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Vegan Saffron Lentil Stew


This cozy one-pot stew is cooked in a rich and creamy garlicky tomato sauce. Served over rice, mashed potatoes, or as a standalone dish with bread. Perfect with a squeeze of lemon juice for a balanced flavour. It’s the ultimate comfort food!

A bowl of tomato lentil stew. Drizzled with coconut milk, and garnished with parsley. Placed on a blue backdrop, with bagels, lemon, and a spoon.

Why Saffron?

Saffron is a sweet earthy spice that is derived from the Crocus Sativus flower. It’s shaped like red/orange threads that can be used to enhance flavour in cooking, baking, and more. With many health benefits, saffron makes a great spice to add to soups, stews, or to make rice out of it. Which is why I decided to make it the star of this lentil stew!

Watch the video here (or at the end!)


Let’s talk cooking!

The best part about this stew is the simplicity and convenience.
It’s a one-pot lentil stew that’s made with a short list of ingredients, yet it’s packed with flavours!

Made with a rich tomatoey sauce, infused with fragrant garlic and saffron, and a creamy base made of coconut milk (but doesn’t taste much like coconut)!

A bowl of tomato lentil stew. Drizzled with coconut milk, and garnished with parsley. Placed on a blue backdrop, with bagels, lemon, and a spoon.

It’s a versatile stew that can be served alongside many dishes. It’s great to serve over a bed of warm fluffy rice, creamy mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, or anything in between! I often enjoy it as a standalone dish, with toasted bread (or bagel) to dunk into!


Do I need to soak the lentils before adding to the stew?

Nope! While soaking the lentils can reduce the cooking time, they usually cook fairly quickly. I avoid soaking them first, as I prefer they cook in the spiced tomato sauce to pick up all the flavours!

Why a lentil stew?

Lentils are a great source of protein that’s cheap and versatile. It’s great to use in a stew, since it takes a short time to cook, and so it makes an easy weeknight dinner for a busy day!

How to serve lentil stew?

However you like! Serve it over rice, mashed or baked potatoes, or even as a standalone dish. I personally like dunking into it with a warm piece of bread/toast/bagel.

How to store leftover stew?

Store in an air-tight container for 4 to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze for up to a month. Reheat directly in a pot over medium-low heat until it simmers. Or microwave (covered) for 2 to 3 minutes, or longer if frozen.

A bowl of tomato lentil stew. Drizzled with coconut milk, and garnished with parsley. Placed on a blue backdrop, with bagels, lemon, and a spoon.

Hope you give this vegan recipe a try. I’m sure you’ll love it! If you do, I’d love to hear about your experience. Leave me a comment below, and rate the recipe with ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This will help us sustain demeals.

Take a photo of your dish, and tag us on Instagram @demeals.ca #demeals so we can see your remake!


Vegan Saffron Lentil Stew

Recipe by Waseem HijaziCourse: Main Course, Dinner, LunchCuisine: Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Vegan, Plant Based, Dairy-Free
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

50

minutes

This cozy one-pot lentil stew is cooked in a rich and creamy garlicky tomato sauce. Served over rice, mashed potatoes, or as a standalone dish with bread. Perfect with a squeeze of lemon juice for a balanced flavour. It’s the ultimate comfort food!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green/brown lentils, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 tsp saffron

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 156 ml tomato paste

  • 540 ml diced tomatoes, small dice

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk

  • 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 lemon, squeezed

  • Parsley for garnish

Directions

  • Rinse the lentils thoroughly. Drain and set aside.
  • In a medium pot, bring the oil to heat over medium-high. Stir in the garlic, saffron, and onion powder.
  • Once golden, add in the tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Stir and cook down the tomatoes to soften, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add in the rinsed lentils, water, coconut milk, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until lentils are cooked.
  • Whisk in the lemon juice. Taste test, and adjust the salt, if needed.
    Remove from heat. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or as a standalone dish; garnished with parsley and a slice of bread/bagel.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • (1) Lentils to use: green or brown. Do NOT use red lentils – the texture will turn soupy instead.
  • (2) Store leftovers in the fridge in an air-tight container, and consume within 4 to 5 days. Or freeze for up to a month. Check the blog post for reheating tips.
  • (3) You can use other plant milk options, if you prefer. However, the coconut milk does not leave much of a coconut flavour in this stew. I find that it also works best for creaminess.
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