Weeknight dinner never tasted so good! My lentil stew is hearty, healthy, and easy to make. This vegan stew is loaded with vegetables, spices, and fresh herbs, it is the ultimate one-pot-wonder! 

vegan lentil vegetable stew in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon, next to a bowl of chopped parsley.
Photo Credits: Caitlin Bensel

I don’t know about you but when it’s cold outside I want a stew recipe that is going to warm me from the inside out without weighing me down. 

With the help of aromatics and a few warm Mediterranean spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, and a hint of cinnamon, lentils in this vegan stew recipe are transformed into a flavor party! To brighten things up, I finish my lentil stew with fresh parsley and a little lemon juice.

I prefer to use French green lentils, also called Puy lentils, in soups and stews because they hold their shape better when cooked. This is also my go-to lentil for salads and sides like this Jeweled Couscous recipe.  

To make this vegan lentil stew (loved by meat-eaters too) for dinner tonight all you need is 20 minutes of hands-on time and 20 minutes to let it simmer. Serve with some crusty bread, a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and you’re good to go! 

Table of Contents
  1. Lentil Stew Ingredients 
  2. How to Make Lentil Stew
  3. Lentils: A Nutritional Powerhouse
  4. Lentil Recipes for Days!
  5. Try our French Green Lentils!
  6. Hearty One-Pot Lentil Stew Recipe
the ingredients for vegan lentil vegetable stew including chopped potatoes, carrots, celery onion and zucchini, olive oil, spices, garlic, parsley and 2 limes.

Lentil Stew Ingredients 

This is definitely a stew for people who love their veggies. It has carrots, tomatoes, celery, onion, and zucchini. All those gorgeous vegetables are dressed up with warm, earthy spices, a little garlic and fresh herbs

  • Plant-based protein: If you haven’t gotten on the lentil train now is the time. They are so good and so good for you! 
  • Extra virgin olive oil: I used Private Reserve). I use olive oil to saute the vegetables, but also to finish the soup. A little drizzle of olive oil before serving just takes the flavor up a notch and makes the lentil stew feel that much richer and heartier. 
  • Aromatics: I use a yellow onion here, but a white or sweet onion will also work. Garlic (so much garlic) also makes it to the party because it adds so much flavor, especially when you’re talking about four cloves! 
  • Vegetables: Carrot, celery stalks, potato, zucchini squash, canned diced tomatoes pack this stew with vegetables. I like to leave them kind of chunky, but you can cut them as large or small as you want. 
  • Spices and seasonings: Salt, pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric powder, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper (optional). These are the flavor makers. The right combo of warming spices, takes soup from good to great! 
  • Liquid: Honestly, water works great in this soup, but if you prefer to use vegetable or chicken stock that works too. If you opt for broth or stock use the low-sodium version.
  • Finishing touches: fresh parsley, fresh lime or lemon juice
  • To serve: In my book, bread is a must. A nice crusty loaf or something pillowy like this focaccia cut into strips is perfect with lentil stew. 

How to Make Lentil Stew

The best thing about soup and stew recipes is they are typically a one-pot situation. Fewer dishes to wash is always a win! For this stew recipe you just layer all of the ingredients in one pots, building the flavors as you go. Super easy! 

  • Wash the lentils: Place the lentils in a bowl and cover with water. Wash and soak for 10 minutes or so. Drain well. Pick over to look for stones. 
  • Saute some vegetables: In a large heavy pot or Dutch Oven set over medium-high heat, add the extra virgin olive oil. Once it shimmers, add the diced onions, carrot, celery, and potatoes and cook. Saute, stirring regularly for about  4 to 5 minutes. chopped carrots, celery, potatoes and zucchini cooking a a dutch oven with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the garlic and zucchini: Add garlic and zucchini. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the lentils, spices and liquid: Add lentils, salt, pepper and spices. Toss to combine, then add the tomatoes and water (or low-sodium broth, if you prefer.)chopped carrots, celery, potatoes, zucchini and lentils cooking a a dutch oven with a wooden spoon.
  • Simmer: Bring everything to a boil for 5 mins, then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 20 mins or so until the vegetables are tender and lentils are well cooked (stir occasionally and watch to add water or liquid, if needed.)
  • Finish and serve: Remove from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice (or lime juice). Transfer to serving bowls and top with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve hot with your favorite crusty bread.

vegan lentil vegetable stew in three bowls next to a spoon and a bowl of chopped parsley.

Lentils: A Nutritional Powerhouse

These tiny legumes are an excellent source of plant-based protein and a permanent item on my shopping list

Lentils add texture and nutrition dishes like this lentil stew packed with tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and celery, but also to recipes like my spicy spinach and lentil soup, salads or grain bowls. They really are tiny wonders. According to the USDA, 1 cup of lentils has 47 grams of protein — it’s a good thing I put 1 ½ cups in this lentil stew! 

In addition to protein, lentils are a good source of fiber, folic acid and potassium. In a nutshell, lentils are good for you. There have even been studies that have shown eating lentils is connected to a reduction in diabetes, obesity, certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases thanks to the many bioactive compounds in lentils. In a nutshell, lentils are good for you!

Aside from their health benefits, lentils taste good. And as a mom, nothing spells success more than seeing my family come back for seconds — and third!  I'm telling you, this lentil stew recipe is a winner!

Lentil Recipes for Days!

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

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Try our French Green Lentils!

These green lentils are hearty, healthy and versatile! Their firm texture allows them to hold their shape well while cooking, making them a perfect ingredient for all of your favorite lentil soups!

a pouch of french green lentils from the mediterranean dish.
4.95 from 36 votes

Hearty One-Pot Lentil Stew

Suzy Karadsheh
vegan lentil vegetable stew in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon, next to a bowl of chopped parsley.
Weeknight dinner never tasted so good! My lentil stew is hearty, healthy, and easy to make. This vegan stew is loaded with vegetables, spices, and fresh herbs, it is the ultimate one-pot-wonder!
Prep – 20 mins
Cook – 20 mins
Total – 40 mins
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups green lentils
  • Extra virgin olive oil, I used Private Reserve
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 russet potato, small diced
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small zucchini squash, diced
  • Kosher salt, a pinch
  • Black Pepper, a pinch
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 ½ cup water or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, stems removed
  • juice from half a lemon or lime
  • Bread to serve

Instructions
 

  • Wash and sort lentils: Place the lentils in a bowl and cover with water. Wash and soak for 10 minutes or so. Drain well.
  • Saute firm vegetables: In a large heavy pot or Dutch Oven set over medium high heat,  add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add diced onions, carrot, celery, and potatoes. Cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the garlic and zucchini: Add garlic and zucchini. Saute for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add lentils, spices, tomatoes and liquid: Add lentils, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne. Toss to combine, then add the tomatoes and water (or low-sodium broth, if you prefer.)
  • Simmer: Bring everything to a boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender and lentils are well cooked (stir occasionally and watch to add water or liquid, if needed.)
  • Finish and serve: Remove from heat and stir in parsley and lime juice (or lemon juice). Transfer to serving bowls and top with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve hot with your favorite crusty bread.

Video

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 247.4kcalCarbohydrates: 46.2gProtein: 15.4gFat: 1.1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 216.9mgPotassium: 1087.3mgFiber: 18.1gSugar: 6.6gVitamin A: 2860.6IUVitamin C: 38.4mgCalcium: 113.3mgIron: 6.5mg
Tried this recipe?
4.95 from 36 votes

Hearty One-Pot Lentil Stew

Suzy Karadsheh
vegan lentil vegetable stew in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon, next to a bowl of chopped parsley.
Weeknight dinner never tasted so good! My lentil stew is hearty, healthy, and easy to make. This vegan stew is loaded with vegetables, spices, and fresh herbs, it is the ultimate one-pot-wonder!
Prep – 20 mins
Cook – 20 mins
Total – 40 mins
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups green lentils
  • Extra virgin olive oil, I used Private Reserve
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 russet potato, small diced
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small zucchini squash, diced
  • Kosher salt, a pinch
  • Black Pepper, a pinch
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 ½ cup water or low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, stems removed
  • juice from half a lemon or lime
  • Bread to serve

Instructions
 

  • Wash and sort lentils: Place the lentils in a bowl and cover with water. Wash and soak for 10 minutes or so. Drain well.
  • Saute firm vegetables: In a large heavy pot or Dutch Oven set over medium high heat,  add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add diced onions, carrot, celery, and potatoes. Cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the garlic and zucchini: Add garlic and zucchini. Saute for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add lentils, spices, tomatoes and liquid: Add lentils, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne. Toss to combine, then add the tomatoes and water (or low-sodium broth, if you prefer.)
  • Simmer: Bring everything to a boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender and lentils are well cooked (stir occasionally and watch to add water or liquid, if needed.)
  • Finish and serve: Remove from heat and stir in parsley and lime juice (or lemon juice). Transfer to serving bowls and top with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve hot with your favorite crusty bread.

Video

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 247.4kcalCarbohydrates: 46.2gProtein: 15.4gFat: 1.1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 216.9mgPotassium: 1087.3mgFiber: 18.1gSugar: 6.6gVitamin A: 2860.6IUVitamin C: 38.4mgCalcium: 113.3mgIron: 6.5mg
Tried this recipe?

*This post has recently been updated with new information for readers’ benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wonderful!! Just like every other recipe I’ve tried from this site.

    The hint of cinnamon on top of the earthy flavours of the other spices is decadent.

    Because I’m cooking for one only, and because I’m trying to lose
    weight, I modified this recipe slightly.

    I used 1/2 the amount of lentils, oil, liquids (plus the SMALLEST potato I could find) but kept the full amount of vegetables. Still absolutely wonderful!!

  2. Hi! Love watching your video's. Can you use Red Lentils in place of the green lentils in this recipe? If so, are there any tips that you have? Thanks so much.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this tonight. OMG was it good!!!!! I used lime juice, instead of lemon, and topped it off with some feta because "Feta makes it 'betta'." WOW!