Lentil Veggie Stew in the Slow Cooker
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Crock Pot Lentil Veggie Stew



It's been cold, rainy and -- thankfully -- really quiet here after the holidays, which means there's plenty of time for me to make warm soup to fill everyone's belly. Even though I've been in less of a rush than usual, that doesn't mean I'm not looking for ways to make life easier for myself in the kitchen. So, time once again to break out my crock pot! All I do is toss in some lentils, a few herbs and a mix of vegetables from the farmer's market and serve it with a dollop of herbed goat cheese on top, which the kids love swirling in to their soup. This recipe makes enough so that I can freeze half for cold, lazy nights when I don't have any time to cook -- which I anticipate happening quite a bit once school starts up again!

Crock Pot Lentil Veggie Stew  (Serves 8-10)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 4 hrs,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
It's been cold, rainy and -- thankfully -- really quiet here after the holidays, which means there's plenty of time for me to make warm soup to fill everyone's belly. Even though I've been in less of a rush than usual, that doesn't mean I'm not looking...


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped (use only the white and light green part of the leek)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 cups vegetable stock (you could also use chicken stock)
  • 1 32 oz can chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 16 ounces dried lentils
  • 2 cups kale or swiss chard, chopped


  1. 1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook the onions for 4 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
  3. 3. Place the onion mixture with the remaining ingredients in a crock pot and stir.
  4. 4. Cover and cook the lentils on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 hours or until lentils are tender.
  5. 5. Top with desired accompaniment and serve.
  6. * You can also place all of the ingredients in a large pot over low to medium heat and cover for 90 minutes or until tender.

Accompaniments: plain yogurt, herbed goat cheese, feta cheese, crème fraiche or Parmesan cheese

Crock Pot Lentil Veggie Stew

Nutrition Information

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  1. Anna

    February 20, 2017 at 11:50 am

    My 3 year old daughter absolutely loved this soup! We had it for dinner and she asked for the leftovers for lunch everyday for a week. It was a big hit at our house. My one year old son and husband also devoured it. I made it exactly as described in the recipe except used extra celery and multi-colored carrots in place of the leeks. Definitely putting it into the regular rotation!!

  2. Larry

    January 13, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Wow this was great! I made it using a regular pot and still cooked it for around 4 hrs. The flavors came together near the end, so the extra time was worth it. Amazing with a little parmigiana sprinkled on top.

    • C. McCord

      January 17, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Glad to hear you liked it!

  3. zaeaton

    December 18, 2014 at 5:11 am

    These were great. I skipped the onions and garlic on the stove and skipped the leeks and kale since I didn’t have them and it still turned out great. I do beans and rice every Sunday night and this is getting made again tonight.

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  6. MamaStephie

    August 16, 2014 at 7:13 am

    The lentils are better after another hour of cooking them on high in my crock pot. The taste is awesome but I think I’ll add some potatoes tomorrow and some sausages :) Thanks Catherine!

  7. MamaStephie

    August 16, 2014 at 5:32 am

    I am making this right now :) The taste is awesome!! I got 38 min left (high in crock pot, cooked for 4 hours then) and the lentils are still tough. I upped the time by another hour. Hopefully they will be softer then :)

  8. Brandy

    August 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    The flavor on this was fantastic, but the lentils were very tough. Can I put it on high again tomorrow to soften them up? I don’t think the soup will get eaten this way.

    • zaeaton

      December 18, 2014 at 5:17 am

      I have to cook mine extra time as well. I learned a while back my crock pot is weak. I add some extra liquid and have to stir occasionally through out the day so the lentils on top don’t dry out.

    • Catherine McCord

      August 12, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Hmm very strange that they didn’t cook through! I think it would be okay to cook it again, add more liquid if necessary, as long as the other veggies aren’t too soft!

  9. Laura

    May 6, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Yummmm! I’m going to cook this for tonight but using low sodium stock & “no salt added” tomatoes. Cooking in a cast iron pot. I can always tell if food was cooked in a crock pot because it has this indescribable “off” taste to me. Is that weird? Anyways, it’s a rainy day here & this recipe is just what we need. Thank you. P.S. I cooked your Asian chicken soup recipe last night & your easy chicken nuggets the day before that. <3 1 happy mama & 1 happy toddler.

  10. Kim

    March 26, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Has anyone skipped cooking the onions and garlic on the stove and just thrown them in the crock pot instead? If so, how did it turn out? Would love to have one less dish to wash.

    • Kim

      March 26, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      PS – Don’t use Trader Joes lentils…they disintegrate! Had the same problem with another recipe.

  11. Doree

    March 9, 2014 at 11:35 am


  12. Elizabeth

    February 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I made this today. My only alterations would be more garlic ( we really like garlic here! ) and maybe a few potatoes. I will add them to the leftovers tomorrow and see how it tastes. Also, a bit of sausage might be good as well.

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  15. Hbnyc12

    September 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Do you use low sodium vegetable broth — or regular?

    • catherine

      September 13, 2013 at 1:17 am

      Low sodium!

  16. joyce

    June 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I just made this today and it is absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe to the tee. I will be making this again and again. It is only myself. I have plenty to freeze for future meals. Again, this was an outstanding recipe. Thank you.

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  18. Mary

    March 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Delicious for the whole family – hubby and toddler with some teeth! I made without celery (didn’t have any) and kale (replaced it with spinach).

  19. Lisa

    March 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I just made this recipe tonight. Thought all of the flavors blended nicely. Next time I would omit the Kosher salt as there is sodium in the tomatos. Other than that, I would make this recipe again and again.

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  23. Alika

    December 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    To Diana: I also had the same issue with my crock pot. After 6 hours in the lentils were still inedible. Mine was also on high, I just think that lentils take a long time to cook, and if you want to speed up the process you could soak and even boil the lentils before adding them to the crock pot…. The best and fastest way to cook lentils is a pressure cooker.

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  26. Sarah

    December 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I love this recipe. I am not a fan of leeks, so i added more carrot and celery and cayenne pepper for a kick. SO YUM. Highly recommended. I also diluted the veggie broth a bit so it wasnt as potent. Would make a million times over, and is WAY quicker on the stove.

  27. James Thomson

    December 15, 2012 at 10:49 am


  28. Keren

    November 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I recently bought your cookbook and I love it! This was on the menu tonight along with your banana bread cake for dessert. This stew was DELICIOUS! I substituted fresh spinach for kale and also added some chopped cilantro and parsley and the result was outstanding. All the adults gobbled it up. Unfortunately the kids were not in an adventurous culinary spirit (grrr…) and there were no leftovers for me to offer them tomorrow. Thank you!

  29. Tammy

    October 22, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I made this before with green lentils but recently bought red. Does this alter the flavor much? Any tips!?

    • Sarah

      December 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Hey Lady!

      I made with half green and half red lentils, and it was delish, Either way im sure it will be yummy!

  30. Tammy

    October 22, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Is it okay to use Red Lentils? I picked those up at the store and wanted to give them a try. However, I have made this before with Green lentils and loved it; I don’t want the flavor to drastically change with red. Any tips?

    • catherine

      October 22, 2012 at 11:28 am

      The flavor will not be drastically different! The red lentils have a nuttier flavor than the green. They also cook faster, so the final result will be a softer consistency.

      • Tammy

        October 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm

        Thanks Catherine!

  31. Portrait Photography

    June 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Lentil soup is the ONLY soup I can get my husband to eat. This was super yummy! Husband & daughters gobbled up every bite!

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  34. Mari

    February 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Made this tonight and it was great! My 18-month-old and 4-year-old gobbled it right up and my husband even said, “Mmm, I bet this is like what people used to make all the time before processed foods were invented.”
    Also, I filled two large mason jars with the leftovers – we’ll be taking this in our lunches!
    Thank you so much!

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  36. joyful8581

    February 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I have a really large slow cooker and I still can’t fit the 8 cups of stock!! What size did you use?????

    • catherine

      February 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      I have a 7-quart!

  37. Jen

    February 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    How do you think this would turn out without the tomatoes? My son has a tomato allergy and it seems like almost every crock pot recipe calls for tomatoes.

    • catherine

      February 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Tomatoes add body and flavor, so you’ll see them in almost all stew and soup recipes. You can omit the tomatoes, but you’ll need to increase the stock by about anther cup or two (or you can dilute it with water). Omitting the tomatoes will alter the flavor, but there are still so many other flavors in this stew it should be okay. If you still want the red you can add a diced red bell pepper. That’ll give a different flavor. I hope this helps!

      • Suzanne

        July 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm

        How many fresh tomatoes would you sub for the 32 oz can?

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  39. Diana

    January 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks for all of the easy crock pot recipes. I have a Crock Pot brand crockpot that has a recurring problem – veggies are still firm and recipes are generally not cooked after 4 to 5 hours on high. It seems that the food does not even start to simmer until more than 3 hours in. Is this normal? Anyone else have this problem? I’m wondering if there is a defect in my particular model….like it has the “keep warm” and “high” settings mixed up?

    • Diana

      January 13, 2012 at 2:42 am

      I made this on the stove top tonight and it was excellent – thank you!

  40. Barb

    January 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I put this together this morning and am excited to try! However, there was not enough room in my “standard” sized crock pot for all of the ingredients (had to cut back on the broth), so I’m assuming you used a large crockpot?? I will have to invest! I’m still hoping it will turn out okay. Thanks for the healthy recipes, this should be perfect after our chilly, snowy Colorado day today!

  41. Candy

    November 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    this was great!! my 2 year old kept saying “mmm” and finished every last veggie and drop of soup

  42. Maurine

    November 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Has anyone done this with ham? If so, did you add it before so the flavor would be added to the soup, or stirred in after? Suppposed to “rain” in SoCal this weekend (ahem, yeah right) so this is officially on the menu!

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  45. Savanna

    October 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Just got everything in the crock pot minus 4 cups of stock and my crock pot is about to overflow! Dang, oh well, what better reason to buy a new kitchen gadget!!!

  46. Rachel

    February 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I made this last week, and it was delicious! I will be making this on a regular basis. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful recipes!

  47. Bethany

    February 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Just had this for dinner with some delicious homemade bread. Everyone (even my fussy 6 yr old) loved it!

  48. Becky

    February 28, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I use fire roasted tomatoes and if I want meat I add lean stew meat. It has got rave reviews from my guys.

  49. Diedre

    February 23, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Delicious! I’ve made this twice, and it’s absolutely delicious. This is going to be one of my favorite winter recipes.

  50. Jen

    January 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Good idea with quinoa! I cook with lentils more often than beans because they don’t need to be soaked (and I always forget to soak). Green lentils can usually cook in 30 min and red in 20 or less. I might add a little bit of chopped ham to this tonight.

  51. whitney

    January 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

    This is a fabulous recipe. I did not have time to cook in a crock pot but got a good one hour simmer. I did add ground turkey to the recipe and it has fabulous! My husband and four years olds devoured it. I think I’ll make it again tonight! Thanks for the wonderfully healthy recipe.

  52. Cassie

    January 10, 2011 at 3:28 am

    My favorite site. I have been making my second son baby fold and bow he’s one so I need ideas. This is amazing hope he likes it!

  53. Erica

    January 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I made this tonight, and it was delicious! I don’t have a crock pot – made it in a large pot, brought to a boil uncovered, and then covered and heated over medium heat for about 70-80 minutes. Just wanted to say that it does turn out great without the crock pot too! My two year old even took big spoonfuls, saying ‘yum’! (after I mixed in a little shredded cheddar with hers :))

  54. Nuria

    January 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    In Spain we always soak the lentils the night before and then reduce cooking time considerably. I’ve never used a crock pot but I keep seeing it over an over and considering my busy daily schedule it nay be a good gadget. Could you give me some tips into what to look for? Any brands? Budget should not be a problem within reason
    Thanks a lot

    • Nada

      January 5, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      I think that most crock pots/slow cookers function pretty much the same. They all seem to work really well, and the main difference is that when you pay more, you get more features, like programmable timers, more temperature settings, etc. I think that Rival is the brand that started it all, so it’s the one that a lot of people grew up with, but Cuisinart now has one that you can use to brown food before slow cooking it, which is so cool. I would start with a simple one and if you fall in love with it, as I have with mine, then you can always upgrade. : )

  55. elizabeth

    January 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I made the exact same soup just before I saw this but will definitely be getting some garbed goat cheese for tonight. Great idea!

  56. Jen

    January 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    This looks amazing – I got all the ingredients I didn’t already have on hand yesterday and am going to make it this week for my family. I just re-joined Weight Watchers and figured each serving is only 6 points. Plus, just about every ingredient is a “power food.” Thanks for another wonderful, healthy recipe!

  57. AdrienneM

    January 4, 2011 at 11:14 am

    New subscriber to the site, and I love your healthy crock pot concoctions. Thank you thank you thank you!

  58. Gina

    January 4, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Do you need to soak the lentils first? Would love to make this but want to be sure whether to soak first and for how long if necessary. Thanks.

    • catherine

      January 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      You do not need to soak lentils :)

  59. catherine

    January 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I had 6 people over for dinner last night and everyone lopped it up. I served it on top of quinoa with a scoop of herbed goat cheese on top!

  60. Alison @ Hospitality Haven

    January 3, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Delicious! I always love meatless stews and soups.

  61. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

    January 3, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I’m making lentil stew this week! It’s a winter time favorite. :-)