A Spicy Perspective

Beef and Lentil Stew

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Beef Lentil Stew: Rustic, packed with flavor, and so comforting. Our Beef and Lentil Stew is just the dish to fill and warm your belly this season!

Best Beef and Lentil Stew Recipe in bowl, overhead view

Nostalgic Beef 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 my gloves and scarf at our hall tree, then eagerly sitting around our family table for a filling meal.

Zesty Lentil Stew Recipe in large pot

Mom’s Beef Stew

Stew reminds me of my mom, always smiling, and 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.

Beef Lentil Stew in bowl with spoon

Beef Lentil Stew Recipe

Today’s Beef and Lentil Stew is a true family favorite.

It’s a play off of my mom’s classic beef stew, substituting brown lentils for potatoes to enhance its nutritional value.

Although I love the classic version and make it regularly, this lentil stew recipe offers an extra level of texture and depth of flavor.

All the ingredients you need for stew

Healthy Lentil Stew Recipe

It’s hearty and filling with a robust beefy flavor.

Yet this beef stew is lean and packed with nutrients, for those on a clean diet, or who are just generally watching their waistlines.

Although I wouldn’t call this low-carb, it is a very well-balanced meal.

Beef and Lentil Stew is a marvelous meal to warm you up on cool evenings. It’s guilt-free, gluten-free, and fabulous as leftovers.

Beef Lentil Stew Ingredients

  • Olive Oil – To saute the onions, garlic, and beef.
  • Beef Chuck – A fabulous stew meat for flavor and texture.
  • Onion – For depth of flavor.
  • Garlic Cloves– For depth of flavor.
  • Carrots – To add sweetness and color.
  • Celery – To offer texture and herby essence.
  • Dried Lentils – Use brown or green lentils, because they hold their shape after cooking.
  • Crushed Tomatoes – For tangy flavor and thickening.
  • Beef Stock – To intensify the beefy flavor. (You can use vegetable broth if that is what you have on hand)
  • Red Wine – To balance the heavy ingredients.
  • Bay Leaves – To offer deep herby notes.
  • Thyme – You can use a few tablespoons of fresh or dried thyme.
  • Cayenne Pepper – For a little kick!
  • Tarragon – To offer a fresh pop of sweetness at the end.
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
Stew the ingredients in the pot

How To Make Lentil Stew


1. Sauté. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for a few minutes, then add the beef and garlic.

2. Brown. Brown the meat, stirring regularly, until the pieces are caramelized on all sides.

3. Dump. Add the vegetables, carrots, celery, lentils, tomatoes, beef stock, wine, bay leaves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper.

4. Simmer. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer, until the lentils are tender. Then stir in the tarragon and taste for salt and pepper.

5. Serve. Ladle into bowls and garnish. 

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. 

Get the Full (Printable) Beef Lentil Stew Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Lentil Stew in pot with beef and bay leaves

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this in an Instant Pot?

Definitely! While lentil beef stew doesn’t take that long on the stove top, you can certainly make it in a pressure cooker if you prefer!
Simple sear the beef, sauté the veggies, and then put everything in the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 15 minutes with a natural release!

Why is my beef tough?

If you taste the beef stew and the beef is not as tender as you would like, let it cook on low heat a little longer. This will tenderize the beef while it simmers in all of the delicious flavors!

How should I store leftover beef and lentil soup?

Store any leftover beef and lentil stew in the fridge for up to 3 days! Reheat in the microwave until it is heated through.

More Cozy Fall & Winter Recipes

Fabulous Beef Stew Recipe in bowls

Check the printable recipe card below of this soup recipe for the nutritional information including calories, carbohydrates, protein, saturated fat, sodium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin percentages.

Print Recipe
5 from 47 votes
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Beef and Lentil Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
A rich and hearty Beef and Lentil Stew Recipe full of healthy ingredients. This nourishing stew is a perfect family meal for cold winter evenings.
Servings: 8



  • 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. All sides of the beef chunks should be browned.
  • Add the carrots, celery, lentils, tomatoes, beef stock, wine, bay leaves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for about 60-75 minutes, until the lentils and beef are tender. Stir in the tarragon. Then taste for salt and pepper.



Use a pot with a heavy lid to keep in the heat. Otherwise, you may have to cook the stew a bit longer for the meat to tenderize.


Serving: 1.5cup, Calories: 524kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 43g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 640mg, Potassium: 1683mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 5540IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 153mg, Iron: 9mg
Course: Healthy, Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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139 comments on “Beef and Lentil Stew”

  1. My roommates and I loved it! (4 of us in total) Made vegan alternative with beyond beef broth, beyond ground beef, and without tarragon n garlic for the picky roommates. Will be making again!

  2. I made it with Better Than Bouillon beef stock and omitted the red wine. It was so much I had to transfer it to a bigger pot. It took around 65 minutes to be perfect. My husband and I are from it twice and I still haveva big container of leftover that I’m going to freeze. It’s delicious and was easy to make.

  3. I loved this recipe!! I used grass fed ground beef in mine and topped it with sliced homemade, preserved meyers lemon peel. Was so delicious!! Thanks so much for an amazing recipe. 

  4. This was my first time ever using lentils in a recipe and I loved the result! This was nice and hearty which was what I was wanting. Will make again for sure.

  5. So yummy! Love the addition of lentils in this classic dish.

  6. My husband loves a good hearty stew, I made this for him, and he LOVED it! Such a great balance of flavors.

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  9. Wondering if this recipe is good to use for diabetics. Just want to make sure we don’t get any blood sugar spikes. Thank you

  10. Calories must be wrong? Made recipe without wine. Came out delicious. I loved it, however I am calorie conscious and 524 calories a cup seems to high. Anyone else notice that?

    • Well I noticed that the calories are quoted for a 1.5cup serving as 524kcal, so is that 524,000 calories per serving??

      • Hi Ama,

        No, sorry for the confusion. Kcalorie (or kilocalorie) is the scientific term for one plain old calorie. It’s just 524 calories for each portion. The tool we use for nutritional facts does not allow me to adjust the text in the form.

  11. Made it exactly to the recipe. Just spicy enough and great flavor.

  12. I was suspicious of the 06-75 minute cooking time for chuck; it seemed too short. I left the veggies and lentils out for 60 minutes, then added them and cooked for another 60 minutes. It came out perfect! The beef was fork tender and the veggies and lentils had a nice level of firmness.
    I’m not a big fan of tarragon, but in this recipe it was quite subtle; a nice addition.

  13. Made this stew last night and it was delicious!

    I am now eating leftovers for lunch and it’s even better – which is always the case with soups/stews. I did add some Worcestershire sauce to my stew as I always like that flavor in beef stews. I’ve never made anything with lentils or tarragon so I was a bit nervous but they did not disappoint! This was a great recipe and it made a LOT of stew. 10/10 will make again. :)

  14. Made this according to the recipe but without the wine as I didn’t have any to hand. It’s really tasty and hearty. Great variety of healthy goodness. 

  15. This is delish and as typical of soups better the next day. I did use additional cabbage. I also added beef bouillon with extra water because the soup was quite thick early on. I used 5 oz of finely chopped fresh spinach as I decided the whole 10 oz bag was just too much. Perhaps if I had used less cabbage I would have used the entire bag. 

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  17. It was great! My family gobbled it up!

  18. Delicious!  Was out of marjoram, but plenty of rosemary at home.  Wonderfully aromatic and filling cold night stew with plenty of leftovers.  A Really perfect set of ingredients.  Big thx for sharing!

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  20. This recipe is very easy and so delicious! I used 2 lbs. of Venison and 2 cups of dry lentils. I also substituted potatoes (added during the last 30 minutes of cooking) for the tarragon as mentioned in a previous post. Due to the added 1/2 cup of lentils, I had to add more broth (I used Better Than Bouillon). This is SO tasty!!!

  21. This looks delicious. Do you have a pressure cooker version for making this?

  22. Made this stew and shared it with my dorm-mates. They absolutely loved it. This has become a staple in my kitchen repertoire! It’s ridiculously yummy and extremely nutritious.

  23. Can you use red lentils in this recipe instead of green or brown?

  24. Pingback: Beef and Lentil Stew – Flora's Kitchen

  25. Oh my gosh!  This is so good.  I love that it’s loaded with fiber too.  I don’t typically make stew in the summer but this recipe will definitely make it into my meal planning rotation.  

  26. Love this recipe! Cook regularly in cooler months, kids love it 😊 I also add chopped potatoes to make it last longer 

  27. Really delicious!

  28. Hi Sommer. This was great! I didn’t add the tarragon because my wife isn’t a fan of it but I added basil, a bit of oregano, and a pinch of fennel. This is really good!! (I’m sure it’s good with tarragon too!!)

  29. Great stew robust taste … totally loved it!

  30. This is absolutely delicious! I accidentally soaked (and unintentionally sprouted) too much green lentils this week so I wanted to use them up. I have already made lentil curry and BBQ lentils so I wanted something less focused on this ingredient.

    I used grass fed ground beef I had on hand (from a sale) instead of chuck. I had 2 lbs of meat, not 2.5, so I used all of my lentils (4 cups soaked which is probably 2 cups dry) I omitted the tarragon and added 2 medium russet potatoes I needed to use up. I also added a 1 pound box of rotini pasta to make it hearty for my husband and dad. I would probably use only half a box next time but it still came out so delicious! The little chunks of beef were dispersed evenly. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the lentils which were the star of my other 2 dishes. I was on the fence about opening a new bottle of red wine for this dish but there is such a depth of flavor that comes with it. I had to add extra beef broth (which was a Better Than Boullion roasted beef base diluted in hot water) to keep it a bit soupy. Thank you. I will definitely be using this recipe again in the future!

  31. I love that this was a spin-off of your mother’s recipe, a delicious generational heart connection! How yummy as written and good for leftovers!

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  34. I made this last night and it was my first time cooking with wine so I was very excited. It’s so good! I brought the leftovers to work today for lunch and all my coworkers kept commenting on how good it smells. 

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  37. I made this stew over the weekend and my husband said, “this is my favorite dish!” I live on the coast in Ca. and I have been waiting for the weather to change to start making things for dinner (other than salad and BBQ). Plenty of leftovers and every day it gets better. SO delicious, thank you!

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  39. Can l use asparagus instead of celery???

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  42. Great recipe!  Good proportions.  Use lower end of the water for a heartier bite.  At sea level with 6c of water 60 minutes was perfect.

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  44. Can you make this is the crockpot instead?

  45. this is so great! I gonna try this out for today’s dinner. thanks

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  56. This looks delicious and will
    Definitely try it. Thanks

  57. What a perfect warm soup perfect for these cold months!!

  58. Oh my! I am definitely trying this stew! What a wonderful recipe for cold winter months!

  59. I love this recipe and your explanation of how to properly prep.
    Delicious and healthy.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  61. I’ve been doing the same stew for decades (spanish origin) and adding chorizo, tomato concentrate and some paprika for the some extra kick. Brilliant.

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

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

  67. 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!

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  69. 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.

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

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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!

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

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

  77. 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!

  78. Certainly a gorgeous stew!

  79. 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!

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

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

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

  83. 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!

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

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

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

    • Hi Melaine,

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

  88. 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.

  89. 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!

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

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

  92. 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;-)

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

  94. 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 :)

  95. 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

  96. delicious stew looks healthy

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

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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…

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

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

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

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

  105. 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.

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

  107. 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!

  108. 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!


  109. 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.

  110. 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…!

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

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

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

    • Lentils aren’t that evil

      ( Lentils

      Green & Brown, Whole, Dried, Boiled in Salted Water
      lentils, beans, dinner, legumes, green lentils

      — Grade
      29 Calories
      Nutrition Facts
      Serving Size 1 oz (28 g)
      Per Serving % Daily Value*

      Calories 29

      Calories from Fat 0

      Total Fat 0g 0%

      Carbohydrates 4.5g 1%

      Dietary Fiber 0.8g 3%

      Protein 2.2g =^..^= but that is my opinion :~)

  113. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  120. 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!

  121. 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!

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

  123. 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.

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

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

  125. 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!

  126. 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?