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Lentil Stew with Quinoa and Mushrooms

Seasoned with fresh thyme and studded with earthy mushrooms, French green lentils—the “caviar” of lentils—lend a toothsome bite to this protein-rich, vegan lentil stew with quinoa.

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lentil stew with quinoa and mushrooms in a ceramic bowl with crusty buttered bread.

A Darn Good Vegan Lentil Stew For Everyone

This lentil stew with quinoa and mushrooms is a variation of a dish you will find in nearly every French home. Our recipe calls for black or green lentils, and the French lentilles du Puy (which have a distinctive peppery essence, thanks to where they are grown), would also work in this recipe. Whichever of these varieties you choose, you’re sure to get the earthy toothsome quality we’re looking for to give body to this stew. In addition to this deliciously vegetable-laden, hearty French lentil stew, you’re also going to get an entire days’ worth of protein, veggies and fiber. Grab a bowl, a crusty baguette, and a Simple Green Salad on the side for a fabulous French-inspired meal.

carrots, vegetable broth, onions, garlic, celery, dried lentils, quinoa, mushrooms in small bowls for homemade lentil stew

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Lentil Stew's, Good For You Ingredients

The question isn’t “is lentil soup good for you?” because that’s a gimme. The question is “can a soup possibly be this healthy and taste this good?” The answer is a resounding yes! By pairing quinoa with protein-packed green lentils—which are themselves a good source of iron, potassium and phosphorus—in this French lentil stew recipe, we've created a nutritional powerhouse for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike! Rich in fiber, minerals, folate and thiamine (B1), quinoa is a gluten-free grain that also qualifies as a so-called "complete protein," meaning that it has all nine essential amino acids that the human body needs and cannot make on its own. In other words, quinoa is an excellent food to include in a vegan or vegetarian diet. A single bowl of this vegan lentil stew serves up a borderline ridiculous level of nutrition for everybody. In other words, whether you’re trying out meat free or less meat, you’re going to love this stew.

large soup pot with olive oil, carrots, onions and celery
large soup pot with vegetable broth, cooked vegetables with french lentils being poured into the pot.
large soup pot with vegetable broth, uncooked quinoa, uncooked french lentils and sliced mushrooms.
large soup pot with lentil stew with quinoa and mushrooms

How to Make Quinoa Lentil Stew

This lentil stew recipe packs as much plant-based protein as possible into a bowl of simple-to-make (and, of course, good-to-eat!) soup. We wanted to cook up a big pot of easy lentil soup—something that ticked all of the health and nutrition boxes that we aim for—and have it on hand for lunches and last-minute dinners all week long. We started with a classic lentil soup recipe, and added a few flavor-boosting herbs and textural ingredients to make it just a little more crowd-pleasing. Here’s how to make our healthy, vegan lentil stew:

  1. Begin by cooking the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and herbs slowly in olive oil for at least 20 minutes. You’re going to want to hurry this along, but resist the urge! Everything will cook together in the oil, softening and browning slightly, laying a foundation of flavor for your lentil stew. It’ll be worth the wait.

  2. Boil! Pour in the tomatoes, eight cups of vegetable broth (don’t worry, the lentils absorb a lot of liquid as they cook) and lentils, give it a good stir, and bring the pot to a rolling boil. Simmer for a while for maximum flavor building magic.

  3. Add the quinoa, and simmer some more to cook your grains.

  4. Serve! We like to finish it with a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar (or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice), which is a classic French way of serving lentils and adds a surprising amount of complexity to this already-delectable soup. You can read more about vinegar in our comprehensive Pantry Essentials: Guide to Vinegars.

large pot of french lentil stew with quinoa and mushrooms

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bowl of lentil stew with quinoa and mushrooms with a side of crusty buttered bread

Lentil Stew, One More Thing To Love About French Cuisine

May the quinoa lentil soup be with you! Snap a photo of your lentil stew with quinoa and mushrooms, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can celebrate your kitchen victories! Bon appétit!

Lentil Stew with Quinoa and Mushrooms

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  55 min
  • Calories: 409

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced into ⅓-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ⅓-inch rounds
  • 8 ounces cremini and/or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup black or green lentils
  • ¾ cup quinoa

For Serving (optional)

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Crusty bread

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the stock, 2 cups of water, and the tomatoes. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Add the lentils, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils begin to soften, about 12 minutes.

  3. Increase the heat to high, add the quinoa, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the lentils and quinoa are tender, about 20 minutes more. Discard the thyme stems.

  4. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper. Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and parsley if using. Serve warm with crusty bread alongside if desired.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories409
  • Protein26 g
  • Carbohydrates72 g
  • Total Fat12 g
  • Dietary Fiber26 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium672 mg
  • Total Sugars9 g

Lentil Stew with Quinoa and Mushrooms

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jd

    Do you cover the pot when simmering the lentils and then the quinoa over leave it uncovered?

    uncovered is great. hope you enjoy!

  • Fisher

    The recipe says 1 (one) cup of lentils. Mine came out soupy. Is that correct, 1 cup?

    Yes that is correct. Feel free to put in a little more, but it is sort of soup like.

  • patricia bangert

    does this freeze well

    Yes, it freezes beautifully! Hope you enjoy Patricia!

  • Veronica Nessler

    Can you use brown lentils for this soup?

    Sure!

  • Salma El Beialy

    I don’t have vegetable stock so how much water should I add to substitute that and what spices can help make up for the stock.

    You can use chicken stock instead or add vegetable bouillon with water.

  • Jason Smith

    This was so delicious!! Don’t skip the balsamic.

    Thanks Jason, so glad you loved it!

  • Amy

    I loved this hearty and healthy soup - but I wish I never added the Quinoa. It totally took over the texture and flavor. I think I'd double the Lentils next time.

    Glad you enjoyed it Amy, definitely no harm if you prefer more lentils instead of quinoa next time.

  • Irene Sloboda

    This was absolutely delicious!! Followed the recipe as written, and didn't change a thing.

    Thanks IRene, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Eva

    Everyone at home loved it! We ate everything and left no crumbs

    Hooray! That is great to hear Eva!

  • Anthony Mastrangelo

    I just want to say I love this recipe. I did add a cheese rind in it to add that extra flavor. But this stew is a winner.

    Thanks Anthony! We are so happy you love this recipe!