New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sausage and Lentil Stew Slow Cooker Recipe


I love one-pot meals. This is a nutritiously sound meal that will hopefully keep your meat-loving husband, your carb-conscious mother-in-law, and veggie-hungry aunt all happy.

And that there is a very steep order. 

The Ingredients.
serves 4-6 depending on the size of the people
1 cup lentils 
2 cups beef broth
1 (12-ounce) package smoked chicken or turkey sausage, sliced--your choice of flavor. I used a spicy mango chicken from Aidell's.
1 cup chopped carrots
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
9 ounces (or so) fresh spinach (to add at the very end)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Rinse your lentils under cold water, and place them into an empty slow cooker. Add beef broth, and sliced sausage. Add the entire can of tomatoes and a cup of chopped carrots. The broth and the seasoning from the sausage is enough to flavor this dish-- there is no need for additional spices.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, then stir in fresh spinach. It'll look like a lot at first, but the spinach will wilt and I promise it will all fit. Cover again and let the spinach soften for about 15 minutes. Serve in a shallow bowl with cornbread.

unless you don't like cornbread. then you really shouldn't eat it.

The Verdict.
We all ate it! I usually pick a sausage that has a bit of heat instead of the sicky-sweet sausages (think chicken apple) when I make casseroles or stews because the spice dissipates enough to not upset the kid tongues, but there is still a great amount of flavor. I am now such a fan of lentils--- they're cheap, filling, fat free, and full of fiber.

I've partnered up with DinnerTool.com, and wanted to share their new recipe and grocery list maker with you. It's completely free, and uber-easy to use. Which is good, because yesterday I spent 45 minutes at Lucky's only to walk out without the one thing I walked in for: bananas. grr.

All Hail the Lentil!
16-bean soup (I'm pretty sure there's a lentil in there somewhere)


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32 comments:

Judi @ Frugal Frolic said...

Lentils and sausage are a combination I use often for soup/stew during the fall and winter -- they are a great combination to warm you up on a chilly day! If you have it, kale is a great addition. I tend to throw in more veggies (onions, carrots, celery) and less sausage. Another great combination is polish sausage, lentils and potatoes -- definitely comfort food!

quinn said...

I love lentils! I think I'll try this recipe with chourico. :) We've been having many rainy days, and a crock full of stew will be just the ticket!

Josee said...

Perfect timing! I have lentils and a fresh batch of veggie broth I cooked up in the crock, plus a bumper crop of swiss chard. This sounds fantastic!

Pamela said...

I have got to try and make this! It looks delicious.

Tree said...

Hi, this looks lovely. One question, where did you get gluten free lentils or did you pick them to look for wheat? Thanks!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Tree,
lentils and all dried beans are naturally gluten free. Good manufacturing is supposed to ensure that other foods are not present in the bag.
I do not use bulk bins when I purchase beans or grain due to the possibility of cross-contamination and I'd recommend you not use them either, if you're living gluten free.

Sassy said...

Mmmmmm. That looks awesome!

I have bought lentils for my pantry and will be using them very soon. It's been a while since I've made soup or stew with them. How could I let this happen :/ I will fix that little problem.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I haven't pulled out the crockpot since I made applesauce. Clearly it's time to pull it out again! This sounds great!

Kristen said...

quick question: do you brown the sausage first before adding? Is 5 hours on low enough to cook it all the way through? what if I used bulk sausage instead of link?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Kristin,
no, I didn't brown the sausage. Bulk sausage is a different breed---the chicken smoked or turkey smoked is already cooked---similar to hotdogs. If you are using pork uncooked sausage, I'd cook it thoroughly beforehand and drain the fat.

Benthecrockpotking said...

Once again you have out done yourself. I myself love one meal pot recipes.Keep them coming!!!
P.S.
I've already book marked your post.

Lisa said...

Question...Do you need to increase the amount of broth if omitting the can of tomatoes?

While I would make this recipe as is, my husband, on the other hand, hates tomatoes! Also, what could be a substitution for the tomatoes? I feel like I should know this but throwing things together doesn't come easy for me! Hence, my love for your blog!

Becki's Whole Life said...

This sounds delish. Carraba's does a really good spicy sausage and lentil soup and this sounds very similar so I am bookmarking. Thanks for the tip on the sausage. I love a little (actually a lot) spice but my kids can't take usually take it so it's good to know that the heat dies down in the slow cooker.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Lisa,
I'd add another cup or so of broth to make up for the moisture from the tomatoes. It might be a bit soupier, but the flavor will be just fine. Any vegetables you like can be added--- chopped zucchini, corn, squash-- your choice!

CShipe said...

This looks delicious! I had never really tried lentils before reading your blog, but now they are a pantry staple at my house. Have you ever tried Alton Brown's recipe for lentil COOKIES? They are good (and perfect for car travel). Probably would require some tweaking to make them gluten free though.

Jennifer said...

What timing! I'm making sausage/lentil soup for Sunday dinner, but didn't have a recipe yet. I'm a regular reader of yours and am so excited to try this!

Beaker said...

Thank you Stephanie - this was amazing!! The hubby was unsure, but ended up downing two heaping bowls. I used 1lb of ground sausage (good sale) so I used 1 1/2 cups lentils. Also used two cups of beef broth and added 1 cup of water. (I think the lid on my slow cooker doesn't have a the best seal.)
-Susan

Gelukkig said...

I will really TRY your recipes! Thank you!

:-) Greetings.

Brandi Parshley said...

This was delicious! I made it Saturday, and it was perfect for a chilly day. The lentils were perfect for the baby, my husband ate everything except the spinach, and I thought it was fantastic. I've been looking for crockpot recipes that have more flavor, this was just the ticket. I used a habanero chicken sausage.

Cheryl said...

I made this last week - it was SO good. I will definitely be making this again - the only change I made was to add onions, because I truly believe you cannot ever have too much onion!!

Mim said...

this looks delicious and easy! I am curious what you think of the idea of putting this in a slow cooker at, say 830am and then having it cook for 5 hrs on low then stay at the stay-warm setting til dinenrtime (around 6pm). maybe i would add an extra cup of broth? It's just for those of us who use the slow cooker as a work-day easy dinner, a 5 hr recipe doesn't work so well.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Mim,

That's exactly what you should do! It'll stay on warm for an additional 12 hours after the 5hr cooking has elapsed. No need to add additional broth--- let the machine do it's job! :-)

I put this on early in the day, and it was on warm for a good 4 hours before stirring in the spinach.

marie said...

This was fantabulous! Thank you so much for sharing it.

And congratulations on the new family members. >^..^<

Stephanie said...

Is the 5 hours on low correct? OR is it really 5 hours on high? I did it as instructed and my carrots and lentils were still crunchy after 5 hours. Just thought I would throw that out there in case it was a typo.

However, after it was finally finished it was delish. Thank you so much for your blog!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Stephanie,

Thank you for letting me know! 5hrs on low was fine in my slow cooker---the carrots were cooked, but not total mush. Elevations and individual crockpots vary the time. great feedback.
-steph

Bugtheteacher said...

Looks fantastic!

Casey said...

this looks delicious! What if I were to do it with veggie sausage? Do you think I'd have to cook it as long?

Danielle said...

I wanted to let you know that I featured this great recipe on my "What I Bookmarked This Week" post - stop by and see.

Noel said...

OMG! This is so Yummy! I believe you have out done yourself with this one! I used bulk sausage and just let it cook a bit longer. I wish I would have added more spinach after it cooked down but the family was too hungry to wait. Thank you!

Amanda said...

I have this in my crockpot right now and am super excited to taste it with the family tonight! We love Lentil soups so I'm sure this one will be a hit too!

I also made another batch and put into a freezer bag. All I have to do for that one is toss in crockpot!

Katherine said...

I cheated just a bit. I really wanted to make this, but I kept forgetting to put it in the slow cooker. SO, I put everything in the pressure cooker. Tasted fabulous, and only took 13 minutes. Thanks for the recipe though. Next time, I promise to use the slow cooker.

Davi said...

I made this today and it was SUPER tasty. I added a yellow bell pepper and used a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies. Thank you so much!

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