Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

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This Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew is vegan, gluten-free, and plant-forward, but creamy and delicious. With hearty black beluga lentils, umami-packed mushrooms, and nutrition superstar kale, this is comfort food you can feel good about!
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 50 minutes
5 from 177 votes

Awhile back, I posed an important question on Instagram: what kind of recipes would you like to see more of? I got a lot of different responses, but some of the most common replies were:

  • Gluten-free recipes
  • Plant-forward dishes
  • Savory comfort food

And today’s recipe for a Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew is all of those things! It’s vegan and gluten-free, heavy on plants, and definitely qualifies as delicious savory comfort food.

	 Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

Why you’ll love this recipe

This stew boasts a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and protein from the lentils, mushrooms, garlic, and kale. And then gets hit with a flavorful mixture of tahini, miso paste, tamari, and coconut milk.

The resulting taste is electric and unique, packed with strong notes of umami and a rich, creamy mouthfeel. It’s the kind of comfort food you can feel good about eating without a single ounce of guilt.

Ingredient Rundown

Now that I’ve obviously sold you on this dish, let’s talk about the ingredients, shall we?

The heart of this dish are mushrooms and black beluga lentils. I use a combination of cremini mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms to balance out taste and cost. Shiitake mushrooms bring a bold, savory flavor, but since they are quite pricy, I only use a small portion and rely on inexpensive cremini mushrooms for the bulk of the stew.

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And for the lentils, I absolutely adore black beluga lentils, which are tiny black lentils that look almost like caviar once cooked (hence the name beluga). They have a delicate yet full-bodied taste, absorb other flavors really well, and pair particularly well with meaty vegetables (hi, mushrooms).

I love using black beluga lentils because the lentils stay firm-ish in this stew, so it feels heartier and adds some textural differences (instead of having a one-note, soft, mushy stew). And second, the lentils take on the flavors of the remaining ingredients, including the earthy, umami-packed flavors of the mushrooms, miso, and tahini. And bonus: black lentils, like dark-colored fruits (i.e., blackberries and blueberries) contains anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that prevents cellular damage caused by free-radicals. #antioxidants

Substitute: black beluga lentils are sold in most grocery stores (or online), but if you can’t find them, use French green lentils (also called Puy lentils). They’re similar in size and texture and also hold their shape well when cooked.

If you’re looking for more flavor-forward lentil recipes, you gotta try my Lentil Salad with Fresh Herbs! And if it’s the big umami flavors you’re after, my Creamy Umami Noodle Soup with Crispy Mushrooms is out of this world.

Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

Tips for cooking this recipe

To cook the lentils, the easiest method is to pressure cook them in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker. Just pop the lentils in the pot with the vegetable broth or water and flavoring ingredients and pressure cook for 6 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, I’ve also included stovetop instructions below.

While the lentils are cooking, you can work on the other part of the stew, which is quite easy once you’ve prepared all your ingredients. If I can be a bit of a food snob for a minute, I recommend using a high-quality tahini and balsamic vinegar. If your tahini is chunky or bitter, the stew is not going to taste as great as it could. And for the balsamic vinegar, if all you have is a cheap $2 vinegar, you’re better off adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice instead.

Serving suggestions

This Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew is hearty enough to serve on its own, but if you want to spread it across more mouths (or more days), serve it over a bed of your favorite grain (my choice would be millet or quinoa). Or, it’s great with a side of rustic, freshly baked bread (duh).

If you try this recipe out, be sure to leave me a comment below and tag me with your creation on Instagram!

Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

5 from 177 votes
This Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew is vegan, gluten-free, and plant-forward, but creamy and delicious. With hearty black beluga lentils, umami-packed mushrooms, and nutrition superstar kale, this is comfort food you can feel good about!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French-Inspired, New American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4

Ingredients

Lentils

  • 1 cup (~200g) black beluga lentils (can substitute French green lentils)
  • 1 3/4 cups (420mL) low-sodium vegetable broth or water (2 cups (or 480mL) if cooking lentils on stovetop)
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 spring of fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon if cooking lentils on stovetop)
  • 8 whole black peppercorns

Mushroom Stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (you can use less if you’re using a nonstick pan)
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 16 ounces (~450g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces (~110g) shiitake mushrooms (caps only), sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white or yellow miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality tahini
  • 1 ½ tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 2 cups (480mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup (120mL) “lite” coconut milk or unsweetened oat milk, cashew milk, or soy milk
  • 1 head of Tuscan lacinato kale, tough midribs removed and leaves sliced
  • 1-2 teaspoons good-quality balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  • Sift through the lentils to remove any debris or pebbles. Then place them in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • To make the lentils in the Instant Pot, combine all of the Lentils ingredients in the inner pot and stir to combine. Select the Pressure Cook setting (or Manual setting, depending on your model) at high pressure for a cook time of 6 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release.
  • To make the lentils on the stovetop, add the lentils to a large saucepan or Dutch oven and add the 2 cups of vegetable broth or water. Add the remaining ingredients (thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black peppercorns). Bring the water a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and add a pinch of salt. Simmer the lentils for 20-25 minutes until just tender.
  • While the lentils are cooking, prepare the ingredients for the mushroom stew (chop the vegetables, measure out the ingredients, etc.).
  • To make the mushroom stew, heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the sliced cremini and shiitake mushrooms and let them sit undisturbed for 3 minutes to allow them to brown. Then stir the mushrooms, and add a generous amount of kosher salt and pepper. Add the garlic, thyme leaves, and crushed red pepper flakes, and stir to combine until the mixture is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan for 2-3 minutes, scraping up any browned bits as needed. Then add the miso paste, tahini, and tamari and stir into the mushrooms to coat them. Add the cooked and drained lentils, 2 cups vegetable broth, and lite coconut milk. Stir well, and bring the stew to a boil.
  • Once the stew is boiling, carefully pour half of it into a stand blender. Blend until the mixture is completely pureed and smooth, and then pour the mixture back into the pot and stir to combine. Alternatively, use an immersion blender directly in the pot to partially blend the stew.
  • Once the stew has been blended, add in the sliced kale. Bring the stew to a boil until it is thick and creamy and the kale has wilted. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 799mg | Potassium: 1079mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6931IU | Vitamin C: 92mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 7mg

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321 comments on Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

  1. Liz

    Why do you drain the beans and then add stock? Can you use the same water the beans were boiled in?

  2. Anna

    5 stars
    My husband took one bite and said “this is good!” I didn’t have any wine so omitted that, but the flavors were still savory and complex!

  3. Preston Beach

    5 stars
    Killer recipe…I used full fat coconut milk and substituted the following:

    -whiskey for white wine
    -hummus for tahini and miso
    -Costco super greens for the kale

    Came out absolutely delicious! Thanks, bomb recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy you enjoyed the stew, Preston! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ashling Devins

    5 stars
    I added white navy beans to the stew before the blending step. Was fantastic!

  5. Monica Ramirez

    5 stars
    This is pretty much one of the sample recipes for the start of the meal plan and I’m so impressed! I honestly wouldn’t have picked this recipe to make myself but it’s great! And yes, I’m only one dish in for the meal plan, but I’m sold! So not only would I tell anyone looking at the reviews to make this but I would say to try out the meal plan and make this recipe with the meal plan. It’s sooo organized and is not at all like any other meal plans I’ve done. It’s well thought out and organized in a way I would like to use it. I went through it thinking- who did all of this?!?! It’s amazing!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for such a wonderful review, Monica! :) It’s incredible to hear you’re already such a fan of the meal plans. We appreciate you!

    2. Shweta

      5 stars
      I second this!! I just tried this recipe and the basil ricotta pasta recipe from the meal plan and it was so east/ tasty nutritious. I had initially started the purple carrot subscription service which honestly i dont think is healthy, lots of preservative and not too many fresh ingredients. I tried this meal plan for the last few days and its so tasty/healthy and well put together. I really hope Nisha continues with this service. I just signed up for the quarterly plan!

  6. Marcia

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Marcia, thank you so much for your kind review!

  7. Jen Sandell

    5 stars
    Made this yesterday and it was super tasty but soooo much better today when the flavours had mingled some more – excellent dish for batch cooking <3

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Jen, Thank you so much for such a fantastic review! Appreciate you taking the time!

  8. Rachel

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed this stew. I could have ate the lentil just as they were BEFORE putting them in the stew. The stew itself was rich and thick and oh so scrumptious!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re over the moon to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Rachel. Thanks for your kind words!

  9. Taran

    5 stars
    This recipe is rich and delicious and really easy to make. I’m making yummy noises with every spoonful! Thank you

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your positive feedback is the best reward for our hard work. Thank you, Taran!

  10. Jenny

    Ilive alone and was wondering if I could freeze the stew in individual portions for later use?

    1. Nisha

      Definitely! This stew freezes quite well.

    2. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Jenny, yes, most definitely!

  11. anna

    5 stars
    My teen and tween loved this and asked me to make it again. My tween rated it an 8 out of 10 and my teen rated it a 10 out of 10! Thank you SOOO much for this awesome recipe! By the way, I don’t like the texture of mushrooms, so I substituted carrots and I got the baby carrots and chopped those, so it was easier.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy everyone enjoyed the stew, Anna! Thanks for sharing!

  12. WendyMc

    5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous recipe and we thoroughly enjoyed this healthy meal – thanks! 🙏🙇‍♀️

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Wendy, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  13. Wendy Mc

    Absolutely fabulous recipe and we thoroughly enjoyed the meal – thanks 🙏🙇‍♀️

  14. Phil Hughes

    5 stars
    I tend to find an excuse to not eat kale. This time I did eat it. The recipe is amazing. The word “meaty” comes to mind.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We appreciate your feedback and support, Phil. Thank you for leaving a review!

  15. Kara Beachy

    5 stars
    This looked like death when I was finished making it, but the taste really surprised me and it’s so delicious!! I didn’t have white wine so I used 1/8 c red wine and 1/8 c white wine balsamic vinegar. I didn’t add extra vinegar at the end. Incredible umami, great mouthfeel, so rich! Well done!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re happy you enjoy the flavor of the stew, Kara. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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