This is a gluten-free, vegan, one-pot lentil stew recipe. It has brown lentils, vegetables, and all things comforting you need in a perfect one-pot meal.
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 and a few basic pantry staples.
It is one of my favorite dinner for the busy weeknights.
Reasons to LOVE Lentil Stew
- 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
- easy to customize
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 favourite 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.
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 flavour of the fresh herbs shine throughout my stew. Hence, salt, pepper, and a dash of red paprika do the magic for me.
Stock or Broth: If you want to make a flavoursome stew, please use stock instead of water to cook the lentil and vegetables. In case, you are out of homemade stock, use stock cubes/bouillon cubes dissolved in warm water or canned stock.
How To Make Stew
Here is a step-by-step Instant Pot Stew cooking method. It is a 10 minute instant pot lentil recipe.
Step 1) Wash, and soak the dry lentil in 1 cup of water for 10 – 15 minutes or till you chop vegetables for the stew.
Step 2) 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.
Step 3) Next, add vegetables, soaked lentil, and saute for 1 – 2 minutes.
Step 4) Add warm vegetable stock, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Close the lid of the IP. Set the stew mode for 10 minutes. Move the steam valve to the sealing position.
Step 5) After the IP beeps, release the steam manually. Open the lid, gently mash the lentils using the back of the ladle. Add spinach leaves. Stir to combine them into the stew. Taste the stew, if required add more salt or pepper.
Lentil Stew is a wholesome, one-pot meal in itself. Usually, apart from bread, there aren’t many sides required to accompany it.
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
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.
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.
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.
From pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, kale, baby spinach, beans, boneless chicken, to turmeric, curry powder, and cheese, you can add a lot of your favourite to make this stew suit your taste preference. Stew is a highly customizable lentil recipe.
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Instant Pot Lentil Stew Recipe
- Instant Pot
- 1 Cup brown lentil (sabut masoor dal), uncooked
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ Cup chopped onion
- ½ Cup chopped carrot
- ½ Cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- ½ Cup chopped potato
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Cup warm vegetable stock
- ½ Cup spinach, finely chopped
- 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 stew mode for 10 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. Add spinach leaves. Stir to combine them into the stew. 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 before adding in the stew.
- If vegetable stock is 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.
- If you are using frozen vegetables make sure to thaw them as per packet instructions before adding in the stew.
- You can jazz up your stew with curry powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, or red chili flakes.
- If you are not vegan, then sprinkle parmesan cheese on your stew before serving. It is a total game-changer.