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 186 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 186 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

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338 comments on Creamy Mushroom and Black Beluga Lentil Stew

  1. Evgenia

    5 stars
    Exceptional! Thank you for this recipe! Cooked it now and both me and my husband love it!
    Being pregnant i have very specific cravings and this recipe totally satisfied my tastebuds.☺️

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      So glad to hear that, Evgenia!

  2. Justin

    5 stars
    Ah, I see. After cooking there’s no broth left in the lentils. Ignore (and feel free to delete) my comment. This is delicious!

  3. Justin

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it once I secure a few ingredients. Why would you drain the vegetable broth from the lentils and then add new broth to the stew once the lentils are added back in? Why not just use the same broth?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Justin, the cooked lentil broth will be a bit frothy and starchy. You’re welcome to either strain the lentil broth or simply use it in the rest of the recipe as is if you’d like. Hope that helped!

  4. L.M. Richards

    This recipe is not printing!

  5. Leila

    5 stars
    Thank you for the delish recipe. I bought beluga lentils on a whim, not having seen them before, and your guidance on how to use them is much appreciated.

  6. Annie lynch

    My whole family loves this stew! I even blend it completely and use it chilled as a spread!!! Yum! I was wondering if you know the calories by any chance?

  7. Kristi Lane

    5 stars
    I have been following you for several months and have tried a lot of your recipes and every one of them, including this one, is amazing!!! It was a spoon of heaven with each bite! My husband doesn’t even like mushrooms but, absolutely love this.
    This is going into my regular recipe favs.
    I love your YT channel, you always make me smile!
    Keep the recipes and hints coming, they are much appreciated!

  8. Diane

    5 stars
    Sooooo good.
    First time making this and used dried herbs because that is what I had.
    Next time I may swap lemon juice for some of the balsamic vinegar to brighten it a smidge.
    Hubby said it tastes like something you would get at an upscale restaurant and pay a lot for. Thank you Nisha you are a recipe wizard.

  9. Kelley from Canada

    5 stars
    You had me at umami. This is so hearty, meaty tasting, savoury and absolutely delicious! Economical and so so easy to make. You did it again, another widely flavourful vegan recipe. Thanks Nisha!

  10. Brittany

    5 stars
    Delicious!!! I made this and it was amazing! I’m always surprised how tasty some vegan recipes are. My husband liked this too and he’s super picky. I couldn’t find Black Beluga lentils anywhere. But I did find green. So I used those. And when I was making the lentils I read the packages wrong for the herbs and put 6 things of rosemary and only 1 thyme. Oooops! Still tasted amazing. Next time though I think I might add vegan sausage or some white beans. I had bariatric surgery and need to eat more protein so I will try that in the future.

    1. Kathy

      You might try adding fonio (available online) which is said to be high in protein.

  11. Smitha Harwood

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it last night and my family loved it. I never like mushrooms until I started following your recipes. :)

  12. B

    5 stars
    What if one only has dried herbs and no sprigs? What might the measurements be then, please?

    I ADORE your Insta-Pot CookBook!
    I could attempt to “approximate” herb measurements, but I would rather not “guestimate” such treasures :}

    Thank you for all of your amazing recipes!

  13. Pauline Ramsey

    This tasted excellent I tweaked it a bit , I used one celery stalk a quarter of celeriac grated . I used extra chilli flakes and black pepper. I didn’t add coconut milk as I felt it would be to strong in flavour I used cashew milk instead I didn’t add the balsamic vinegar.
    Wow this is my new go to recipe when I need some comfort food . Thank you Nisha for this recipe and all the others that myself and family appreciates them .

  14. Deb

    5 stars
    Delicious! Just love the lil black lentils. Very creamy and rich. I used cashew milk too. Thx Nisha.

  15. Cheri

    5 stars
    Very, very, very tasty. Followed your recipe to the letter, using cashew milk instead.

  16. Kit Proctor

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Everyone in our family loved it – myself, husband, 11 yr old, 1.5 year old who is going through a picky phase. Pretty sure our 8 month old would have eaten it too but I made it really spicy with extra red pepper. It was so hearty, filling, flavorful. Making this part of our regular rotation!

  17. Maya

    5 stars
    I have just made this recipe. Your email was a sign from the Universe, because I had mushrooms… And forgot about them :)
    I must admit I haven’t followed the recipe completely, because, you know, life. Nevertheless, it’s delicious, but the color is much different than this one from photos. I honestly don’t know why. Somehow my stew turned a whiter shade of pale.

  18. Shannon

    5 stars
    Unbelievable! My family of 5 all loved this. Served it with kid friendly mashed potatoes and freshly baked sour dough bread.
    Thank you – will definitely be making this again.

  19. Amparo

    5 stars
    The beluga lentils stew was delicious, satisfying, healthy, and easy to make. My family enjoyed too.

  20. tania

    5 stars
    I just made this for lunch and it was delicious, I didn’t have any veggie milk so I skipped it and It wasn’t that creamy. Instead I served with home pickled onions on top for a sour surprise and it was great!

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