Vegan Red Lentil Stew Recipe

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Quick and easy vegan red lentil stew recipe made with potatoes, buttery red lentils, spinach or kale and fire roasted tomatoes. One pot, ready under 30 minutes, healthy, oil free, delicious and simply the best!

Red Lentil Stew Recipe

‘Tis the season for steaming hot bowls of soups and stews!

Comforting golden potatoes and red lentils are simmered together with deliciously smoky roasted red bell peppers, fire roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika and herbs until thick, hearty and oh so flavorful. It’s a riff on a simple lentil soup recipe I first posted on the CiaoFlorentina blog a while back. The flavor profile stays the same but with extra hearty, filling ingredients in this version.

About the Lentils

Make sure to use the red lentils in this recipe, not green, brown or black beluga. There’s absolutely no need to soak the red variety and you can add them straight into the soup pot. They cook fast and break down into a beautiful creaminess naturally thickening the stew without any need for pureeing at all.

Oh my tastebuds!


As most recipes you’ll find on this blog, this stew also changes with the seasons and whatever is available in the pantry.

Out of Spinach?

No problem! Use chopped up chard, baby kale, escarole or collard greens instead, just remember to simmer those for a few extra minutes as they are tougher greens unlike the spinach. Alternatively you could add a bag of sweet green peas or green beans, for both texture, body and extra plant-based clean protein.
Ideally you’d serve this our homemade vegan crusty bread or flatbread, ladle over or hide under creamy mashed potatoes like a vegan Shepherd’s pie.

Potato Swaps Ideas

  • Favorite dumplings, gnocchi or tortellini
  • Roasted cauliflower wings
  • Wild rice, quinoa, farro or barley
  • Crispy roasted broccoli
  • Butternut squash or sweet potatoes
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Whole wheat pasta, orzo or fregola
  • Dehydrated spaghetti squash nests in lieu of noodles
  • + serve with plant based Italian sausages (pan seared or grilled).

More Soups + Stews

watch how to make vegan red lentil stew

4.86 from 7 votes

Vegan Red Lentil Stew with Spinach and Potatoes

Quick and easy vegan lentil stew recipe made with red lentils, potatoes, spinach and smoky fire roasted tomatoes, ready under 30 minutes.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes


  • 1.5 cup red lentils ( rinsed well)
  • 1 yellow onion - diced
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 carrots - sliced into rounds
  • 14 oz canned fire roasted tomatoes - diced
  • 2 red bell peppers - roasted & chopped
  • 2 leaves bay
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cups baby spinach ( kale, chard, dandelion greens)
  • 6 cups water ( or vegetable stock) + more as needed
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cups golden potatoes - diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 pinch sea salt + more to taste


  • If roasting your own peppers prepare them first by heating up a cast iron plate over medium high heat. Roast the bell peppers until charred all over and the skins turn black. Transfer to a bowl, cover and allow to cool off. Once cool enough to handle simple peel and discard the charred skins, sees and chore. Chop the peppers into 1/2 inch chunks and set aside until needed.
    2 red bell peppers
  • Heat up a heavy bottom pot over medium low flame. Add a drizzle of olive oil (or a splash of water for WFPB Plantricious diets) together with the diced onion and a pinch of sea salt. Add the carrot and sautee together for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. 
    1 yellow onion, 1 pinch sea salt, 2 carrots
  • Add the bay leaf, thyme and garlic and give everything a good stir.
    2 leaves bay, 8 sprigs thyme, 6 cloves garlic
  • Mix in the lentils, chopped roasted peppers, smoked paprika and canned tomatoes. Pour in the water.
    1.5 cup red lentils, 14 oz canned fire roasted tomatoes, 2 red bell peppers, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 6 cups water ( or vegetable stock)
  • Bring the stew to a simmer and season to taste with sea salt.
    1 pinch sea salt
  • Add the diced potatoes and cook everything together for about 15 minutes until both the potatoes and the lentils are cooked through. 
    2 cups golden potatoes
  • Discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks and add the spinach. Cover with the lid and allow it to wilt in the heat from the steam. 
    3 cups baby spinach
  • Serve hot with fresh herbs, chili flakes and a piece of crusty homemade bread.

WFPB + Plantricious

  • To make this recipe WFPBNO & Plantricious compliant make sure to sautee in veggie broth or water and omit any oil.
    Certified Plantricious Recipe



  • The Lentils - Make sure to use red lentils in this recipe, not green, brown or black beluga. There's absolutely no need to soak the red variety and you can add them straight into the soup pot. They cook fast and break down beautifully naturally thickening the stew.


Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 15g | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 941mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6515IU | Vitamin C: 68.9mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 6.8mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Lentil Stew, plant based, Red Lentil Stew
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 247kcal
Author: Florentina

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  1. I’ve been cooking with lentils all my life but this has to be the best pot of stew I’ve ever made. Adding the roasted peppers and smoked paprika really takes this dish to a whole new level. Really hearty and satisfying, keeping this one on repeat all winter for sure. Thank you Florentina.

  2. This stew was very easy to prepare. I broiled the red peppers in the oven , just kept turning them . The remaining ingredients I had on hand so no special shopping trips required.It was delicious and very filling and Everyone enjoyed it. Tasted even better left over. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. So happy your family loved this Collene. Hope you’ll find more healthy recipes to enjoy here ~ Florentina Xo’s

  3. Florentina, thank your for sharing. The recipe is fantastic. I’ve been learning to cook plant based foods for a few months now. Your recipe is now one of my favorites ones. Even non plant based coworkers loved it.

    1. So happy you loved it Julie, my favorite as well and I keep roasted peppers in the pantry just for this. That smokiness is everything ~ Florentina Xo’s

  4. Thanks so much for this recipe! I made it tonight and it was delicious. I added some steamed tempeh and made the stew in the IP instead. So flavorful! Love it !

  5. Made this today and it was delicious! I made veggie stock and roasted red peppers in the morning, and then cooked the stew in the evening. I made it with the yellow potatoes, and will likely use a mix of yellow and sweet potatoes next time. Definitely versatile and worth adding to the rotation.

  6. Delicious hearty meal!! Followed everything except used regular can of diced tomatoes since I couldn’t find fire roasted. Ate with crunchy buttered bread and can’t wait to eat another bowl tomorrow!

  7. I batch cooked the red lentils ahead and oven roasted all the veggies except onion and tomatoes earlier in the week as I would be making a soup with similar ingredients same week. Since these ingredients were already cooked, I added them Into the stew at the end with the spinach and it drastically cut the cook time when putting the stew together! Yummy!

  8. My family and I tried making this stew last night, and it was absolutely wonderful, we all loved it! So easy and delicious. This is definitely going to be a regular family favourite. Thank you for the recipe!

  9. Deeelicious!! I added some chipotle canned peppers and a bit of the sauce! Made a lot to! I jarred the leftovers and froze them for future yummy dinners!!

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