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.

  25. Esther says:

    Hmm I meant Crock pot, please excuse the typo.

  26. Esther says:

    Okay,I am making this today and will go ahead and cook it in a medium pot as the recipe says. But I was thinking maybe I could just throw everything into the cock pot. But then I was thinking some more (I’m not an airhead, promise) and maybe the lentils would act more like split peas and turn to mush? Has anyone tried this or have any ideas? Thanks.

    • They may get extra mushy, but I don’t think that would be an entirely bad thing! :) If you do use a crock pot, I would brown the sausage in a skillet and add that at the end. I’ve added ground sausage to a crock pot recipe in the beginning before and the texture just didn’t work right. It over cooked and got all pellet-like.

  27. ReynaS says:

    I made this last night and loved it. I had to use bratwurst because Germany seems to discriminate against delicious foreign sausage, but it was still fantastic. Definitely making it again!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I made this last month for myself and my husband exactly per the recipe. It was SO SO yummy! And it lasted for almost an entire week for us! Thanks for the great recipe! This one is definitely a keeper and going to be made again this year before winter is over. I’m going to try with either a homemade or natural/organic chicken stock next time for less additives/preservatives or whatever all those oddly named things are from the bouillon cubes ingredients.

  29. Anonymous says:

    im cooking this right now, I added half a pound of Italian spicy sausage that was on sale and half a pound of regular sausage I think its gonna be great! way to make lentils more appetizing! thanks!

  30. This was amazing! So good! I used smoked paprika. Will be a regular around here :)

  31. Anonymous says:

    This was absolutely amazing, such wonderful blend of flavors and you can catch each one of them in one bite…DELICIOUS, this one is a keeper!

    p.s. added some stewed tomatoes to give it a little zing!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Just found your blog a couple of weeks ago and tried this recipe after enjoying your baked spaghetti recipe a few days earlier. All I can say is this is my new favorite soup/stew!!! I did not make a single change. We ate on this all week and still have several more servings in the freezer for later. Now I’m baking one of your baked oatmeals… Can’t wait. Thanks for the great resource and delicious recipes!

  33. allison says:

    I have just started using lentils…and honestly at first I was scared of them…But now that I have started with lentils I love them! They are soooo easy and so good for you! Anyways I came across this recipe and I am addicted to it:) It is incredibly delish! I made it at 7 am this morning and I am cooking it on slow…I had a bowl for breakfast and for lunch…This is a keeper…I am going to triple this and freeze it. Thank you for this wonderful recipe and your awesome blog!!!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    I made this last week, and it was just as delicious as you described, and so healthy and cheap! Thank you for sharing, this is going into my family’s permanent rotation.

  35. Wow! Yum! I made it vegetarian – with some Trader Joes veggie broth & gimme lean soysage! This is delicious, I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  36. Jackie – Absolutely! Just substitute the same volume (6 cups) and adjust the salt to your taste at the end. I hope you enjoy it!

  37. Would it be possible to use homemade chicken stock in place of the bouillon? I have some chicken stock in the ‘fridge right now but no bouillon. How much stock would I use instead? Thank you! (and BTW, I LOVE your blog.)

  38. Is it possible to make this with homemade chicken stock instead of bouillon cubes? I have about 2lbs of homemade stock in the fridge right now but no bouillon cubes. How much stock would I use instead? Thank you! (and btw, I absolutely LOVE your blog.)

  39. (Leisel): I made this for dinner tonight (09/110/12). it was FANTASTIC! DH and I give it five stars, and all four kids liked it. Even the 21 month old couldn’t seem to get enough of it. I used a full bag of precut carrot slices, and the only frozen spinach the store had was 16 ounces as well. I did have to add another 2 cups or so of water, and I used French green lentils, which take longer to cook, so I go them started cooking in the liquid while I was sautéing the sausage and veggies. This will be going into the family cookbook for sure.

  40. Anonymous says:

    We made this last night with homemade chicken stock. Only thing that we did differently was add leeks in addition to all the other listed vegetables. Enjoyed with pita and served the stew in roasted red peppers – some for supper, some for next day’s lunch, and some for the freezer. What a great combination of spices!

  41. Made this tonight for the husband and I, I simply doubled the meat (1 lb of sweet italian turkey sausage and 1 lb spicy) and boyyy was it good!

  42. I made this without sausage because I didn’t have any and put it all in my crockpot for the day. This is seriously awesome!! I love the spice combination.

  43. I really need to write this recipe down. I am back here making it for at least the 4th time. I love to surprise people with this one. It is just so good. People don’t expect that from lentils and spinach. I have used turkey Italian sausage, hot Italian sausage, and regular bulk Italian sausage. It is delicious everytime. Today I am making it for a soup and salad baby shower at church. It should spice things up.

  44. Hi im not a massive lentil eater but want to make this soon, do you think green lentils will be nice. ive never tried them but do have them in my kitchen.


  45. Hi im not a massive lentil eater but want to make this soon, do you think green lentils will be nice. ive never tried them but do have them in my kitchen.


  46. Hi im not a massive lentil eater but want to make this soon, do you think green lentils will be nice. ive never tried them but do have them in my kitchen.


  47. Hi im not a massive lentil eater but want to make this soon, do you think green lentils will be nice. ive never tried them but do have them in my kitchen.


  48. Super meal!! We loved it tonight! I’m going to try to freeze half the leftovers and take the rest to work for lunch tomorrow! Yummy! My kids even liked it (although I think I went a little heavy on the cayenne for them – I loved the spice!). Thank you again and again!!

  49. Found this, love it, sending the link to everyone I know. Making it again this weekend. Thanks so much!

  50. Ruth says:

    This was great. In the process of making it noticed hubby had pulled smoked sausage instead of regular sausage, figured what te heck. Actually turned out pretty good. Kids that it tasted like jambalaya soup. They ate it tho, & that is what matters. Thanks

  51. This recipe is seriously good. And it freezes well! I just had some for dinner out of my freezer yesterday. I agree that you should add oil to cook the sausage–even my pork sausage burnt a little, but that could be because I was busy chopping my veggies and my knife skills are a bit sluggish. Thanks for posting this! It has fed me for almost a week of meals at this point.

  52. This is so, so good. G and I made it this week, since it’s been so cold, and to be honest, I’ve been kind of fantasizing about it all day.

  53. Megan says:

    I made this for dinner two nights ago and my fiance and I loved it! I used hot Italian pork sausage and played with the amount of bouillon after I added some extra water. Next time I’ll also add another carrot since the pops of orange are so pretty (and tasty!).

  54. I would try white beans! White bean and sausage is a classic combo. But, they don’t cook nearly as fast as lentils so you’ll either need to cook them ahead of time or used canned. Good luck!

  55. The lentils must have not bothered me too much because I’m having this for lunch today too. : ) I was trying to think of a different type of bean that would be good in this. Any ideas?

  56. Okay, this is really flavorful. 2 comments: My turkey sausage was the exact same brand as yours, but I had to add olive oil. It was just not “greasy” enough. The other comment is that I realized tonight I’m not a big lentil fan. I had lentils at an Ethiopian restaurant recently, and did not care for them there. I thought it was just at that particular restaurant so I gave them a chance tonight. That aside, I would make this again and try using something else like rice or barley in substitution for the lentils. I did feel like I was eating healthy, which was nice, and that turkey sausage is amazing. Hard to believe it’s turkey. Thanks again. Tomorrow’s menu: Glazed pork chops and the wild rice you posted recently.

  57. I am trying this tonight. I have never cooked with dried beans so should be interesting. I never would have chosen this on my own, but your comments make it impossible not to. : )

  58. Kathy says:

    This looks great and can’t wait to try it! I like the suggestion of leeks instead of celery. I had leeks for the first time a week ago from a TastyKitchen recipe and have been looking for more recipes to use them in since!

  59. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t have enough lentils so I threw some rice into it. I ladled out a bowl before realizing I hadn’t added spinach. The second bowl was much tastier.

  60. Anonymous says:

    This looks delicious! I think I’ll make this this week!

  61. Melanie ;-) says:

    Omg omg omg omg omg!

    Ok so this is dinner #12 AND 13# and lunch in between lol.

    Tastes so vibrant and I do, I really do, hope people will make it. Whether they like the look or not. Just read the ingredients everyone, its guaranteed to win!

    Side-note: This is the first time in 2 weeks I have nothing to throw away before I grocery shopping.

    NO MORE CLEANING OUT THE FRIDGE! yayers! No containers of ‘eeeew’ or ‘maybe we shouldn’t open that and just toss it’

    Thanks again Beth, and wish me luck with another 245$ or maybe even more savings tomorrow!

  62. I make something rally similar and I ALWAYS love it. You cant go wrong with any combo of legumes, kale, sausage, and either butternut squash or sweet potatoes. So good.

  63. We loved it!!!

  64. Your blog is a godsend! What a great wealth of ideas for cheap AND amazing photos. I may even be able to talk my wife into helping me cook…
    cheers and many thanks

  65. I’m not sure about tofurky because I’ve never cooked with it… although I’m pretty sure that is what it was meant to do so I would give it a shot!

  66. Anonymous says:

    Said student from the first comment here. I just made this with regular pork sausage… (and leeks instead of celery) it was absolutely amazing. It was the first time I ever made a stew but it was the best thing I’ve made for months. Wow. Definitely a new favourite meal of mine. I can’t wait to finish the leftovers so I can make a new batch of this!

    Thanks a ton. Brilliant recipe.

  67. do you think tofurky italian “sausage” will work too?

  68. I love lentil stew. I make mine with beef, but I’ve been considering a kielbasa recipe. Enjoy!

  69. I make a very similar vegetarian version. I add a slice of ginger and chopped swiss chard. I top with sriracha, delicious!

  70. I know what I’m making with the leftover sausage from the Jamalaya! Mmmmmm Can’t wait!

  71. see, I enjoy turkey bacon.. but HATE ground turkey for like.. turkey burgers. *GAG*

  72. Oh yay! I can’t wait to try this either!! You make things look way less intimidating to cook!

  73. I love this kind of dish, and truthfully I don’t think it looks bad at all!

  74. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been on a complete lentil spree since I started life as a student in September – I’ll have to try this. Perhaps even tomorrow. Sounds delicious!

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