Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

$5.09 recipe / $1.27 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.93 from 70 votes
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Ever since I added coconut milk to my ramen broth, I haven’t been able to stop adding coconut milk to all of my savory saucy and brothy dishes. The creaminess of the coconut milk is unmatched, and pairs particularly well with the flavor of mushrooms. So I did it again this week with these Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy, which make a great easy weeknight dinner that you can eat almost like a stew with some crusty bread for dipping, or spoon it over a big bowl of mashed potatoes or rice. It’s hearty, creamy, and just right for cold winter nights!

Overhead view of a bowl full of Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy served over mashed potatoes, with a black spoon.

Garnished with chopped parsley, for color.

What Kind of Lentils Should I Use?

I suggest using brown lentils for this recipe, which are quick-cooking (only requiring 20 minutes of simmering) and hold their shape. These lentils look kind of greenish-brown when dry and are sometimes labeled green lentils (not to be confused with French green lentils). If you’re unsure if you have the right kind of lentil, check the cooking instructions on the package. If they say to simmer for about 20 minutes, you’ve got the right kind of lentil.

Red or yellow lentils will break down and create more of a split pea soup textured dish, so I don’t suggest using them for this recipe.

What Kind of Mushrooms Should I use?

I used baby bella mushrooms because they’ve been available for a great price at Aldi lately, but white button mushrooms will work perfectly well and are often less expensive.

Meal Prep It!

These Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy make a great winter meal prep. They hold up perfectly in the refrigerator (for about four days) and also freeze well. You could freeze them right in the same container as your mashed potatoes or rice!

How to Serve Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

As mentioned in the introduction, you can serve these creamy lentils as is with some bread for dipping, or spoon them over a bowl of mashed potatoes, rice, or even pasta!

Lentils with Creamy Mushroom gravy in the skillet being scooped with a wooden spoon
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Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

4.93 from 70 votes
These Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy are an easy, hearty, and comforting vegan weeknight dinner, perfect for cold winter nights.
Lentils with Creamy Mushroom gravy in the skillet being scooped with a wooden spoon
Servings 4 About 1 cup each
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.69)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 cup brown lentils ($0.50)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • 3/4 tsp rubbed (dried) sage ($0.07)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth ($0.26)
  • 1 13.5oz. can coconut milk ($1.99)
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp) ($0.02)
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Instructions 

  • Mince the garlic and slice the mushrooms. Add the olive oil and garlic to a large skillet and sauté for about one minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and begin to brown.
  • Add the lentils, sage, thyme, freshly cracked pepper, and vegetable broth to the skillet with the mushrooms. Stir to combine. Place a lid on the skillet, let the broth come up to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the lentils simmer for 20 minutes (with lid), stirring occasionally.
  • After simmering for 20 minutes, the lentils should be tender and most of the broth absorbed. Add the coconut milk, stir to combine, turn the heat back up to medium, and let the lentils simmer for about five more minutes (without lid), or until the mixture in the skillet has thickened to a gravy.
  • Once the mixture has thickened, turn the heat off. Taste the mixture and add salt to your liking. I added about 1/2 tsp. The salt will help the herbal flavors pop and reduce the sweetness of the coconut milk.
  • Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping or over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 441kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 16gFat: 28gSodium: 489mgFiber: 15g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A bowl of Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy over mashed potatoes, a bite being lifted by a black spoon.

Shown with Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes and garnished with parsley for color.

How to Make Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy – Step by Step Photos

Mushrooms being sliced on a green cutting board

Start by mincing two cloves of garlic and slicing 8 oz. mushrooms.

Mushrooms added to a skillet with sautéed garlic

Add the minced garlic to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté the garlic for about one minute, then add the sliced mushrooms.

Sautéed and browned mushrooms in the skillet

Continue to sauté the mushrooms until all of their moisture evaporates and the mushrooms begin to brown.

Lentils, herbs, and broth added to mushrooms in the skillet

Add 1 cup brown lentils, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¾ tsp rubbed sage, some freshly cracked black pepper, and 2 cups vegetable broth to the skillet. Stir to combine, then place a lid on the skillet and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the lentils simmer for 20 minutes (with lid), stirring occasionally.

Coconut milk being poured into the skillet full of lentils

After simmering for 20 minutes, the lentils should be tender and most of the broth absorbed. Add a 13.5 oz. can coconut milk and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium and let the mixture simmer for about five more minutes.

Simmered lentils in creamy mushroom gravy

The mixture will thicken a bit more as it simmers and form a rich gravy. Once it has thickened slightly, turn off the heat. Give the lentils a taste and season with salt to your liking. I added about ½ tsp. Adding enough salt will help the flavors of the herbs pop and it will reduce the sweetness of the coconut milk.

Finished lentils with creamy mushroom gravy garnished with parsley in the skillet

You can serve the creamy mushroom lentils as-is with some bread for dipping…

Overhead view of a bowl of mashed potatoes topped with lentils in a creamy mushroom gravy

Or spoon them over something starchy, like a big bowl of mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta! 🤤

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Comments

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  1. My daughter and I were experimenting with vegetarian and vegan plant-based entrées during her winter break from college. This recipe was super easy, very delicious and hardy. I love mushrooms, and might double up the mushroom next time I’ve use the recipe. The coconut milk is a great addition, added a lot of depth and body to the dish.

  2. Hello, gonna try this recipe this weekend, what are your thoughts on Almond milk rather than the coconut milk? thanks!

    1. Almond milk has a much lower fat content than coconut milk, so it will affect the texture of the sauce. But if you don’t mind a more watery gravy, go for it! If you aren’t dairy free, you can also add a tablespoon or two of butter to “mount the sauce”, as French chefs say. That will help pul it together.

  3. This is a perennial favorite of mine! Made it for the first time about three years ago and I just don’t think there’s a better lentil recipe out there. I love this one!!

  4. Do u happen to have nutrition or even better, WWpoints for this recipie. It’s so good!

    1. We have basic nutrition estimates at the bottom of the recipe card, but unfortunately no WW points. Keep in mind that the nutritional stats are estimates only and can vary quite a bit depending on the exact ingredients you use.

  5. Hearty stew with very satisfying umami taste. Also awesome for being easy, inexpensive, quick and vegetarian. I sub a mix of real cream and milk for the coconut milk, which likely changes the taste significantly.

  6. Made it exactly as the recipe is written and my husband and I found it on the bland side even after salting at the end to perk things up.

    We doctored up our bowls individually and there was improvement but I’m basing my review in the recipe with no alterations.

    I’d like to revisit the recipe and double the herbs as another review suggested or perhaps just use the base recipe as a good starting point to build on.

  7. So freaking good! I was thinking it can’t be as good as people make it sound to be but it really was! I added onion on the pan with mushrooms, adjusted the amount of herbs to my liking and added 1tsb of apple cider vinegar and 1tsp of worchester sauce at the end and this is going in my top 5 favourite vegan dishes.

  8. Love this recipe! I added some diced onion for more flavor. I am not vegetarian, so used unsalted chicken broth too.

    I also use heavy cream or Half n Half instead of coconut milk, and it works perfectly every time!