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Easy Vegan Smoky Red Lentil Stew With Hearty Quinoa

  • Author: Jen
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings 1x


A tasty vegan smoky red lentil stew with hearty quinoa – a perfect weeknight dinner idea. Loaded with carrots, potatoes, and kale.


  • 1 cup dried red lentils (196g) – rinsed and drained*
  • 2 cups vegetable broth + 2 cups water (or you can also use 4 cups water instead)
  • half of a yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup (22g) of kale, loosely chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes (232g), chopped (sweet potatoes will also work here)
  • 2 to 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • extra veg broth for sauteing about 1/4 cup

Optional if serving with hearty quinoa:

  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cup of vegetable broth
  • pinch of salt to taste
  • 180z package of baby bella mushrooms (optional if you want to add this to your quinoa)


  1. Sautee the veggies: Pour 1/4 cup of vegetable broth into a saucepan over medium heat and add chopped yellow onions, minced garlic, chopped red bell pepper, and chopped carrots if using. Bring to a slow simmer. Cook until soft and fragrant, around 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Using a deep saucepan – add dry lentils, 2 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water. You can also use 4 cups of water if you do not have vegetable broth on hand. Bring to a gentle simmer over low/medium heat with lid tilted.
  3. After 10 to 15 minutes – add chopped potatoes, kale, sauteed veggies (onion, garlic, red bell pepper and carrots) and spices (garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper) to the red lentils. Mix to combine and continue to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until desired tenderness is reached. The longer you simmer it for – the drier and thicker the consistency will be. If your stew is drying up too fast and your veggies are still uncooked – don’t be afraid to add more water/veg broth to allow a longer cooking time. Also, try bringing down the heat if the liquid is evaporating too quickly.
  4. First Method: If serving with quinoa as a side – bring 1 cup of dry quinoa and 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer with tilted lid for 15 minutes, or until all water has been evaporated. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
  5. Second Method: If you want to add mushrooms to your quinoa – I use this method often when I am trying to save some time. Add about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth to a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped baby bella mushrooms (make sure there is enough veg broth to coat all mushrooms), cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until mushrooms are semi-soft, and then in that same saucepan without removing the mushrooms or the liquid, go ahead and add 1 cup of dry quinoa and 1 1/4 cup of veg broth (or water). Increase the heat to bring it to a boil, and once it reaches boiling point, bring heat back down and continue to simmer until quinoa is soft and all of the liquid has evaporated. This way the mushrooms will continue to cook while the quinoa also cooks, and you end up with a nice quinoa-mushrooms combo! Add a pinch of salt to taste.
  6. Serve smoky red lentil stew with a side of hearty quinoa and add extra toppings such as avocado, sliced onions, olives, mushrooms, and/or sauerkraut for an extra boost. Enjoy!


  • Lentils do not require soaking.
  • It is recommended that you examine, sort, and rinse lentils well before using.
  • Quinoa is totally optional, so are the mushrooms.
  • This recipe is very adaptable. Even if you don’t have something on hand, let’s say carrots, or potatoes, you can still go ahead and make the red lentil stew with whatever veggies you DO have on hand. Go for it and EXPERIMENT! 🙂
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: stew
  • Cuisine: dinner

Keywords: red lentils, stew, dinner, quinoa, kale

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