Coconut Lentil Stovetop Stew

Coconut Lentil Stovetop Stew

Normally when I make stews I just toss everything into the slow cooker and get on with my day. But what do you do when your day’s half-over and dinner’s nearly upon you? Stovetop stew to the rescue!

Yesterday was one of those days. Monday, dishwasher died, one of my kids came home sick from school at 9:45 am. The kind of day when I’m thinking about dinner mid-afternoon because I’ve yet to eat lunch. The kind of day when I really need a real meal, but don’t have the energy to go to the supermarket or think about what to cook. I made this up on the fly yesterday because of all those things. I didn’t have time to go to the store, so I looked in the fridge and pantry. I had a single large sweet potato, a couple of carrots, celery, plus onions and garlic a friend had grown in his garden. I didn’t have time to soak beans (are you kidding me?!) but I did have lentils. WIN!

I wanted something rich and hearty, but it needed to be fast. Start to finish, including prep and cleanup, it only took an hour. Because the stew is cooked on the stovetop the lentils retain their shape, but the combination of broth and coconut milk creates this yummy faux-slow-cooked creaminess that’s really delightful. It’s a hearty, guilt-free meal, that’s also cheap, easy, vegan, low-sodium, fiber-rich, protein and nutrient packed, and best yet – delicious.

I recommend serving this like I did last night – spooned over a bed of fresh greens and cooked brown rice. But ladling it over cooked quinoa or baked potatoes would be yummy, too.

Serves 6.

SODIUM CONTENT: 189 mg per serving

Nutrition Facts: Coconut Lentil Stovetop Stew


1 t. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can lite coconut milk, shaken well
1 c. dry brown lentils
1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 t. lime juice
1 t. agave nectar
1 t. sriracha
1/2 t. ground paprika
1/4 t. ground coriander
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. ground black pepper

OPTIONAL (for serving):
6 c. cooked brown rice
6 c. baby spinach or mixed salad greens


Heat the oil in a small stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and sweet potato and cook, stirring, 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Raise heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat, spoon over rice and salad greens if desired, and serve immediately.

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