This lamb lentil stew is flavored with Moroccan spices and beefed up with chickpeas. Serve with fresh cilantro and a dollop of yogurt for a hearty and comforting winter meal.
*This Moroccan Lamb Lentil Stew recipe is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada, a 2017 partner of Running to the Kitchen.
There are things about my husband that had I known before we were married (and I don’t know how I didn’t because we dated 7 years before that happened) I’m not quite sure I would’ve gone through with the whole thing.
Things like the fact he doesn’t like 99% of chocolate desserts (yet loves this chocolate lamb chili – whaa??), or that he’s got a serious case of germophobia and eats things like french fries and pizza with a fork (so awkward when we’re in public).
The list of these little quirks goes on and on but this time of year, the one I have the most issue with by far is his hatred of stew.
Umm, why? Just why?
Stew is awesome.
It’s almost always a one-pot meal. The base ingredients are things I always have in my pantry. It’s comforting, hearty and the possibilities and flavor profiles are practically endless.
My mom made two types of stew when we were growing up: beef stew (big carrots, chunks of potatoes, you know the kind) and veal stew.
Pretty sure they were both from her Joy of Cooking cookbook and she never deviated.
So, on one hand I can sort of understand his weird aversion because I tend to stay away from both of those types as an adult after a few too many of those meals as a kid but for him to throw the word “hate” on the whole category of stew just isn’t fair.
For example, this Moroccan lamb lentil stew.
This is not the stew your mom made.
It’s every bit as hearty and comforting but the flavors, ingredients and even the sides (did your mom serve stew with pita bread? I’m gonna guess that’s a no) are totally different.
Moroccan spices permeate each bite.
A wonderfully subtle earthiness from the lamb meat is complemented with lentils and chickpeas.
It’s as if the traditional meat-lovers stew partied with staple vegetarian ingredients to create this perfectly balanced in-between meal.
Lentils and chickpeas are both a variety of pulses – the dry edible seeds of plants in the legume family and these superfoods help bulk up the meal and bring an added boost of protein and fiber with very low fat.
Mung beans are also in the pulse family and if you wanted to swap the lentils out for split mung beans, that’d work really well.
Or, check out my mung bean soup recipe for another way to use them.
The garnish of fresh cilantro and yogurt brings a pop of freshness to the savory elements of each bite of this Moroccan stew.
Instead of rice (like my mom always served with stew), lightly toasted pita bread with some good sea salt is my recommendation to serve alongside.
As we approach the New Year and all the healthy eating buzz that comes with it, you can bet I’ll be picking a bowl of this Moroccan lamb lentil stew over a salad.
It’s January, who wants to eat cold food any way?
Turkey stew is another great option, especially if you have leftover turkey meat to use up after a holiday meal.
Love this recipe for Moroccan Lamb Lentil Stew?
Moroccan Lamb Lentil Stew
- 1 pound lamb shoulder, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 cups beef broth
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed and chopped
- 1/2 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed
- 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Place large Dutch oven or sauce pot over medium heat.
- Once hot, add olive oil and lamb. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until browned on all sides, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pot. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the lamb back to the pot along with the tomato paste, bay leaf, paprika, cumin and cloves. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes and cilantro to the pot. Bring to a simmer, stir then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
- Add lentil and chickpeas to the pot, stir to combine, cover again and cook another 20 minutes.
- Remove lid from the pot, cook an additional 20-25 minutes until stew is reduced and thickened.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with more chopped cilantro, a dollop of yogurt and pita bread.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.