Slow Cooker Lentil and Spicy Sausage Stew

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    The most flavorful stews you'll have this season! It doesn't look like much but the flavors are UNREAL!! All made in the slow cooker :)

    When I go to The Container Store, I just want to say, “take all my money.” It’s seriously Target’s evil twin sister. Every time I walk in either of these stores, I just want to buy all the things, but The Container Store brings out this OCD need in me and makes me feel like my house is completely filthy because it’s not contained and organized into containers and racks. Oh, and their custom closets? Gahhhh. If I won the lottery, I’d probably hire someone from The Container Store to custom redo my closets and re-organize my house.

    I wanted all these baskets and containers but I was like, ok, in reality, where would these go in our house and do we realllly need these? The Container Store is a dangerous place to be sometimes!

    The most flavorful stews you'll have this season! It doesn't look like much but the flavors are UNREAL!! You need this on your dinner table ASAP!

    The most flavorful stews you'll have this season! It doesn't look like much but the flavors are UNREAL!! You need this on your dinner table ASAP!

    One of my good friends gave me this recipe and she called it the ‘panty/boxer dropper’ and I wasn’t about to title the recipe that and get flagged for having an adult website, haha. I thought I’d mention it though because while this doesn’t look like much, it has got SO MUCH FLAVOR and it’ll be one of the best things you eat this season. I honestly was skeptical because the ingredient list didn’t sound all that enticing and after I had it cooking for a couple hours, the smell was outrageous. I tried a spoonful and I think my eyes rolled to the back of my head and I let out a groan. It was the best effing slow cooker dish I’ve had in a while. Holy yum.

    The spicy pork sausage is definitely what gives this dish a lot of flavor so I definitely wouldn’t omit that (sorry vegetarians!). This is even better the next day, too. Leftovers were something we were looking forward to. Ahh, you have to make this slow cooker lentil and spicy sausage stew to see what I’m talking about!!

    The most flavorful stews you'll have this season! It doesn't look like much but the flavors are UNREAL!! You need this on your dinner table ASAP!

    Slow Cooker Lentil and Spicy Sausage Stew

    The most flavorful stews you'll have this season - all made in the slow cooker!
    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Cook Time: 4 hrs
    Total Time: 4 hrs 10 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 6
    Calories: 285kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!


    • 1/2 pound hot pork sausage
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
    • 3 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1/2 pound bag of lentils, rinsed
    • 3 3/4 cups chicken stock + more if needed
    • 3 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
    • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


    • Add pork sausage to a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage and break it up into pieces with your spatula or wooden spoon. Add the onion and cook until just softened (you don't need to cook fully).
    • Remove from heat add to your slow cooker.
    • Add the sweet potatoes, celery, lentils, and chicken stock to the slow cooker. Stir to mix.
    • Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
    • Stir in the spinach leaves and wilt them. Season with salt and pepper.
    • If your stew is thick and you want to thin it out, add a little more chicken stock to it until you get the desired consistency.
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


    Nutrition Facts
    Slow Cooker Lentil and Spicy Sausage Stew
    Amount Per Serving (1 Serving)
    Calories 285 Calories from Fat 135
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 15g23%
    Carbohydrates 24g8%
    Fiber 4g16%
    Sugar 6g7%
    Protein 12g24%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. 
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Chiou
    Dinner for Two Cookbook
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    Recipe Rating


  • marla says:

    I actually made lentils last night. Love ’em!! Great healthy dish :)

  • Maria says:

    Great meal for a cold day!

  • Jenny Flake says:

    Lentil Soup is one of my favorites!! Love the flavors here! Mmm!

  • Tieghan says:

    I am all over this!! Love a good healthy twist on cozy, comfort foods!

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

    Made in a slow cooker and has a ton of flavor – that sounds like a winner recipe to me! It needs to happen soon! Pinned!

  • Kathryn says:

    This sounds great – the perfect dish for a cold day with just the right amount of heat!

  • I love that you called the container store Target’s evil twin sister! Agreed.

    And this slow cooker lentil stew looks awesome. I love that it’s a slow cooker recipe!

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain says:

    The Container Store is an OCD persons mecca. Love it! And this stew, totally actioning it!

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    How insanely delicious does this look? Wow!

  • sharana @ Living The Sweet Life Blog says:

    Mmmm .. could there be anything more comforting on a cold day?!?!

  • Raquel says:

    Looks great! I am trying to use my crock pot more this winter so I will give this a try. Yes. I love the container store also. I just converted my shoes to their clear boxes and I LOVE it!

  • Taylor @ greens & chocolate says:

    I love dishes like this! Lentils are a personal favorite and I love that there is spicy pork sausage all through this dish…putting on my dinner list ASAP!

  • Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says:

    I am the exact same way in the container store! I am an organizational freak! Also, love the “original” name for this recipe…hilarious!!

  • Crystal | Apples & Sparkle says:

    This is such a great cold weather dish! So comforting, love it!

  • Linda | Brunch with joy says:

    Julie, you’ve totally changed my perspective about lentil. I think this one needs to be on my menu this week. Yum!

  • Heather Christo says:

    I have GOT to get out my slow cooker!!! This looks absolutely wonderful!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    A custom closet store would be a bad thing for me. I love bins and baskets too so I should probably be glad that there isn’t a container store nearby, huh? ;) LOVE the flavors in this stew and obviously love it even more for the slow cooker!

  • Julie @ HostessAtHeart says:

    I can’t wait to try this! It sounds delicious! I’ve never cooked lentils before but have wanted to.

  • Gaby says:

    YUM!!! This is perfect cold weather food!

  • Jennifer Farley says:

    Perfect comfort food for this time of year.

  • Tracy | Pale Yellow says:

    This looks like my kind of dinner! Lentils are a winter staple and you can’t go wrong with an easy slower cooker meal. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kat says:

    What kind of spicy pork sausage do you recommend using? Italian? Andouille? Chorizo? This looks so good by the way, and my boyfriend loves lentil stew so I’ll definitely be making this!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Kat, I just bought regular spicy pork sausage. I bought it at Wegmans and it just came like how the Jimmy Dean sausages come (in that thick log shape with staples at the 2 ends) and it said “spicy pork sausage” on it.

  • Ryan says:

    I made this tonight…it was FANTASTIC! Perfect on a cold Wyoming night. I used chorizo and it turned out great. Next time I will probably use spicy sausage, just for texture. The chorizo crumbled a little bit too fine for me (I like bigger chunks of meat in my stew).

    I will definitely be making this again, thanks Julie!

    • Julie says:

      Awesome!! So glad you enjoyed it :) I love this stew!

  • Aida says:

    This is one stew even my fiance might like! As long as it’s spicy :) Do you serve it alone, or with rice/pasta?

    • Julie says:

      I serve it alone

  • nancy faith says:

    I do not like sweet potatoes… may I ask if reg white potatoes be substituted? Thank you.

    • Julie says:

      Sure, regular potatoes can be substituted!

  • Claudia says:

    Hi! 2 Questions:
    1. Can I use sweet sausage? (have it in the freezer already)
    2. Can I cook on LOW for longer?


    • Julie says:

      Hi, 1. sure, but can’t guarantee the taste of the overall dish and 2. yup, you can cook it on low for 5-6 hours.

  • Jane says:

    Can I use navy beans instead of lentils?

    • Julie says:

      I’ve never tried it that way but it’d probably work!

  • Christina says:

    Made this yesterday in a slow cooker (on low for 9 hours instead of high for 4). Turned out with tons of flavor–so delicious! I also added some fresh rosemary and thyme I had on hand and it was a great touch. Thanks for sharing this winner!

  • Connie Tebbe says:

    I made this, eating it right now as I type. Its absolutely perfect, just like in the picture. I made it exactly word for word. The spicy sausage with the sweet potato….O…M…G.

  • Lisa B says:

    Prep time 10 mins??? Lol. Do you buy your food pre-chopped?!!! It’s in process. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • Julie says:

      Haha, no, I just chop pretty fast :) but hope you enjoy regardless!

  • Cary R. says:

    I noticed there’s a difference between the Pinterest site and your blog on the amount of lentils. Is it one 2-lb bag or 1/2 (0.5) lb? Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      It’s 1/2 pound bag. Just for future knowledge, Pinterest is just an aggregation site and they’re usually highly inaccurate when it comes to recipes. You should always come to the original source for the right amounts in recipes! :)

      • Cary R. says:

        So glad I asked!! Can you imagine the disaster if I dumped 2 lbs of lentils into this?!

        • Julie says:

          Haha, oh gosh, that would’ve been overflowing! I’m glad you asked too :) I hope you enjoy!

  • Nicole Pittaluga says:

    If I’m making ahead for freezer meal exchange, should I brown sausage and onion, let cool and then combine ingredients in freezer bag? I was thinking of giving each person a carton of chicken stock on the side instead of putting in freezer bag. What do you think?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, I would definitely let cool and then combine in a freezer bag. What a great idea!

  • kip says:

    looks wonderful! I just made a lentil and black eyed pea stew in my crockpot.left on low for over ten hours and lentils were still crunchy…is there a trick or process to getting lentils soft? thanks!

    • Julie says:

      over 10 hours and the lentils were still crunchy? wow! to be honest, i’m surprised by this because that really shouldn’t happen. when i made my lentils, by hour 4, my lentils almost couldn’t hold its own shape and about to turn to mush. i would say maybe for you, soak your lentils overnight and then cook them.

  • Elyse says:

    I made this a few weeks back and forgot to comment— but it was really really delicious! I totally neglected to drain the browned sausage and it ended up a bit greasy, but still really great (perhaps even tastier because of that reason, haha, oops!). I also cooked mine longer and on low (about 7 hours). Turned out perfect!

    • Julie says:

      Awesome!! Thanks for the feedback!

  • Mary says:


  • Scott says:

    I made this stew, following the recipe exactly as written. It was FANTASTIC — I wouldn’t change a single thing! Thank you for this delicious and easy recipe, which is now one of my favorites and definitely in my regular rotation. I can’t wait to take it to a potluck — it will be a crowd pleaser!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for letting me know!

  • Christy says:

    Hi Julie this looks so good! Curious could I sub acorn squash cubes for the sweet potato? I Don’t know how they do in slow cookers? I have one sitting in cold storage that needs used up but have never had one that I haven’t just made into soup and I need to branch out.. ha!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yes, you can definitely use sweet potato!

  • 5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify Mealtime