This one-pot vegan lentil stew with potatoes is easy to make in one-pot in under 45 minutes for a hearty, nourishing and simple plant-based meal.

Bowl of a hearty stew made with lentils, carrot and potato.

About the Recipe

This vegan stew is a plant-based twist on a traditional meat stew. The flavors are most similar to chicken or turkey stew, over the tomato-based broth you might find in a beef stew.

Made with protein-rich lentils and packed with veggies, the stew provides plenty of flavor and nutrition. It also freezes well, so it’s suitable for batch cooking and meal prep.

It’s vegan comfort food at its finest. A hearty meal that’s both quick to make and wonderfully satisfying, especially on a cold day, served with a slab of crusty bread.

For more easy one-pot stew recipes, this Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Lentil Stew, Vegan Sweet Potato Peanut Stew and Chickpea Potato Curry Stew are similar though with different flavor profiles.

For soup recipes made with lentils, this Vegan Red Lentil Tomato Soup, Vegan Mulligatawny Soup Recipe and Sweet Potato Lentil Soup are all delicious.

Ingredients

Ingredients for vegan lentil stew recipe with potato, carrot, spinach and celery.
  • Onion: You can use white onion or yellow onion.
  • Potato: Use a yellow potato such as Yukon Gold.
  • Lentils: This recipe is for brown or green lentils.
  • Herbs: The recipe calls for dried thyme and rosemary though you can substitute 2 tbsp of fresh rosemary and thyme for these if you like. You could also substitute 1 tbsp Italian seasoning for the rosemary and thyme.
  • Broth: You can use any vegetable stock or broth, such as carton, homemade or bouillon base.
  • Spinach: I like baby spinach best for this recipe but you could substitute kale.
  • Tamari or Soy Sauce: Depending on the saltiness of your stock, this may or may not be needed. Use 1-2 tbsp if needed for more depth of flavor. I used 2 tbsp of tamari.

This list is not complete. Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete ingredient list with measurements and detailed instructions.

Variations

  • For a curry stew variation, omit the thyme, rosemary and lemon and add 1 tbsp curry powder or 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tsp turmeric powder.
  • For additional spices, basil and oregano work well. Up to 1 tsp smoked paprika can be added for a smoky flavor.
  • Sweet Potato Stew: Swap the potato for sweet potatoes or use half potato and half sweet potato.
  • Butternut Squash: Swap half of the potatoes or peeled and diced butternut squash.
  • Additional Vegetables: Cauliflower or zucchini can be added as additional vegetables. Add up to 1 cup diced of either when you add the potato.
  • For a tomato-based broth, add 1-2 tbsp tomato paste or 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes.
  • To add rice to this recipe, add 1/2 cup white or brown rice with the lentils and an additional 1 cup of vegetable broth. Cook until the rice is tender.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Diced onion, carrot and celery cooking in a large pot.

Step 1: In a large dutch oven pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onions, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 min, stirring occasionally.

Potato, carrot, celery, onion and herbs cooking in a pot.

Step 2: Add the garlic, potatoes, thyme, rosemary and cayenne. Stir to combine and cook for another 1-2 min, until fragrant.

Chopped celery, potato, carrot and onion cooking in broth in a pot.

Step 3: Add the lentils, bay leaves and vegetable broth and stir to combine, scraping any brown bits off the bottom.

Bring it to a simmer then reduce the heat and partially cover. Cook for 25 minutes until the lentils and potatoes are tender.

Hearty vegan lentil stew with potatoes cooking in a large pot.

Step 4: Turn off the heat and add the spinach, Dijon mustard, lemon and tamari or soy sauce. Stir until the spinach wilts.

Serve your hearty lentil stew with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Bowl of lentil stew with potato, carrot and spinach.

Recipe FAQs

How long does lentil stew keep in the fridge?

Lentil stew, when stored properly in the refrigerator, can typically last for about 4 days.

Allow the lentil stew to cool to room temperature then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. If you won’t be able to consume it within that timeframe, consider freezing it for longer storage.

Can you freeze vegan lentil stew?

Certainly! Freezing potato lentil stew is a great way to prepare a batch in advance for convenient, ready-to-eat meals. To freeze the stew, let it cool to room temperature then transfer to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag, leaving some space at the top. You can freeze it one large batch or individual portions.

Try to use the frozen stew within 3-4 months for the best quality.

How do you reheat lentil stew?

To thaw the frozen potato lentil stew, transfer the container or bag to the refrigerator overnight. This gradual thawing helps maintain the stew’s texture and flavor.

Heat the thawed stew in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even warming. Add a little water or vegetable broth if the stew has thickened during freezing.

For a quicker option, you can use the microwave for reheating. Transfer a portion of the thawed stew to a microwave-safe dish and heat in intervals, stirring in between, until thoroughly heated.

Can I use red lentils?

You can substitute red lentils for brown lentils but the stew will have a different texture as red lentils as soft and mushy when cooked.

Is lentil stew gluten-free?

For a gluten-free recipe be sure to use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce and check the label if using store-bought broth.

Cooking Tips

  1. If you’re short on time, peeling the potatoes is optional though I do recommended it for the best texture.
  2. For plenty of texture in every bite and an even cooking time, be sure to dice the carrots and celery into small pieces and chop the potato into 1/2-inch cubes.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
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Bowl of a hearty stew made with lentils, carrot and potato.

Hearty Vegan Lentil Stew

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

A hearty vegan lentil stew recipe with potatoes, spinach and carrots that makes the perfect cozy meal for warming up on a chilly night.


Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced (1 cup, 135 g)
  • 2 carrots, diced (about 2 cups, 225 g)
  • 2 ribs celery, diced (about 1 cup, 105 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 23 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and cubes (about 4 cups, 500 g)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups cup green or brown lentils, rinsed (300 g)
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 6 cups vegetable broth 
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 12 tbsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 12 tbsp tamari or soy sauce, optional*
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, optional

Instructions

  1. Cook Aromatics: In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add onions, carrots and celery. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook for 8-10 min, stirring occasionally, until softened. 
  2. Add garlic, potatoes, thyme, rosemary and cayenne. Stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 min, until fragrant. 
  3. Cook Stew: Add lentils, bay leaves and vegetable broth. Stir to combine, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 25 min, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until lentils and potatoes are tender and stew has reduced. 
  4. Finish Stew: Add in spinach, Dijon, lemon juice and tamari. Stir until spinach wilts.  
  5. Serve: Divide stew into bowls, squeeze over a lemon wedge, to taste.  Sprinkle with parsley. 

Notes

Cut the potatoes into small, evenly sized cubes, 1/2-inch or smaller. The texture of the stew is best with peeled yellow potatoes.

Tamari or soy sauce may not be needed depending on the saltiness of the broth or stock used. Taste and season to preference. I added 2 tbsp tamari.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. For longer storage, cool to room temperature then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and store for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 303
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 839 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 15 g