Beef and Lentil Stew

Amazing and Healthy Beef and Lentil Stew Recipe Although this Beef and Lentil Stew isn’t officially Irish, it most definitely needs to grace the pages of ASP before winter’s official end.

Beef and Lentil Stew Recipe

I promise to have your Irish eyes a smilin’ before St. Paddy’s Day rolls in. Last year I posted a couple great Irish recipes when my blog was just a “wee bairn.” Try a slice of sweet Irish Soda Bread or hearty plate of Bangers and Mash.

Beef and Lentil Stew

Stews remind me of my childhood; of coming in from the blustering outdoors with ruby cheeks and a smile. Stew reminds me of shedding the gloves and scarf at our hall tree, then eagerly sitting around our family table for a filling meal. Stew reminds me of my mom, always smiling, always a wonderful cook, although she still won’t admit to it. Mom had a way of  drawing us into the kitchen. She would make up funny stories about the origins of our food and allow us to whittle our fruits and veggies into amusing shapes. Even when life was hectic for her, she made our time together light, memorable, and full of teachable moments. If only I can make such an impact on my babies…

This particular Beef and Lentil Stew was something I cooked up when I started my “Slow Carb Diet” in January. I craved heavy winter meals, but was limited to protein, veggies and beans. I decided to substitute lentils for the potatoes in traditional beef stew; then added red wine and tarragon for extra OOMPH.  The result was a lovely flavorful stew that lacked not for heavy carbs. I made this several times and ended up emailing the recipe to friends who made it again and again as well. It’s a winner!

Healthy Beef and Lentil Stew


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes, then add the beef and garlic. Brown the meat, stirring regularly, for 5-10 minutes.

Add the carrots, celery, lentils, tomatoes, beef stock, wine, bay leaves, thyme, 1 tsp. salt and cayenne pepper.

Easy Beef and Lentil Stew

Hearty Beef and Lentil Stew

Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45-60 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Stir in the tarragon. Then taste for salt and pepper. *The key here is to use a pot with a heavy lid, otherwise you may have to cook it longer for the meat to tenderize.


Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Beef and Lentil Stew


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 large celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup dried green or brown lentils
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes, then add the beef and garlic.
  2. Brown the meat, stirring regularly, for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, lentils, tomatoes, beef stock, wine, bay leaves, thyme, 1 tsp. salt and cayenne pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45-60 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Stir in the tarragon. Then taste for salt and pepper. *The key here is to use a pot with a heavy lid, otherwise you may have to cook it longer for the meat to tenderize.

Love this Beef and Lentil Stew!

We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English. ~Winston Churchill

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures. ~Irish Proverb

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68 Responses to “Beef and Lentil Stew”

  1. #
    Belinda @zomppa — March 14, 2011 @ 7:09 am

    Wonderful soup – don’t think winter’s totally over just yet for many! Beautiful photos – so inviting…wait, are you inviting me over for some soup?


  2. #
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert — March 14, 2011 @ 7:37 am

    The broth on this stew looks so wonderful and rich. I like the healthy pour of red wine :) Since winter has not yet disappeared, I’m all for a hot bowl of beefy stew. I have a lentil black bean soup on the front burner for this week but your stew looks so much better! As always, your photos are wonderful!


  3. #
    CLAIRE — March 14, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    yum- this looks gorgeous! so hearty and yet healthy with the lentils.

    Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great St. Patricks Day


  4. #
    Lea Ann — March 14, 2011 @ 7:56 am

    I’ve seen snow in June here in the Rocky Mountains, even though we have spring like days, my winter lingers a little to long sometimes. This stew looks wonderful and love your descritpion of the memories. I wanted to let you know that I made your Roasted Red Pepper Aioli this weekend. Delicious. Thanks for that recipe. Have you used the left overs on anything else? Besides the artichokes, can’t think of how to use the rest in just the right fashion.


  5. #
    Cherine — March 14, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    A wonderful stew!


  6. #
    Kristen — March 14, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    As temperatures start to edge their way toward the 80s here in AZ, I am trying to get as much “winter food” made as I can. This sounds like a great hearty stew. I love using lentils to stretch the meat dollars!


  7. #
    Steve @ HPD — March 14, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    lots of lentils floating around these days … which is cool with me, cuz they’re practically free at the bulk section of Sunflower Market and they’re so easy to work with. cheers!


  8. #
    Suchitra — March 14, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    lentils touch to the stew looks fab! definitely will love to try this out without the beef! Thanks for sharing :)


  9. #
    carolinaheartstrings — March 14, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    That looks really wonderful and hearty. I love lentil soup and this looks like a great way to use lentils.


  10. #
    fooddreamer — March 14, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    Winter will likely be sticking around a bit longer here in New England, so this stew recipe is a keeper!


  11. #
    5 Star Foodie — March 14, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    Sounds like a delicious stew for sure, very flavorful with the addition of tarragon!


  12. #
    Tiffany — March 14, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    This looks like the perfect stew for anytime of year! Love your photos too!


  13. #
    Ruby — March 14, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    Looks gorgeous, which means delicious here in the UK (and undoubtedly in Ireland as well)! :-)


  14. #
    Angie's Recipes — March 14, 2011 @ 11:40 am

    A hearty and comforting stew is always welcome! Love the addition of tarragon.


  15. #
    Jenny (VintageSugarcube) — March 14, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

    Ohhhhh! That looks soooo good. And it is still quite chilly at night in good ole San Diego, so that would be perfect. I love the added Tarragon. mmm mmm mmmmmm


  16. #
    pam — March 14, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    While that second picture certainly makes them look attractive, I can not be fooled. Lentils are evil.


    • Sommer — March 14th, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

      Hilarious! Well Pam, to each his (her) own! ;)


  17. #
    sonia — March 14, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    The stew is looking so warm and hearty. Loved the addition of lentils, it makes it more sumptuous… !


  18. #
    Stella — March 14, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

    Oh Sommer! This is a beautiful stew, and I loved that you opted for lower carb lentils over potatoes. And you know, it almost sounds better that way?! Plus, your photos here are the jam! Very nice…!


  19. #
    Reeni — March 14, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    It’s still bitter cold in my neck of the woods – warm and comforting stew like this are desired and welcome! It looks wonderful! Love your twist with the lentils.


  20. #
    sweetlife — March 14, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    oh it’s mid 80’s here, but I would still devour this entire bowl of gooodness….my girls love lentils and hubby enjoys a thick soup..thank you for sharing..have a great week!!
    the second pic is simply stunning , HUGS!



  21. #
    Geni — March 14, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    Yay for the last stew of the winter!! Stew reminds me of my childhood as well- mom’s chicken stew was certainly a favorite on cold nights! This one looks great, I’ll need to try it!


  22. #
    Liz — March 14, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    Love the addition of lentils…looks like the perfect stew!


  23. #
    Eileen — March 14, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    I’d love a nice warm bowl of that stew right now! The best stew I ever made was on a woodstove. I let it simmer for hours and it turned out perfect.


  24. #
    Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) — March 14, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    My husband has been begging me to do make something with lentils. This looks/sounds perfect!


  25. #
    Susi — March 14, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

    What a lovely variation on traditional stew. Adding lentils instead of potatoes sounds insanely good!


  26. #
    Helene — March 14, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

    You have beautiful pictures on your blog. That dish looks so good.


  27. #
    Dmarie — March 14, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    I’m not a beef eater, but you sure can make it look good, Spicy!


  28. #
    Ilke — March 14, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Lovely picture of the stew, especially seeing the wine being poured in right in the pot :)
    I already feel warm just looking at it :) You have a great blog…


  29. #
    elle marie — March 14, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    I wanted to thank you for your message, that truly meant so much to me. I love how the sun is capturing the still life perfectly, I really love stews, what I love most is they are hearty, pretty healthy, and I can get so many meals out of one pot. I just ordered a bag of lentils, I can’t wait to make this.


  30. #
    Claudia — March 14, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

    What a good idea. I’m going to be a copy-cat. Love lentils – really what a grand idea. And there are a few more weeks of stew season – this just beckons.


  31. #
    Fresh and Foodie — March 14, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

    Looks great! Another recipe to add to my to-do list. Love the idea of adding lentils and red wine. :)


  32. #
    torviewtoronto — March 14, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

    delicious stew looks healthy


  33. #
    Kankana — March 14, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

    I don’t care if spring is on and winter is gone! This dish got to me on my menu soon! Looks soo delicious and warm


  34. #
    The Food Hound — March 14, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    I know, I need to get all my winter recipes in before the asparagus shoots start to show!! Yikes! Beef stew is so hearty and delish…. except when it’s 95 degrees out :)


  35. #
    Kita — March 14, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    Ok, so now the challenge is, how can I sneak this in before spring hits. It looks lovely.


  36. #
    Pachecopatty — March 14, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    I never would have thought to put beef in a lentil stew but hey why not? Maybe I’m thinking of lentil soup and how good it is with a grilled cheese sandwich, now why does thinking about food distract me like that????
    I loved the kind words you had for your mother, I hope my children think and write about me like that some day;-)


  37. #
    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — March 14, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

    I love this lentil stew…It looks so yummy! I may have to give this a try this week! Yum! :)


  38. #
    Baking Serendipity — March 14, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

    This would definitely make a fantastic comforting winter meal. It looks delicious!


  39. #
    Juliana — March 15, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    Sommer, what a hearty beef soup…and love the idea of lentil…I have to try this one. Looks delicious and very filing :-) Have a wonderful week!


  40. #
    Apicius' Apprentice — March 15, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    I’ve been making an absurd amount of stews and soups so that it lasts for days. May need to add this one to the line up! Always looking for new and delicious ways to make lentils.


  41. #
    MelaIne — March 15, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    Made this last night and the flavor is good but the beef is way too tough after only 45 minutes of cooking. I shouldn’t have been surprised because none of my other stew type recipes call for a mere 45 minutes of cooking. I ended up pulling the lentils and veggies out of the broth and cooking the meat solo for another hour and a half until it was properly, meltingly tender. A quick recombine and heat through and it was perfect. Even better today.


    • Sommer — March 15th, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

      Hi Melaine,

      Sorry you had trouble with your beef! Did you cover it? That way the meat simmers and steams, so it softens faster.


  42. #
    Lisa @ Tarte du Jour — March 15, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

    Wow… this looks fabulous! Your photos make this look like a wonderful stew dream. I think the lentils would add a lovely earthiness to the stew.


  43. #
    egb — March 15, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    I just had lentil stew for dinner! Great pics. I really like how you go step by step with the photos.


  44. #
    Lora @cakeduchess — March 15, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

    Sommer-love this stew! I make lentils often but I have never made them like this w/the beef as a stew. Looks amazing!


  45. #
    Kate @ — March 15, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    Ah your photos are making me drool!
    I made some beef stew today and told my hubz that it better be the last stew that I have to make… this winter is too darn long!

    I have never used lentil in my beef stew…thank you for the tip!


  46. #
    Adriana — March 16, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    This stew is gorgeous! I would probably eat it year-round. Congrats on making it to the Top 9.


  47. #
    wizzythestick — March 16, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    Lucky for me here in the warn Caribbean the seasons don’t dominate my eating so I can have this right now!


  48. #
    Gwen~healthymamma — March 16, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    This looks fabulous! Especially with the lentils and wine. Yum. My beef eating, country raised husband doesn’t care for stew oddly enough, he doesn’t like the mushy, blended flavors. I however love it. It is so comforting and hearty and flavorful. Not to mention simple and frugal! Im just going to have to try this because I love the ingredients in it!


  49. #
    Magic of Spice — March 16, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    Certainly a gorgeous stew!


  50. #
    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — March 16, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    Your stew is just gorgeous. I love the combination of beef and lentils, it sounds amazing. :) Congrats on the Top 9!


  51. #
    denise @ bread expectations — March 16, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    Lovely stew Sommer! Love that it’s not heavy on carbs. I have everything except the beef and this is looking better and better, the longer I look at it!


  52. #
    A Little Yumminess — March 17, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    The photos are beautiful and I am eating a really lousy lunch as I read this, so it doesnt help :)


  53. #
    tori — March 21, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    I am about to make this for the second time in two weeks. It’s delicious!!! Thank you!


  54. #
    A Canadian Foodie — March 21, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

    I always love to see you using “my” green pot! It matches your site design so well. This is my kind of meal. I love flavourful stews with such a variety of tastes and textures. So nutritious, delicious, economical and ultra satisfying. The photographs are incredible!


  55. #

    Oh geez, that looks good enough to eat well into summer, Sommer. Seriously. I never liked lentils when I was a kid and I don’t know why because I adore them now. This looks so, so very good.


  56. #
    Amanda @ Martinis At Six — March 24, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    The ONLY thing that I dislike about winter’s end is putting away all my soup and stew recipes. Apparently I don’t need to do that yet though, as winter seems to be holding on for a while this year. So I am glad to have some new things to try out as I patiently (not at all patiently) await spring.


  57. #
    Stedman — March 26, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s simmering on the stove top at the moment.


  58. #
    Adie1968 — January 27, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

    Awesome! I cooked for two hours just to be sure meat was tender and it was! Next time, I’ll only use 1/2T thyme as 1T was a little too much for me.


  59. #
    Betty Lynne — January 23, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

    I just discovered this in my search for lentil soup recipes and it was fantastic! I did it in the crock pot on high for about six hours which gave the meat plenty of time to get tender and the lentils too. Everyone loved it, even my neighbor whom I gave a big bowl to. Perfect for a frigid winter night!


  60. #
    Barbara Seidler — September 19, 2014 @ 6:53 am

    Thank you for such wonderful recipes you share!!! I am going to try most of them as they look delicious and HOMEY. Thank goodness!!


  61. #
    Kim Gurley — October 11, 2014 @ 7:22 am

    This deceptively simple recipe is DELICIOUS!!! It is my newest fave and will be a “go to” for busy work-weeks! Simply fantastic!


  62. #
    Amy Sprister — February 11, 2015 @ 7:12 pm

    Made this tonight as a compromise for the family. I am trying to reduce my meat and carb intake but the family loves traditional beef stew. I made this and everyone loved it! I simply scooped up mine avoiding the potatoes I added and only took a little bit of meat as a treat. It is very satisfying as a lentil stew. I did make this in the slow cooker. Ran it on low for about 5 hours and up to high for an additional two hours as the lentils were a bit firm yet. Also, I didn’t have any wine on hand so I substituted a can of Consomme. Delicious. I highly recommend! Going to PIN this one for future use.



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