braised lentils with spinach- cook for your life- anti-cancer recipes

Braised Lentils with Spinach

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Clock Icon for Prep Time 20 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 6 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 10 ingredients

I never met a lentil I didn’t love. This is a lovely way to eat them, and very easy to make. It was a great standby for me during chemo. The trick is not...


  • 2 cups brown lentils
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 rib celery, trimmed and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup good vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups finely shredded fresh spinach, thoroughly washed and drained, or baby spinach

Nutrition Facts


300 cals


6 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

4 g


47 g


4 g


9 g


18 g


414 mg


  1. Put the lentils, onions, carrots, celery, and bay leaves into a 3-quart saucepan. Pour enough cold water over to cover by 2-inches. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil. Add ½ teaspoon salt.
  2. Cook until the lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the lentils, discard the bay leaves, and transfer to a large skillet.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock and olive oil. Stir to mix. Taste for salt and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the liquid has reduced, about 3 minutes.
  4. Scatter the spinach over the lentils and toss just until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve immediately.

Chef Tips

Check the lentils for doneness after about 15 minutes. As with all dried beans, the older they are, the longer they will take to cook. I have found cooking times often assume older goods.

Be sure to buy the small rosy brown lentils to make this dish. The usual green varieties are too soft and will not hold up.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, videos, and more content are reviewed by our Registered Dietitian Kate Ueland, MS, RD, CSO, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society.

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