Lentil Stew with Kale
Published Feb 07, 2020, Updated Sep 28, 2022
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This hearty, healthy lentil stew is packed with mushrooms and kale and uses fresh salsa for a boost of flavor. Added bonus: it’s budget-friendly and cooks up in 45 minutes!
Sometimes you need a simple, wholesome meal with mountains of vegetables. Do you feel me? This lentil stew is just that. It’s warm, comforting and hearty so it’s perfect for chilly, winter evenings. It requires only a handful of ingredients and about 45 minutes of cook time, yet it’s got the flavor of a stew that’s been simmering for hours. And… it’s budget-friendly. This whole meal costs about $17 to make (minus pantry staples). That’s less than $3 per serving!
Before we get into the recipe, let’s cover some basics about lentil stew.
Can You Add Dry Lentils to Stew?
Yes! That is the glorious thing about this recipe. You don’t need to soak or do any prep work when it comes to lentils. You can toss the lentils in with the broth and other ingredients and they will be done cooking by the time the stew is ready.
How Long Does Lentil Stew Last?
This stew will last 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge or up to two months in the freezer! I usually make it ahead of time for the week and if I don’t get through all of it, I’ll pop it in the freezer to enjoy at a later date.
Ingredients in Lentil Stew
- coconut oil
- yellow onion
- button mushrooms
- green lentils
- salsa – I used fresh salsa from the produce section, but jarred shelf-stable salsa will work too
- vegetable broth
- spices: turmeric, basil, cayenne pepper, cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- parmesan, avocado or fresh basil – or all three! For topping.
Addig Salsa to a Stew Recipe
Salsa in stew? Yup! It’s not something you’re probably used to seeing in a stew recipe, but trust me, it’s a key ingredient here. It adds an acidic component, a good amount of spice and a lots of veggies without having to spend a ton of time chopping. I used two containers of fresh salsa – a roasted garlic version and one that was restaurant style. Both were medium spice and worked beautifully for the stew. Any type of salsa will work for this recipe, but just be sure the salsa flavors are something you’d want in soup. Fruity salsa (like pineapple or mango) might not be the best fit for this recipe.
How to Make Lentil Stew
First, you’re going to prep the vegetables. Sauté the onion, garlic and mushrooms in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add in the vegetable broth, lentils, salsa, turmeric, basil, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Add in the chopped kale and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the kale is wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with freshly grated parmesan, avocado and/or fresh basil. This would also be delicious with some crusty bread!
As you can tell, this stew is super simple to throw together and would be the perfect, inexpensive weeknight dinner.
Like This Recipe? Here are Other Soup Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Vegan Curried Pumpkin Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup
- Slow Cooker Sausage Kale Soup
- CrockPot Black Bean Soup
- Roasted Garlic Lentil Soup
- Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup
Love Lentils? Try These Other Tasty Lentil Recipes:
- Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- Kale Sweet Potato Lentil Salad
- Lentil Tuna Salad
- Roasted Garlic Lentil Soup
- Vegan Lentil Loaf
- Lentil Meatballs
Lentil and Kale Stew
- 1 Tablespoon olive, avocado or coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 8 oz package white button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 16 oz bag of green lentils
- 2 16 oz containers salsa, I used roasted garlic and restaurant style
- 32 oz 1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bunch of kale, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- pinch of cinnamon
- sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
- for garnish: fresh grated parmesan, avocado, fresh basil
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add in onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until fragrant and soft. About 6 minutes or so.
- Add in vegetable broth, lentils, salsa, turmeric, basil, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Add in chopped kale and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until kale has wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Spoon stew into bowls for serving. Top with avocado, fresh basil and fresh parmesan (or all three).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.