Red Lentil Stew Recipe

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This hearty red lentil stew can be as thick or thin as you like it. It can easily be made vegan, but no matter how you make it, it’s totally delish!

Every once in a while, I go to my fridge, consider what I have available, and just formulate something for dinner based on what needs to be used before it goes bad. Those types of meals don’t always turn out “blog-worthy”, but sometimes I really hit a home run.

Red Lentil Stew served in a white bowl, sitting on a wooden table.

I actually didn’t have a full cup of carrots (I had roughly a scant ¼ cup) and I totally wish I had had more to put in this. So I made that adjustment in the recipe below. But outside of that, everything went into the pot as described below and it was marvelous.

Mini Chef sat across from me and cackled when I told him it was an “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” stew. He started coming up with all sorts of outrageous ingredients that must have gone into the stew to make it taste so good. Things like his stinky sneaker, and the microwave. He was certainly entertaining himself with that one!

But both my mom and Mini Chef truly loved this, and so did I. I strongly recommend waiting to add any salt until you are actually sitting down to eat it. If you add it during cooking, the potatoes will soak most of it up and you’ll need to add more. So wait until the end so the sodium content doesn’t go through the roof.


Red Lentil Stew Recipe

Clean Eating Red Lentil Vegetable Stew Recipe

Red Lentil Stew Recipe

A hearty stew that can be made vegan or not!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 14 servings
Calories: 175kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make this vegan)
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion (chopped fine)
  • 1 cup finly diced celery
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced carrots (sliced thin)
  • 1 tbsp. oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 5 small white potatoes (diced tinto ½ inch cubes or smaller)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder (OR 6 cloves finely chopped garlic)
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 cups small, split, red lentils
  • salt to taste after cooking


  • Pour the chicken or veggie stock into a large soup pot with the chopped tomatoes and set it aside.
  • Prepare your onion, celery, and carrots, and sauté them over low to medium heat using the oil until the onions are nicely caramelized. This can take a little time, so be patient.
  • Add the celery and onion mix along with the potatoes to the soup pot and stir in the spices.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes over high heat.
  • Stir in the lentils and continue to cook, reducing the heat just slightly. Watch the pot as the lentils can burn on the bottom of the pot if you don't stir them often.
  • Cool a bit and serve, adding salt to taste.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 685mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1666IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 3mg

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  1. This is perfect timing!! I found some red lentils in my pantry last night and wondered what I should do with them! Was going to make soup, but this is heartier and more fun for below-freezing Chicago winters. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stacey – Fantastic!! I hope you enjoy it! 😀

  2. Christine says:

    Thanks for this, I was sitting here at my desk wondering what was going to be for lunch on this COLD Winter day…had a ton of veggies in the fridge I had to use up, went and chopped them and currently eating it. I will say, instead of potatoes I added chopped radishes and cauliflower because it was what I had on hand…very tasty and satisfying!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Christine – Wonderful!!! Thank you so much for the feedback! 😀

  3. What is the difference between the different colored lentils (red, green)? Is their a taste or texture difference?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Job – Yes, they are two different types of lentils. Red lentils “fall apart” a lot more, almost like split peas.

  4. Is there a difference between red and green lentils…taste, texture? I’ve noticed most recipes state a certain kind (color).

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Job – Yes, each type has their own characteristics, though not all are that terribly different.

  5. How long do you continue to cook after adding the lentils? What is the test for done ness, the potatoes?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      April – The time will vary, but the lentils will be soft and fall apart. The potatoes should be cooked and there should be no hard lentils left.

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