A nutrient-rich vegan Red Lentil Stew recipe with cozy sweet potatoes and smoked paprika! It's only 9 healthy ingredients and wonderfully satisfying. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
Lentils are amazing. They're nutrient-rich, inexpensive, and simple to cook.
Red lentils in particular are especially high in protein. Just one dry cup has about 50 grams protein!
This recipe is similar to my Lentil Spinach Soup, but with the addition of sweet potato, and we use red split lentils instead of brown lentils.
When red lentils are cooked, they turn into a softer, thicker, stew-like consistency which is perfect for this cozy dish.
Ingredients for Red Lentil Stew
For this recipe you will simmer in a large pot:
- Yellow onion: Or you can use sweet onion or white onion if desired.
- Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. They are also very rich in beta-carotene, which is a powerful phytonutrient that provides antioxidant protection and other health-promoting benefits. Their creamy texture, and unique sweet flavor is fantastic in this cozy stew.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Or you can substitute dried garlic powder if desired.
- Canned diced tomatoes: Either regular or fire-roasted work great.
- Red lentils: Lentils don't need to be soaked before cooking, so they are a quick and easy addition to this stew. They are rich in heart-healthy folate and dietary fiber, plus contain antioxidants.
- Vegetable broth: Be sure to use low sodium if preferred.
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika: This adds warm, smoky flavor to the broth.
- Fresh baby spinach: This is optional if you would like to stir it in towards the end of cooking time. Or you can use other greens of choice.
Make it spicy! This stew is mild as written. For a bit of heat, add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste.
Vegetables: Change it up with your own favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand. Things like bell pepper, celery, zucchini, kale, etc. would be great.
Spices + seasoning: Stir in other spices to taste such as curry powder, turmeric, herbs, fresh ginger, or chili powder for a different flavor profile.
Toppings: Garnish your bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice, lime juice, or fresh cilantro if desired.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We find they keep well for about 4-5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave when ready to enjoy.
Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 large sweet potato
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (or fire-roasted)
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils (uncooked)
- 6 cups vegetable broth (or 4 cups broth + 2 cups water)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 cup spinach (or other greens) to stir in at the end
- Dice onion and carrot.
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté onion and carrot for about 7 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more liquid as necessary.)
- Meanwhile, mince garlic. Peel and dice sweet potato.
- When onion is translucent, add cumin, paprika, and minced garlic. Stir and sauté 1 minute, adding a touch more liquid if it dries out.
- Add sweet potato to stockpot. Stir and cook 2 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Rinse and drain lentils well, then add to pot. Stir.
- Bring to a light boil, then cover, and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Lightly simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender. Add roughly chopped spinach (or other greens of choice) during last couple minutes of cooking if desired. Salt/pepper to taste before serving.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this vegan Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew recipe, also feel free to check out: