Spiced Lentil Stew with Potatoes

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Spiced Lentil Stew with Potatoes | Naturally Ella

If you watch the video for this recipe, my enthusiasm for lentils might not fully show. Trust, however, I have a passion for lentils that sometimes gets a bit much for others. Lentils are one of the perfect ingredients in my pantry.

They require no soaking but still cook within 30 minutes, they adapt to different flavors, and they can make so many different meals. For example, my favorite lentil bites that have made an appearance yearly on the site. This soup is just one of many lentils in my arsenal. However, the beauty in this recipe are within the spice blend. Winter is the perfect time of year for a savory cinnamon dish!

Spiced Lentil Stew with Potatoes | Naturally Ella
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Spiced Lentil Stew with Potatoes

4 servings
A warming lentil stew perfect for fall and winter that features potatoes and a blend of cinnamon, clove, and cardamom.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 379kcal
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 large Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups green/brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 to 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Parsley (for topping)
  1. Rinse the celery and potato. Mince the celery and onion. Heat a large stock-pot to medium heat and add the olive oil followed by the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion mixture has softened and is fragrant, 8 or so minutes.
  2. While the onion mixture is cooking, dice the potato and mince the garlic. Stir in the potatoes and cook for another few minutes then finish with the garlic.
  3. Rinse the lentils and add to the pot shortly after the garlic. Follow closely with the spices and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the lentils are just about tender; 25 or so minutes
  4. Stir in the tomato, lemon zest, and juice. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Top with minced parsley before serving.
Tips + Tricks: This stew is one that only gets better with age. I prefer to reheat the second day and serve over a piece of toast. 
Stock up on the Pantry Items: Lentils, Spices, Potatoes
Nutrition: See the information.


Calories: 379kcal | Protein: 20.6g | Fat: 4.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Sodium: 366mg | Fiber: 11.9g | Sugar: 4.6g
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time :45 minutes

Lentil Stew


The stars in this recipe are the spices. It's such a wonderful way to use spices traditionally reserved in American cuisine for sweet dishes. Below are a few swaps you could make but I highly recommend trying the stew as-is first!

Tomato-free: If you're avoiding nightshades, you can skip the tomato sauce. It adds a nice level of flavor but could easily be left out.

Lentil Varieties: Use black or French lentils in place of the brown lentils. You could use red but they will break down more than the brown.

Sweet Potatoes: Use diced sweet potatoes in place of the potatoes.

Lentil Stew with Potatoes | Naturally Ella

3.46 from 42 votes (42 ratings without comment)

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11 comments on “Spiced Lentil Stew with Potatoes”

  1. Mmm. This is going on next week's menu. I love lentils-- cheap, easy, nutritious. I have a quick question, though: in the last step, you reference adding juice, which is not one of the ingredients. I assume that it's lemon juice, probably a few tablespoons. Can you clarify? TIA!

      1. Thank you! We made this for supper last night, and I just finished a bowl for lunch. It was delicious. The lemon juice adds a nice brightness.

  2. Hi Erin! I saw your recipe and knew I had to make this today. So I did. 🙂 And it is absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for your recipes and inspiration!

  3. Could you add mild curry powder instead in here for a little different flavor and heat? And if so would you reduce any of the other seasonings?
    Loved the note about using sweet potatoes. Looks great! Can't wait to try it.

    1. Honestly, if you want to add curry powder, I'd probably cut out the other spices completely given each curry blend is different (and it's hard telling how well the flavors would work together!)

  4. Made this today and it's heavenly, especially for cold winter nights. Thank you so much!

    Do you think carrots would be a possible addition here, just for the extra veggies, or would they introduce a conflicting sweetness?

    1. It's interesting you ask that- I thought about adding carrots but I felt the flavor would have been too much (part of the reason I went with regular potato.) However, I think they could work but the level of spices/lemon juice might need to change.

  5. I just cooked this and its delicious! The depth of flavors with the cardamom and cinnamon, yum. Also, I added double the amount of lemon juice as I thought it needed some freshness in the end. Lovely recipe!

  6. I have made this recipe countless times -- always a favorite. I tried using sweet potatoes and carrots instead of fresh celery, and use dried celery instead. I adjust the spices a bit, add a bit more cinnamon.

    Love this recipe and it has become a staple in our house!


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

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