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Slow Cooker Lentil Stew

By: Jeff K

Category: Soups and Stews

A slow cooker is a great tool for those busy nights when you don’t have time to cook. Get it going in the morning and a hearty stew will be waiting when you get home.

  • Recipe
  • My Notes
  • Nutrition Facts
  • Ratings & Comments (20)


2 cups chopped leeks
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery root
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cups chopped kale
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup red lentils
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato paste (see note)
4 cups no-salt-added or low sodium vegetable broth
3 cups water
6 cups spinach or baby kale


Combine leeks, carrots, celery root, celery, mushrooms, kale, garlic, lentils, black pepper and red pepper flakes and place in a slow cooker. Stir together the tomato paste, vegetable broth and water and add to the slow cooker.

Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Stir in spinach or kale before serving.

Note: Select tomato products packaged in glass or cartons. These materials do not contain BPA.

My Notes: (Click Edit to enter your notes about this recipe)

Serves 4

Per Serving:

Calories 342
Protein 21 g
Carbohydrates 66 g
Sugars 12 g
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 180 mg
Fiber 21.8 g
Beta-Carotene 15936 ug
Vitamin C 181 mg
Calcium 309 mg
Iron 8.4 mg
Folate 337 ug
Magnesium 153 mg
Potassium 1909 mg
Zinc 3.8 mg
Selenium 15.2 ug

My Rating: 
(click on a star to select your rating)


04/07/2015 03:52 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

If you don't have a slow cooker would it be possible to make this recipe using a stovetop?


04/07/2015 04:26 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

Iris - Yes you can cook this stove top, carefully on a low low simmer and using a dutch oven... basically any heavy cast iron round stew pot with tight fitting lid (this duplicates the heat build up that happens in a slow cooker) - and most Le Creuset pots will do. Time can be reduced by 1-2 hrs but DO NOT be tempted to lift the lid to see how its getting on - this will add 30 minutes to cooking time and slow down the tenderizing of the vegetables.

Wendy Lou

04/07/2015 06:31 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

How about in an oven - could you bring to boil stove top and then insert in 325 degree oven for an hour or how long would you recommend? thank you.


04/07/2015 08:05 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

sounds fantastic, I'll try it tomorrow!


04/08/2015 09:27 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

I am curious. Many recipes call for freshly ground black pepper. My shopping is limited to my local Kroger. I am not sure that they have the kind of pepper that can be "freshly" ground. If they do, I do not own a grinder of any kind. Is it okay just to use regular black pepper (the kind found in an ordinary salt/pepper shaker on the family table)? The Kroger brand is labeled as "pure ground" black pepper. Is there something harmful about this kind of processed pepper? What's the nutritional difference?

Also, I don't think the produce section of my store carries leeks or celery root. They have vegetable broth, but it is certainly not low-sodium (everything seems to be loaded with sodium). What are some substitutes that I could use for these items?

This sounds like a good recipe, but my shopping resources are limited. Thanks to anyone for suggestions.

CintiBonnie replies:

11/30/2020 07:23 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

The only place I can consistently find Low-Sodium broths is Whole Foods.  They have in Vegetable and Fake Chicken.



04/08/2015 11:08 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

PABR, regular black pepper is fine. To sub vegetable broth just use water and add Veggie Zest or Mrs. Dash seasoning or Veggie Base for flavor.


04/08/2015 12:35 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

I am making this for dinner. Fortunately, I live near Wegmans. They have an awesome produce department and large selection of organic foods and produce. I was able to get all of the ingredients. My slow cooker automatically switches to a warming temperature at the end of the cooking time. I am anticipating comming home later today to dinner. I will let you know how it tastes.


04/09/2015 12:37 PM

Rated this recipe:

This was the first time I used celery root! The stew was alright, but there is nothing special about it. I feel like it could benefit from additional seasonings.

mstehlin replies:

10/23/2017 07:02 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

I agree, it was bland ... and made much more than 4 servings


04/09/2015 02:24 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

On pepper grinders: All the stores I go to now have these disposable pepper grinders in the seasonings department. I've experimented with different flavors, but I still prefer the black peppercorn grinders.


04/10/2015 04:37 PM

Rated this recipe:

My husband made this yesterday. It smelled so good when I got home I could hardly wait to try it. We loved the stew. 4 1/2 stars in our book!
This comment was last edited on 04/10/2015 04:40 PM


04/10/2015 11:38 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

PABR, make your own veggie stock! I think there's a recipe in the database, but what I do is save all my veggie trimmings, carrot tops, onion skins, cabbage core, kale stems, pepper cores and stems, lettuce cores, everything, washed and bagged for several days. Then boil gently for about 6 hours, remove veggie matter, and cook the broth down so it fits in one or two quart containers. Done, and no salt!!


04/13/2015 10:28 PM

Rated this recipe:

I made this last week. It was delicious though I liked it better the first day than the second. I used everything it called for except my Farmers' Market was out of celery root for the season so I got kohlrabi instead and used that--it worked fine. I used 1/8 tsp green chili powder instead of red pepper flakes and I added fresh dill and oregano and dried cumin. I cooked it 5 1/2 hours on high in my crock pot and it wasn't done so we put it in a big pot and cooked it one hour more on top of the stove. It made 7 servings of 1 1/2 cups each. It was nice and thick and very filling. I didn't need any evening snacks on the two nights we ate this!


04/23/2015 10:32 PM

Rated this recipe:

This comment was last edited on 04/23/2015 10:34 PM


04/27/2015 01:14 PM

Rated this recipe:

Very good and flavorful! I think I will add more lentils next time, maybe 1 1/2 cups. I think low sodium broth works better than no salt, the little bit of salt seems to enhance the flavors.


05/31/2016 10:13 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

I hope this isn't a silly question - I am new to cooking this way. Should the lentils be cooked first?

Linda P. replies:

06/01/2016 09:25 AM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

No, the lentils do not need to be cooked first. They will cook in the slow cooker.


02/10/2017 08:03 PM

Rated this recipe:

Very good, although my multicooker cooked this mixture well in under 4 hours. My grocer was out of celery root, so I'll have to try it again when it's available.  (I added an additional half-cup of celery, chopped).


02/27/2017 01:18 PM

Rated this recipe:

Thanks for the recipe.

One problem I have with some of the recipes here is that carrots and leeks do not grow in cups.
It's hard to know how many carrots fit a cup, so it will be nice if you can indicate the vegetable units to use, otherwise it is hard to follow the exact quantities.



10/25/2017 09:53 PM

Rated this recipe:

This was AWFUL!  I couldn't eat it.  I think the kale was the biggest problem.  I really can't stand kale, but the flavor made me want to gag.  I won't be making this again.


09/24/2018 12:10 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

Will try it tonight, excited!


03/09/2023 07:04 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

I'm confused - the first psrt says add kale with all the ohter veggies to the slow cooker. Then the second part says to add the ksle after cooking is complete. Please clairfy.  Thanks 

Linda P. replies:

03/14/2023 03:01 PM

Rated this recipe: (no rating)

Regular chopped kale is cooked with the other ingredients. After cooking, spinach or baby kale is stirred in right before serving so it wilts in the hot liquid.