U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


  1. Home
  2. Explore Resources
  3. Stewed Lentils

Stewed Lentils

Lentils are a fast and easy food packed with protein, folate, fiber, and B vitamins and offer a good dose of magnesium and potassium. This recipe is a great filling and flavorful meal on a budget. Spices help to bring freshness and warmth, while the lentils will give long-lasting energy. Try this warm stew on its own, or served over brown rice.


1 c lentils (see note below)
3 c water (or vegetable stock)
  salt (to taste)
1 t turmeric
3 clv garlic (or 1 Tbsp garlic powder)
1 T olive oil
1⁄2 t ginger (fresh, grated or 1/4 tsp ground ginger - see note below)
1 clv garlic (chopped or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 onion (medium, chopped)
1 tomato (medium, chopped)
1⁄2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
4 oz can of green chiles
  cilantro (fresh, chopped)

Yield amount

4 Servings

Preparation time

5 minutes

Cooking time

40 minutes

Total time

45 minutes


  1. Rinse the lentils in a strainer under cool water, until the water runs clear. Place in a pot with 3 cups of water or stock, turmeric, garlic cloves (or 1 Tbsp garlic powder), and salt.
  2. Cook the lentils on medium heat until soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. In a pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chopped garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder), and grated ginger. Cook for about 1 minute, and then add the chopped onions. Cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato, cumin, chili powder, and green chiles. Let cook for about 5 minutes to develop flavor, and then add the cooked lentils.
  5. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro.


Lentils can also be cooked like pasta (boiled in water and drained), and be saved in the refrigerator or freezer for easy meal prep. Add them to spaghetti sauce for a meatless protein!

Fresh ginger keeps well in the freezer. Purchase it as a fresh root, and peel the skin. Wrap the root in plastic wrap and place it in a plastic bag to save in the freezer. Grate into recipes frozen for up to 6 months.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Strainer
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 medium pot
  • 1 large pan
  • Large spoon
Back to Search