Vegan Lentil Stew

Nothing is better on a cold winter evening than a hearty, comforting meal, and this Vegan Lentil Stew fits the bill perfectly. Serve with some gluten-free bread to make this an absolutely perfect and filling meal.

Lentils are one of my favorite meat substitutes, because of their nutritional complexity. Having them in a stew will help you and your family stay satiated until your next meal with ease.

vegan lentil stew recipe in two blue bowls on a grey background, with 2 spoons

Now that schools are open, I’m already thinking about fall and comfort foods. I had a whirlwind summer, spending lots of time outdoors, and now I’m ready for the cool fall, where the days are short and cozy meals are simmering on the stove.

When I think of stews, I think of my very popular Chickpea Stew and my delicious, Jamaican Yellow Yam Stew, Black Bean Butternut Squash Stew, and Jamaican Stew Peas recipes.

I was so privileged to have my brother and his family from London visit us last week.  We did so many fun and memorable things together. The only sad thing is that my brother literally arrived the day after we dropped our daughter off at the university.

We had to drive 8 hours overnight after arriving the day before and helping our daughter get settled in her room. Then, we arrived home at 7 a.m. the following day, dropped the rental car off, picked up a van, and headed to the airport, another 2 hours away, to pick up my brother and his family.

We got to visit Orlando and St. Augustine, and we ate at lots of lovely restaurants. During their entire stay, I only cooked twice. I had fairly decent meals at restaurants that had vegan options, but at restaurants without, I ended up eating plain baked potatoes and vegetables.

close up lentil stew in two blue bowls with a fork on a grey background

Are Lentils Good For You?

As I mentioned before, lentils have lots of nutritional value. They come in multiple varieties, all of which I love to use in various recipes, such as sauces, stews, meatballs, etc. Lentils are quite inexpensive, and combined with their high protein content, they are a great meat substitute and staple food.

Along with their high protein content, lentils contain lots of fiber and substantial amounts of over a dozen essential vitamins and minerals. For example, many vegans and vegetarians have trouble obtaining enough iron in their diets, and a cup of lentils contains 37% of the recommended daily intake of iron.

They also contain 90% of the recommended daily intake of folate, an especially important vitamin in pregnant women’s diets, but, of course, also important for the general population. These, along with many other vitamins and minerals, are already great reasons to start adding lentils to your meal rotations.

The fiber content in lentils helps your digestive system process your meals and pass them comfortably, and it helps foster the growth of healthy gut flora.

Are Lentils Gluten-Free?

Lentils are a legume, not a grain like wheat. This means that they are naturally gluten-free. However, in some products, there may be a possibility of cross-contamination.

If you are severely sensitive to gluten or wheat, I would recommend purchasing lentils marked gluten-free and processed in a gluten-free facility.

Vegan Lentil Stew ingredients on a grey background

Ingredients For Vegan Lentil Stew?

My Vegan Lentil Stew is very easy to make using everyday ingredients that are in most kitchens. You can use vegetable broth or water as the liquid; I have made it with both, and the recipe tastes delicious. You can use either green or brown lentils.

  • Dried Lentils: You will notice there are a few varieties of lentils. For this recipe, you can use brown or green.
  • Olive oil is used for sautéing, but you can use water if you would like this recipe to be oil-free.
  • Onion, Garlic, and Celery are my favorite ingredients that are vital for flavor.
  • Herbs and Spices: In this recipe, I use Italian seasoning, paprika, cumin, thyme, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper.
  • Tomatoes: I use a combination of diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Carrots and potatoes: I think these are everyone’s favorite additions to many soups and stews.
  • Vegetable Broth: You can also use 6 cups of water and 6 vegan bouillon cubes.

How To Make Vegan Lentil Stew

  1. Cook the aromatics. Heat oil or water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 3 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add celery and spices. Stir in celery, Italian seasoning, paprika, cumin, and thyme, and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. Add lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, and vegetable broth.
  4. Cook the lentil stew. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer for about 40 minutes or until stew has reached the desired texture.
  5. Serve. Remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and serve

Substitutions and Variations

  • Adjust the vegetables in this dish to suit your preferences. In addition to the ones I used, red bell peppers, eggplant, spinach, butternut squash, and zucchini are also fantastic with lentils.
  • You can also adjust the seasoning in this recipe! Try adding cardamom, cloves, or curry for a totally different twist.
spoonful of lentil stew from bowl

Storing Tips


Vegan Lentil Stew can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.


Lentil stew can be frozen for up to 5 months.

What To Serve With Vegan Lentil Stew

This dish is perfect as is, but it would also be great served with gluten-free bread such as Besan Roti, Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread, or Red Lentil Flatbread.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of lentils are best for lentil stew?

You can use either green or brown lentils for this vegan stew recipe.

Can dogs eat lentils?

Lentils are perfectly fine for consumption by dogs, and some owners choose to add lentils (cooked plainly with no salt) to their dog’s diet. The protein, fiber, vitamin, and mineral content of these legumes is great for dogs in moderation. Please consult your veterinarian before adding them to your dog’s meals so that you can keep their diet balanced and healthy.

How long will lentil stew keep in the refrigerator?

Lentil stew will be kept for up to 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

More Delicious Vegan Lentil Recipes:

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vegan lentil stew

Nothing is better on a cold winter evening than a hearty, comforting meal, and this Vegan Lentil Stew fits the bill perfectly. Serve with some gluten-free bread to make this an absolutely perfect and filling meal.
4.99 from 50 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Stew
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: vegan lentil stew
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 79kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils green or brown lentils sorted and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 14 ounces can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1 medium potato diced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste


  • Heat oil or water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute
  • Add celery, Italian seasoning, paprika, cumin, thyme and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots and potatoes, bay leaf and vegetable broth.
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer for about 40 minutes or until stew has reached the desired texture.
  • Remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and serve


Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1100mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 9500IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I added some ginger for freshness, this recipe is easy to customize and the prep was super simple. Will become a staple in my home!

    1. I already know that ginger took this dish to another level. I myself add fresh ginger to most of my soups and stews.😊

  2. 5 stars
    Love the looks of your recipes! Just wish you had some nutrition facts below them. Particularly sodium, protein and potassium. Can you please tell me the potassium level in Jamaican white yams, boiled? Thanks!

    1. Thank you love, eventually I’ll have to add that. Right now I’m manually adding nutrition fact.

    2. Thank you for your kind words and interest in our recipes! We understand how important it is to have nutrition information available, and we will work on adding that information to our recipes in the future. Regarding your question about Jamaican white yams, boiled, the potassium level can vary depending on the size and preparation of the yam. On average, one cup of boiled yam contains approximately 670mg of potassium. We hope this information helps, and please let us know if you have any further questions. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This was fantastic! We are always looking for a tasty way to prepare lentils and this hit the spot. Our whole family loved it and asked to have it again.

    1. Lisa, leave the lid off and let it come to the texture you require, mash some of the lentils with a fork and that will speed up the process. Blessings

  4. 5 stars
    Just baked this recipe to use up some of my garden zucchini. I baked the batter in four small loaf pans. They took about 35 minutes to be done. It is definitely a keeper! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Gretchen are you talking about the Zucchini loaf, you left this comment under the Vegan Lentil Stew?

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve adopted a plant-based diet at the beginning of the year and have lost 55+ lbs. Most of the recipes that I’ve been using include olive oil to sauté the vegetable. Your indication that water can be used instead is very interesting. As you know, two (2) tablespoons of olive oil adds 240 calories to any dish it’s used in. If I can replace the olive oil with water and not significantly alter the taste of the dish, this will be a great win. Thanks so much.

    1. Hello Edward, congrats on your journey. Yes removing the oil from the dish is very beneficial for losing weight. Unnecessary calories, use water or vegetable broth to saute the veggies. All the best on your journey.

    1. Toni, the last line in the instruction, ‘ Remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and serve’

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! Really enjoyed this recipe and I couldn’t stop eating it. Followed it exactly as written and wouldn’t change a thing. I will be cooking this often. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

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