Lentil Stew with Bacon
This warm and cozy lentil stew is nourishing and tastes so wonderful, especially if you let the flavors meld overnight (but it’s also delicious if you want to eat it right away). I was flattered when Scramble recipe tester Jennifer Grosman told me that she like this version more than the one she had tried from Martha Stewart!
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 carrots thinly sliced
- 5 - 6 stalks celery thinly sliced 1 cup total
- 8 oz. bacon (turkey, pork, or meatless) thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup brown or green lentils rinsed and drained, soaked overnight for faster cooking
- 4 cups water, chicken, or vegetable broth
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt to taste
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper or to taste
- 2 Tbsp. red wine optional
- In a medium to large heavy stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, bacon, and bay leaf and sauté them, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the lentils and the water or broth and bring it to a low boil.
- Reduce the heat and cover and simmer the stew, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender (check it after an hour if you soaked the lentils overnight).
- Add the salt, pepper, and wine (optional), and simmer it uncovered for about 5 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve the stew immediately or, if time allows, refrigerate it for a day or two to let the flavors meld.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Reduce the liquid to 2 - 3 cups, depending on whether you like your stew 'saucy' or more thick. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. Remove the bay leaf before serving. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Instant Pot Directions
- Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE mode, then sauté the onions, carrots, celery, bacon, and bay leaf until soft. Turn off the SAUTE mode and add the UNSOAKED lentils and the water or broth. Cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes and then use the Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes. Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE mode, adjust to the lowest heat setting, add the salt, pepper, and wine (optional), and simmer for 5 minutes. (Click here for Instant Pot tips and a list of Scramble recipes that have IP conversions.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion, slice the carrots and celery, slice and refrigerate the bacon, rinse, drain, and soak the lentils, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish. Scramble Flavor Booster: Serve it with seasoning salt (such as Lawry’s, Old Bay, or Tony Chachere’s), hot pepper sauce, and/or grated Parmesan cheese. Tip: Ever wonder why certain dishes, like stews and sauces taste even better the next day? Letting the food rest in the fridge for a day or so allows the seasonings and the oils to better infuse with the other ingredients (like the lentils and vegetables in this case). Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 230, Total Fat: 8g, 14%; Saturated Fat: 2g, 8%; Cholesterol: 25mg, 8%; Sodium: 560mg, 23%; Total Carbohydrate: 23g, 8%; Dietary Fiber: 11g, 44%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 15g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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