Easy Beef and Lentil Stew

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This protein back delicious beef and lentil stew is perfect for warming your family up on those cold dark winter evenings!

beef and lentil stew in a bowl with a spoon in it.
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a whole bowl of lentil and beef stew with a white background.

Quick and Easy Beef and Lentil Stew

This mouthwatering stew is a protein powerhouse, packed with lentils and big chunks of beef. Textbook taco spices like chili powder and cumin pair with Italian seasoning to give you a bite you won’t forget. Save this one for when you want to wake your tastebuds during those long winter months.

I am always looking for great soup and stew recipes. My husband is not a big fan of noodles, which can make it difficult sometimes to find stews he likes. Lentils are a great alternative to noodles that is higher in protein and much lower in carbs.

bowl of beef and lentil soup with fresh thyme next to it

How to make Beef and Lentil Stew

First you will want to assemble the following ingredients:

  • Avocado oil – I like to use avocado oil for this stew because it has a high smoke point and lets you get a good sear on the beef without making your fire alarm go off. You can substitute with your favorite oil if desired.
  • Stew meat – stew meat is made from cuts of beef that have tough connective tissue which is why it holds its shape when boiled and softens up.
  • Onion – onion is a great earthy ingredient and adds a subtle sweetness when sauteed to this stew.
  • Celery – celery is a great addition to soups and stew because it softens but doesn’t go mushy.
  • Garlic – garlic is a great aromatic addition to any stew or soup and pairs really well with onion and celery. Press it for the best flavor.
  • Crushed tomatoes with basil – crushed tomatoes will make this stew thick and add that acid only tomatoes have. You can add about 1 tsp minced fresh or 1/2 tsp dried basil if you only have regular canned tomato.
  • Lentils – you can use any kind of lentil for this recipe. You will want to rinse them in a sieve and check for any duds.
  • Italian seasoning – this is a mixture or common Italian spices and will add an aromatic flavor to this rich beef and lentil stew.
  • Chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika – this spice combination is commonly found in Hispanic cooking but adds a wonderful red color and subtle heat to this stew.
  • Sea Salt – use fresh ground sea salt to season your stew. I LOVE these one hand button salt and pepper grinders.
  • Fresh ground Black Pepper – black pepper is the primary heat in this stew. You can add more if you want a hotter stew.
  • Beef stock – beef stock will enhance the flavor of the stew meat. I prefer using beef bone broth whenever possible for best flavor.
  • Water – water is used to thin the stew and add enough moisture to cook the lentils. Add more as needed.
  • Bay leaves – bay leaves add a subtle aromatic flavor. If you are using fresh bay leaves only use 1. If you are using dry add 2.
celery, spices, beef, beef stock, oil, onion, and tomatoes

Once you have assembled the ingredients use this method

Brown the meat. Add the oil to your pot and brown the beef in batches. Add the vegetables and sauté until tender and browning.

Add other ingredients. Add the spices and salt and pepper to the pot, stir so the spices can be exposed to the heat so they will “bloom” for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, and water and bring to a boil.

Add lentils. Add the lentils to the pot and lower the temperature to simmer the stew. Cook for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally, especially along the bottom, to ensure nothing burns. The lentils will be cooked when they have bloomed and puffed up, you can taste them as they cook to be sure.

Taste and serve. Taste you stew and add more salt and pepper as needed. Add more beef stock or water to adjust the consistency if necessary. Enjoy hot!

beef and lentil stew with diced herbs in a white bowl

Tips and Tricks for perfect Beef and Lentil Stew

Cook the vegetables well. You want to make sure you cook the vegetables until they are starting to brown, if you don’t you won’t get as rich of a flavor.

Deglaze the pan. If you want to get an even richer flavor, I recommend you add about 2 tbsp of any dry red wine to the vegetables when they are starting to brown to deglaze the pan. This is a great way to integrate some of the richness of wine into the stew.

FAQs

Does this stew freeze well?

Yes, this stew freezes really well. I usually freeze it after cooking in a Ziplock bag laid flat in the freezer, make sure you label it.

Can this be made in a slow cooker?

Yes! You can add the seared beef and sautéed vegetables to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients and cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. The lentils will likely get overcooked, but you can always add more stock to thin the stew a bit if you want.

How do I keep leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

What kind of lentils should I use for this recipe?

I use green lentils for this recipe, but it will work with red lentils and most types. If you use a unique type of lentil just watch the stew as it cooks to make sure they don’t overcook.

a piece of stew meat on a spoon, lentil and beef stew in a bowl in the background.

What to serve with Beef and Lentil Stew

My family loves to enjoy this stew with my no knead bread or one of these bread and side salads like a Pesto Caprese Salad or The Best Yeast Rolls Recipe!

Click here to see all our soup and stew recipes!

Easy Beef and Lentil Stew Recipe

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a piece of stew meat on a spoon, lentil and beef stew in a bowl in the background.
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Easy Beef and Lentil Stew

This rich and delicious beef and lentil stew will warm you from the inside out.
Course soups
Cuisine American
Keyword beef and lentil soup, beef and lentil stew, beef recipe, beef stew, beef stew recipe, best beef stew, easy beef and lentil stew, easy stew, lentil soup, lentil stew, no noodles stew, winter stew
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 332kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 pounds stew meat
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 15 oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 32 oz Beef stock
  • 1 cups Water
  • ½ pound lentils rinsed

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. 
  • Brown half the beef in the pot and set aside. Brown the rest and set aside. 
  • Add the onion, celery, and garlic to the pot and sauté until starting to brown. 
  • Add all the spices, the salt and pepper to the vegetables, stir and let cook till fragrant, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add the tomatoes, beef stock, and water. Bring to a boil.
  • Add lentils, cover, turn the stovetop down to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, (stirring occasionally to avoid burning on the bottom) or until the lentils have cooked. 
  • Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Add more beef stock or water to adjust the consistency if needed. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 729mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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