There are certain foods that taste especially good on a cold blustery day and a hearty soup or stew perfectly meets that desire. Probably one of my all-time favorite winter stews is my Sweet Italian Sausage Lentil Stew. If you normally don’t care for lentils, this recipe might change your mind. Trust me on this one! It is a rich, creamy stew that is simply delicious. I’ve had numerous people say they don’t care for lentils but love this recipe. It freezes well if you make a large pot and it is perfect reheated due to the depth of flavor that richens the longer it sits.

Sweet Italian Sausage & Lentil Stew
A thick, rich bowl of Sweet italian Sausage Lentil Stew.

I live on the rolling hills of the Palouse and am surrounded by lentil, wheat, garbanzo and pea fields. We are in winter now, so our fields are not this beautiful golden hue that they are in late July and early August. When the fields are covered in snow the rolling hills throw beautiful shadows and the soft bending of light produces a true work of art.  In the spring they are covered in a brilliant velvet of green as the crops burst through the rich soil and then gently change to the golden waves of grain pictured below. My favorite Palouse photographer is Alison Meyer. Her working is stunning, although I think my little snapshot below competes pretty well.

The Palouse
Beautiful rolling fields of the Palouse.

And let me tell you, we do have winters here! The farmers appreciate heavy snowfall in the winter, bringing ample moisture to the ground when it melts in early spring. But I’m not sure how much my husband appreciates it when the snow shoveling comes around! This is a picture I took from my deck a few years ago. This snow fell all in one night!

An over abundance of snow!

And it’s on days like this that a warm bowl of Sweet italian Sausage Lentil Stew tastes so good. Lentils are an ancient grain. In fact they are mentioned in the Old Testament when Jacob trades a bowl of lentil stew for Esau’s birthright. If you have never tried lentils, they have an earthy flavor and best of all are inexpensive. You generally can pick up a bag of lentils at the store for just over a dollar. Another favorite lentil recipe is my Red Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale.

Bowl of Lentil Soup
Sweet italian Sausage is a perfect blend with the earthy flavor of lentils.

Simple ingredients such as carrots, leeks, spinach, Italian sausage, lentils and cream make up this soup. I hope you try it and let me know what you think.

Lentil Stew
A close up view of Sweet Italian Sausage Lentil Stew.

Sweet Italian Sausage Lentil Stew

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Soup
An all-time favorite! The combination of earthy lentils and sweet Italian sausage make for a delicious bowl of stew, especially on a cold winter's day.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 2/3 cups carrots (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup leeks (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 cup dry lentils (rinsed)
  • 5 cups beef bone broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 bag frozen spinach (organic 16 oz.)
  • salt & pepper


Step 1
Saute sweet Italian sausage until fully cooked. remove from heat, set aside.
Step 2
Chop carrots, leeks, onion, and celery. In a large pot, melt butter and oil together and add chopped vegetables. Saute until onions are transparent.
Step 3
Add minced garlic and stir.
Step 4
Add beef broth, red wine vinegar and mustard.
Step 5
Add dry lentils and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent lentils from sticking. Once stew has come to a boil turn heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Step 6
Add sausage and spinach to pot and simmer another 10 minutes.
Step 7
Add milk and cream, stir to fully incorporate.
Step 8
Salt and pepper to taste.
Step 9
Serve warm.

This recipe has been shared on the following blogs: NourishingJoy




36 comments on “Sweet Italian Sausage Lentil Stew”

  1. This looks like a bowl of heaven to me. We live on soups and my hubby does a great lentil one that we usually add sausage on the side too – looks like we should be cooking them with the lentils! My hubby is doing a photography trip to your neck of the woods in May.

  2. Ooooh I love this recipe. Looks like a big hug in a bowl. I can’t wait for winter to try it (currently stinking hot here in Sydney, Australia)
    Rosie x

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