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Slow-Cooker Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew

Slow-Cooker Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew

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Valaer Murray

Slow-Cooker Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew

This is a simplified slow cooker version of a dish that I first had in college when I spent a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. Every day that fall, I came home from class during the two-hour siesta to a kitchen steamy with whatever she had bubbling on the stove. Whatever I learned about Spanish home cooking was purely through observation, but when I came back to the States, I found that I missed the sopa de lentejas so much that I've been playing with this recipe for years.

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  • 1 cup dried lentils (yellow or green)
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 whole cloves of garlic
  • 5 ounces chorizo*, sliced in thin rounds
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup cooking sherry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish

*Note: The smoked paprika in the chorizo is key. If you can't find it, use another kind of sausage and add a 1½ tablespoon of smoked paprika.


Put the lentils, onions and garlic in the slow cooker. Slice the chorizo into thin rounds and add to the pot. Pour in the stock and sherry. Stir in the bay leaf and pepper.

Cook on low for 5 hours (or high for 3). Slow cooker times may vary, mine is pretty steady.

Spoon into a bowl and top with chopped parsley.


Lentejas con Chorizo, in English “Lentils with Chorizo”, is one of the most popular dishes in the Spanish kitchen as it’s very easy to make and is so delicious!

Below you can find the traditional recipe, the way my mother has always prepared it, but before making this lentil soup at home I advise you to read the tips that I have left at the end of the recipe so that they turn out perfect.

Sopa de Lentejas: Spanish Lentil Soup

Every family in Spain has its own version of lentil soup (sopa de lentejas). Keeping that in mind, this recipe is one of the most classic ways to prepare it. Use this as a base and, once mastered, feel free to make any changes you'd like to better suit you and your family's tastes.

Sopa de lentejas usually is enjoyed as a first course for lunch as many Spaniards consider beans too heavy for dinner. This makes sense since most Spaniards eat dinner late—between 9 and 11 p.m.

This easy-to-make soup is not only tasty but full of nutrients, too. The dry lentils are cooked with diced carrots, celery stalks, potatoes and garlic, and combined with pork loin and Spanish chorizo, a spicy cured sausage, to make a delicious and filling soup.

It is typical to eat this soup throughout the winter and even into the season of Lent, by simply omitting the pork meat.

The lentils must be soaked for one hour before proceeding with the recipe, so plan accordingly.



Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

I loved this. Fairly simple to make and really delicious. It looks a little drab but tastes fantastic. I just used regular old brown lentils.

Used the red lentils I had in the cupboard. Hard to get chorizo in the local market so I used linguica. In southern RI luinguica and chourico are easily available. Chourico is closer to chorizo, being a bit drier but I grabbed the wrong package. Linguica was quite good in this. Used Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes because I had them. All very good and the final result was terrific. Our daughter is vegetarian and I think soyrizo would work really well in this recipe.

I thought this was an excellent lentil recipe. I used the lentils I had in the pantry which were a mix of red and green. Also substituted andouille for the chorizo. Used butternut squash rather than potatoes and crushed tomatoes. None of these substitutions would have affected the flavor significantly I don't think.

This was fine. I love chorizo and the classic Spanish lentil stew, so I was excited about this. I enjoyed it but I just never felt like going back for leftovers. We might make it again.

Super Easy Spanish Lentil Stew with Chorizo

  • Super Easy Spanish Lentil Stew with Chorizo

This Lentil Stew Recipe is one of my favourites because it is a perfect winter comfort food, easy to prepare, tasty and healthy(ish). Lentils are a top ingredient for winter recipes, low in calories and high in nutrition, and it would be a guaranteed success with everybody thanks to its original twist of spices that make the recipe special.

When I started cooking, I used to pick up recipes on a famous cooking community website, Marmiton, which is very handy because it offers a great variety of homemade recipes that are suprisingly delicious and easy to prepare, usually with the ingredients that you have in the fridge. One of the great features is that you can save the recipes you’ve tried with personal comments in order to remember how you personalised the recipes. I go back sometimes when I search for recipe ideas, and that’s how I found this Spanish Lentil Stew with Chorizo recipe that I used to make very often, with a few personal enhancements.

Since I tried it again at the beginning of the winter, I keep making it every week and really enjoy it. If you want to turn this recipe into a vegan recipe, just skip the chorizo, it would still be very good.

How to make Spanish Lentil Stew Recipe

As it happens in many Spanish recipes (see more on the blog), the recipe has 2 parts:

  1. First we make a tasty tomato sauce.
  2. Then the rest of the ingredients are incorporated to the sauce with water and cooked slowly in the sauce so that they can soak all the flavours.

The same steps are used for the famous paëlla or rice recipes that are so appreciated in Spain.

Cook the lentils the right time

For this recipe, I prefer not to give any cooking time for the lentils because it varies a lot depending on the type of lentils you use. I would usually use the most common green lentils and the cooking time is around 45 minutes. If you want to cook them faster, you can soak them in water during 12 hours before cooking or cover the pan but just to be safe you should taste every 10 minutes the first time you make this recipe.

Lentejas con Chorizo (Spanish Lentil Soup)

Perhaps my favorite culinary compliment came when my husband walked in the door after getting home from work and asked, “Why does it smell like Spain in here?” The answer to that question was a simmering pot of Lentejas con Chorizo.

My husband’s family is from Segovia, Spain and he had grown up knowing the beauty of Spanish food, but I was a country girl from Alabama and I had no idea these flavors even existed. My knowledge of international cuisine consisted in spaghetti being Italian and tacos being Mexican. Oh boy. Well let me tell you, I’ve come a long way, baby.

Our visit to Spain was the trip of a lifetime. We stayed with Joe’s family, ate at their tables, sampled pinchos (tapas) from various bars, and were constantly surprised by these simple yet elegant tastes. I am looking forward to sharing with you the many delights we found on Spanish tables.

The one you are looking at is the perfect dining experience at home on a night like tonight (an artic blast covering practically the whole country). Add crusty bread, a glass of Rioja wine, and a fire, and let the problems of the world wait for a while.

The smell Joe noticed as he walked through the door was the smell of Spanish paprika. I would not make this dish with any other. It is distinct, pungent, and earthy. It is the smell of Spain.

1 ¾ cups of lentils
1 chorizo (9 oz), sliced
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 medium onion, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 tbls of Spanish paprika (smoked or hot)
Olive oil for sautéing
Salt to taste

Wash lentils.
Place lentils, chorizo, whole garlic cloves, carrots, and potatoes in a large pot.
Pour water at least 3 fingers over total.

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Let cook uncovered stirring occasionally.
Fry onions in a pan with olive oil until slightly browned, then add Spanish paprika and cook for a minute.
Add onions to the pot of lentils. Salt to taste.

Cook for 45 minutes.
Remove the cloves of garlic, squeeze garlic from its skin and mash.

Return to the pot. Salt to taste.

Slow Cooked Lentils with Chorizo

I have a confession to make. Until very recently, I did not know how to make rice.

You can pick up your jaw from the floor now.

I realize that for someone who spends as much time in the kitchen as I do, you would expect that I could make rice. I would expect that I could make rice. But here’s the thing… I was a stirrer. I would stir and stir away, adding liquid when the rice would start to seem dry. I would end up with rice that would make a great substitute for wallpaper paste.

Everything changed last week. I decided to make these smokey, slow cooked lentils with chorizo in my slow cooker. I originally thought I would make some sourdough bread to go with the dish, but the Spanish-inspired flavors just begged for rice. I had to (finally) learn how to properly make rice, so I decided to go to the best source I know… Twitter!

Fortunately, a few of my favorite people quickly came to my rescue with lots of tips for making rice. Rinse the rice… And, don’t stir! Set the timer, cover the rice, and just let it go. Remove from the heat, let it sit, and fluff. Who knew?! Apparently Renee, Ken, and Barb did.

Though I am not a rice expert yet, I can say that the rice that I made to go with our lentils was as close to perfect as I have ever made. It was light and fluffy… And, I think you’d have a hard time using it to hang wallpaper (and that is a good thing!). Perhaps you’ll see me cooking with rice more often now.

For now, though, I recommend making these lentils. They are easy to make in your slow cooker (and I love that you don’t have to soak them ahead of time!). If you’re not a fan of eating pork, you could substitute a spicy chicken or turkey sausage instead.

Slow Cooked Lentils with Chorizo
(Serves 8 )

  • 1 pound of chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dry lentils, rinsed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Cooked rice (optional)

Brown the chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender.

Transfer the chorizo and vegetable mixture to your slow cooker. Stir in the lentils. Add in the tomato stauce, chicken stock, and spices. Stir to evenly combine. Slow cook on low for 4 – 6 hours, until the lentils are soft. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve over rice, if desired.

Spanish Lentil Stew (Lentejas)

Did you know that in Chile it’s tradition to eat a spoonful of lentils at midnight on New Year’s Eve for a year filled with work and money? I’ve got you covered for this New Year’s Eve with a lentil recipe I brought back from Spain. I promise you’ll want more than just a spoonful.

As some of you know, I spent this past summer studying abroad in Cádiz, Spain and living with a host family. My roommate Erin and I were spoiled rotten because our host mom, Virgina, is an amazing cook. Erin is a vegetarian, so Virginia made sure to always have a great vegetarian soup on hand for our midday lunch before siesta. Even though it was around 100 degrees and there wasn’t A/C, Virginia claimed that warm soups made you feel cooler in the summer. I’m not sure if I agree with her, but these “lentejas” were so fantastic and unique in their flavor that I ate at least 2 servings each time she made them. Erin also loved them, even though we eventually discovered that Virginia was cooking chicken or chorizo in the lentils and then just pulling it out to serve Erin’s bowl.

This recipe is pretty easy as far as skills go, but does require a bit of chopping, browning, and stirring. It’s not quite as fix-it-and-forget-it as some of my recipes, so be prepared to stay near the stove for a lot of the cook time. I soaked the lentils while I ran some errands this afternoon. I know that lentils are pretty much the only legume you aren’t required to soak, but in dry Colorado any extra moisture helps! The recipe starts with some chorizo sausage Prepare the sausage either in or out of its casing. I prefer the slices you see below, so I cooked it whole and sliced it into medallions.

You dice up your potatoes and carrots. From there, you add the soaked lentils, chorizo, tomatoes, carrot, potatoes, bay leaves, and salt into a 4 quart pot and add enough water to cover the lentils in the pot. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let it simmer for 45min-1 hr 15min.

While the lentils start simmering, grab a saute pan and pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook it on medium low heat until it picks up a little color. Set the garlic aside and add in the diced onion. Cook the onion down until it’s almost clear, then set aside. At this point, your neighbors might start dropping in to see what smells so incredible.

For the next step, you need the special ingredient that makes this recipe – smoked paprika. This spice is pretty essential to the flavor and is very different from your regular paprika. It has an incredible sweet, mild, smokey flavor and can be found at most specialty spice stores,, and possibly your grocery store depending on where you live. In Spain, they simply call it “Specialisimo” . I brought back a small packet from Spain and am so glad I did, even if it was pungent enough to make all of my luggage smell of paprika.

The secrets of this incredible flavor can only be unlocked with a bit of heat and moisture. Measure the 1/2 cup of water and put it within quick reach of the stove. Pull the saute pan off the heat and add a splash more oil and the smoked paprika. Put it back on the heat for about 15 seconds while stirring quickly to heat it all, then douse it by pouring the 1/2 cup of water into the pan. Carefully add this water with paprika, the onions, and the garlic to your blender or food processor and blend until it combines into the most heavenly-smelling paste you have ever experienced. I wanted to just eat it by the spoonful.

When the paste is finished, add it to the lentils cooking in the pot and gently stir to completely combine. According to Virginia, this method of making a puree to add is used to strengthen the lentil broth and impart a ton of flavor that would get cooked out if you just added it at the beginning. Continue cooking the lentils until they are soft and the carrots and potatoes are done. You may need to add more water as it cooks off to make sure they don’t dry out. Remove the bay leaves and serve with a wonderful loaf of warm, crusty bread and your favorite glass of Rioja.


  • 5 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dried green lentils
  • 3 medium (3 oz. each) carrots, sliced into 1/4-in.-thick rounds (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small (6 oz.) red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium (2 oz. each) celery stalks, cut into 1/2-in. cubes (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2/3 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated with a Microplane grater (about 1/4 cup)

Stir together broth, water, tomatoes, lentils, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, and marjoram in a 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until lentils and vegetables are tender, 6 to 7 hours.

Transfer 2 cups lentil mixture to a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds. Stir back into mixture in slow cooker. Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper. Ladle soup evenly into 6 bowls sprinkle with parsley and cheese.

Slow-Cooker Spanish Lentil and Chorizo Stew - Recipes

The star of this dish is the chorizo and we suggest using the picante type of chorizo to give this stew a warm and spicy taste. For spicy food lovers, pep it up with a few chilli flakes.

With the exception of chilli flakes (which can be left out if you prefer) this stew is typically simple Northern Spanish food at its best. Use only real Spanish chorizo and never those pre-packed cubes of chorizo, they simply don't taste as good.

We have used the picante (spicy) variety of Spanish chorizo in this stew because it lives up the flavours considerably. This variety of chorizo is available in most large supermarkets.

This stew can be turned into a thick soup by simply adding the water reserved from cooking the lentils. Make it as thick or as liquid as you like.

We have used Puy lentils for this recipe because the top quality Pardina lentils from Spain are not available in supermarkets. If you have a Spanish deli shop near you then try to get hold of them if only for the taste of real Spanish lentils. But Puy lentils do the job very well, holding lots of texture and with a slight peppery taste.

The recipe and pictures below should be self-explanatory but we have also produced a video showing this recipe being cooked. It can be seen towards the end of this page.

A large frying pan.

Peel the skin off the chorizo then cut into slices.
Top and tail the onion and garlic cloves, remove the skin and finely chop.
Roughly slice the water chestnuts.

Fry the chorizo and chopped onion on a medium heat for 10 minutes until the onions have softened.

Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato concentrate, chilli flakes (optional), pimento and stir well. Cook on a medium heat for 12 minutes.

Cook for a further 3 minutes to warm up the lentils. If you want a more soup-like dish simply add the liquid reserved from cooking the lentils.


Spanish Pork – How to Add Extra Veg

My mantra for a healthy diet is to add extra vegetables whenever you can to every meal. This dish is ideal for packing with vegetables.

  • Add diced pumpkin or squash to the slow cooker – you can buy ready frozen cubes from the supermarket to make this really easy.
  • Throw in a can or two of rinsed beans or chickpeas. We like canellini beans as they are especially soft and tender and great at soaking up flavour.
  • Add sliced stoned olives (we use the ones that come in a jar for convenience) – give them a rinse if they are in brine as they can be very salty. You can also add any jarred antipesto that is lurking at the back of the fridge.
  • If you like tomato based casseroles, add a tin of good quality chopped tomatoes, or jar of passata. Reduce the amount of stock to 100 ml.
  • Stir in shredded kale or spring greens ten minutes before serving.
  • Grab a handful of frozen peas or corn from the freezer and add these 10 minutes before serving.

If you’re looking for another delicious pork recipe, make my easy sausage traybake.

Tried this recipe? If you try this recipe please tag #FussFreeFlavours on Instagram or Twitter. It is amazing for me when for me when you make one of my recipes and I really do love to see them. You can also share it on my Facebook page. Please pin this recipe to Pinterest too! Thanks for reading Fuss Free Flavours!

Watch the video: Lentejas a baja temperatura #coccion lenta#crockpot#slowcooker