This hearty vegan lentil stew recipe is packed with plant-based protein and makes the house smell amazingly warm and cozy. Perfectly satisfying meal for lunch or dinner.
As the days grow shorter and the temperatures begin to dip, there's nothing quite like a warm and hearty stew. This Hearty Lentil Stew is the perfect recipe to usher in the cozy vibes of autumn and winter. Made with your standard aromatics and pantry staples this cozy meal is simple but will make your house smell amazing.
- Green/ Brown Lentils
- The aromatics: onions, carrots, celery and garlic
- red potatoes
- Tomato paste and canned tomatoes
- the herbs and spices: spoked peprika, cumin, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, salt, pepper
- balsamic vinegar
- heart greens like kale or spinach
See the recipe card for quantities.
While I love red lentils in some soups like - red curry lentils and smoke stewed lentils, this is not the soup for red lentils.
I normally use brown or green lentils for this recipe and the cooking time in the recipe card reflects that choice.
Note: Brown and green lentils are the same thing and you will find them labeled interchangeably. But French lentils or Le Puy Lentils are different- they are firmer and take longer to cook.
You can also use black lentils or French green lentils but you will want to add 1-2 cups more of water and 10-15 minutes of cooking time. Just check as you cook and add liquid and time as needed.
I might have a little bit of a lentils and beans obsession- I love legumes!! A great source of protein and fiber, it's an excellent addition to a heart-healthy diet. For more lentil soup recipes try lentil and mushroom soup, lemony lentil soup, and Moroccan lentil quinoa soup.
First, place a large pot over medium heat and add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is heated, toss in 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, along with 1 large carrot and 2 celery stalks, also chopped. Sauté these aromatic vegetables until they become tender and fragrant. (8-16 minutes)
Add 2 red potatoes into the pot, along with 3 to 4 minced garlic cloves. Allow them to cook and soften for about 5 minutes.
Next, stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and the spices (1 ½ teaspoons of smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of rosemary, ½ teaspoon of dried thyme, and ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes). This helps bring out all the flavors of the spice.
To add a nutritional punch and a pop of color, include 1 cup of chopped kale (or opt for baby spinach if you prefer). The greens will provide a vibrant contrast to the earthy lentils. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to brighten up the stew and enhance its depth.
Finally, season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, adjusting to your taste preferences. Serve it hot, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a dollop of yogurt.
Tips and Tricks
- use smoked paprika- using smoked paprika vs standard paprika makes a surprisingly big difference in the flavor.
- cut the potatoes into small pieces that they will cook in the same time frame as the green/brown lentils.
- take your time with the onions- spending a time extra time with the onions can bring out a lot of flavor.
- Make extra- this is one of those recipes that might even taste better the next day. So make some extra and store it in a freezer-safe container. It will last for a week in the refrigerated or 6-month freezer.
- I you have fresh herbs swap out the dried herbs.
- Swap the red potatoes for russet or sweet potatoes
- Add some more flavor with vegetable broth or Chicken broth
- Add more veggies- This recipe is simple and delicious as is but it also works well as a base to add more and more veggies. Try mushrooms, squash, cauliflower, turnips or and peas.
- Add some more lemuges! If you are looking to up the protein is just in love with beans in general throw is some navy beans with add a nice creamy texture to the stew.
- white or brown rice
- crusty bread
- mashed potatoes
- fresh grated Parmesan
- a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
More Lentil Recipes
Love this Hearty vegan lentil stew check out some more of my favorite lentil recipes:
If you’ve tried this Lentil Stew recipe or any other recipe on BalancingBowls, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to see more tasty meals and anything else I’m up to.
- ½ cups brown lentils green lentils
- 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 red potatoes potato small diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 ½ teaspoon Smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon rosemary
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup Kale chopped or baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place a large pot over medium heat and add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is heated, toss in 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, along with 1 large carrot and 2 celery stalks, also chopped. Sauté these aromatic vegetables until they become tender and fragrant. (8-16 minutes)
- Add 2 red potatoes into the pot, along with 3 to 4 minced garlic cloves. Allow them to cook and soften for about 5 minutes.
- Next, stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and the spices (f smoked paprika, cumin, rosemary, dried thyme, and red pepper flakes.
- Add one can (28 ounces) of diced tomatoes, 6 cups of water or vegetable broth, and the bay leaf. Pour in the dry lentils. On medium-high heat bring the stew to a light and quick boil before reducing the heat. Simmer on medium-low heat until the lentils and potatos are tender about 30-40 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of chopped kale (or opt for baby spinach if you prefer).
- Stir in 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.