Sausage, Spinach, and Tomato Lentils
Comfort food at its best with creamy lentils cooked with sausage, tomatoes, garlic, and spinch all cooked in one pot. This cozy dish is the perfect healthy dinner packed with protein, fiber, and veggies.
There is so much to love about this hearty lentil and sausage dish. It's all cooked in a single pot for easy cleanup, it's made with affordable ingredients, and it is so flavorful. It's one of my favorite ways to eat lentils, they are just so tasty.
It’s been getting cooler at night lately, which is a welcome change from the sweaty summer nights that have been in full swing. It’s also been a nice change of pace for meals since it’s not as painful to turn on the stove or consider a warm meal.
While my original intention for this dish was to make a lentil salad with sausage, I ended up making this comforting bowl of creamy lentils, spicy sausage, tomatoes, and spinach. It’s all made in one pot (yay for easy cleanup!) and it freezes great.
I like to make a double batch and keep leftovers for quick lunches. Lentils keep really well in the fridge and reheat beautifully. In fact, if you love lentils, you won't want to miss these Madras Lentils and Lentil Coconut Curry.
What You'll Need
- Green or brown lentils: This recipe is meant to be made with dry brown or green lentils. Red lentils will become too mushy as they cook. You could swap in another grain but you would need to adjust the ratios of liquids to grains as well as the cooking time.
- Sausage: This recipe works with almost any type of sausage links or ground sausage. To keep things light, use chicken or turkey sausage. Pork sausage or smoked sausage works as well. Either raw or precooked sausage can be used.
- Aromatics: Carrots, celery, onions, and garlic are all used to build flavor in this dish. Lentils can be bland and adding these flavor builders helps make the entire dish flavorful. You could add bell peppers as well to sneak in some extra veggies.
- Spinach: Greens are a great addition to this dish for color, nutrition, and to add some fresh flavor. The spinach will wilt right into the dish. If you use a heartier green like kale, it will need to cook longer.
- Tomatoes: Fresh or canned diced tomatoes can be used in this recipe. Drain canned tomatoes if you are using them. One note, if the lentils are older, the tomatoes can cause them to cook more slowly. In this case, add them before serving.
- Spices: Thyme, oregano, and cumin add an herbaceous, slightly smoky flavor to the lentils. Feel free to swap in any dried herbs you like or have on hand.
- Broth: To add one last layer of flavor, use broth instead of water to cook the lentils. Chicken broth or vegetable broth work well.
Customize This Tasty Lentil and Sausage Recipe
This recipe is even to customize and make your own. Here are some ideas.
- Make this dish spicy by adding some red pepper flakes along with the other spices.
- Finish this dish with a sprinkling of Parmesan, feta, or goat cheese.
- Add fresh herbs like basil or parsley before serving to add some fresh, vibrant flavor.
- Swap in different vegetables. Add sauteed mushrooms, kale, bell peppers, or cauliflower.
- Try this dish with different flavors of sausage. Try it with sweet Italian sausage, chorizo, spinach feta sausage, kielbasa, or andouille sausage.
- Add a can of chickpeas or white beans for even plant based protein.
How to Store Leftover Lentils
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in a small pot over low heat or in the microwave.
These also freeze well. Let the lentils come to room temperature, then store in an airtight container. Let defrost overnight in the fridge and then gently reheat, adding extra broth if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to the most common question about making this sausage and lentil dish.
Why are my lentils still hard after cooking?
Sometimes you may find that your lentils are still hard after 30-45 minutes of simmering. This is usually caused by very old lentils, which take longer to cook. For the best results, make sure to cook with fresh lentils.
Can this be turned into soup?
Absolutely! Just cook this dish with extra broth and it can easily be turned into a soup or stew.
Can these lentils be cooked with vegetarian sausage?
This dish works with vegetarian sausage. Just make sure to check the spice level and seasoning since vegetarian sausage won't release as much flavor into the dish as it cooks.
Sausage, Spinach, and Tomato Lentils
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- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 cup onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 chicken sausages, sliced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
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- Nutritional Information
* 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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