Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

by Joanna

Do you still use cookbooks?  I absolutely love them.  I have them lined in my kitchen with flags of my favorite recipes.  One of my favorite books is by Angela Liddon, Oh She Glows.   I was leafing through the cookbook and came across this recipe for butternut squash with sweet potatoes and lentils. 


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash*
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (2 1/2 cups)*
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils, rinsed**
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more if you like heat
  • Fine sea salt, to taste (I use 1 1/2 teaspoons pink salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 5 ounces of baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces

Optional accompaniments:

  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, minced
  • Cooked rice
  • Garlic powder and chili powder


  1.  In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer.
  3. Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. (If you are spice-shy, feel free to add half the amount to start and increase from there after cooking, to taste.) Stir well to combine.
  4. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are fork-tender. Reduce the heat if necessary.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar to taste. Adjust the other seasonings if desired.
  6. Optional step: Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the stew for only 2 to 3 seconds (any more and you’ll blend too much of the veggies). This thickens the broth.
  7. Stir in the chard, and cook for another couple of minutes until the greens are wilted.
  8. Scoop some cooked rice onto the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the stew overtop. Garnish with minced cilantro or parsley and a good dusting of garlic and chili powder, if desired.
  9. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and they freeze beautifully too.


* Make sure to dice the squash and potato very small (about the size of almonds), as this will expedite cooking. Also, if you are short on time, you can skip peeling the butternut squash as the skin is edible. (I don’t recommend skipping peeling the potato, though.)

** You can swap the red lentils for 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed).

If you are looking to save a little money you can purchase the spices and lentils in the bulk section of the grocery store. This way you can purchase a small amount.  

The recipe suggests serving the stew over cooked rice.  However, you could try the freezer bags (or homemade) of riced veggies/cauliflower?  This is my new go to items when I’m in a bind and don’t want to take the time to rice the cauliflower myself.  Check out this riced cauliflower the next time you are at the grocery store. 

Let me know your thoughts after you try the stew and riced cauliflower.

 Have a great weekend.



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