Contorni: Veggies, Salads, Potatoes Italian Regional Recipes

Stewed Brown Lentils

Stewed brown lentils are part of the Italian culinary tradition, a perfect side dish to accompany meat, roast, sausages or even in a pasta or just eaten as a soup.

Brown lentils also bring to mind the New Year’s Eve because according to Italian tradition, they are prepared together with Cotechino – a slow cooked pork sausage – as a good omen for a good year ahead, since lentils bring money and luck /cotechino-e-lenticchie-traditional-slow-cooked-pork-sausage-with-lentils/

In some parts of Italy freckles are also nicknamed as lentils.

4 servings, Preparation time 10 mins, Cooking time 40 mins

  • 300 gr dried brown lentils
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a sprig of thyme or rosemary
  • 2-3 cherry tomatoes, better if ripe
  • salt and Evoo – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste
  • Cold water, to taste
  • optional chilli pepper


Dried lentils have a soaking time 6 to 8 hours. You can replace them by using pre-cooked lentils.

Dice carrots, onion and tomatoes, peel and cut garlic in half by removing the inner part.

Heat a tablespoon of Evoo in a pot and stir-fry the garlic for a couple of minutes, then add diced onion, carrots, cherry tomatoes together with the lentils, bay leaf and thyme. Stir well.

Now pour cold water up to a finger above the lentils.

Tips: For traditional cooking it will take about 40 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
For pressure cooker, about 25 minutes.

Once ready, add salt and add a drizzle of Evoo and some chilli pepper if you want.

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