Weeknight Cooking

Lentil and Sausage Stew

February 10, 2017
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This meal will cost you between $9 and $14.50 to make, but costs vary depending on where you shop, the sausage you get, and whether or not you get fancy canned tomatoes or use something else for the sauce. If you shop carefully and are looking to maximize cheapness this can be a very inexpensive meal. If you are vegetarian, you can substitute vegan sausage or skip it all together and still have a really flavorful stew for an even lower cost. And, for a make-ahead meal, you can prepare this on the stovetop ahead of time and refrigerate it. When ready to eat, bake it for 30 to 40 minutes in a 375° F oven.

Leanne Brown

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups green or brown lentils
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, divided
  • 4 sausages
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • one 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • cheese, grated (optional)
  1. Bring the lentils to a boil on medium heat in 6 cups of water (you'll let these cook while you proceed with the rest of the recipe for maximum efficiency). Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt into the water with the lentils. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft all the way through. Once they are soft, turn off the heat and drain any excess water. Taste and add more salt if needed. Try not to leave the lentils cooking for too long because they can easily end up getting overcooked and mushy. They are still totally edible and even delicious when they get overcooked and fall apart—they just don’t have quite as nice a texture.
  2. If you want to do the extra step of melting cheese on the top of your stew, then use an ovenproof pot or Dutch oven for this next step. Also set your oven to 375° F. Otherwise, use any large pot.
  3. While the lentils cook, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in another large pot on medium heat. Cook the sausages, flipping to brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. The chorizo I used was already pre-cooked so the browning just took a few minutes. If you are using fresh sausage, cook for as long as you need for the sausage to be cooked through—sometimes with larger fresh sausages, they can take 15 minutes or more so be patient.
  4. Once the sausages are cooked, remove them from the pot onto a side plate. My chorizo let off a lot of oil, so I didn’t need to use the second tablespoon of butter to cook my vegetables, but add more butter to the pan now if there isn’t much left.
  5. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and green pepper and cook for about 5 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle a bit of salt over everything, about 1/2 teaspoon or so to start. Once the vegetables are softened and the onion is translucent, add the garlic and stir, cooking for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over everything and stir until it disappears into the vegetables and oil.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and the cooked lentils to the pot and stir to combine. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, until some of the water from the tomatoes has cooked off and it's a little thicker.
  7. Slice the sausage into bite-sized pieces and add them back into the pot. Stir. Taste and add salt if needed. If it tastes delicious, you’re done and can serve it now, or go onto the optional last step.
  8. Set the oven to 375° F. Grate or blob your favorite melty cheese overtop of the stew. Bake for 20 minutes or until all the cheese is melted.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl McKinley
    Cheryl McKinley
  • Lisa
  • Rhonda Musick O'Donnell
    Rhonda Musick O'Donnell
  • ChefJune
  • Leanne Brown
    Leanne Brown

12 Reviews

Cheryl M. October 16, 2021
I made this tonight using a chicken andouille sausage. I did add a bunch of Italian seasoning, because it seemed odd that there were no herbs in the recipe. I also threw in some cinnamon and allspice at the end, and some kale and mushrooms. It was very tasty (the sausage had a bit of a kick to it,), it was not bland at all, and very filling. It really hit the spot on our first chilly night of fall.
ghainskom March 3, 2018
Rather one dimensional in taste. Tried it because it fit with what I had in my pantry but probably won't be making it again...
Sixblade K. April 2, 2017
Agree with Mooser's comment. Tried this dish tonight. Pretty bland, not an herb in site, no cumin, no pepper, no nothing. I will say that it seemed nutritious
courtney April 2, 2017
I loved this recipe, but I put added a whole bunch of Swiss chard and some spices, and used a little less lentils, and didn't use flour. I think the type of sausage you use really makes or breaks this recipe, I had a hot italian sausage which added a good amount of heat.
Lisa March 22, 2017
Sadly and unfortunately this was one of the most 'meh' tasteless things I've ever made. Tried to doctor it up to no avail with cheese, extra garlic, a little Braggs. I actually just threw it out. No saving it. And it made so much 'meh.' That's a lot of lentils. I suppose once in awhile things don't work out. :-)
Rhonda M. March 9, 2017

Can I use something else besides white flour?
Mark March 8, 2017
How much weight is "4 sausages "?
Leanne B. March 8, 2017
Hi Mark, about 12 oz, but a little less or more is no biggie.
Sailor_Boy February 24, 2017
I concur with ChefJune's comment below. Also, it would have been nice to include a comment about what kind of sausages might go best in this recipe. You used Chorizo, which is quite strongly-flavored. What about Italian Sausage, or smoked sausage, or Cajun Andouille or Boudin. The list goes on and on, so some discussion of what works (or doesn't) would be helpful.
Leanne B. February 24, 2017
Hi Sailor_Boy! I 100% agree that variations are super important! That's actually what the article accompanying the recipe is all about. It's just not here in the pure recipe portion. Check out the article here: https://food52.com/blog/19100-your-cooking-rut-ends-with-this-9-lentil-sausage-stew
ChefJune February 24, 2017
I like this recipe, but am curious how it got to be a Community Pick. We haven't had a contest with this there, and this is a very recent entry. What "Community" chose it? If it's the Staff, then you should correctly call it "Staff Pick."
caninechef February 24, 2017
This is nothing new, it seems pretty routine for at least some recipes to appear as community picks the day they are added to the recipe data base.