Reduce Waste With This Mild Kid-Friendly Curry From Leftovers {Vegan, Vegetarian}

This website may earn commissions from purchases made through links in this post.

Reduce food waste with this “clear-the-crisper” kid-friendly curry made from whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand. Vegan friendly.

It’s the end of the shopping week or fortnight, and you’ve got a bit of this and a bit of that leftover in the crisper.

What do you cook to use up the dribs and drabs and reduce waste?

Here’s one idea: a vegetable curry that’s delicious, mild and kid-friendly.

What Vegetables Go Well in Curry?

You can add whatever you have in the fridge, the freezer or the pantry to this curry. Here are some suggestions:

  • Carrot
  • Green beans
  • Pumpkin
  • Potato
  • Sweet Potato
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Capsicum (Bell Pepper)
  • Baby Spinach
  • Onion
  • Eggplant

This curry uses tinned tomatoes, but you can add chopped fresh tomatoes instead.

Each time I cook this, it’s a little bit different. This time around, I had green onion instead of brown, some random mushrooms, some wrinkly zucchini, and a woody old sweet potato.

Can You Use Frozen Vegetables?

Yes! For an easy mid-week cheat, you can use a bag of mixed frozen vegetables instead of fresh vegetables.

This makes it a very cheap and easy meal that still has loads of flavour and nutrients.

Depending on the brand and where you shop, a bag of mixed frozen vegetables can cost between $2 and $5 (2022 prices in Australia). Add in the coconut milk, rice, tomatoes and spices, and this meal is less than $10.

Tips For Kids Who Aren’t Keen on Veggies

If your kids aren’t keen on some or all of the vegetables, you can try the following:

  • sticking to the vegetables they know and will eat
  • finely chopping or grating the vegetables
  • blending some or all of the curry so it’s smooth and soupy (leave some chunky for the adults, if you prefer)

I’ve used all of these tricks at various times over the years for both kids. I’ve blended, grated, chopped…and then there was one year we ate a lot of broccoli. Kids grow up, their palate usually matures, and they eat more vegetables.

Freezing Vegetable Curry

Making a big batch of this curry and freezing half for later is a great way to have a healthy mid-week dinner when you’re busy.

Your future self will be high-fiving your current self for thinking ahead.

Cool your curry to room temperature and place it in a freezer-safe container—label and freezer for up to three months.

Defrost in the fridge and reheat until piping hot, either in a pot on the stove or microwave.

Variations – Spicing it Up and Adding Leftover Meat

While this curry is kid-friendly, adding chilli can make it more ‘adult’.

Having said that, a friend from India cooks with lots of chilli, and her kids love hot food, so what kids eat depends, in part, on what they are used to. You don’t have to eliminate all heat from your cooking.

You can also make this non-vegan by adding leftover meat. If you have leftover roast lamb, beef, or chicken, chop it up and mix it in with the vegetables to reheat.

What Sides Go Well with Curry

Rice is the go-to side for a curry.

If you have an inexpensive rice cooker, it’s very simple to get perfect, low-fuss rice every time.

You can also serve this with a side of homemade roti, naan bread, or potatoes.

I love adding a dollop of natural yoghurt (use coconut yoghurt if you’re vegan) to add a little acidity.

You can also top your curry with some toasted slivered almonds or cashews for crunch, a sprig or two of coriander (cilantro), and a side of sliced cucumber.

Kid Friendly Curry
This is my daughter loving her veggie curry.

Looking for other ways to use up vegetables in the crisper? You might also like Roast Vegetable Frittata.

Yield: 4 serves

Kid-Friendly Vegetable Curry

mild vegetable curry and rice

This mild curry doesn't have chilli, which is what makes it kid-friendly. Feel free to add chilli if you like things hot!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 400g tin tomatoes (or 3 or 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 400g can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground (or fresh) ginger
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 cups vegetables of choice*


  1. Sauté onion and garlic in a little oil until soft and translucent.
  2. Add spices, tomatoes and coconut milk, stirring well.
  3. Add tougher root vegetables and simmer until almost soft.
  4. Add softer vegetables and cook until just soft.
  5. Serve with rice and topped with natural yoghurt.


You can add meat to this curry if you like. Cut chicken or other meat into bite-sized cubes and brown before continuing on with the rest of the recipe.

*Veggie ideas include pumpkin, carrot, beans, potato, sweet potato, zucchini, broccoli (including the stems), cauliflower, beans, peas, capsicum, spinach.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 54mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 6g

Nutritional information is calculated automatically using the Nutritionix database. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, serving size or the source of nutrition data. We strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Eileen Miles says:

    Word of warning about things from New Zealand . Their food labelling laws are not the same as ours and many things labelled’New Zealand ‘ are actually imported products processed in NZ, this includes frozen and tinned veg. Even loose leaf salad stuff is imported and packed and shipped to AUS this way to get around our labelling laws.

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Thanks for the heads up Eileen, I did wonder about this. It’s so annoying that as a consumer it’s impossible to make an informed choice when it comes to buying food.

  2. This was our dinner last night. I used left over roast chicken for the meat and basic vegetables I had at hand. Very tasty and approved by all. I have enough left over for tonight. Now, that really makes me happy!

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Glad you liked it Jane. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  3. We made this a few weeks ago and we’re going to try it again tonight. It was delicious! We’re dairy, soy and peanut free, and I find it really hard to find go to recipes with fussy toddlers. But this got a double thumbs up from Daddy. I’m going to attempt this in the oven tonight. I’ve got some chicken drumsticks and chicken breast that needs to be used up. I’m a little nervous. Haha Any tips?

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      Hi Candice, glad you guys enjoyed this recipe. You can brown the chicken and add it to the curry maybe?