This is a heart-warming Vegan Lentil Stew. Simple yet packed with nutritions and allows endless variations to satisfy every member of the family! So good that you don’t have to be vegan to love it.
The holidays are over and it’s time to get our lives back on track. For me, a big part of the process is getting back in the cooking groove and eating food that will nourish and fuel me. No ingredient can beat lentils for this purpose. While Turkish Red Lentil Soup warms us up during winter as a dinner starter, we make this lentil stew when a hearty meal rather than a soup is in need. It’s healthy, filling and really easy to pull together. I love that you can adjust the ingredients depending on what you have at home or need to use up. And the varied toppings and side dishes that go along with it make it exciting.
How to Make
My lentil stew recipe is not only delicious, it’s also easy to make. With just three easy parts, it’s fast as well.
First, start by sautéing the carrot and onion. These two ingredients are the base of many soups and stews (sometimes along with celery) and help build flavor from the very beginning. Then, garlic, spices and lentils are added and cooked to help deepen their aromas and seal in the seasoning.
Once the base flavor has been built, it’s time to add the water. At this point you can substitute a stock or broth for the water, to add more complexity. Try vegetable or mushroom stock if you want to keep this a vegan lentil stew. Or use chicken or beef stock if you don’t mind meat.
When the lentils are tender, it’s time to add the broccoli and let it cook just for a few minutes. If you’re not a big fan of broccoli, try cauliflower instead. Peeled and cubed sweet potato or butternut squash are also great alternatives and you can use multiple vegetables if you prefer. Just make sure to adjust cooking time so that whatever vegetable you use is tender when served. When the vegetables are cooked, the final addition is a squeeze of lemon juice. This acidity helps balance the earthiness of the lentils and gives this vegan lentil stew a bright finish.
While the lentil stew is cooking, prepare the garnishes. I suggest shredded red cabbage and some fresh parsley, but feel free to experiment. Other herbs such as thyme or basil would be great here. If you’re not concerned about the stew being vegan, a dollop of yoghurt or creme fraiche would also work well.
Which Lentils Work Best?
Brown or green lentils are great for this recipe as they don’t break down and hold their shape well when cooked. Should you prefer a thicker consistency, red or yellow lentils are a great option. They are more commonly used in Indian lentil stew recipes and also some Moroccan lentil stews. Regardless of what lentils you choose, you do not need to soak them before cooking. Just rinse them and sort through to remove any non-edible particles that may have been in the package.
How to Make It in a Slow Cooker
This recipe works very well in a slow cooker as well! Simply prepare all the ingredients and combine in the slow cooker. Set it to cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 5. If you prefer that your broccoli still have some crunch to it, blanche it separately (boil it for a few minutes until it’s bright green) and add it when you’re serving the stew. Or simply add the broccoli towards the end of the cooking process.
Can You Freeze It?
This vegetarian lentil stew freezes very well. I prefer to portion it out into individual servings and freeze them so we can eat them for lunch during the week. If you’re planning on freezing the stew, I recommend omitting the broccoli during the cooking and adding it when you reheat it. This will give you more crunch and texture.
What Goes With It?
The range of toppings and sides that can be added to this lentil stew is as varied as the soup itself. Try naan bread, pita or even homemade flour tortillas on the side for dipping. Or serve this stew over rice pilaf with orzo for an even heartier meal. You can also never go wrong with a fresh salad on the side like our Mediterranean Green Olive Salad.
Regardless of how you prepare this vegan lentil stew, I hope it helps you start the new year off right! Please rate the recipe and leave a comment below if you make it. Your thoughts are always valuable to us.Print
Vegan Lentil Stew
A hearty vegan lentil stew with carrots and broccoli. Easy to make with simple ingredients.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- ½ cups diced carrot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup green lentils
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sweet chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 5 cups water
- 1 and ½ cups broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- ¼ cup parsley
- In a large pan, saute onion and carrots in oil for about 5 minutes. Add in garlic, lentils and spices. Cook for a few minutes stirring occasionally. You can add a splash of water if it’s too dry.
- Pour water and bring it to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Add in broccoli florets and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour the lemon juice and stir.
- Share the stew into bowls, garnish with cabbage and parsley. Serve warm or hot.
Keywords: lentil stew, vegan stew, vegan lentil stew