wilted, top with the 4 diagonally sliced spring onions and ½ small pack torn basil leaves to serve.

  8. Alternatively, allow to cool completely, then divide between airtight containers and store in the fridge for a healthy lunchbox.

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Comments, questions and tips

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15th Mar, 2018
Super lovely meal! I was worried that it might need some carbs to balance it out, but it was fine as is. I have to admit, I did add a couple of rashers of bacon as I had them in the fridge, and it was absolutely delicious.
27th Feb, 2018
Delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception that I also added some rice and it came out delicious. It was really easy to cook too and I will definitely be making it again.
Michael Suhonen's picture
Michael Suhonen
21st Feb, 2018
I followed this recipe exactly as it says and with the exact ingredients, it was a very nice comforting meal. Under 400 calories and a great meal for the 5 - 2 diet plan.
Kate Forber
7th Feb, 2018
Lovely & easy to make - so tasty! Going on the mid week meal menu
Allison Plant's picture
Allison Plant
3rd Feb, 2018
I had almost everything on hand - so followed the recipe as closely as I could - and it was absolutely perfect. My sweet potato cubes were smaller than in your picture, so they were just the right softness after 20 minutes, I also had to use a Vegan Chicken stock as I had no veg stock on hand - but it turned out totally fine. I didn't have spring onions on hand - didn't miss it. I will certainly be making this again and again. So yum, so simple. The kids gobbled it up - I think I need to make a double batch next time.
20th Jan, 2018
Didnt have enough sweet potato so used parsnip as well. Was a bit heavy on lentils for me but general tastes ok. Would probably prefer a veg curry with some tomato
Alexander Marks's picture
Alexander Marks
4th Jan, 2018
sooooo good!
Katie Fitzsimons
2nd Jan, 2018
This is so delicious! I eat it as is, I don't add any extra carb like rice or naan. It is a comforting bowl of deliciousness and really easy to make. I don't peel the sweet potatoes, just cube them and chuck them in. I also preferred it when I used chicken stock (had no vegetable stock) but have made it both ways and it was good both times. Highly recommend!
Dot Cotton
12th Oct, 2017
Made as per recipe only i left out the sweet potato & added a couple of dollops of mango chutney at the end. Gorgeous! Plenty left for lunch tomorrow with rice
swiftsmith's picture
4th Aug, 2017
Love this recipe, simple and really nourishing and tasty. I use squash instead of sweet potato- have tried both and think squash works better. I'm not vegan but frequently choose to make this for dinner, served with brown basmati rice, because it's delicious! I also often use frozen spinach because that's what I've got in the house and it works just as well, and it's worth doing without the basil, I usually don't use it.


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