Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Stew

Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Stew (Slow Cooker)

This is such a flavorful, high-fiber stew, whether you keep it vegetarian or prefer to add chicken. It also makes a lot, so plan on leftovers or freeze it for later.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Indian, Vegetarian
Keyword Butternut squash and red lentil stew slow cooker
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 10


  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup red lentils rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth or chicken bone broth
  • 6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs optional
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach or kale leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream or whole milk Greek yogurt optional


  1. In a slow cooker, combine butternut squash, carrots, onions, red lentils, and seasonings, and  broth (and add chicken if you are using it). Turn to low and cook for about 8 hours.
  2. Stew will appear watery; add cilantro and stir well. Check for additional seasoning if necessary.

  3. Ladle into bowls and top with several fresh spinach leaves and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, if desired.

Recipe Notes

This stew is fantastic as a hearty vegetarian entree, or is also delicious with the addition of about 2 pounds of boneless, skinless, chicken thighs.  Either way, top with a dollop of sour cream or whole milk Greek yogurt and serve with a simple salad on the side.


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