Healthy Crockpot Lentil Stew

lentil stew6

I like to think of myself sort of as a lentil hipster. I used to eat lentils wa-hayy before they became cool. That’s because lentils are a huge part of Indian cuisine, no matter which region the cuisine comes from. I’m sure you’ve seen the word “daal” at an Indian restaurant’s menu. It literally means lentils. When my mom would ask me if daal sounded good for dinner, I’d always ask “what kind?”. And even though we were a meat-eating family, lentils were common at the dinner table because they are cheap, healthy, and very easy to make.

lentil stew5

When you go to an Indian restaurant and order daal, they’ll automatically give you either the yellow kind or the green/brown kind. But don’t limit yourself to what’s on Indian restaurants’ menus, because there are a gazillion types of delicious and so so healthy lentils to choose from.

lentil stew4

Which is precisely why you should try making lentils at home. You won’t find all the types of lentils at restaurants, but you will find them at specialty grocery stores! For starters though, I’m going to share this recipe for American green lentils, which is a type of lentil you can easily find at any supermarket.

lentil stew2

Anddddd this is the point in the post where I  stop acting like a lentil expert / annoying lentil hipster. Here’s why: the first time I made lentils in a crockpot, it really humbled me. That’s because I messed it up… BIG time. All the water evaporated, and it turned into a mushy brown mess instead of a hearty stew. “What did you learn, Nadia”, you ask? I’ll tell you what: add plenty of liquid and cook on low. Just do these two things, and you can modify this recipe any way you want after that. Don’t like regular potatoes? Substitute sweet potatoes instead! Think carrots are for bunnies? Skip ‘em here and make carrot cake instead! Cakes aren’t for bunnies. And I would suggest treating yourself to seconds on the cake, because this meal is super duper healthy. 🙂

lentil stew

Healthy Crockpot Lentil Soup
Serves 10
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 hr
170 calories
31 g
0 g
1 g
11 g
0 g
203 g
372 g
3 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 170
Calories from Fat 6
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 372mg
Total Carbohydrates 31g
Dietary Fiber 13g
Sugars 3g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 cups “American” green lentils, rinsed
  2. 16 oz. beef broth (or vegetable)
  3. 1 beef (or vegetable) bouillon cube
  4. 2 cups water
  5. 1 small yellow onion, diced
  6. 2 carrots, diced into large pieces
  7. 1 celery stalk, diced into large pieces
  8. 1 russet or red potato, diced into large pieces
  9. 1, 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  10. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 1/4 tsp salt
  13. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  14. 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  15. 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  16. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  17. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Rinse the lentils thoroughly (1-2 times).
  2. Add all ingredients to a crockpot, turn on low and cook for 5-6 hours. No peeking!
  1. Serve with some brown rice or quinoa if you’d like.
Spicy Spoonful

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  1. Leeds says:

    Thanks for posting! I love lentils and I’m looking forward to giving this a try.

  2. Michael says:

    Are the lentils dried? I remember cooking lentils in Spain and because they were dry I had to soak them overnight or they would be too hard. I did not use a crock pot however, that is the reason I ask if they are dried or from a jar.

    • Nadia says:

      Hi Michael! Yes, the lentils are dry and it is not necessary to soak them since if you are cooking in a crockpot. However, if you decide to cook this on a low simmer on the stove top, I would recommend soaking the lentils overnight.

  3. Kari says:

    Just put this in my Crock Pot for dinner tonight 🙂 One question: what is the serving size? 1 cup? Adding up the volume of the ingredients, that sounds right to me, but I wanted to ask to see if you knew what it came out to.

  4. Sierra Fouts says:

    Hey! What temp do i cook this on for the 5-6 hours?

  5. Michaela says:

    I tried this and it did not work 🙁 none of the water evaporated and the vegetables were not cooked.

    • Asinine says:

      Michaela Did you cook them on low or high? I want to try it too! Was the taste ok?

    • Asinine says:

      Michaela Did you cook them on low or high? I want to try it too! Was the taste ok? Was the lentils cooked?

    • Margaret says:

      Didn’t work for me either – did 6 hours on low and it still wasn’t cooked and not flavorful (even though I did a bit more spice than in recipe). Definitely needs at least an additional 2 hours and the spice recommendations are definitely off – the final product was bland, in my opinion.

  6. Gloria says:

    Great taste — I added extra curry powder and hot chilli powder plus 2 tsp cumin to give stronger curry flavour. Also added cup of chick peas for last hour. Blended some flour and oil and juices from pot to thicken the sauce.. Simmered for last hour. Cooked on low but needed two hours longer than recommended.

  7. maggie says:

    Would sweet potatoes be an ok substitute?

    • Nadia says:

      I hate to say at this point, because the recipe doesn’t seem to be working for a lot of people. I would hold off on this Maggie until I can test it. There are a ton of other great recipes out there for lentil crockpot stews!

  8. Nadia says:

    I thought I had posted this earlier, but I am going to try this recipe and revise it. Looks like it didn’t work for a lot of people, and I’m sincerely sorry for it!

    Either I mis-wrote something when I was logging the recipe, or it just magically worked for me. I’m going to guess it was the former 😉

    I’ll let everyone know when this post is updated so that you can have the best recipe possible. Sorry folks!

  9. Linda says:

    I hope this has worked out for you on your 2nd try. Question: what size crockpot do you have? The standard family size or a smaller 3-qt? I have a 3-qt and have yet to figure out how to modify the time required when I find crockpot recipes. Thanks.

  10. Audrey says:

    Delicious!!! I cooked on high in my crockpot for about 4 1/2 hours and the lentils were cooked perfect! Made a few modifications: deleted the salt and added one additional cup of beef broth; added 1 tsp cumin; used a one pound bag of lentils, not sure what this translates to in cups; added 12 oz andouille sausage, cut into bite sized pieces. My recipe made 11 cups of stew, 286 calories per cup. Will DEF make again!!!

  11. Sarah S says:

    Thank you for this recipe! We love it, and I make it nearly every week. I’m not sure if it has been revised since the original comments but it comes out perfect for us every time. My husband loves to take the leftovers to work for lunch.

  12. Cathleen Schnare says:

    I made this last night and followed the directions exactly …. Amazing and easy … Thank you so much !!!!!

  13. Annabelle says:

    My employer loves lentil… so i make this ton8ght for dinner hope they like it..thanks for this recipe

  14. Jess says:

    I made this yesterday and it turned out soooo good. I do recommend green lentils as they keep their shape but if using red lentils (as I did), it will be more like a mushy, dal-like texture which is what I was going for – something fun for next time! I used the same amount of water and none was left by the end of cooking.

    I added just a pinch of cinnamon and a fresh rosemary sprig since I didn’t have a bay leaf.

    Highly recommend this recipe!!

  15. Diane says:

    I made this yesterday & my hubby and I loved it, thanks! Couldn’t use “American” lentils as we live in Australia but the ones I used here still tasted great. My crockpot is quite large so I added just a touch extra water & I cooked it on high which reduced some of the liquid so mine was not a “soup” but the end result was still fantastic. I put a large scoop of plain Greek yoghurt on top, sprinkled with a little chopped parsley (ran out of coriander) – it was delicious. PS I used the purple sweet potato (white inside) as well.

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