Lentils with Sausage and Kale is a spicy, satisfying, and incredibly delicious one-pot stew that is great for leftovers.
- About Lentils with Sausage
- How to Make Lentils with Sausage
- Recipe Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Lentils with Sausage
This recipe is one I think about regularly. In fact, if I had to pick favorite recipes from the 700+ options on my blog, this would make the top 10!
The sausage and jalapeño add a spicy hint but the veggies & lentils help mellow out the flavor. Lemon juice at the end really brightens the dish, so I highly recommend it.
This Lentils with Sausage and Kale dish will become your new favorite meal.
Spicy, tasty, and incredibly satisfying thanks to all the fiber from the lentils and veggies. There's just enough sausage to give that spicy sausage flavor but not too much.
It's simple enough. Brown the sausage, sauté the veggies, then add in your broth & lentils and cook for a little while.
When the broth has all but absorbed, stir in the kale and cooked sausage. And yum!
This dish is filling & flavorful. The bonus is that it gets even better as it sits in your fridge, so it's great for making ahead of time or for leftovers. Plus, it freezes well.
Sausage: I like using the link sausage, but ground sausage will work just as well. I typically buy chicken sausage because it isn't as rich, but you can certainly use pork sausage. A flavored sausage will also be fine; I like the andouille chicken sausage.
Veggies: The veggies used (other than kale) are onions, carrots, and celery. Any kind of onion is fine, and you can substitute one of the veggies for a bell pepper if desired. Honestly, you don't really taste any of these veggies because they kind of melt into the sauce.
Seasoning: Garlic, jalapeño, a bay leaf, and salt are all you need to season this lentils with sausage dish. Garlic powder and red pepper flakes can be used in their place. I'm a big fan of bay leaves because it adds a layer that you can't really find in other spices, but you can skip it if needed. You can also add fresh parsley or cilantro at the end, but that's completely optional.
Kale: Admittedly, kale isn't my favorite. I like to use lacinato (or dinosaur kale or tuscan kale) because it has a less intense kale-flavor. However, you can use any type of kale because the sausage, other veggies, and jalapeño give this tons of flavor that the kale flavor isn't very strong. Another option is to use another type of fresh green that you like (ex: collard greens).
Lentils: I prefer using green lentils since they hold up a little better than red lentils. If you only have red lentils, they will work. But you might want to be cautious not to cook this for too long or your lentils will have a softer texture.
Broth: Any broth (vegetable, beef, or chicken) is fine, and water works equally well.
Lemon: I love the fresh lemon at the end, but when I made this for my family, my niece preferred it without lemon. Totally up to you.
Cost of Recipe
- sausage 8 ounces: $3.36
- onion 1 medium: $0.50
- carrots 1 large: $0.20
- celery 2 stalks: $0.28
- jalapeño 1 small: $0.20
- garlic 2 cloves: $0.12
- salt 1/4 teaspoon: $0.01
- broth 4 cups: $2.14
- lentils 1 1/2 cups: $1.47
- bay leaf 1: $0.10
- kale 4 cups: $0.43
- lemon juice 2 tablespoons: $0.25
TOTAL COST: $9.06 or $2.27/serving (Based on San Diego Sprouts 2021)
Note this is not the recipe; it's simply to show the cost breakdown of ingredients. Be sure to scroll down to the full recipe to see the specific ingredients and directions.
How to Make Lentils with Sausage
Time needed: 55 minutes.
Preparing Lentils with Sausage and Kale is very simple and made in one pot.
- Brown the sausage in the pot.
Remove and set aside. If there is a lot of grease, wipe some out. No need to scrape out any bits of sausage that are on the bottom of the pot. This will give it flavor.
- Sauté the veggies in the pot.
- Add the garlic and jalapeño.
Stir for one minute.
- Stir in lentils, salt, and water.
- Add bay leaf, stir, and simmer.
- Add kale and cooked sausage.
- Stir and cook until kale wilts.
Sausage: Any sausage will work. Using a flavored sausage will alter the flavor.
Jalapeño: Use red pepper flakes in place of the jalapeño if needed. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more if desired.
Garlic: Fresh garlic is preferred, but garlic powder is fine. Use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in place of the fresh.
Alternative Prep & Cooking
If you want this to be more like a stew, you can use 4 cups broth and add an extra 2 cups of water.
How to Make Allergy Friendly
This lentil sausage stew is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and egg-free (make sure the sausage you buy is free of these ingredients if needed).
Make Ahead Ideas
This is great to make ahead of time because it's similar to a stew or soup where the longer it has time to sit together, the better it gets. Prepare as directed and reheat when ready to enjoy.
Keep this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 4 weeks in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
This Lentils with Sausage and Kale dish is delicious and full of nutrients like vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. The lentils give you a hefty dose of fiber, and when combined with the sausage, you get a nice amount of protein to keep you full and satisfied.
One of my favorite parts of this lentil sausage stew dish is that it has tons of vegetables, like kale, onions, and garlic, giving this dish antioxidants and phytochemicals that help you feel good from the inside out.
What to Serve with Lentils with Sausage and Kale
This is really a complete meal in one thanks to the copious amount of veggies. It's quite filling, but if you feel like it needs a side, you can serve with a slice of bread or cornbread.
Ever find a recipe and think "oh that looks ok..." but then it turns out AMAZING?
This is that recipe. Trying to find a use for the leftover sausage in my fridge to pair with the random pantry ingredients I have (lentils or beans or something like that), I found this recipe from Serious Eats. And whew am I glad I tried it!
The fact that it's made it one pot really sold me because cooking everything in one pot makes life much easier. And then this lentils sausage kale dish turned out to be absolutely perfect. HIGHLY recommend!
MORE LENTIL RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- Lentil Chili
- Instant Pot Lentil Curry
- Roasted Vegetable Lentil Salad
- Salsa Lentil Soup
- Caprese Lentil Salad
Lentils with Sausage and Kale
- 8 ounces sausage sliced
- 1 1/4 cup onions diced (1 medium)
- 1 cup carrots diced (1 large)
- 1 cup celery diced (2 stalks)
- 2 TBSP jalapeño minced (1 small)
- 2 tsp garlic minced (2 cloves)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 3/4 cups no salt added chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups lentils rinsed & sorted
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups kale chopped (1/3 bunch)
- 2 TBSP lemon juice 1/2 lemon
- 2 TBSP parsley for serving
- Heat a pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook for about 5-7 minutes until browned. Flip and brown the other side. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.
- Add diced onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Sauté veggies until softened for about 5 minutes. Stir in jalapeño and garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add salt, chicken broth, lentils, and bay leaf. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- When almost all of the liquid has absorbed and the lentils are softened, stir in kale & reserved sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes until kale wilts and the liquid has been mostly absorbed. Remove bay leaf and stir in lemon juice. Serve with parsley and extra lemon if desired.
This post was originally published April 20, 2016. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
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