This lentil stew is a cozy, satisfying treat on a chilly day. It's made with lentils (brown or green are best), vegetables, and ham (great for leftover ham)! Everything cooks in one pot on the stove for an easy, hearty and comforting large batch of stew.
About This Recipe
This lentil stew is the ultimate comfort food: it's hearty, satisfying, and full of flavor. Plus, this recipe makes a large batch of soup (serves 6 - 8), and tastes even better as leftovers.
Because it's so versatile, this is a recipe that you'll want to make again and again. It can be made as an easy weeknight dinner, a meal for a small crowd, or frozen for later. It's also popular to use up leftover ham.
Lentil Stew Ingredients
The full recipe is at the bottom of this page, but here's a quick overview of what you'll need & how to make it:
- 2 cups white onion, chopped (about 1 large onion)
- 1 cup carrots, sliced (about 2 - 3 carrots)
- 1 cup celery, sliced (about 2 - 3 stalks celery)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomato
- 2 cups dry lentils (brown or green)
- 16 ounces of cubed ham
Popular Substitutions & Additions
- Lentils: green or brown lentils tend to work best for this recipe because they maintain their shape but any color lentil will work.
- Ham: this recipe works great with leftover ham as well. You can also omit the ham to make this stew vegan/vegetarian.
How to Make This Lentil Stew Recipe
STEP 1: Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot. Sauté the onion, carrots and celery until tender, about 5 - 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
STEP 2: Season the vegetables with thyme, cumin, paprika and lemon zest.
STEP 3: Pour in the chicken broth and then add the crushed tomatoes, lentils and cubed ham.
STEP 4: Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 1 hour, uncovered and stirring every 15 minutes. Add 1 - 2 cups of water if you find that your stew is getting too thick or dry. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
STEP 5: Serve & Enjoy! Serve hot, optionally topped with fresh chopped parsley and a side of crusty bread, crackers or croutons.
How to Serve This Recipe
This lentil stew is best served with crusty warm bread, salty crackers or crunchy croutons.
Serve your stew as soon as it's done cooking or save it for later by following the directions below. This recipe is tasty as leftovers and also makes a large batch (serves 8).
How to Store This Recipe
This recipe makes a large batch of stew, tastes even better as leftovers. and freezes well! Here's how to store it:
- In the fridge: cool and store your lentil stew in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 - 4 days.
- In the freezer: cool and freeze your stew in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, there's no need to soak the lentils. They will cook fully in the stew.
As your stew simmers, add 1 - 2 cups of water until the stew reaches your desired consistency. Add less (or none) for a thicker stew.
These bubbles are released by the lentils as they cook and are completely normal (and safe). If you like, you can skim them off the top of your stew with a spoon.