Thinking what to make with pantry staples? Try hearty, wholesome, vegetarian lentil stew. It has lentils, seasonal veggies, and all things comforting you need in a perfect one-pot meal. This is an instant pot-friendly, vegan lentil stew recipe.
What do you need to know about lentil stew?
Lentil Stew is a delicious, fulfilling vegetarian casserole made with brown lentils (whole masoor dal), vegetables (carrot, peas, onion, potato), herbs, and seasoning. I like to call it a fridge-forage stew made with leftover vegetables in the fridge and a few basic pantry staples.
It is one of my favorite weeknight dinners especially in this time of lockdown. Here are my reasons:
- it is nutritious and nourishing
- economic and budget-friendly
- it is vegan and gluten-free
- one-pot meal (means fewer dishes for cleaning)
- only 10-minute cooking time
- highly customizable
Here are the basic ingredients you need to make a tasty stew with lentils and vegetables:
Brown Lentils: The base of this stew is the brown lentil or the whole masoor dal. They are easy to cook, store, digestive system friendly, and inexpensive. Lentils are the best source of plant-based protein. Here are my favorite 21 ways to eat lentils every day.
Vegetables: From potato, sweet potato, carrot, beans, peas (fresh or frozen), squash to green leafy vegetables or tomato, feel free to add vegetables of your choice in the stew. If you are using frozen vegetables make sure to thaw them as per packet instructions before adding in the stew.
Herbs: Nothing beats the taste of fresh herbs in a stew. I love the combination of garlic, thyme, oregano, and parsley in my stew. But that does not mean you cannot experiment.
Seasoning: I like to keep it simple and let the flavor of the fresh herbs shine throughout my stew. Hence, salt, pepper, and a dash of red paprika do the magic for me. You can try jazzing up your stew with curry powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, or red chili flakes.
Stock or Broth: If you want to make a flavorsome stew, please use stock instead of water to cook the lentil and vegetables. In case, you are out of homemade stock, use stock cubes dissolved in warm water or canned stock.
Step-By-Step Instant Pot Method:
Here is a step-by-step Instant Pot Stew cooking method. It is a 10 minute instant pot lentil recipe.
Serve stew with homemade bread, over mashed potato or sweet potato or on top of herb quinoa or couscous. It is best enjoyed on its own with artisanal bread slices.
FAQ’s Related To Lentil Stew:
Can I use canned lentils for making the stew?
Yes, you can use canned lentils. Drain all the liquid and rinse the lentils with water. Do not saute the canned lentils. Straightaway, cook them as per recipe directions.
Can you cook stew on a stovetop?
Yes, absolutely but the process is slower compared to the Instant pot! If all the ingredients are prepped beforehand, you just need one heavy-duty casserole or Dutch Oven with a lid and 30 – 40 minutes for the stew to be ready.
Does lentil make the soup thicker?
Yes, the cooked lentils thicken the stews and you don’t need any other thickening agent at all. Once the stew is ready, gently mash the lentils using the back of a ladle to get a thick consistency.
What else I can add to lentil stew?
From pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, kale, baby spinach, beans, boneless chicken, to turmeric, curry powder, and cheese, you can add a lot of your favorite to make this stew suit your taste preference. Stew is a highly customizable lentil recipe.
More Lentil Recipes For You:
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Instant Pot Lentil Stew
- Instant Pot
- 1 Cup dry brown lentil (sabut masoor dal)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 Cup chopped onion
- 1/2 Cup chopped carrot
- 1/2 Cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 Cup chopped potato
- 2 – 3 sprig of thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Cup warm vegetable stock
- Wash, and soak the dry lentil in 1 cup of water for 10 – 15 minutes or till you chop vegetables for the stew.
- Set IP to saute mode for 5 minutes.
- Add oil, garlic, thyme, and onion in the inner pot. Saute for a minute to release the aroma.
- Next, add vegetables and saute for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Drain water from the soaked lentil. Add lentil to the inner pot of IP. Add salt and pepper. Saute for the remaining set time.
- Add warm vegetable stock. Stir to combine. Close the lid of the IP. Set the pressure cook mode for 5 minutes. Move the steam valve to the sealing position.
- After the IP beeps, release the steam manually. Open the lid, gently mash the lentils using the back of the ladle. Taste the stew, if required add more salt or pepper.
- Serve lentil stew warm with bread.
- I have used dry, uncooked lentils for making the stew. If you are using canned lentils make sure to drain all the liquid and rinse them with before before adding in the stew.
- If vegetable stock if not available use 1 stock cube and dissolve it in 4 cups of hot water. Or you can use boiled pasta water to flavor the stew.