Red Lentil Stew with Chickpeas and Orzo is just as hearty as it’s name. Luckily, you can throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker for a few hours and dinner is served!
Make Life Easier
Back to school and after school activities means less time for getting a proper meal on the table. I’ve already shown you a quick and easy way to take care of breakfast and snack time with these Baked Oatmeal Muffins, but what about dinner time? Enter your slow cooker! If you don’t have one, I highly suggest you get one. It’s so easy to throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning so you can come home to a nourishing meal that’s ready when you are. This Red Lentil Stew with Chickpeas & Orzo is one of our favorites. Give it a try today!
Which Slow Cooker Should I Buy?
In this day and age when pretty much everything can be digital and programmable, I suggest you go this route. Of course, an old school slow cooker with the only options being High and Low will work just fine, but I think it definitely is more limiting. Especially with plant based recipes that don’t take nearly as long to cook as meat based dishes. If you turned it on in the morning and it only requires 3 hours of cooking time, you’re going to come home to mush. Nobody wants that.
The Instant Pot (<- affiliate link) is by far my favorite choice. They are not paying me in any way to say this and I bought my Instant Pot on my own, with my own money. I just really love it and I think you will too! It’s actually more than just a slow cooker. It performs 7 different functions and it’s best known as a pressure cooker. Besides being a slower cooker and pressure cooker, it can also be used as a rice cooker, for browning/sautéing, a yogurt maker, a steamer and a warmer. No more cluttering up your kitchen with multiple appliances. It’s fully programmable with an auto “keep warm” function after the cook time is up. Or you can program it so it delays the cooking start time until many hours later. I love this appliance so much, I even bought one for my mom. Want to know what other kitchen tools I recommend? You can see my choices here.
Full of Nutrition
Let’s get back to this delicious red lentil stew! Lentils and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and are super high in protein, fiber, B Vitamins, iron and more! They are also very low in calories with virtually no fat. Nutritional powerhouses!
I like the addition of the orzo in this stew. Kids tend love little pasta shapes. But brown rice or macaroni noodles would also work.
I’ve lightly spiced this soup with cumin and added a smoky kick with smoked paprika. Fresh parsley thrown in at the end brightens up the whole thing.
Slow Cooker Red Lentil Stew with Chickpeas & Orzo
I’d love to hear what you guys think of this easy Red Lentil Stew recipe! Please leave me a comment below with your feedback and star rating. You can also find me on social media. Be sure to tag @veggie_inspired and #veggieinspired so I don’t miss it! Enjoy!
- 1/2 large sweet onion (diced)
- 2-3 garlic cloves (peeled and minced)
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- dash pepper
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas (or 2 cups cooked dry chickpeas)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup orzo
- Several sprigs fresh parsley (chopped)
Sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tbsp veggie broth in a small pan over medium heat*, for about 5-6 minutes, until softened.
Add the onions/garlic along with everything else, except the orzo and parsley, into the bowl of your slow cooker.
Cook on high 2-3 hours until the lentils are soft.
Add the orzo and cook on low another 30 minutes until the orzo is tender.
Taste and add additional seasoning (salt, pepper, etc.) as needed.
Stir in the fresh parsley and serve.
*If you have an Instant Pot, you can sauté right in that with the sauté function. Just make sure to change it to the slow cooker function when you're done with this step.
~Leftovers will thicken up considerably. To reheat - you may want to add additional vegetable broth to thin it out.
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