lentil & sausage stew

$7.83 recipe / $0.78 serving

Okay, you’re really going to have to try not to judge a book by it’s cover here. I know this stew isn’t the prettiest thing to look at but, OMG, it will knock the socks right off your taste buds! No joke. We’re talking insanely delicious here… like “at the end of the week I’ll be sad that there isn’t any left” delicious.

The recipe posted below is adapted from this Lentil Sausage Soup over on dlynz.com. I still have half of a huge bag of lentils to use up and I’m trying to fiber pack my diet so this soup/stew really fit the bill. And, as always, I made some changes to the recipe to accommodate what was available to me at good price.

The recipe makes a ton but luckily it freezes well. If you want to make a half batch just cut everything in half. Sausage usually doesn’t come in a smaller pack than 1 lb. but luckily, sausage also freezes well. I went for a reduced fat turkey “Italian Sausage” because of the cholesterol issue and I was pleasantly surprised! I fully expected it to gag me but it turned out insanely delicious and I couldn’t even tell that it was turkey instead of pork. SCORE!

Okay, on to the recipe…

Lentil & Sausage Stew

Lentil, sausage & vegetable Stew

4.9 from 11 reviews
lentil & sausage stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $7.83
Cost Per Serving: $0.78
Serves: 10
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage $3.82
  • 1 medium onion $0.35
  • 3 med. (1/2 lb.) carrots $0.39
  • 4 stalks (1/2 bunch) celery $0.69
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.10
  • 2 cups brown lentils $0.62
  • 2 Tbsp (or 6 cubes) chicken base (bouillon) $0.60
  • 6 cups water $0.00
  • ½ to 1 tsp cayenne $0.05
  • 1 tsp paprika $0.05
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1 tsp oregano $0.05
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach $0.99
  1. Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium heat. If you are using a soft sausage (like I did, see photos below) it will be easier to squeeze it out of the casing than to slice it. A firm sausage can be sliced prior to cooking.
  2. While the sausage is cooking, prepare your vegetables: wash, peel and slice the carrots and celery; dice the onion and mince the garlic. Once the sausage is cooked, add the vegetables and continue to cook until the onions are soft and transparent (about 5 min).
  3. Measure out the lentils and pick through them to make sure there are no stones. Add them to the pot along with the chicken base (or bouillon), 6 cups of water, cayenne, cumin, parika and oregano.
  4. Bring the pot up to a simmer, place a lid on top, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Add more water if it gets too dry. (taste it to see if lentils are soft, you can also adjust the seasoning to your preference at this point)
  5. Stir in the frozen spinach and cook for about 15 minutes more. Serve with a thick slice of crusty bread!


lentil stew

Step By Step Photos

turkey sausageThis is the turkey sausage that I used. I really honestly expected it to be as bad as turkey bacon but it was DE-LI-COUS! It was way too soft to slice so I just squeezed it out of the casing and cooked it like ground sausage.

cooked sausageBrown the sausage in a large pot. I find that even the reduced fat turkey sausage has enough fat in it to keep it from sticking and burning. No extra olive oil needed here. If you are using traditional pork Italian sausage, you can drain the extra fat off after cooking if desired.

celery carrot onionWhile the sausage is cooking, chop up your veggies. Add them to the pot and continue to cook.

cooked veggiesCook the veggies until the onion is soft and transparent. The carrots and celery may not be fully cooked at this point but that’s okay, they’ll keep cooking.

lentilsPick over the lentils to make sure there are no stones then add them to the pot.

broth and seasoningAdd 6 cups of water and 2 Tbsp (or 6 cubes) of bouillon and the spices (cayenne, paprika, oregano and cumin). Bring it all up to a simmer, put a lid on top, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Add more water if it gets too dry.

save vegetable scrapsWhile the stew is simmering, take care of your left over vegetables. I only used half a bag of carrots and half a bunch of celery in the stew. So, I washed, peeled and sliced the rest, placed them in a freezer bag and saved them for the next soup that I make. Most soups and stews start with a base of onion, carrot and celery so I’ll have less prep next time! I also saved my scraps and will place them in my “vegetable scraps” freezer bag to make a vegetable stock with later.

cooked lentilsAt this point the lentils are cooked and I can add the spinach. Spinach is a delicate green so I add it at the end to prevent over cooking and total disintegration.

frozen spinachStir in the frozen spinach and cook for another 15 minutes or until heated through.

finished lentil stewAnd then it’s done and ready to eat!

lentil & vegetable stewIt’s hard to tell but it is BURSTING with flavor, I swear!


  1. Lorioriori says:

    I made the last night, and it was really delicious! Maybe it was the hot sauce I used, but it came out really spicy…a touch spicier than would’ve been ideal, I think. We had some leftover sour cream and grated Parmesan, though, and that added some delicious flavor and creaminess that mellowed the spice out, too. Next time I’ll plan to make it that way from the start–and I’ll probably cut back on the hot sauce a bit. :c) But still, even without those tweaks, it was really tasty!

  2. Bill says:

    Amazing, I had to make some changes due to ingredients I had on hand and preference. First of all I added red pepper flakes instead of cayenne pepper. I subbed Paprika with 1 more tsp of cumin, added thyme with the oregano, and a tsp of fennel seed. I also used mostly box broth (but added some bullion at the end to taste) and here’s the kicker; since I didn’t have any spinach, I tried green peas (yum) and I also still thought of this dish as more of a soup so I thickened it with a little flour to give it a stew-like consistency and it worked wonderfully!!! with a little red wine vinegar at the end, this one was DELICIOUS!

  3. So delicious, absolutely loved it! Even better the next day.

  4. Lauren says:

    This was one of the best stews I’ve ever had! I made this when it was about 3 degrees outside and it was so warm and comforting. My husband and I both agreed it was something we would order in a restaurant. It is great with some warm crusty bread, but it is filling enough to just eat on its own. Ok, maybe it was filling because I had two bowls of it…

    I do have to say, though- the first time I made it I used regular pork sausage. The second time I used turkey and it wasn’t as flavorful (maybe it was just the brand of turkey sausage I used.) I’ll definitely make it again, but I think I’ll stick to pork sausage.

  5. Marcia says:

    I’ve been lurking your site for a while but this is the first recipe I’ve tried. I made this tonight and it is delicious! I made a few changes based on what I had on hand from my CSA. I used green onion bratwurst for the sausage and swiss chard instead of spinach. So good. I’ll be having this for lunch for the rest of the week. Thanks!

  6. We enjoyed this a lot. It was a little thick after the first day so my husband added a little chicken broth to his bowl the second day. I decided to turn it into a casserole and spread the leftovers into a 9×13 pan (there were only two of us eating) and baked it and then added shredded cheddar cheese and baked until melted. Very tasty this way too!

  7. HI, just wondering when you say serves 10, what is the serving size? 1 cup portions? Is there a general rule of thumb? Sorry if this has been answered already and I skipped over it. Thanks!

    • Sorry, that recipe is super old so the serving size may have gotten lost when I transitioned to the new format. It is probably 1 to 1.5 cups per serving, but I can’t say for sure.

  8. I made this for my family tonight and we loved it!! Thanks for another great recipe! I had everything on hand and didn’t need to plan ahead or anything, which is great since we don’t have a store closer than 25 minutes! Yay!! I’ll make this often!

  9. Elise says:

    I’ve made this recipe a ton of times (usually sans the spinach because I rarely have it around unless I manage to buy it fresh), but I’ve found that the carrots don’t taste well after thawing. They get this musty, cardboard flavor and I have to sort them out. Any pointers about this?

    • Hmm. Do you mean leftover carrots that are frozen separately and then added when you make the soup or the carrots that are already in the soup taste musty when the soup as a whole is thawed? If you mean carrots in the soup, I really don’t know what might be causing that. If you mean carrots that had been frozen by themselves to save for soup making, maybe double bag them? They could be absorbing flavor/aroma from the freezer.

      • Elise says:

        No, unfortunately the ones already in the soup. And it happens with everything, soup, stew… The carrots also aren’t old, happens with fresh whatever. Does NOT happen when I freeze the carrots raw. Very strange then. Ah well, for soups at least by the time I freeze them all the flavor has gone into the dish already anyway. I’ll just keep trying. Thanks!

  10. Anna says:

    I know this recipe was posted four years ago, but I had to comment because it’s so delicious! I left out the cayenne because I don’t like things too “hot” and added some fresh parsley for the simmering stage for flavor (left on top and removed before stirring). I also added yam chunks (1 yam’s worth) instead of spinach as a personal preference. The stew was savory and delicious. [Parsley and yam are $1 each and I used 1/4 of my parsley bunch for the stew. So my additions/substitutes add 25 cents to the cost of the stew since I left out the 99 cent spinach.]

  11. Megan says:

    I have recently started making freezer meals for my family, this recipe sounds amazing! What would your recommendations be if I were to make ahead and freeze?

    • I usually freeze single serving portions in those blue top resealable containers, then they’re super easy to just reheat in the microwave straight from the freezer.

  12. rachel says:

    Fab. I used 6 cups of homemade organic sage chicken stock, and stirred in 1/4 cup full-fat greek yogurt right before serving to up the protein and temper the spice a bit. A hit, even with the toddler set, and loads of leftovers. Thanks!!

  13. DIVI RODRIGUEZ says:


  14. Amina says:

    If I wanted to add rice to this recipe, would I add cooked rice or let the rice cook along with the lentils?

  15. Amina says:

    How would cook rice if you wanted to add some to the soup? Would you let it simmer with the lentils?

    • I’m not sure. I just tried to make a soup the other day and added some rice but it disintegrated as it simmered (I didn’t post that recipe for obvious reasons!), so I need to look into that. I think maybe if you add it towards the end and just make sure not to let it simmer too long it might be okay.

      • Amina says:

        I ended up adding the rice towards the last 15 minutes and it came out great! Thanks for the tip!

      • Christine says:

        I’ve had great luck adding rice to cooking soups if I add uncooked brown rice. No disintegration! And it reheats much better the next day than regular white rice.

        It’s a little soft if you cook it for 8 hours in the crock pot, but it’s still not bad.

  16. Just made this for the first time. Love it. Thanks for the recipe your recipes are awesome

  17. Peter says:

    Just made this for the first time — so good! This is why I visit your blog so often!

  18. This too was delish, but am I surprised? Not at all because all your recipes so far have been foolproof!
    I made this one evening two weeks ago and was glad to have leftovers the next day to offer my neighbor a hot bowlful after he snow blowed my path.
    Perfect dish for this super cold winter.

  19. Kiera says:

    This soup is incredible!! Just, wow. I was really blown away at how the combination of spices was just right; they make this so savory and warm, true comfort food.

    I added tomato and beans for more fiber and veggies, inspired by this newer BB recipe: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/01/chunky-lentil-vegetable-soup/

    My girlfriend and I will be finishing this batch off in just a few days, and we’ll have to make more once it’s gone!

  20. Your stew looks amazing!
    In Germany we love the lentil stew with some vinegar (plus a little sugar) and sometimes a little bit of mustard stirred in. All of that gets added at the end right before serving.

  21. Lisa Eckman says:

    Excellent. I cooked the sausage (mild Italian) along with garlic, onion and fennel. Then through everything into the crock pot and cooked for about 4 hours on high. Really good.

  22. Allison says:

    Made this for myself for lunch while I have your chicken dumpling soup in my crock pot. Used brats and kale as substitutions. Served deliciously with marble rye!

  23. I’ve been planning on making this all day and now I realize I don’t have any chicken bouillon cubes or stock. Can u think of any substations? Thanks!

    • Well, there is quite a bit of flavor between the sausage, vegetables, and spices anyway, so I bet if you just add some salt to make up for the salt in the broth it will still taste pretty good!

  24. Deirdre says:

    I was searching for a lentil sausage stew recipe and looking at the thumb nail images on my Google search page. Yours was the only one I found that looked at all like what I think delicious lentil soup should look like. It doesn’t look awful, it looks tasty! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I have this simmering and it smells fabulous. I know this is an oldie, but the bite I just tasted tells me it is a goodie.

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