This one-pot Norwegian hearty lentil stew will warm you up from the inside out. This stew is the perfect mid-week meal, bursting with wholesome veggies and super simple to make.

This authentic Norwegian hearty lentil stew is a firm favorite in my Norwegian Aunt’s house and I’m sure it will be in yours too. 

Looking for more soup and stew recipes? Try my favorite vegan red lentil soup or this purple cauliflower soup recipe.

Hearty lentil stew served in a white bowl

Hearty and tasty, you can have this stew on the table in around 40 minutes.

Why You’ll Love These Hearty Lentil Stew Recipe

  • Hearty and filling: Norwegian lentil stew is a warm and comforting dish that’s perfect for cold winter nights. It’s made with tasty veggies which makes it a filling and satisfying meal.
  • Easy to make: This stew is easy to make, and the ingredients are simple and readily available. You can also make it in large batches, which is great for meal prepping or feeding a crowd.
  • Nutritious: Hearty lentil stew is packed with nutrients from the lentils and vegetables. 
  • Delicious: Lentil stew is a delicious and flavorful dish that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. The combination of ingredients creates a rich and savory taste that’s hard to resist.
  • Traditional: This stew is a traditional Norwegian dish that has been enjoyed for generations. Making it is a great way to connect with your heritage or try something new and authentic.

Looking for more recipes? Here are some of my favorite soup and stew recipes:

Ingredients and substitution notes 

  • Brown lentils. You can substitute green or black lentils for brown lentils in this recipe.
  • Onion. You can use shallots or leeks instead of onions.
  • Carrots. You can use other root vegetables such as parsnips or turnips instead of carrots.
  • Potatoes. It is hard to make a Norwegian lentil stew without potatoes. The potatoes gives this lentil soup its hearty texture.
  • Leek. You can substitute onion in this soup if you do not have leek, but it does give a beautiful earthy flavor to this hearty lentil stew.
  • Better-than-bouillon. You can use vegetable broth if you prefer but you might need to ramp up the salt.

Hearty Lentil Stew Recipe Variations and Add-ins

Here are a couple of twists and turns you could take with this stew recipe:

  • Spicy twist: For a spicy hit, add some red pepper flakes or a chopped chili pepper to the lentil stew. 
  • Creamy version: If you want a creamier texture, stir in some vegan heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking. 
  • Tomato-based: For a different flavor profile, you can add a can of diced tomatoes to the stew. This will give it a slightly tangy and sweet flavor.
  • Root vegetables: If you want to add more vegetables to the hearty lentil stew, try using different root vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips, or rutabaga. Chop them into small pieces and add them to the pot with the lentils.
  • Fresh herbs: To add more flavor, sprinkle some chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro over the stew before serving. You can also add some chopped fresh thyme or rosemary to the pot while the stew is cooking.

Top Tips to Make the Best Hearty Lentil Stew

  • Soak lentils: If you have time, it’s a good idea to soak the lentils in water for a few hours before cooking. This can help them cook more evenly and reduce the cooking time.
  • Don’t overcook the lentils: Lentils can turn mushy if they’re overcooked, so keep an eye on them and test for doneness frequently. 
  • Adjust seasoning: Taste this hearty stew and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the stew tastes bland, add more salt and seasoning. If it’s too thick, add more broth or water.
  • Let the stew rest: Like many stews, this hearty lentil stew tastes even better the next day. If you have time, let the lentil stew rest in the fridge overnight, then reheat it the next day for a delicious and flavorful meal.

Make ahead instructions and storage

Hearty lentil stew can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer for later use. To make ahead, prepare the stew as directed in the recipe, let it cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat the stew, simply transfer it to a pot and heat it over medium-low heat until it’s warmed through. 

If you’re storing this hearty lentil stew in the fridge, make sure to use an airtight container to keep it fresh. Storing it in the freezer, use a freezer-safe container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

If you’re freezing the lentil stew, consider portioning it out into smaller containers or freezer bags so you can thaw only what you need. This can save time and prevent waste.

Hearty Lentil Stew Serving suggestions 

Here are some tasty serving suggestions:


Can I freeze Hearty Lentil Stew? 

Yes, you can freeze this stew. Just make sure to let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can I add other vegetables to this stew?

Yes, you can add other vegetables to this hearty lentil stew, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or squash. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can I make this stew in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can make this hearty lentil stew in a slow cooker. Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Watch My Hearty Lentil Stew Recipe Video

Wrapping it up

Make a batch of this hearty lentil stew and it’ll soon become part of your weekly menu rotation.

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Norwegian Lentil Stew

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Chef Ani


This one-pot Norwegian Lentil Stew will warm you up from the inside out. This stew is the perfect mid-week meal, bursting with wholesome veggies and super simple to make.


  • 1 cup lentils
  • 34 oz. of water (1 liter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 23 carrots, sliced
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 cup leek, sliced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Better-Than-Bouillon


  1. In a saucepan add water and salt. Bring to a boil. Wash lentils, add to pot.
  2. Reduce heat, let simmer for 35 min. with the lid on.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients. Let simmer for another 25 min. with the lid on.
  4. Serve with caramelized onions, cranberry sauce, and flat bread as the Norwegians do, or eat it as is.

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