Red Wine Braised Lentils with Spinach & Pearl Onions

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This hearty, healthy stew of Red Wine Braised Lentils with Spinach & Pearl Onions is chock-full of nutrients and rich, earthy flavor. Vegan, gluten-free comfort food at its finest that’s perfect for meal prepping!

This is another republished post with new photos and tweaks to the recipe. I’ve been on more of a clean-eating kick here after the Super Bowl and before indulging again on Valentine’s Day. I learned of this recipe after taking a vegan cooking class a couple years ago. It’s from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers and was included in the lineup of recipes we were making that day. And what a hit! We’re not vegan or vegetarian, but this dish is so packed with flavor and texture it’s a delicious way to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet.

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Making Red Wine Braised Lentils with Spinach & Pearl Onions

The recipe calls for french green lentils which have a deeper earthy flavor than traditional brown. You can certainly use brown if you prefer, and black beluga lentils would work as well. However, red lentils would most likely become too soft in this recipe.

french green lentils in bowl

The stew starts with a mirepoix base of onion, celery, and carrot in a medium-size Dutch oven. I slightly increased the amounts called for in the original recipe and upped the garlic quite a bit as well.

Ingredients in bowls

Tomato paste, dijon mustard, and fresh sage deeply enrich the flavor of the stew.

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Sweet, caramelized pearl onions add a perfect pop of flavor and contrast to balance the robustness of the lentils and red wine. Baby spinach wilts in once the lentils are tender. Sturdier greens like kale or swiss chard can also be used, just cook a little longer until softened.

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Now just grab a ladle and toast up your favorite crusty bread to soak up all that deliciousness. Enjoy!

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Here are more delicious Vegan recipes!

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Red Wine Braised Lentils with Spinach & Pearl Onions

Lentils braised in red wine have a rich, earthy flavor and finished with pearl onions and wilted spinach. Serve with naan, crusty country bread or one that's gluten-free.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword lentil recipe, lentil soup, vegan recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Author Kim Peterson

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup lentils, rinsed (French green, black beluga, or brown)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup carrot, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1 ½ cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • Bread of choice for serving

Instructions

  • Parboil the lentils 5 minutes and drain.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté 5 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Add garlic, tomato paste and sage. Cook 1-2 minutes more, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in wine, water, mustard, lentils, bay leaf, sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add pearl onions; season with salt and pepper. Sauté 5-7 minutes until tender and caramelized, stirring frequently.
  • Once lentils are tender, add the spinach a couple handfuls at a time allowing each addition to wilt before adding the next.
  • Stir pearl onions into the lentils. Remove bay leaf.
  • Serve warm in bowls with toasted bread of choice. Enjoy!

Notes

*Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers

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