Vegetarian Sausage, Spinach, and Tomato Lentils is vegetarian and vegan friendly comfort at its best. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down
This dish of hearty lentils, flavor packed sausage, tomatoes, and earthy spinach combine to create a healthy and satisfying meal you are sure to love.
One of my favorite combinations is lentils, tomatoes, and spinach especially when you add some vegetarian sausage to kick up the protein and flavor. This one pot dish is a must make for vegetarians. Lentil lovers also need to try these Barbecue Lentils and Slow Cooker Lentil and Vegetable Soup.
Lentils are one of my favorite options when it comes to meatless meals. Not only are they filling and extremely healthy, but I also love that they cook quickly and keep well in the fridge for leftovers. I have been making this one pot meal for a long time with chicken sausages, and recently began making a vegetarian version that I love just as much. Honestly other than the texture of the sausage, there isn't too much of a difference.
To pack as much flavor as possible in this dish, I like to start with a base of onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. This creates a nice base flavor and ensures the lentils are packed with good flavor. You could throw in some fresh herbs or spices as well but I find as long as you have a good flavorful vegetarian sausage, you are all good.
From there, it's really simple. Brown the sausage, add the remaining ingredients and let everything simmer until the lentils are tender. Depending on the lentils you buy and their freshness, they could take a little longer. Sprouted lentils will cook a little faster. Just check periodically to make sure they don't overcook and get mushy. And if things look dry, add some more broth.
Why aren't my lentils cooking?
This is one of the most common questions I get when it comes to cooking lentils. The most common reason that your lentils are not getting tender is that they are old. Older, dried lentils can take much longer to cook and may actually never fully soften. So next time you are buying lentils, consider trying the bulk bin. These lentils tend to be fresher than the bagged variety.
Another cause can be hard water. Many people who constantly struggle with hard lentils, find if they cook them with filtered water (or broth), the lentils magically soften. There are some minerals in water that can make it harder for lentils to soften.
Two other possible reasons - salt and acid. Some people find that when they salt their lentils before cooking, they don't cook. Others report that acids, like tomatoes, can slow down cooking. In my personal experience, this hasn't been the case (as you see in the recipe), but it could be worth investigating if you struggle with hard lentils.
What is the best vegetarian sausage?
There are tons of delicious vegetarian sausages on the market these days. The best one for you will depend on what flavor you are looking for and the nutritional profile you care about. If you aren't overly worried about fat or calories, the Beyond Meat Italian Sausages are pretty amazing. They taste like the real thing and the texture is even right. I have made these for meat lovers, and they have no idea they are vegetarian.
Another lower option vegetarian sausage would be something like Field Roast or Aldi actually makes a really great vegetarian sausage. You can reach for something sweet, spicy, or in between.
Recipe Ideas for Vegetarian Sausage, Tomatoes, and Lentils
- Switch up the flavors by making this with different spices. You could use Italian seasoning with some red pepper flakes. Go Greek with oregano, cumin, and paprika. For an easy all-purpose spice option, use poultry seasoning. Don't worry - it's vegetarian.
- Instead of fresh cherry tomatoes, change up the flavor with some canned diced tomatoes. If you use diced tomatoes, drain them and stir them in once the lentils have cooked.
- Add some texture to the dish with a can of drained chickpeas or white beans.
- Add freshness with some chopped parsley or basil on top of the finished dish. You can also add some Parmesan or feta cheese.
- Make it spicy with some red pepper flakes or harissa.
- Add some chopped black olives or capers on top for to brighten up the flavors with acid.
Looking for more vegetarian main dishes
Check out all of our amazing vegetarian recipes or start with these favorites.
Vegetarian Sausage, Spinach, and Tomato Lentils
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- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 U carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 U celery rib, chopped
- 1 cup onion, minced
- 3 U garlic cloves, minced
- 4 U vegetarian sausages, sliced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 U tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
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Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
Add the sausages and cook until browned on both sides. Add the spinach, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and cumin. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the lentils and broth. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Check lentils to make sure they are cooked through. Stir and season with salt and pepper as needed.
* 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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