Easy & Hearty Sausage Lentil Stew Recipe

This easy sausage lentil stew recipe with sausage is hearty and comes together quickly using pantry staples that you likely already have on hand. 

If you prefer your lentils sans meat, try this vegetarian lentil stew recipe

blue bowl filled with lentil stew from above.

Hearty Lentil Stew

My mom often cooks for large crowds, so when she says “people loved it” she means more than just her immediate family. In other words, LOTS of people loved it.

She shared this sausage lentil soup recipe with me years ago, and it’s definitely been a hit at our table, especially on a chilly night.

And check out this comment from Facebook:

Thank you SO much for posting this! I made it for dinner tonight and the whole family LOVES it!!!!!!!

Hard to argue with that!

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sausage lentil soup in blue pot and bowls from above.

Lentils cook much more quickly than dry beans, so this has become kind of a staple for us on nights when I need to cobble something together from the pantry.

Serve this easy lentil soup with a fresh green salad and some crusty bread for a complete meal.

ingredients for lentil stew.


Italian Sausage We use our own homemade Italian sausage. If you make your own, use that, or use your favorite store brand. Link sausage will need to be removed from its casings and crumbled.

Dried lentils — These legumes are really nutritious as well as affordable, and don’t require the long soaking time of dried beans. I use brown lentils, but you could also use red lentils or green lentils. They are a great source of plant-based protein, so I always have some on hand. They are sold with the dry beans in packages, but you can often find them in a bulk bin at the natural food store.

Onion You can use any kind of bulb onion you have on hand — white, yellow, or red. I typically use yellow onion, as it’s what I regularly keep on hand.

Garlic Finely chopped garlic adds that spicy zing we all love so much.

Broth I keep homemade chicken stock on hand, either in the freezer or in the pantry. Beef broth or vegetable broth will also work. You can use homemade broth or store bought.

Carrots — Slice the carrots into rounds or cut them smaller if you prefer. Either way is fine.

Diced tomatoes — Use store bought diced tomatoes in cans or your own homemade canned tomatoes

Celery What’s a good stew without celery? Together with carrots and onion, it’s part of the “holy trinity” of cooking. 

Red wine It’s optional, but the addition of wine really does add depth.

Lemon juice This ingredient gives the stew a nice, bright flavor.

Adding onions to browned sausage; later adding carrots and celery.

Making this Easy Lentil Stew

Begin by browning the sausage in a large pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. (If you’re using link sausage, remove it from its casings.) Crumble it as it cooks. Add the onion and garlic and continue cooking. You’ll need about 20 minutes to sauté the sausage, onions, and garlic.

adding stock and lentils.

Once that’s done, add lentils, stock, bay leaves, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour. Remove bay leaf and add remaining ingredients, simmering for another 30 minutes. This is a pretty hands-off length of time. Just stir the soup once in awhile as it’s cooking.

adding lemon juice and red wine.

Serving this Stew

Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with sliced green onions and fresh parsley if desired. This recipe is delicious served with bread. Try these homemade biscuits for a quick addition to the menu!

sausage lentil soup in blue pot and bowls from above


Does lentil color matter?

It can make a difference! I warn you in the recipe that this isn’t a good “all day cooker” and you might not want to use a crockpot unless you’re around to keep an eye on doneness. Brown and green tend to hold their shape better, so you would do best to stick with those for this recipe, especially if you will be heating up leftovers. Yellow and red will still taste great but they make break down more as you stir while reheating and eating! Just keep that in mind as it may change the texture of the leftovers as well and thicken them.

Do I need to presoak lentils?

I don’t always do this step. Some say they are like beans and soaking can reduce the gassy parts. But I find it isn’t necessary for me and you can easily skip that for this recipe. However, you always want to inspect and rinse lentils and dried beans. They can have stones or other pieces of vegetation that you don’t want in your meal!


Leftover stew can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Reheat in a saucepan. For longer storage, transfer to a freezer container and freeze for 3-4 months. (Be sure to allow enough headspace for expansion in the freezer!)

lentil stew in a cooking pot from above.

★ Did you make this easy lentil soup? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

blue bowl filled with lentil stew from above.

Sausage Lentil Stew Recipe

Lentils cook much more quickly than dry beans, so this has become kind of a staple for us on nights when I need to cobble something together from the pantry. If you're vegetarian, simply skip the sausage and use vegetable stock.
4.55 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 16 cups
Author: Kris Bordessa


  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups lentils
  • 12 cups beef chicken, or vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 6 stalks celery chopped
  • 24 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine (optional, but it really does add depth)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Chopped green onions for garnish


  • Brown sausage in large stock pot or Dutch oven for about ten minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
    1 pound Italian sausage
  • Stir in onion and garlic; cook on medium heat for ten minutes more.
    2 medium onions, 4 cloves garlic
  • Add lentils, stock, bay leaves, carrots, celery, and tomatoes (with juices). Bring soup to a boil, then simmer for an hour.
    3 cups lentils, 12 cups beef, 2 bay leaves, 4 carrots, 6 stalks celery, 24 oz diced tomatoes
  • Remove bay leaf and stir in remaining ingredients except green onions. Simmer for 30 more minutes. Serve with green onions as optional garnish.
    1 cup red wine, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar, Sea salt, Black pepper, Chopped green onions for garnish


  • Feel free to opt for low-sodium broth and eliminate the salt if you're reducing your salt intake. I use chicken broth in this recipe; beef or vegetable stock are fine, too.
  • When overcooked, lentils can become quite mushy. I don't recommend this recipe for an all-day slow cooker meal. You can use the slow cooker, but do it when you'll be around to check for doneness.
  • If you're vegetarian, simply skip the sausage and use vegetable stock.
  • To freeze, transfer cooled stew to a freezer-safe container and keep in the freezer for 3-4 months. You'll be ready to reheat a cozy meal any time! Divvying it up into meal sized portions is a great way to meal prep for busy nights or a hot lunch.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 699kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 1125mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2684IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 7mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @attainablesustainable or tag #attainablesustainable!

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

8 comments… add one
  • Sandra Clough Feb 19, 2021 @ 17:31

    Just a question about the amount of diced tomatoes – recipe says 24 oz. (3 pint jars). Wouldn’t 3 pint jars be 48 oz.? Can you clarify?

    • Kris Bordessa Feb 21, 2021 @ 17:00

      Thanks for pointing out that error. I’ve fixed it!

  • JBF Jul 11, 2020 @ 11:33

    Delicious! I used 1/2 amount of lemon juice as well as wine. Otherwise, followed recipe exactly. Makes a lot! Will it freeze?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 15, 2020 @ 14:40

      Yes. The lentils will soften a bit in the freezer, but it should work fine.

  • Neil Mar 19, 2020 @ 6:33

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have one question. Are you using dried lentils straight out of the bag, or are you soaking them first?

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 29, 2020 @ 13:33

      Dried lentils can be used straight out of the bag – they cook quickly. That being said, some people still like to soak the beans to reduce/remove the phytotoxins.

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 22:26

    An easy and delicious recipe.

  • Debra Mar 24, 2018 @ 14:42

    This was awesome!

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