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A bowl of butternut squash and lentil stew with mushrooms and spinach.

Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Stew

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This curried butternut squash lentil stew is loaded with nourishing ingredients. It’s got butternut squash, of course, but you’ll also find carrots, sweet potato, onion, garlic, mushroom and spinach. All these veggies create the most wonderfully creamy but textured, hearty dish that’s packed with nutrition.


  • 2 cups diced white or yellow onion (1/2 a large or 1 medium, 300 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 tsp each of curry powder, cumin and turmeric2
  • 2 heaping cups peeled and chopped carrot (about 5 medium carrots, 310 g)
  • 2 cups peeled and diced sweet potato (1/2 a large or 1 medium, 300 g)
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (1 small/medium or 1/2 a large, 560 g)
  • 1 cup green lentils (200 g)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups regular or mini white or crimini mushrooms, chopped (160 g)
  • 5 handfuls fresh spinach (150 g)
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 – 1 tsp of each)


  1. Add the garlic, onion and ginger to a large soup pot with 2 tbsp of water or broth and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  2. Stir in the spices and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring often. Add 1-2 tbsp of water or broth as needed if the pan starts to dry out.
  3. Add the squash, carrot, sweet potato, lentils and broth, cover and simmer lightly over low to medium heat until the squash, lentils and sweet potato are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped mushrooms, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid, stir in the spinach, turn off the heat and let sit for 3-4 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt and mix into the stew. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper, if needed and serve right away.


This recipe can be made with 2 cups of pre-cooked lentils or a 19 oz can of drained and rinsed lentils. Reduce the simmering time to about 20 minutes, reduce the broth to 1 cup and add the cooked lentils when you mix the spinach in.

To use red lentils, use the same amount green and reduce the cooking time slightly as red lentils don’t take as long to cook as green. Red lentils will be mushier and softer in the recipe whereas green lentils will hold their shape.

If storing leftovers, let it cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Frozen stew can be thawed in the microwave or overnight in the fridge and then reheated stovetop.

Mushrooms can be omitted if you’re not a big fan.


  • Serving Size: 1/5th of recipe (approx. 500 g)
  • Calories: 279
  • Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 57 g
  • Fiber: 19 g
  • Protein: 15 g

Keywords: squash lentil stew, vegan lentil stew, butternut squash stew