A delicious Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew that is perfect for the upcoming cold season! Warm & comforting, easy, vegan & gluten-free recipe.
I know the chestnut season is on its way out, giving way to Christmas baking, fresh citruses, chocolate, and cinnamon, but we highly recommend making this Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew while you still can.
This stew is simply delicious, nutritious, and very simple to make, and it will warm you up inside out during the long, cold winter days.
Here’s a hint – if you can’t find chestnuts anymore, try searching for the pre-cooked, pre-peeled packaged ones. They are equally tasty as the fresh ones, plus you can save yourself the tedious cooking and peeling.
To make this Italian lentil and chestnut stew you will need just a couple of basic ingredients:
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- a celery stalk
- tomato sauce
- lentils. We used dry brown lentils that we rinsed and cooked straight in the stew. You can use canned or precooked lentils, but then be mindful to adjust cooking time and liquid volume. Use brown or green lentils in this recipe for they hold their shape better when cooked, than red or yellow lentils.
- herbs and spices, such as bay leaf and fresh thyme
- vegetable stock will give this stew flavor, but if you like it seasoned more, feel free to add salt and pepper to your taste
- cooked chestnuts; you can find pre-cooked and peeled chestnuts in major grocery stores, but if it’s chestnut season where you are, just put a cup of chestnuts to cook in water until tender, then drain them, peel them (this may be time-consuming), and crumble them into the stew. The chestnuts will add carbs and act as a thickening agent in the stew, plus add a nice nutty taste to the stew. You can totally replace the chestnuts with a potato or two.
- baby spinach for extra greens and nutrients
How to make this Italian Lentil and Chestnut Stew
To make this stew start with the basic vegetables. Heat a pot, add oil, then toss in the diced vegetables and saute until tender. You will want to stir the veggies frequently to avoid them from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot, but a bit of veggie residue on the bottom is fine, as it will add flavor to the stew.
Then, stir in the garlic and pour in the tomato sauce. Keep cooking on low for a couple more minutes, then add the rinsed lentils, herbs, and vegetable stock.
(if you decide to swap the chestnuts for potatoes, peel them and dice them, and add them to the pot along with the lentils).
Let it simmer on low for about half an hour until the lentils are cooked.
While you wait, peel some pre-cooked chestnuts, then crumble them into the stew. We usually like to cook a pot of them in advance, so we have them handy to use up as we like. If you don’t want to deal with cooking chestnuts, you can buy them pre-cooked in major grocery stores. Or, skip the chestnuts altogether, and just peel and dice some potatoes, add them to the pot along with the lentils, and cook until soft.
Lastly, stir some baby spinach into the stew, and let it wilt down. Taste the stew and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
That’s all there is to it!
Serve the stew hot with a side of hearty sourdough bread, or some garlic naan!
You can store the Lentil and Chestnut Stew refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. This stew can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- 1 cup lentils, dry (brown or green)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots, medium-sized
- 1 celery stalk, medium-sized
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup cooked chestnuts, peeled
- 100 grams baby spinach
- Finely dice the onion, garlic, and celery stalk, slice the carrots.
- In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil, then add in the diced onion, celery, and sliced carrots. On medium heat gently saute and stir frequently, until the vegetables soften. Stir in the minced garlic, then pour over with the 3/4 cup of tomato sauce. Give it a stir and let cook for about 5 minutes.
- Rinse the lentils, then add to the pot along with 2 bay leaves, a sprinkle of thyme, and 2 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and let it simmer on low for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through. If the soup gets too thick, you can reduce it with a splash of water.
- Separately cook about 1 cup of chestnuts, then peel them. You can also use pre-cooked.
- Once the lentils are cooked, crumble the chestnuts into the stew, and stir in the baby spinach.
- Taste the stew before serving and if needed, season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 595mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 8gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g
Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.
In need of more soups and stews recipes? Take a look at these:
- Vegetable Soup with Dumplings
- Vegan Red Lentil Curry Soup
- Vegan White Bean and Kale Soup
- Easy One-Pot Spicy Vegan Chili
- Vegan Barley and Lentil Soup
This recipe is brought to you by Hofer.