A thick and flavorful recipe for sausage and lentil stew that tastes amazing. I know it will become a staple in your dinner rotation - and you just may fight over the leftovers the next day.
Lentil stew (or soup) was not something I ever ate as a kid or thought about as a young adult. I don't even think I knew what lentils were. I grew up eating basic meat-and-potatoes dinners with an occasional taco night thrown in as our only "international" food.
But my tastes expanded in college and as a young mom I wanted to make new dishes for my family that were easy and healthy - and of course tasted good. My first experience with lentils was both Dal and an amazing lentil soup I had at an Indian restaurant - I swear I would dream about that soup!
So one day when I was watching a morning show, and saw a recipe for lentil stew with sausage—that they all raved about. I wrote it down and actually made it myself.
It was SO good - nothing like the few watery lentil soups I'd tried. This was more like that amazing Indian restaurant soup: thick and lick-the-bowl flavorful. And the leftovers were even better, believe it or not.
After a bit of tweaking, this is hands-down our favorite and the only lentil stew recipe I bother making. So if you've been looking for an amazing warming bowl of lentil stew, this is for you. It's been a big hit with everyone I've shared it with, so I know it will be for you, too.
Sausage and Lentil Stew Recipe
There are a couple of ingredients that make this lentil stew special, one of which is tarragon - an unusual spice for a stew, but oh so good here. You must use this herb, so if you don't have it add it to your list - even if you only use tarragon for this recipe, it will be worth it, I promise.
The other special ingredient is stewed tomatoes - yes stewed, not regular canned diced or whole tomatoes. This is the only time I use them, actually, and they really do enhance the flavor of this stew.
This isn't a deal-breaker like the tarragon - you can use regular tomatoes and see which you like better, but we've always preferred it with stewed.
Tip for adding sliced or whole tomatoes to soups and stews: before adding the tomatoes, put them in another container to cut them into smaller pieces before adding to the cooking pot.
Besides the incredible flavor, I also love that this recipe only costs around $4.00 for eight hearty servings! Using sausage purchased on sale, frozen chicken broth, and tomatoes from the pantry either home-canned or bought at best prices, and inexpensive lentils, this makes a healthy, economical family meal.
It makes enough for a couple days of leftover lunches (for most families) and I seriously make it so I can have it for lunches - it gets better as the flavors mingle. It also freezes beautifully. Hmmm - you probably get the idea that I like this stew!
The Best Sausage and Lentil Stew Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound Italian sausage mild or hot - we like hot
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1½ cups water
- 1 lb. dry lentils, rinsed about 2-1/4 cups
- 3 14-15oz cans stewed tomatoes (or regular canned tomatoes, cut up)
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce omit if using hot sausage
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Heat oil in a large stockpot. Add the sausage and cook until brown. Add onions and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Add broth, water, and lentils.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and spices.
- Bring back to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 45-50 minutes.
This popular recipe was originally published in February of 2009 and has been updated with new photos, formatting and printable recipe. Enjoy!
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