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White bowl filled with delicious vegetarian lentil stew filled with chunks of butternut squash, kale, and topped with avocado.
4.75 from 8 votes

Totally Awesome Vegetarian Lentil Stew (Easy One-Pot Recipe)

This Easy Vegetarian Lentil Stew is filled with finely chopped veggies, tender cubes of butternut squash, smokey chipotle chiles in adobo, kale, and brown lentils. A perfect marriage of flavors and textures, learn how to make this totally awesome and delicious one-pot lentil stew recipe!
Vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 309kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions - diced
  • 4 large carrots - finely chopped/minced
  • 3 stalks celery - finely chopped/minced
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper - plus more to taste
  • 1.5 cups brown lentils - rinsed thoroughly in cold water
  • 6 cups water - plus more if needed
  • 6 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce - chopped (more or less depending on how much heat you like)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste - plus more if needed
  • 1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 bunch fresh kale - rinsed and chopped

Optional Garnishes-

  • Sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Hot sauce
  • Cilantro


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until just starting to soften. Add the finely chopped carrots and celery and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Mix well to combine and cook, over medium heat, for 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Add the minced garlic and mix well to combine. Continue to cook for 1 minute more.
  • Pour in the entire contents of 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes. Add the ground cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • Add the rinsed and drained lentils plus 6-8 cups of water or vegetable broth. Mix well. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  • As the pot comes to a boil, use a knife to chop 5-7 chipotle chiles mixed in adobo sauce. Transfer to a small bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
  • Once the pot reaches a boil, reduce to low and add the chipotle chili and tomato paste mixture. Mix thoroughly to incorporate. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, add the butternut squash and continue to cook for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until lentils are cooked and butternut squash is tender.
  • Approximately 10 minutes before serving, stir in the chopped kale and mix well to combine.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with sour cream, avocado, cilantro or hot sauce (or all of the above!).


  • If you're sensitive to spicy food, add fewer chipotle peppers or none at all. Chipotle peppers can be quite spicy, so plan accordingly. 
Originally posted January 2, 2016


Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 745mg | Potassium: 1373mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 19993IU | Vitamin C: 90mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 7mg
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