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Lentil Stew For One

Rich and hearty lentil stew made with simple, healthy ingredients. Filled with flavor and easy to customize, this lentil stew recipe will surely be a favorite.

A bowl of lentil stew topped with bits of bacon and chopped tomatoes

Why This Recipe Works

This hearty lentil stew is a one-pot wonder. It's filled with flavor, loaded with healthy ingredients, and easy to customize which makes this single serving stew one of my favorite go-to recipes.

Soups and stews are often popular during cold winter months, but I make lentil stew all throughout the year. Lentils are a year-round staple in my house. They cook quickly, there's no need to soak them, and lentils are easy to incorporate into so many different dishes.

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In this lentil stew recipe, I recommend using green or brown lentils. These cook quickly and evenly without becoming mushy.

See below for ways to use leftover ingredients and best ways to store lentils.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Bacon: I recommend using center-cut bacon because it is leaner, but any kind of bacon will do just fine.
  • Vegetables: Use chopped onions, garlic, carrots, kale, and tomatoes. In this particular recipe, I recommend cooking onions, carrots, kale and garlic in the fat leftover from the bacon. You could also substitute spinach for kale and use vegetables you have on hand instead ones called for in this recipe. When substituting ingredients, try to keep the amounts you're substituting the same. For instance, if you want to use green peppers instead of carrots, use the same amount. This lentil recipe calls for using 8 cherry tomatoes, this amount equals about 1 chopped Roma tomato or half of a large tomato.
  • Seasonings: Use Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt for flavor.
  • Lentils: Use either green or brown lentils in this lentil stew recipe. These lentils hold their shape when cooked while red or yellow lentils will become slightly mushy when cooked.
  • Chicken broth: If you want to make this a vegetarian stew, use vegetable broth and leave out the bacon. Sauté the vegetables in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
An overhead view of a bowl of lentils topped with chopped bacon and sliced tomatoes placed on a silver tray.

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Cook bacon in a 2-quart saucepan. Remove the bacon from the pot and place on a paper towel lined plate to cool. Add chopped onions, carrots, and kale to the pot and cook until the vegetables have softened. Stir in the garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper; cook for 30 seconds longer.
  2. Stir in the lentils and chopped tomatoes. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, until lentils are tender. Stir in the salt and add in the cooked and crumbled bacon, pour into a bowl and enjoy.

Expert Tips

  • Before cooking lentils, pour them into a fine mesh sieve and rinse them thoroughly with cool running water to remove any dust or debris.
  • Add salt to the lentils after the lentils have cooked. Salt can cause the lentils to stay crunchy and become a little bit tough if it is added while the lentils are still cooking.
  • This single serving stew recipe calls for using a 2-quart saucepan. For best results, use a pot of similar size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Lentils Healthy?

Yes! Lentils are high in protein, fiber and iron. They have very little saturated fat and are low in calories. Lentils contain polyphenols which some health experts say may help to improve or treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

How Do You Store Lentils?

Packaged lentils keep well in the pantry for up to a year. Cooked lentils can be frozen and used within three months, or refrigerated for up to one week.

What Should I Serve With Lentil Stew?

You might like to consider any of these small batch recipes:
Cornbread
Biscuits
Mini Irish Soda Bread
Brown Rice

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this lentil stew recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

A close up of a bowl of lentil stew.

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a bowl of lentil stew

Lentil Stew For One

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keywords: lentil stew, lentils, stew
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 276kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots (1 small carrot)
  • 1/4 cup chopped kale
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup dry green lentils
  • 8 grape tomatoes , sliced in half. May use instead 1 Roma tomato or 1 medium tomato, chopped.
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese , optional for topping

Instructions

  • Cook bacon in a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate, leaving fat in pan.
  • Add chopped onions, carrots, and kale to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 seconds.
  • Add lentils, tomatoes, broth, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a simmer; lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, until lentils are tender. Stir in salt and add in cooked and crumbled bacon.
  • Pour into a bowl and add grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Before cooking lentils, pour them into a fine mesh sieve and rinse them thoroughly with cool running water to remove any dust or debris.
  • Add salt to the lentils after the lentils have cooked. Salt can cause the lentils to stay crunchy and become a little bit tough if it is added while the lentils are still cooking.
  • This single serving stew recipe calls for using a 2-quart saucepan. For best results, use a pot of similar size.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 824mg | Potassium: 703mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5346IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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10 thoughts on “Lentil Stew For One”

  1. 5 stars
    could i make this with the red lentils i have. if so are any time adjustments needed. this recipe sounds sooo good. thank you

    1. I really recommend using green or brown lentils in this recipe because they hold their shape better than red or yellow lentils do. You can use red lentils though and cook them for between 15-20 minutes.

  2. I don’t see where you add the bacon back in. Do you just use the bacon fat?
    I do love the work you put into these recipes. Most are the best you find out there. Thanks for your hard work.

  3. 5 stars
    Looking to try this again in the future. I’m not sure what error I made, but after 22 mins, the lentils still seemed just a tad undercooked.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this as a side dish with chicken and cauliflower steaks. It was my first try at cooking lentils and the recipe turned out great. I added red and green peppers as well as celery. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you for sharing this.

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