Sexy Vegan Lentil Stew – so easy it cooks itself
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Sexy vegan lentil stew. Why is it called that?
Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about stew. But, let me explain. Looking after your body = hot. Hot is sexy.
Lentil stew looks after your body, and your body will look after you.
Covid is currently shutting many gyms, so what we eat has never been more important.
Before I move on to just why this vegan lentil stew is so good for you, I really have to mention how easy it is.
After a couple of minutes prepping, you pretty much throw the rest of the ingredients into a large pot and they’ll cook themselves. Awesome.
Vegetarian (and vegan) lentil stew
Naturally, this lentil stew recipe is vegetarian (it’s actually one of our favorite vegetarian stew recipes ever!). What’s even better is that it’s vegan too. It’s also incredibly nutritious.
Between them, lentils and rice pack one heck of a veggie punch.
Many people just don’t get enough fiber in their diet, and this stew is here to change that.
Just one small portion of it contains 63% of the recommended daily intake, and that’s just the beginning.
Vegan Lentil Stew health benefits
An increase in fiber is linked to so many positive actions for the body – and eating more legumes (like lentils) has been shown in studies to reduce a risk of both coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality! That’s amazing.
Brown rice is also a nutrient-rich powerhouse, and provides much needed fuel for your body.
It can help to control your blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, promote cardiovascular health and a whole lot more. You can find out more about the health benefits of brown rice here.
One step at a time
The first step in increasing health should be to take a real look at your food intake – small steps always help, no matter how inconsequential they may seem at the beginning.
On this website we also strongly believe that going vegetarian is key to our future, and if this interests you but you’re not sure how to start then make sure you check out the 30 Day Veggie Transformation.
This delicious veggie lentil stew comes with thanks from a great chef, Cristina Parés. Do check her out if you’d like to know more (and can speak Spanish)!
PS. I highly recommend vegetarian lentil stew with tomato chutney!
Lentil stew recipe tips
We love how straightforward this recipe is, and we have a couple of tips to help you achieve the perfect lentil stew every time.
Toast your spices
Whilst spices are naturally fragrant, toasting them brings out the natural flavours and can really enhance your dish.
For our lentil stew recipe we recommend toasting cumin and cayenne pepper for a couple of minutes in a pan as the first step of the recipe.
This works best in a dry, heavy bottomed pan – simply spread the spices evenly over the bottom of the pan, turn on a low heat and wait for your kitchen to smell incredible!
Wash (but don’t soak) your red lentils
The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t actually need to soak anything before cooking and the rest of the prep is minimal.
You should however give your red lentils a quick wash before throwing them in – a rinse with cold water in a sieve or bowl will do the job. The purpose is just to remove any dust, debris or bad lentils before adding them to the pot.
Vegan lentil stew FAQ’s
We’ve covered some of the most common questions about our lentil stew recipe, but if you have any others just let us know in the comments.
What to serve with lentil stew?
We love serving this up with a zingy onion or tomato chutney, a cooling drizzle of vegan yoghurt and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Top with some fresh herbs like cilantro/coriander and tuck in!
Which type of rice should I use?
When creating this recipe we used basmati or jasmine rice, however most types of rice should work well in this dish.
How long will it last in the fridge?
It should last for around 2 days in the fridge. Since the recipe contains rice, you need to make sure it’s cooled down and stored properly within an hour of being cooked. Then you should really reheat it all thoroughly – until it’s steaming hot the whole way through.
If you are serving the lentil stew with a drizzle of yoghurt, it’s best to do this at the end for each serving once it’s been reheated.
Can you freeze lentil stew?
You sure can! Make sure to cool and freeze the stew within an hour (as it contains rice) and you can store it in the freezer for up to 1 month. Simply follow the instructions above for reheating.
It is worth noting though that freezing the stew may change the texture a little, so you may find it’s better eaten fresh.
What our readers are saying
Wow, 5 stars.. Made this today for lunch as I had all the ingredients (but used coconut oil rather than olive oil). Absolutely delicious and even my hubby had seconds. So easy, so healthy, so quick: a new family favourite. Thank you guys!Ros ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sexy it ain’t, but hearty and delicious? Absolutely!Lewis ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
SO DELICIOUS!! I also added fresh cilantro at the end with the suggestion of lemon juice and it was so good. Thank you for sharing this recipe! 🙂Shanaz ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- ½ cup red lentils, dried
- ½ cup rice
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ medium onion
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cups vegetable broth
- 2 ½ cups water
- ½ tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sweet paprika (smoked paprika also works nicely)
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp thyme, dried
- 3 tsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp onion chutney (or a drizzle of lemon or vegan yogurt. All are great as garnish!)
- Put the cumin and cayenne pepper into a large pot and toast it slowly (no oil).½ tsp cumin, ground, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- In the meantime, dice the garlic and onion.2 cloves garlic, ½ medium onion
- When the cumin begins to smell (after 2 or 3 minutes usually), add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Let it cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.3 tsp olive oil
- Add the tomato concentrate, the red lentils, rice, the vegetable broth and water.½ cup red lentils, dried, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 cups vegetable broth, 2 ½ cups water, ½ cup rice
- When it begins to boil, add the turmeric, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and let simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Have a quick taste test to make sure the rice is cooked to your liking. Add the salt, nutritional yeast, remove well and turn off the heat. Add the paprika and serve.1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1 bay leaf, 2 tsp thyme, dried, Salt to taste, 2 tsp onion chutney, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Wow, 5 stars.. Made this today for lunch as I had all the ingredients (but used coconut oil rather than olive oil). Absolutely delicious and even my hubby had seconds. So easy, so healthy, so quick: a new family favourite. Thank you guys!
Cool, thank you, Ros!! Glad it hit the spot, that’s really awesome to hear. I bet the coconut oil was delicious too, nice idea. You’re very welcome, thanks for writing!
Such a hearty meal!
I’ve been looking for some tasty new high protein vegan recipes.. this is absolutely delicious.
I upped the spice volume slightly as I love a strong spice flavour. Also included a pinch is hing when adding the oil/onions/garlic.
Will make this again
This is the first recipe I made from this site that I didn’t love. I like all of
the ingredients, but found the texture kind of odd. I used basmati rice, which is my go to rice and I’m not really sure what the problem was. Maybe it would have been better if I ate it the first day, but I packed it for lunch and didn’t really enjoy it.
Oh no! We’re sorry to hear it, but I suppose it had to happen once. Hmm yes, good to know it was on day two. Did you like the flavour, or was it a bit of everything that just didn’t appeal?
It was more the texture that was unappealing to me. The flavors were good, but I didn’t like the texture of the rice in the stew. Maybe I would have liked the rice separate with the stew served over it.
Thanks for your helpful feedback, Nancy! Hmmm, the beauty of the recipe is that you cook the rice inside the soup so you need less time and less pots. But it would definitely work separately as well!
This is so lovely, and so easy and quick to make; from the youngest to the oldest it got full marks in our household which is vegan and gluten free. Absolutely delicious.
Woohoo! That’s what we’re aiming for, Elizabeth. Thank you for writing, and glad it went down so well!!
Sexy it ain’t, but hearty and delicious? Absolutely!
Hahaha we’ll take that, Lewis! Cheers!
Hi, I am wondering if you could recommend a substitute for the turmeric. I am allergic. Is it used more for colouring or is it for its flavour? Would omitting it make a huge difference? And you mention rice, does it have to be white rice? I have found with other recipes that brown rice holds up better when cooked in one pot with the rest of the meal, rather than any white rice, which tends to turn to mush. What kind of rice did you use for developing the recipe? Thanks!
Hi Michelle! Good question. I think in this recipe you could just skip the turmeric as there are so many other flavours vying for attention. If you happen to have some then you could perhaps try a little chopped ginger. When Kat is testing recipes she almost exclusively uses basmati or jasmine rice and I’m sure that’s the same here. That being said, I’m sure most types of rice would work just fine. I tried a great new rice recently called ‘riceberry’ rice that was dark and just slightly fruity. I have no idea if you can get it where you are, but if you can, I’d deffo give it a shot!
SO DELICIOUS!! I also added fresh cilantro at the end with the suggestion of lemon juice and it was so good. Thank you for sharing this recipe! 🙂
Hi Shanaz! Ahhh that’s really great! So glad you enjoyed. Agreed, a little lemon and cilantro rocks!!
This is so delicious! The only thing I would say is I added more vegetable broth than recommended because mine was a bit dry for my taste. Frugal yet tasty!!
Thanks for the feedback, Zahwa! I’ll check out the veggie broth amount the next time I make it. Haha yes, you’re right – frugal but tasty!
This was delicious and easy, what I call comfort food. I would have given 5 stars except that the name is misleading … no, not the sexy bit, it’s the ‘veggie’ and ‘stew’. There’s no veggies – you can’t count the onion because that’s a standard ingredient to most dishes – and mine came out like a soup. A stew is chunky and you eat with a fork. I used a spoon, even though I did add 1.5 cups veggies. Two cups broth and 4-5 cups water seems like a lot of liquid for 1 cup each of lentils and rice? I did love the fact that it was a one pan recipe and it will become a regular for me, I’ll add more veg and use less water next time.
Ahh you’ve got us there! I was just looking through the recipe and you’re right. I think we might have originally called it ‘veggie’ meaning ‘vegetarian’ (or throw in two onions 😉 ) but yes, with that water I guess it is more soup-like. I’m glad you enjoyed it anyway!
I will be making this for dinner tonight. It will be my second time making it. I have tried many of your recipes and I am impressed how good everything turns out and how tasty it is. I don’t aspire to be vegan but I rarely cook meat these days. Thank you for your efforts – I really appreciate it.
Hey Patricia! So happy you love our recipes! That’s awesome to hear. It’s also great to hear about the low meat intake – we aspire to help people realise there are nutritious and tasty alternatives out there :). Thanks for writing, guten appetit!
Looks like a great recipe, can’t wait to try it! How long would you say it lasts in the fridge?
Hey Rahul! Glad you like the look. I’d say it’s probably good for about two days. Rice is always something to be careful with, so it’s best to really reheat it all thoroughly – until it’s steaming hot again. I’d also only drizzle any yogurt on at the very end, too. Hope that helps – enjoy!
I used wild grain rice and added some frozen chopped spinach. I topped it off with a spoonful of plain yogurt. I like it on its own or as a side dish. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Nice!! That sounds awesome actually. You’ve made me hungry again 😀
I’ve made this twice so far, substituting quinoa for rice and adding mushrooms and kale. This dish is versatile, nutritious and most importantly tastes great! Thank you!
AMAZING so easy and cheap and best of all very tasty!! So easy to make a whole batch for lunches all week 🙂
Ha yes, absolutely! I’m glad you found it helpful, Beth! Thanks for writing