For some reason I never really considered making or eating lentils until about three years ago. They weren't something my family ever cooked and I didn't really know what to do with them. And quite honestly I thought of them as mushy and flavorless. However I had a roommate who loved lentils and she totally turned things around. She made the most delicious lentil stews and soups and today's recipe is inspired by all the amazing creamy lentils she used to make. These lentils are cooked with onion, carrots, celery, garlic, butternut squash, and herbs to boost the flavor. Then they are finished with spinach and some half and half to make them nice and creamy. Delicious and easy.
Creamy Lentils, Squash, and Spinach
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- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 U onion, diced
- 2 U carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 U celery ribs, chopped
- 2 U cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups vegetable broth (possibly more during cooking)
- 1 U bay leaf
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 4 cups spinach
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 8-10 minutes until tender and becoming translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the lentils, squash, broth, thyme, oregano, and paprika. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes until lentils and butternut squash are tender. Add more broth if needed so that lentils are just covered by liquid for most of the cooking process.
Turn off the heat and stir in spinach and half and half. Season generously with salt and pepper.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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