It’s the perfect time of year for this uber hearty and super cosy butternut squash lentil stew. As the temperature is dropping by the day here in the UK and the dark nights have well and truly closed in, this easy dinner is guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been craving stews ever since December hit. And I’m not mad about it. So far though, the majority of the stews I’ve been scoffing are all about the chicken or beef. And in all honesty, I’ve been eating more meat than I’d like lately. So, I thought it was high time I made a vegan stew starring nutritious veggies that’s just as hearty and just as delicious.
The combination of vegetables, herbs, spices, coconut milk aaaand… wait for it… peanut butter come together to create the most flavourful and satisfying dish. And, thanks to that coconut milk and peanut butter (two of my favourite ingredients EVER), you’ll also get some decadent Asian vibes.
I LOVE this stew so much, I think it’s my best dish of the year so far! Let me know what you think.
BATCH COOKING BUTTERNUT SQUASH LENTIL STEW
I’ve been playing around with this recipe a lot this week, tweaking the ingredients to get the best flavour. Because of that, I’ve got leftovers for daaaaays. And you know what, I’m alright with it. It’s THAT GOOD! I can’t wait for you to try it!
I’m a massive fan of cook once, eat on repeat. So, the fact this recipe makes 6 servings bodes well for me. If you like the sound of that too, then make a full batch as written in this recipe. Let it cool. Then, refrigerate within two hours and eat within 4 days.
If 6 portions feel like too much for you, then you can easily make a half batch. Simply scroll down to the recipe card and change the servings from 6 to 3. The recipe ingredients will automatically update to your preferences. Wanna make a double batch? Just change the serving size to 12. Easy as pie.
HOW TO FREEZE BUTTERNUT SQUASH LENTIL STEW
This stew freezes really well. Here’s what you can do if you’re not going to get around to eating all the leftovers within 4 days. First, separate the stew into individual portions. Store in airtight, freezer-safe containers or bags and freeze. Then you can pull out a single portion whenever you need one. The stew will stay at its best in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Red lentils are one of the stars of this dish, and rightly so. They have many health benefits, they add an incredible earthy savoury flavour to dishes like this stew, and they add bulk to meals at an affordable price.
However, I don’t know many people that cook with them frequently, or at all. If you’re one of those people, I want to answer some of the questions you may have about lentils, in the hope it might encourage you to give them a go.
ARE RED LENTILS GOOD FOR YOU?
Yes! Red lentils are hugely nutritious. First off, they’re an excellent source of plant-based protein which is critical for maintaining optimal health, growth, development and function throughout your entire life (Source). Lentils are also rich in iron which helps keep oxygen pumping around your body.
They also contain a fair amount of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium, which is excellent news for your bone health. And, they come loaded with anti-inflammatory polyphenols which can be highly beneficial for all of us, but especially those suffering from inflammatory diseases, including autoimmune disorders (Source).
ARE RED LENTILS GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
Yes! Both the protein and fibre in red lentils can slow down the speed that you digest a meal, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer. If you feel satisfied for longer, in theory, you won’t need to reach for those energy snacks quite so soon after eating. Over time, this could lead to weight loss, and a healthy weight should be easier to maintain (Source).
CAN YOU OVERCOOK RED LENTILS?
Yes! Cooking lentils for longer than the packet instructions can lead to soft and mushy lentils. Having them super soft can be ideal if you are blending them into a smooth soup, but for this stew, you want a little texture.
DO I NEED TO SOAK RED LENTILS BEFORE COOKING?
No! You can soak lentils before cooking them if you want to speed up the cooking process. However, as they only take 25 minutes to cook in liquid, I rarely find soaking them to be necessary.
DO I NEED TO RINSE RED LENTILS BEFORE COOKING THEM?
Yes! Lentils do really need to be given a good rinse to wash away any debris. This also gives you a good opportunity to clear out any dodgy looking lentils. You may get one or two shrivelled ones in your pack. Just pull them out and crack on.
Want to enjoy this comforting Vegan Butternut Squash Lentil Stew? If the answer is yes, and you give this recipe a try, I’d love to know what you think. Get in touch in the comments section and let me know.
Are you looking for more DINNER recipes? Why not check out these ideas…
- Slow Cooker Vegan Chilli
- Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta
- Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Sundried Tomato Rocket and Walnuts
HOW TO MAKE BUTTERNUT SQUASH LENTIL STEW
Butternut Squash Lentil Stew
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Large Brown Onion Finely Chopped
- 1 tbsp Medium Curry Powder
- 3 Cloves Garlic Finely chopped or crushed
- 1 Medium Butternut Squash Washed, peeled and deseeded. Chop one half into 1 cm cubes and grate the other half*.
- 500 ml Vegetable Stock
- 225 g (1 Cup) Tomato Passata
- 200 ml (1 Cup) Coconut Milk
- 80 g (⅓ Cup) Peanut Butter
- 75 g Split Red Lentils Rinsed
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- 200 g Spinach Washed
To Serve (Optional)**
- Sprinkle of chopped almonds
- Gather and prepare your ingredients.
- Pour the olive oil into a large casserole pot over a medium high heat. Now add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until it starts to turn translucent.
- Add the curry powder and garlic and enjoy the aroma! Stir continuously for 1 minute.
- Add the grated butternut squash and butternut squash cubes and stir to coat with all the curry spice.
- Now add the vegetable stock, tomato passata, coconut milk and peanut butter to the pan. Stir until the peanut butter has melted down. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the stew simmer for 10 minutes.
- Finally, stir the split red lentils and salt into the pan. Continue to simmer the pot for 5-7 minutes until the butternut squash and lentils are lovely and soft.
- Just before serving, add the spinach to the pan and stir through the stew to wilt.
- It's now time to serve and ENJOY!
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Thank you so much for reading.