Lentil Stew With Sausage

Warm and hearty lentil stew with a bacon, onion, carrot, celery base, and Italian sausage and parsley.

Lentil Sausage Stew
Elise Bauer

I'm in serious weather denial. With what seems like the fourth storm this week to hit California (is Noah building his "arky arky" yet?) I'm still puttering around the house in shorts and flip flops, and dreaming of good times in warmer weather.

But there is only so much denying one can do, before the shivering reality sets in, and then it's time for stew. Lentil stew in this case.

My friend Clara and I were inspired to make this hearty lentil stew today, in the midst of yet another downpour, based on Clara's family recipe. It's made with bacon and sausage, a mirepoix of onions, carrots, and celery, and topped with parsley.

Lentil Sausage Stew
Elise Bauer

The amounts are approximate (except for the liquid to lentil ratio, 6 cups liquid per pound lentils), feel free to experiment, more or less bacon, sausage. We made a double recipe, to make sure that Clara's family had plenty for leftovers during the week.

Lentil Stew With Sausage

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 60 mins
Total Time 70 mins
Servings 4 to 5 servings

You can easily double or triple the recipe for a larger group or for make ahead leftovers.


  • 1/3 pound bacon (about 5 thick slices), cut into 1-inch by 1/4-inch strips

  • 1 medium-large yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 2 to 3 large carrots, diced (2/3 cup)

  • 2 to 3 large ribs celery, diced (2/3 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 1 pound brown or green dry lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove anything that shouldn't be there (like a small rock for example)

  • 3 cups water

  • 3 cups chicken stock (can sub water for a total of 6 cups of liquid)

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 pound italian sausage (mild, sweet, or spicy, your choice) or smoked sausage, in links (about 2 to 3 links)

  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (can sub cider vinegar)

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, with a little extra for garnish


  1. Cook bacon:

    Heat a large, thick-bottomed pot (6 to 8 quart) on medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until much of the fat has rendered out and the bacon is browned and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.

    Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan to a dish, set aside.

    Remove (and reserve for another use) all but 2 Tbsp of bacon fat. (If you discard the excess fat, let cool to solidify first, then discard in the trash. Do not pour down the drain or you will clog the drain.)

  2. Sauté carrots, onions, celery, cumin, garlic:

    Heat the remaining fat on medium high and add the carrots, onions, celery, and cumin. Stirring frequently, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan, cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.

    Add the garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.

  3. Add lentils, cooked bacon, stock, water, thyme, bay leaf, simmer:

    Add back in the cooked bacon, the rinsed lentils, stock, water, thyme, bay leaf. At this point add a teaspoon of salt and some pepper. You will season more to taste later. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook partially covered until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.

  4. Brown sausage links, cut into pieces, add to stew:

    While the lentils are cooking, heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add the Italian sausage links. Gently cook, browning on all sides, until just cooked through. Remove from pan, let cool enough to handle. Cut into pieces of desired length (1 to 2 inches, or you can just keep whole) and add to stew for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

  5. Add sherry vinegar, parsley, salt, pepper:

    Add sherry vinegar and parsley to stew. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. You may need to add more salt than you expect, especially if you are making the stew with water only and not water and stock.


Red Lentil Dal here on Simply Recipes

Mexican Red Lentil Stew from Kalyn's Kitchen

Liven Yourself Up Lentil Soup from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

Moroccan Lentil Stew from Budget Bytes

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
714 Calories
26g Fat
75g Carbs
46g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 714
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 1104mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 75g 27%
Dietary Fiber 12g 44%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 15mg 73%
Calcium 97mg 7%
Iron 8mg 45%
Potassium 1326mg 28%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.