Slow Cooker Beef and Lentil Stew

Updated on July 22, 2016
3.7 stars from 12 ratings of Slow Cooker Beef and Lentil Stew

The lowly lentil has had a rise in popularity recently with the introduction of the Slow Carb Diet by Tim Ferriss who wrote the book 4 Hour Body. Tim maintains that a legume should be eaten at every meal (about 30% of the plate) , and lentils are an easy staple. He has tried many diets, and feels this is a good ratio to stick with for maximum weight loss. After reading his book, it is evident that he has basically donated his body to science while still living in it!

Lentils are an often overlooked, very inexpensive ingredient that can be used to stretch a meal. Compared to other dry legumes, lentils cook up quickly, and are very versatile flavor wise. Canned lentils can be substituted for dry, just make sure they are well drained and rinsed.

They are relatively low calorie, but pack a lot of nutrition. Studies show adding fiber to your diet can lower cholesterol, and the folate and magnesium in lentils are heart healthy. They digest slowly, which helps to prevent spikes in blood glucose, and gives the feeling of fullness for a longer period of time. Lentils are about 25% protein, which helps in the building of all body tissue, particularly muscle.

This stew cooks in the slow cooker, and makes the whole house smell wonderful. It can be turned into a soup by adding more beef broth, if that is desired. The dry lentils are added in the last hour of cooking, and can be turned up to high if you find your stew doesn't simmer on low in your crock pot. If no one is available to add the lentils, then substitute with canned lentils and just stir until heated through just before serving.

This meal also freezes well for another day. Goes great with warm crusty bread, of course only if you are not doing the Slow Carb Diet! Enjoy!

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 30 min
Yields: Generously feeds 6


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds stewing beef, cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stocks, halved and chopped, reserve leaves
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, (optional)
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups beef stock, (or 4 cups water with 2 bouillon cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, (or 1 1/2 tsp dry)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano, (or 1 1/2 tsp dry)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed well
  • fresh chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in fry pan. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Add beef in batches to brown over medium high heat turning once.
  2. Add beef to slow cooker, with canned tomatoes and beef stock.
  3. Add carrots, celery and onion to fry pan that the beef was in, turn to medium low and cover, stirring occasionally until onions are transparent. Add garlic and celery leaves and saute one minute more.
  4. Add vegetables to slow cooker. Deglaze pan with red wine, scrapping off anything stuck to the bottom. Add wine to slow cooker.
  5. Add fresh rosemary and oregano, or dried if using. Make sure to rub the dry spices between your fingers to release the flavor.
  6. Set on low for 8 hours.
  7. 1 hour before eating, add the lentils. Garnish finished stew with parsley. Enjoy!

Step by Step Photos

Brown the stewing beef in batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan.
Brown the stewing beef in batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan.
Meanwhile chop the vegetables
Meanwhile chop the vegetables
Sweat in the fry pan covered so they don't brown.
Sweat in the fry pan covered so they don't brown.
Add the garlic and celery leaves for the last minute.
Add the garlic and celery leaves for the last minute.
2 cups water with beef bullion cube, and 28 oz canned tomatoes with liquid.
2 cups water with beef bullion cube, and 28 oz canned tomatoes with liquid.
Add fresh herbs if you have them, otherwise dry will do.
Add fresh herbs if you have them, otherwise dry will do.
Pick over lentils and rinse well before adding.
Pick over lentils and rinse well before adding.
Fresh parsley at the last minute is best!
Fresh parsley at the last minute is best!


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    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sunshine625 thank you for looking. Yes, lentils are one of those foods that taste good hot like this stew, or cold in a salad. I love adding more broth to this recipe to turn it into a soup.

      Pstraubie48, I agree, doing the prep ahead of time, and letting the slowcooker work all day is a treat. The whole house smells great too!

      Just Ask Susan, and Peggy W, thank you for kindly pinning this recipe for easy look up. Hope you give it a try.

      Purple Peach, my apologies for the quality of the photos! I need to improve in that area.

      Marilyn Fritz, congratulations on your weight loss. Legumes are getting more press time lately. Dr Joel Fuhrman counts lentils in his supper immunity foods.

      DaphneDL, thank you for looking!

    • DaphneDL profile image

      Daphne D. Lewis 2 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

      Lentil soup is one of my favorites so I definitely have to try this one. It looks delicious!!

    • Marilyn Fritz profile image

      Marilyn 2 years ago from Nevada

      Oh my goodness! My husband and I love Lentil soup, but this recipe is a winner! I am going to give it a try next week. We have lost weight by consuming legumes often, so we can relate to the importance of having them often. We generally feel healthier, and have more energy. I love how you itemized your information, great writing!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      A little blurry photos but worth the shot, wonderful stew

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I am going to add this to my Slow Cooker board on Pinterest. Sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This sounds really good. Pinning so I know where to find when I try your recipe.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      I will have to give this a try. I love using my slow is so nice to do the prep early in the day and let the cooker do the rest.

      Pinning for sure so I can use later

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I like lentils hot or cold, this recipe is very appealing...I printed it out and will give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for looking rdsparrowriter. The flavors really meld nicely in the crockpot. The whole house smells fabulous!

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 3 years ago

      Seems delicious :)