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Sausage and Lentil Stew

Fall weather has certainly arrived! The cool, darkening days of Autumn seem to demand that we put aside the light salad and simple grilled dishes that were so right for summer and turn to more substantial fare. Chilis, soups, stews - all of the food that were just too heavy for the warm months - now seem to be exactly what we want for dinner. And the baked treats that just made our kitchens too hot in July and August, now make the home warm and cozy.

One of the dishes I can't wait to make when the weather turns cooler is Sausage and Lentil Stew. Until I tried this dish, I really wasn't that familiar with lentils. Now they are a favorite. Lentils are amazingly easy to cook with; they absorb and are enhanced by the flavors of the other ingredients. They are also high in nutrients, low in fats, easy to store, and inexpensive! What more can be asked?

Sausage and Lentil Stew goes together with a minimum of fuss. I like to use a smoked sausage, but kielbasa or Italian sausage would work just as well if you prefer. A dark rye bread or pumpernickel makes a good accompaniment.

  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1 lb dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2/tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
Slice sausage in 1/2 inch slice.

Brown in the bottom of a 3 - 4 quart stock pot.

Drain off any excess fat. (if you are using a lean turkey sausage, you might want to add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to aid in browning).

Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook until the onion softens.

Add the broth, water, and lentils and let the mixture come to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Increase the heat to high until it comes back to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the stew simmer about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the flavors have melded.

Serves 4 -6.


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