Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

Jump to Recipe
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 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins

A few days ago, I posed an important question on Instagram: what kind of new recipes would you like to see in 2019. I got a lot of different responses, but some of the most common responses 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 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.

Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

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). Unlike green, brown, or red lentils, they hold their shape well when cooked. And 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 in this dish for the above-mentioned reasons. First, 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

Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

Black lentils are sold in most grocery stores (or online), but if you can’t find them, the best substitute would be French green lentils (also called Puy lentils). These guys are similar in size and texture to black beluga lentils and also hold their shape well when cooked.

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.

Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

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 6 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 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French-Inspired, New American
Keyword: black beluga lentils, gluten-free, mushrooms, nut-free, stew
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.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @rainbowplantlife and hashtag it #rainbowplantlife

Leave a Comment & Rating

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating along with your comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe




39 comments on Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

  1. Marion Steiner

    We made this for dinner tonight and wow, what a great recipe! Creamy, hearty, flavorful, and everything else you would want in a winter dish. Definitely a keeper!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hey Marion, Thank you so much for letting me know. I am glad you think those things – I definitely would describe this dish the same way :)

  2. Maya

    Any recommendations on deglazing the pan without white wine? We are alcohol free in our household, but would love to make this!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Maya! I’m glad you’re going to make it :) Vegetable broth would be a great substitute. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Caroline

    I made this recipe with quite a few adaptations (you’ve gotta work with whatever you can find, right?) : green lentils instead of black, red miso instead of white, spinach instead of kale and oyster mushrooms instead of shiitake, and I think it all worked quite well. I’ll definitely make it again !

    1. Nisha Vora

      I love that you were able to adapt this to the ingredients you had on hand :) So happy you’ll be making it again. I want to try it with oyster mushrooms now!

  4. Rasika Venkatraman

    Nisha, hi!! I made this for dinner last night and WOW. It was delicious and dreamy and warm and comforting. The flavors blend so well together! I used French green lentils instead of black, used a squeeze of fresh lemon instead of balsamic vinegar and did not blend the mixture in the end because we really like the hearty texture of the lentils. It turned out wonderful!! Definitely adding this to our weeknight rotation. Bravo!! ~Rasika

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Rasika,
      Thank you so much for leaving a wonderful review. That’s exactly how I would describe the meal as well – comforting, delicious, and well balanced in flavors! Glad you were able to find substitutes that worked well.

  5. We just made this for dinner tonight and absolutely Loved every bite. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    1. Nisha Vora

      So nice to hear that, Wendy! Thank you for sharing :) I have this on my meal prep menu for the coming weekend – once thanksgiving leftovers are done, of course :)

  6. Emily

    We made this for dinner tonight, Nisha. It was delicious! We adapted it to use what we had on hand. We used oyster instead of shiitake mushrooms, we used chickpea miso and skipped the wine deglazing. Luckily we had a nice balsamic vinegar to add at the end. We would love to make it again! I would give this recipe a 5-star rating if I could :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Emily! I am so happy to hear that you loved it and would give it a five star rating :) I love oyster mushrooms – I bet it was extra delicious with them and a nice balsamic vinegar at the end is always a treat. I need to figure out how to add a rating option o Squarespace – they don’t make it very easy to figure this stuff out haha.

  7. Susan

    A mushroom-lovers bomb-diggity!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hehe thank you Susan! I am glad to hear it was great!

  8. Amy

    This was wonderful. Thanks for introducing our family to a regular rotation meal. I used a shortcut and substituted the lentils with the precooked lentils you can buy at Trader Joe’s. I hope you don’t disapprove but it turned this recipe into a very quick meal to prepare and it was still tasty. The only other sub was that I did not have white wine so I just used a bit more veggie stock. I have your instant pot book and the recipes seem intimidating but this one was so yummy and straightforward I look forward to diving into the book.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Amy, thank you for sharing your feedback! So happy it worked just as well with precooked lentils (I definitely don’t disapprove, i love those lentils)! I hope you will enjoy cooking from my book as well :)

  9. Rasika V

    Hi Nisha! I made this soup for the second time in a month last night and it is the BOMB! My entire family loves it so much. The depth of umami flavors is amazing. Will be making again and again. Thank you for this keeper!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Twice in a month – hooray! That’s the best! I am so happy the whole family loves it. I too am obsessed with all the umami going on it this dish. Thank you for the feedback, Rasika!

  10. NR

    This is the first time I’ve ever commented on a recipe I found online. It’s that good! Make this recipe! I used full fat coconut milk. The second time I made it, I didn’t have coconut milk and used condensed milk. Turned out just as good.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi there! You are too sweet! Thanks for taking the time to comment on your first online recipe :) Great to hear it worked with both substitutions. So happy you loved it!

  11. MatchingSocks

    WOW! The flavor! I ordered black lentils from amazon and had everything else. Used the instapot for the lentils. I couldn’t believe the rich flavor! It was amazing!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Yay! So happy to hear that you loved the recipe and were wowed by the rich flavor :) Thanks for the feedback!

  12. Rose

    Really Yummy as others have said. I forgot the kale, and since its pouring out, I will skip it this time. I will definitely be making this again. Regularly!

    1. Nisha Vora

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Rose! Thank you for sharing and happy you’ll be making it again. And I know the feeling – I turn into a hibernating bear when it’s pouring out lol.

  13. Victoria

    Your recipe sound so good, I’m going to make it. I’d like to ask why the lentils are cooked separately, since they absorb flavors so well. I was thinking of cooking them with an umami rich dashi liquid. Also, have you tried making with 50% dried criminology, shiitake mushrooms for added umami flavor? Curious. Thanks.

  14. France

    Well well well, it certainly did not look as good as your picture BUT, the taste! OMG. Delicious. To repeat. All the other comments said so and it is true. Full of flavour. Thank you.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aww I am glad you loved it! Haha, yeah a lot of work goes into food photography and styling – not easy to make lentils look pretty lol.

  15. Bettina

    We had this for dinner tonight. I doubled the recipe, thinking I’d have leftovers for tomorrow. No leftovers. My husband the mushroom hater ate 2 huge bowls. And printed out the recipe! Thanks so much – it was awesome!

  16. Claudia

    I made this lastnight and, as my boyfriend said, it was the best lentils we ever had in our lives. Perfect combination :)!!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aww Yay! That’s so fabulous to hear. Glad it was the best lentils you’ve tried :) I have lots of lentil recipes on my blog and in my cookbook if you want to try another one next!

  17. B Millar

    This recipe is outstanding. I made it with what I have on hand, last year’s harvested chanterelles (frozen) and fresh button mushrooms, last year’s frozen kale. My husband and truly enjoyed this meal. Will be making again and again. So glad I found your website, will be back! Thank you.

  18. H

    This was incredible! Wow! The flavor was spot on–I was surprised by some of the ingredients (red pepper flakes? tahini?) but it came together perfectly and was so, so tasty. Making this next time I have company for sure.

    Comments: I used a few handfuls of dried (and then reconstituted) mushrooms instead of the shiitakes and I thought it worked well. I made the lentils on the stovetop (covered) while I was preparing the other ingredients and the timing worked out perfectly. I neglected to use low-sodium bouillon and it was indeed very salty–next time I will make sure to use low-sodium. I also was lazy about de-ribbing the kale and regretted it.

  19. Erin

    I made this last night and my boyfriend and I both loved it! This was my first time trying black lentils and they are delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Rick

    5 stars
    This stew is wonderful! The mushrooms & lentils make it so satisfying. Everytime I had it leftover a little more broth & tahini was added. Really good stuff!

  21. Amy

    I have never used black lentils and am excited to try this recipe. Would it freeze well? I am trying to stock up on soup servings for ski days this winter.

  22. san

    5 stars
    This is so creamy and rich! I did the lentils the day before so it was easy to pop them in with the mushrooms the next day and it was yum.

  23. Autumn

    5 stars
    Wow…I love this recipe. I made it and the whole family loved it. I couldn’t stop saying how good it was. So happy to find a most delicious recipe that uses beluga (black) lentils.

  24. Frances

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe! I ended up using a blend of green, brown, and black lentils. Super creamy, wholesome, and delicious. The best part for me was the finish of balsamic on top. Thank you, Nisha!

  25. […] 3. Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew […]

Development Alchemy + Aim