Stew Essentials: Spicy French Lentil Stew

Andy Anderson !


First off, this is not a “French” recipe… It is a stew using French lentils. But, I will talk more about that particular ingredient later.

Secondly, most of you that know me (to know me is to love me), understand that I am not a vegetarian; however, I do cook for a lot of folks that are of that persuasion. Every once-in-awhile, I create a recipe that I do not think I will particularly care for, and wind-up loving it. This is one of those recipes.

Hardy taste, with a perfect blend of spices. You will not miss the meat.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

4 - 6
20 Min
15 Min
Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot



  • 3 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 large
    yellow onion chopped
  • 8 oz
    button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 clove
    garlic minced
  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp
    hungarian paprika
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp
    cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch
    crushed red-pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 14 oz
    fire roasted, diced tomatoes, 1 can
  • 2 c
    chicken stock, not broth
  • 1 tsp
    coconut sugar
  • 1/8 tsp
    salt kosher variety, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp
    white pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 8 oz
    french lentils, rinsed in cold water

How to Make Stew Essentials: Spicy French Lentil Stew


  2. What are French Lentils?
    They are a variety of green lentils that are a slightly darker hue and smaller in size, about one third the size of standard green lentils. They hold their shape better than any other type of lentils They are ideal on salads as well as light soups, when you'd rather the lentils in the pot not turn to mush. As to flavor, they are a bit nutty and peppery, with an earthy flavor.

    French lentils, or Puy lentils, or lentilles du Puy, are lentils that have been grown in the Puy region of central France. If your bag of French lentils is not noted as Puy, then they were grown outside of this famous region, likely in North America or Italy. Regardless, both deliver the firm texture and nutty flavor this variety is known for; however, if they are grown in Puy, France, the soil, which is volcanic, will give them an even more peppery taste.

    For this lentil stew they present the perfect combination of size, firmness, and flavor.
  3. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  4. Chef’s Note: Two items, prevent this recipe as being defined as vegan: the butter, and the chicken stock. To make this a vegan recipe, substitute the butter with an equal amount of grapeseed, or olive oil, and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
  5. Add the butter, or oil, to a skillet, over medium heat.
  6. Chef’s Note: If your pressure cooker, or instant pot have a cooking option, you can make this dish in a single pot.
  7. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan, and cook until the onions soften and begin to turn translucent, about 4 – 5 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  9. Add the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  10. Continue to stir for 1 – 2 minutes.
  11. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, coconut sugar, and some white pepper, and salt (to taste), and then combine with the other ingredients.
  12. Add the French lentils, and stir to combine.
  13. Add the ingredients to the pressure cooker, and set on high for 12 minutes.
  14. Chef’s Note: That is not 12 minutes’ total time that is 12 minutes at high pressure time. It will take a few minutes to come up to pressure. The good news is that most electronic presser cookers, do not begin the countdown until the pot is up to pressure.
  15. After the prescribed 12 minutes, turn the unit off, and allow it to sit, for 15 – 20 minutes.
  16. Chef’s Note: Release the remaining pressure, and do a final tasting for proper seasoning.
  18. Serve in bowls with some flat bread, or other bread, and a bottle of hot sauce on the side. Enjoy.
  19. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Stew Essentials: Spicy French Lentil Stew

Course/Dish: Other Main Dishes
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: American
Other Tags: Quick & Easy Healthy

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