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Simple Red Lentil Stew Recipe

This red lentil stew is simple and hearty. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

It’s the holidays, and it tends to be the season of overindulgence – or is that just me?  There are days when I just can’t face heavy foods and want something hot and comforting without it being heavy.

I’ve found my ideal solution with red lentils.  They are filling, as they have a ton of protein and fiber, but they don’t sit in my stomach.

With this recipe, I packed the with veggies and other items to make them comforting like a stew, and it was delicious.  I had it by itself, but I’ve also served it with rice and added in a little shredded chicken for a more varied flavor and texture.

I use chicken stock to cook the lentils, but you can easily substitute vegetable stock or water to make this a vegan recipe. It doesn’t impact the flavor too much!

This is something that works well as leftovers, too.  I could easily see adding even more veggies like spinach or kale, or even potato or squash.

I make a version of this in my Instant Pot, too, for days when I want to babysit my meals even less. No matter how you make it, enjoy your lentil stew!

Bowl of vegan red lentil stew

How to Make Red Lentil Stew

Heat the heavy pot with nothing in it to start. If you heat the pot before you add the oil, it helps to create a nonstick surface.

Once the pot is hot, add the oil. Either while the pot heats or once you add the oil, chop your onion.

Add the onion and cook, stirring periodically with a flat wooden spoon.  Mince your garlic while the onion is cooking.

After five minutes or so of onion cooking, when they’ve softened and started to become fully translucent, add the garlic and grate in the ginger with a microplane zester.  Stir for another minute or so.

Wrap your leftover ginger knob tightly in plastic wrap and store it in your freezer. This keeps for up to six months and gives you all the fresh ginger you need for any recipe you make.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the lentils.  You want to go through them to ensure there are no rocks or anything non-lentil mixed in and rinse them gently.

Handful of red lentils

Add the lentils and stock, along with the can of diced tomatoes (and the juice).  Bring this to a simmer, partially covered.  After five minutes of simmering, add the carrots (while it’s coming to a simmer is a great time to peel and cut up your carrots).

Stir the lentils periodically, cooking another ten minutes or so until they lentils are tender but not falling apart.  It will start out looking not so pretty, but you’re doing it right.

Red Lentil Stew just starting to cook

Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.  This goes great alone or with rice.

Have you ever made a red lentil stew?

Bowl of vegan red lentil stew

Red Lentil Stew

This simple stew is incredibly satisfying and tastes amazing. It's quick to prepare and has a ton of nutrients you'll love.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet: Low Lactose
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Michelle


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger fresh grated
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups red lentils rinsed
  • 3 carrots cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat oil in a heavy pot while you chop onion.
    1 tablespoon oil
  • Add onion and cook, stirring periodically. Mince garlic while onion cooks. Once onion softens, add garlic and grate in ginger. Cook 1 minute.
    1/2 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons ginger
  • Rinse lentils, then add lentils and stock, along with diced tomatoes (and their juice).
    6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, 2 cups red lentils, 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Bring to a simmer, partially covered. After five minutes of simmering, add chopped carrots. Stir lentils periodically, cooking ten more minutes until tender but not falling apart.
    3 carrots
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. This goes great alone or with rice.
    salt and pepper to taste


  • For additional flavor and fun, try adding spinach or kale (spinach at the very end, kale about five minutes before it's done cooking). Or add chopped potato or squash (when you add the broth and tomatoes).
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 54.8g | Protein: 22.2g | Fat: 6.7g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 600mg | Fiber: 8.7g | Sugar: 6.5g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

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