Nutritious and flavor-packed Moroccan Lentil Stew tastes simply awesome! This hearty and comforting plant based recipe is full of lentils, chunky vegetables, earthy Mediterranean spices and lemon juice.
You don’t have to be Vegan to fall in love with this delicious meatless Moroccan Lentils. Similar to Mushroom Stew , Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Stew and Creamy Potato Soup, this one pot meal is perfect for busy weeknight family dinners.
The inspiration to make this Moroccan Lentil Stew came from an Artisan Spice Store at Chelsea Market. Pranjali and I love to hang out in Chelsea Market whenever I visit New York.
We love to sample the food from around the world, shop in those cute stores and bring back happy souvenirs and some exotic spices from the Spice Market. On one such visit, we got the Moroccan Curry Powder. It smelled heavenly.
Cinnamon was one of the main ingredients that was different than most other curry powders we have had sampled before. With the sweeter note of that flavor, we decided to use it with sweet potatoes.
Lentils were obvious choice to bulk it up. And there my friends, the Moroccan Lentil Stew happened in our kitchen. Full of flavors and hearty texture.
As is this recipe is vegan, gluten free and soy free but very easy to adapt to your dietary preferences. And it is a perfect warm, Feel Good food.
In middle of dead winter season where temperatures are struggling to stay above freezing, you need this comfort food. The chunky vegetables and lentils in this Lentil Stew will do their job to bring happiness.
One sure sign you’re cooking something really amazing is when the aroma fills your home and makes it smell magical. This is one of those recipes.
Onions, garlic, cinnamon and curry powder become incredibly fragrant while cooking. You won’t be surprised if folks get intrigued for what’s cooking even before dinnertime.
We’re talking meaty lentils, soft melt in your mouth sweet potatoes, sweet carrots and rich -uber flavorful gravy. This meal is full of plant protein, fiber and nutrients.
Based on your texture preference, you could easily make it soup, stew or chili. Add a bit more liquid to make it Moroccan Lentil Soup.
Hubby and boys like to call it a Chili but since I made it with chunky veggie pieces, I am settling for stew. What do you guys think?
Similar to Lentil Quinoa Soup, and Lentil Salad this Protein packed lentil recipe has become a regular on our dinner rotation and lunch boxes. I am sure it will be yours too.
Veggies – Onion, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, spinach – you can use what you have easily available. Chopped fresh cilantro is perfect for garnish.
Lentils – I have used Green lentils or Brown lentils to make this soup like stew. You can also use red lentils but texture will be more mushy.
Olive oil, Salt
Spices and Seasoning : garlic, lemon juice, Bay leaf, Curry Powder, Cumin and coriander powder, 21 seasoning salute or any other all purpose seasoning blend, turmeric powder, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg
Garnishes : Chopped cilantro or parsley , lemon wedges, jalapeño peppers for garnish
The curry powder and it’s specific aroma makes the Moroccan Cuisine really stand out. To get that authentic flare , these earthy spices play a huge role. I am a spice aficionado, so I like to collect and experiment with unique spice combinations.
However, for all practical purposes, you may not have these spices at home. Don’t worry about it. This recipe includes close substitutes that are easily available.
Moroccan curry powder Substitute : I often use regular curry powder + ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder. I highly recommend you buy a quality Curry Powder. Comes in handy to jazz up variety of cuisines.
Ras-el-hanout is frequently used spice in Mediterranean cooking. It’s a ground blend with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and several other spices.
If you have any all purpose seasoning, start with that. My suggested substitute for this spice is to use cumin-coriander powder + 21 seasoning salute ( Trader Joe’s brand)
Sumac is another frequently used spice in Mediterranean cooking. It has a tart flavor to it. I use a good squeeze of lemon instead.
Instant Pot Directions
Turn on the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot and add the oil. When heated, add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until slightly translucent.
Add garlic and continue to sauté for a minute. Add carrots, celery, sweet potatoes and bell pepper. Dump all the ingredients listed under the seasoning. Mix well.
Add washed lentils. Stir well so everything is coated and mixed well. Stir in vegetables broth or water. Check the taste of the seasoning.
Press Cancel. Close the InstantPot lid with vent in sealing position. Select MANUAL and choose 12 minutes. InstantPot will come to pressure and do the cooking.
When it beeps after cooking, wait for 10 minutes on KEEP WARM timer and then release the leftover pressure manually. Carefully open the lid.
Stir in spinach and lemon juice . Mix well. Using a ladle, pour the stew into each serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro or parsley leaves. Serve warm. Enjoy your delicious creation!!
This recipe also is freezer friendly. The infused spices make the stew taste even better the next day so leftovers are welcome. So you can easily double the recipe. It also is perfect for school or work lunches the next day. You might have to add little water while re-heating since the stew will thicken over time.
★ If you make this MOROCCAN LENTIL STEW RECIPE do let us know how you like it by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below.
Moroccan Lentil Stew – Instant Pot
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed into chunks
- 1 cup packed spinach – fresh or frozen
- 1 red bell pepper- chopped
- 1.5 cup green or brown lentils washed and rinsed
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and lemon wedges for serving
- Chopped cilantro or parsley and jalepeno peppers for garnish
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon coriander-cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon curry powder or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon 21 seasoning salute all purpose seasoning mix
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper per taste
Useful Kitchen Tools / gadgets
Instant Pot Directions
- Turn on the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot and add the oil. When heated, add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until slightly translucent.
- Add garlic and continue to saute for a minute. Add carrots, celery, sweet potatoes and bell pepper. Dump all the ingredients listed under the seasoning. Mix well. Add washed lentils. Stir well so everything is coated and mixed well. Stir in vegetables broth or water. Check the taste of the seasoning.
- Press Cancel. Close the InstantPot lid with vent in sealing position. Select MANUAL and choose 12 minutes. InstantPot will come to pressure and do the cooking.
- When it is done cooking, wait for 10 minutes on KEEP WARM timer and then release the leftover pressure manually. Carefully open the lid.
- Stir in spinach and lemon juice . Mix well. Using a ladle, pour the stew into each serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro or parsley leaves. Serve warm. Enjoy your delicious creation!!
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Can i use canned lentils as well?
Thank you in advance
Yes you can. You may want to add them in after cooking sweet potatoes otherwise they may get too mushy. Enjoy making the recipe. Thanks much !
This looks yummy! I have all the spices for this recipe in my pantry except for the 21 salute and coriander-cumin powder, can I replace them with Ras-el-hanout as I have that and would you know what would be the quantity?
Thank you very much in advance!
That will work very well. I would use 1 teaspoon
I really loved the stew. I used 2 cups of lentils because that was what the package I had was. It came out nice and thick. When i went to put the leftovers up it had thickened almost to a solid. So when i reheated them i used coconut milk to thin it. That added a really nice touch to.
So happy to hear that. Yes the stew freezes well too. Additional coconut milk sounds yumm. Will try
Would it be a good idea to soak lentils?
Making this soon. Thank you.
You certainly can . From nutritional stand point it’s a good idea to use soaked beans and lentils for easier absorption. If you are time crunched, you can just rinse and use them. Lentils cook fairly smoothly.
What a healthy stew and I love all the spices used, especially the cinnamon. This is healthy winter comfort food personified!
Oh my goodness this stew is incredible! I’m all about my IP pot lately and this stew was PERFECT!