Easy stewed lentils

24.4.23 | Recipe by Renz

Imagine a delicious, hearty stew that is packed with nutrition and flavor, all in one bowl! Welcome to the stewed lentils! This simple yet flavorful dish brings together all your favorite ingredients for an unforgettable meal.

A large bowl of stewed lentils on garnished with scallions, on top of a brown place mat.

Do you love the flavor of comfort food but need something that is healthy and satisfying? Imagine a delicious side dish that is packed with nutrition and flavor, all in one bowl!

Welcome to the world of stewed lentils! This simple yet flavorful dish brings together all your favorite ingredients for an unforgettable meal. Not only is it incredibly easy to make, but it’s also incredibly nutritious.

It's a good competitor for my stewed pigeon peas.

In this post, I'll walk you through the basics of lentil stew – from what types of lentils to use and how to cook them, to what side dishes to pair them with – so you can get cooking right away!


Why I love stewed lentils

There are several reasons why someone might love Trinidad stewed lentils. Firstly, stewed lentils are a delicious and nutritious dish that is high in protein and fiber, making it a great option for those following a plant-based diet.

Additionally, stewed lentils are flavorful, thanks to the blend of herbs and spices used in their preparation, which often includes thyme, garlic, onion, and pepper. The stewing process also allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and satisfying dish.

This is one of my favorite peas to eat as a side dish or even as the main star. The flavor is earthy yet sweet. This one-pot wonder is packed with flavor and nutrition.

Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals – making this meal a nutritional powerhouse. Plus, they’re incredibly easy to make and can be cooked from start to finish in under an hour.

Uncooked brown lentils being soaked in a silver bowl full of water.

The best type of lentil for this dish:

I naturally select brown lentils as it is one of the most common types. It also cooks quickly. Taking about 30 minutes to cook while still holding its shape.

Green lentils on the other hand have a rich flavor but can take longer to cook so adjusting your cooking time will be needed.

Red lentils are milder in taste and they cook in about half the time as brown or green varieties but are my last choice as an option. It just does not provide the flavor profile I want for this dish.

No matter which type of lentil you decide to use, you're sure to end up with an amazing dish that everyone will love! So get creative with your ingredients and explore all the delicious options available when it comes to stewed lentils. Bon appetite!

Recipe ingredients

When preparing a dish, selecting the right ingredients is crucial in achieving the desired flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Whether you are an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, having a comprehensive list of ingredients is the first step towards creating a delicious and satisfying meal. 

Ingredients needed to make stew lentils Trinidad, portioned out into amounts needed.

From fresh produce to spices and seasonings, the ingredients you choose can make all the difference in the outcome of your dish. In this list, we will explore some of the key ingredients used.

  • Lentils
  • Yellow onions
  • Garlic cloves
  • Pimento peppers
  • Geera
  • Celery
  • Chive
  • Fresh thyme
  • Sugar
  • Chadon beni
  • Clove
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Pumpkin

Equipment needed


How to make stew lentils


Making a delicious pot of stewed lentils is easier than you think! With a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can have a flavorful meal in no time.

Step 1:

First, we want to soak them for about 30 minutes or longer if possible. This would help the peas cook much faster as this will tenderize them before cooking.

Step 2:

In a saucepan, heat vegetable oil on medium heat. Add garlic, onion, geera, celery, chives, thyme, pimento pepper, and chadon beni leaves. Stir together for two minutes.


Sautéing of onion and garlic in vegetable oil in a cast iron pot.


Step 3:

Add lentils to pot along with salt and stir for another five minutes, until the peas start to burst. 


Lentil peas that have been soaked added to the sautéed herbs and spices.

Step 4:

Now add in the water, and remaining ingredients, and give everything a good stir. Lower the heat to medium-low heat and cover the pot. 


Pumpkin, thyme and lentils with herbs and spices being simmered.

Step 5:

Then add in your coconut milk

All the herbs and spices along with the lentils in coconut milk being simmered till tender.

Step 6:

Let this simmer until the lentils are tender. Some will be mashed up and some can be whole and tender, You may need to add more cups of water to get to this.

I do not like my lentils with a lot of liquid, quite like how I like my dhal thick. If you want yours to have more liquid, then add more water and season up to taste. 

Step 7:

Taste for salt closer to the end and adjust as preferred.

Serve and enjoy!

Cooked lentil peas in a white serving bowl on top of a brown placemat.


By following these tips, you can create a delicious and satisfying bowl of stew lentils that are sure to become a new favorite.

  1. Soak the lentils overnight: Soaking the lentils before cooking can help to reduce their cooking time and make them easier to digest.
  2. Use a variety of spices: to achieve the traditional flavor profile, use a blend of fresh spices such as thyme, garlic, onion, and pimento peppers. You can also experiment with other spices, such as cumin or turmeric, to add your own twist or even a piece of scotch bonnet pepper.
  3. Use coconut milk: Coconut milk adds a nice creamy and slightly sweet flavor to the dish, which complements the spices nicely. If you don't have coconut milk on hand, you can substitute it with using coconut milk powder.
  4. Add vegetables: Lentils pair well with vegetables such as carrots and bell peppers. Adding these vegetables not only adds flavor and texture to the dish but also increases its nutritional value.
  5. Cook slowly: Stewed lentils are meant to be cooked slowly over low heat, allowing the flavors to develop and the lentils to become tender. Be patient and allow the dish to simmer, occasionally stirring to prevent sticking.
  6. Use vegetable broth: If you want to add some more depth of flavor to this dish, instead of water, you can use some vegetable stock/broth.

And if you have any other questions about stewed lentils, stay tuned - our next section will answer all your FAQs!


A white bowl full of low-simmered lentil peas with pumpkin.


What to eat with stewed lentils

Serve the stew over rice for added carbohydrates, or top with fresh herbs for a pop of flavor. Not only is it delicious on its own, but lentil stew also makes a great base for curries or other stews.

My all-time favorite plate is white rice, with stewed lentils, stewed chicken with macaroni pie, callaloo, and some fresh salad.

Best ways to store stewed lentils

So go ahead and enjoy this delicious dish whenever you like – just remember to store it properly afterward!

Storing, freezing, and reheating lentil stew is easy and convenient. I actually make these in large batches to freeze to eat later.

To store any leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container or pot and place them in the fridge for up to 7 days.
For reheating, you can either place the stew on the stovetop with a little water in the pot and warm it till heated through or in the microwave.

When it comes to freezing, let the stew cool completely and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Defrosting can be done on the countertop or in the microwave.

Storing, freezing, and reheating lentil stew is easy, so now that you know how to do it you can enjoy this delicious dish whenever you like!

Is Trinidad stewed lentils a vegan dish?

Yes, this is a vegan lentil stew. If you do decide to use any broth or stock make sure that you use a vegetable type.

Can I make this dish spicy?

Yes, you sure can. Just add a scotch bonnet pepper (or any other hot pepper) to the pot when you are adding in the water and the coconut milk. If you want more heat than that, you can slice up the pepper (remove the membranes and the seeds).

A large spoonful of stewed lentils.

So what are you waiting for? Give this tasty dish a try tonight – you won't regret it!

If you liked this recipe then please go ahead and leave a star rating on the recipe card at the bottom.

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  1. Where's the pumpkin in the ingredient list? I'd love to make this but...help?

    1. It's the last ingredient listed. 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin


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