Are you searching for a simple, delicious protein-packed one-pot meal? Look no further! This healthy lentil stew combines a few cheap ingredients into a delicious, warming meal. It’s super easy to prepare and guaranteed to satisfy in taste and nutrients! Back in my student days, I loved making this lentil stew as a quick, nutritious dinner if I was short on time but looking to get my protein in. Now, during the cold days in the northern hemisphere, nothing beats a cosy and warming stew. This lentil stew is comfort food at its finest.
Especially if you are looking to get enough protein in with a plant-based diet, lentils are one of my weapons of choice!
Ingredients for making this Lentil Stew:
- Red onions
- Tomato puree
- Vegetable stock/water
My Spices of Choice:
- Smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper to season
As you can see from the ingredient list, we are keeping it pretty simple. But that doesn’t mean we are sacrificing any taste. Slow-cooking the carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic brings out all the delicious flavour we want in this lentil stew. Tomato puree brings us some sweet fruitiness that brightens things up nicely!
To season the stew, a touch of dried thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, laurel leaves, and salt & pepper get the job done. Smoked paprika makes a fantastic addition to stews to get some of that fire-cooked feel!
I’d recommend using green or brown lentils for this stew. I think they strike the best consistencies for this recipe: They soften up and thicken the stew nicely but keep more texture than the red or yellow varieties. But that’s a personal preference. You can use any lentils you like!
You need some liquid for making the lentil stew, and everything tastes better when using vegetable stock! If you want to go the extra mile of using homemade vegetable stock, it’s absolutely worth the hassle!
Both starchy or waxy potatoes can work nicely here. If you want a thicker liquid and the potatoes to dissolve into the stew, go for starchy. If you like more consistency, use waxy potatoes. Or go for the in-between with all-purpose potatoes.
How to make this Easy Lentil Stew Recipe:
I am using dried lentils today, which we want to rinse and soak before making the stew. Rinse them, let them soak in hot water for 30 minutes, and rinse them again.
Let’s prepare the other ingredients for some smooth and chill cooking. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. For these kinds of stews, there is no need to be too perfectionistic with this. For a rustic feeling, I like the potatoes and carrots nice and chunky. My carrots had a thin peel, which I left on for deeper and earthier notes. Peel the potato, and cut it into wedges.
Now, let’s get some flavours going. If you have a dutch oven, this is the kind of dish to bring it out for! I am using a cast iron dutch oven and cooking this dish in our fireplace, which adds some nice, rustic flavour! I assume most people won’t cook this dish on a wood fire, so don’t worry! A regular pot and store work perfectly fine as well!
Firstly, we want to sweat the onions, carrots and garlic nicely. I like to develop some roasty flavours during this stage. Put your stove on high heat, add a generous sip of oil, and sauté the onions. After a minute, add the carrot and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 more minutes.
Next, add your soaked lentils and potatoes to the pot. Dissolve the tomato puree in your vegetable stock or water, and add it to the stew. You want all ingredients to be well-immersed in liquid. Add your spices as well.
Cook your lentil stew with a closed lid for 30 minutes. Stir now and then to make sure nothing burns at the bottom. Next, check the consistency of the stew. The potatoes and lentils should already have thickened everything nicely. If the lentil stew looks too watery, reduce the liquid by cooking it for a few more minutes without a lid.
Check for seasoning, and that’s all there is to it! Enjoy this delicious lentil stew nice and warm!
This basic lentil stew recipe tastes fantastic, but there is room for customisation! I’ll share a few ideas with you that you can use to spice up this recipe even more!
- Add some greens of your choice. Collard greens, kale, spinach or swiss chard make some delicious, fibrous and vitamin-packed additions!
- Add other vegetables: Celery, paprika, or golden beets are fantastic in this stew too!
- Some more spices: chilli flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked salt can enhance the flavour even further!
- If you like to go for a rustic feeling, you can try adding some plant-based sausages. Try going for sausages that pair well with the flavour profile, both in terms of taste and consistency!
Some more Recipe Inspirations:
- This leek bake is as easy to make as it is delicious.
- A vegetable tajine that is loaded with chickpeas.
- This easy vegan chilli is comfort food at its finest.
- This vegan shepherd’s pie is so warming and delicious.
- My simple go-to: Spaghetti Aglio, olio, e peperoncino.
- This easy mediterranean chickpea stew is a perfect side dish.
Easy & protein-packed lentil stewCourse: Main, DinnerCuisine: EuropeanDifficulty: Easy
60ml of vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
8 small potatoes
4 cloves garlic
3 small red onions
3 tbsp tomato puree
1.2l vegetable stock/water
1 tbsp tyme
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp rosemary
3 laurel leaves
¾ tsp nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to season
- If using dried lentils, rinse them, let them soak in hot water for 30 minutes, and rinse them again.
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic.. For a rustic feeling, keep the potatoes and carrots nice and chunky. You can leave the peel on the carrot for a deeper and earthier flavour. Peel the potato, and cut it into wedges.
- Use a deep pot or dutch oven for this recipe. Heat it to high heat, add a generous sip of oil, and sauté the onions. After a minute, add the carrot and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. You can develop some roast flavours in the process.
- Add your soaked lentils and potatoes to the pot. Dissolve the tomato puree in your vegetable stock or water, and add it to the stew. You want all ingredients to be well-immersed in liquid. Add your spices, and cook your stew with a closed lid for 30 minutes. Stir now and then to make sure nothing burns at the bottom.
- After cooking for 30 minutes, check the consistency of the stew. The potatoes and lentils should already have thickened the stew nicely. If the lentil stew looks too watery, reduce the liquid by cooking it for a few more minutes without a lid.
- Check for seasoning, and that’s all there is to it! Enjoy this delicious lentil stew nice and warm!