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Spicy Red Lentil Veggie Stew with Crispy Chickpea Croutons

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You will fall in love with this filling and warm-you-to-the-core red lentil stew. It provides dietary fiber, plant-based protein and nutrients to keep you strong all season long. This one-pot dinner makes great leftovers too. Make once and enjoy all week long.



For the crispy chickpea croutons (optional)

  • 1, 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and thoroughly dried (using a kitchen towel) or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder

For the stew

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1, 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices (no salt added variety)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach or destemmed torn kale leaves

For serving

  • Fresh cilantro and crispy chickpea croutons


  1. If using the crispy chickpea croutons, start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Place the dried chickpeas in a 12-inch cast iron skillet and toss with oil. Roll them around until fully and evenly coated. Roast the chickpeas for 35 minutes until golden and lightly charred. Toss with spices and allow to cool on the pan while preparing the stew.
  2. To prepare the stew, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno (if using), sweet potato and tomatoes with their juices. Raise the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes more.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, red lentils, sunflower seed butter, chili powder and cayenne pepper (if using).
  5. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is fork-tender.
  6. Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach is slightly wilted. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with cilantro and crispy chickpea croutons (if desired).
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Soup/Stew