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 20 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 50 minutes
5 from 142 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.

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!

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 142 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



  • 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


  • 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

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

277 comments on Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

  1. Adele

    5 stars
    This was super delicious with tons of umami flavor. It did turn out super salty for me. If I remade it, I’d either use water in the lentils or skip the extra salt if cooking them in broth, and maybe start with 1T each of miso and tamari. I probably accidentally gave the tamari a heavy pour. I served it with rice and added a little extra wine and some balsamic reduction on top and with the starch and extra acid it was near perfect.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lengthy review, Adele! It makes us happy to hear you enjoyed the stew.

  2. Barbara

    5 stars
    This deserves 6 stars!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Aww, thanks for the wonderful compliment, Barbara!

  3. Barbara

    I didn’t have all the ingredients but it was still one of the best things I’ve made in a while. I can’t wait to make it properly! I think this will definitely be a staple this fall and winter.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Barbara, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  4. Julie

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Wow. I think black beluga lentils might just be my new favorite.

    I had to make a few substitutions: curly kale instead, ran out of tamari so I used vegan oyster sauce for the rest, vegan mushroom broth instead of vegetable broth, and I left out the pepper flakes (gives me heartburn). I loved it! 😍

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Julie! It’s great to know you loved the recipe.

  5. Julian

    5 stars
    Thanks for posting this recipe! Came out pretty well, all things considered, but a lot of the ingredients are hard to source. Couldn’t find black beluga lentils, miso paste, peppercorns, or that specific kind of kale. Nonetheless, the base recipe must be pretty great, because even with the substitutions it came out well.

    Black Beluga Lentils – Generic lentils, I think the Puy Lentils you mentioned? They don’t have a type on their label, unfortunately.
    Miso paste – extra Tamari, 1 to 1 ratio
    Peppercorns – I found a peppercorn grinder, but couldn’t get the cap off to get to the whole peppercorns, so I just grated some into the soup.
    Kale – generic kale at the grocery store, not sure what kind

    Also, this was my fault, I forgot to get tahini sauce. I used peanut butter instead and mixed it with the Tamari to coat the vegetables. That went surprisingly well!

    Overall, this recipe was delicious, and I learned quite a bit from making it! It was also safe for me to eat, so I appreciate that it was vegan and gluten free. My one thing is I wish the ingredients were more accessible!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Julian, we’re glad you enjoyed the recipe but are sorry to hear you found some of the ingredients hard to source. Oftentimes you can swap out ingredients in the RPL recipes for other ingredients. Feel free to comment to ask ahead of time if you have specific substitution questions, we also try to include substitutions in the blog posts now. :)

  6. Shawn

    5 stars
    I loved the flavors and will definitely make this again.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

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

  7. Docbonzie

    5 stars
    This recipe is soo good! I followed it almost exactly, the only thing I left out was the coconut or other milk at the end as it was thick and rich enough without it. Will definitely make again. Thank you for sharing! I’m not vegetarian but loved that this recipe was vegan.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a review! You’re welcome for the recipe :)

  8. Lisa

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! Its going on the regular menu at our house.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Lisa! It makes us happy to know that you enjoyed the recipe.

  9. Leanna Petrivelli

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. I make lentil soup a LOT, and I was getting tired of my normal tomato-based soup. This will be my new go-to lentil recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

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

  10. Nahema

    5 stars
    What an amazing dish! Will definitely be making this measl
    Thank you so much

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the awesome review, Nahema!

  11. Lisa

    5 stars
    This was absolutely fantastic. I just made it for the first time, and it will be a regular here at my house!

    1. Lisa

      Oh and I didn’t have white wine, so I used red. It was great!

    2. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      So awesome to hear you loved the stew, Lisa! :)

  12. Toni

    4 stars
    I used French lentils as I can’t find beluga lentils, and it turned out really dark grey, it looked super unappealing and i was nervous but the flavours were lovely

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Toni, sorry to hear it didn’t turn out as expected. Were you able to blend just half of the soup? That can help with it not turning too grey. We’re happy you enjoyed the taste, though!

  13. Frank Williams

    5 stars
    Sorry, totally forgot to leave the 5 stars in my previous review.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you, Frank!

Development Alchemy + Aim
braised chickpea stew in dutch oven

5 Secrets for Amazing Vegan Cooking

free email series

Learn the pro-tips that will take your plant-based cooking to the next level!