My first attempt at creating a recipe was this Spicy Red Lentil and Tomato Soup.

I found it on the internet while browsing for ideas, and after seeing it, it immediately caught my attention. In 2009, I changed the spices up a bit, so this time around, I decided to increase the spice a bit so as to make the dish even more spicy.

In the 2015 update, I also cut down on the liquid in order to make the stew more stew-like in nature rather than soupy.

A delicious stew is the result of the process, full of color, texture, and a vibrant flavor. You’ll get about 11 cups of this tasty stew.

You are likely to love the chicken and lime soup that I have made, so you may also like this stew too.

The same technique is used to finish the soup by adding fresh lime juice and cilantro, which brightens up the flavors in a very unique way.

You can serve it with tortilla chips, or even crumbled cornbread.

This stew comes together beautifully and soaks up the delicious broth. Both of these ingredients enhance the stew and provide body to it.

Apronese think that there’s nothing better than a big pot of this stew for when you’re exhausted and just want to put aside some time on the stove to heat up a few things.

Prepare half of it and freeze it to make it easier to heat up on those nights when you are tired and don’t want to do anything more difficult than pop a few buttons on the microwave.

Stew Made with Mexican Red Lentils

Stew Made with Mexican Red Lentils

This Mexican Red Lentil Stew has a delightful combination of smoked roasted tomatoes, fresh lime juice, a handful of powerful spices, and it is something that is not to be missed.

Author: Adapted

Prep Time: 10 mins/ Cook Time: 40 mins/ Total Time 50 mins

Servings: 7 (1.5 cups each)


  • 2 cups dry red lentils ($3.46)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.37)
  • 3-4 stalks celery ($0.79)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes ($2.38)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric ($0.05)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth ($0.52)
  • 10-15 dashes hot sauce ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder ($0.15)
  • 1 medium lime ($0.39)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro ($0.50)


  • In a medium pot, add the lentils. Cover with water, splash around to rinse, and drain off as much water as you can. Repeat the process until the water is mostly clear. When the lentils have been drained from the last rinse, place a lid on top and place a lid on top of them. Place a boil over the lentils and turn off the heat after a few minutes. Once the lentils reach boiling point, allow them to sit with the lid on for about 20 minutes.
  • You can start the rest of the stew while the lentils are cooking. You can say the onion and mince the garlic and cook both in a large pot over medium-low heat with olive oil until soft and transparent, as the lentils are cooking.
  • The onions and garlic will begin to soften while the celery is being cooked. Rinse and mash the celery and add it to the cooking pot after the onions and garlic are done cooking. Continue to cook the celery until softened, or just about five minutes.
  • Stir the diced tomatoes (including the juices), chili powder, cumin, turmeric, and hot sauce in a large pot, until everything is combined. Serve immediately.
  • During this phase, it is important to drain off the cooking water from the lentils and add them to the pot together with the vegetable broth. After draining off the cooking water, you need to add the lentils to the pot with the vegetable broth. Stir to combine and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat. While the lentils simmer, they will soften and break down even more, which helps thicken the soup.
  • The cilantro leaves should be taken from the stems and roughly chopped. Once they are ready, it is time to stir them into the stew. You can squeeze the juice of the lime into the broth, and stir to combine. Edit with salt and hot sauce if necessary.

*Since the only red lentils that were available at my local store this time around were organic, the price of this recipe has almost doubled since I originally made it, so I am preparing it for you again.

**To make broth, I use Better Than Bouillon soup base, which I find to be very useful.


Serving: 1.5 Cups ・ Calories: 268.64 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 46.67 g ・ Protein: 14.91 g ・ Fat: 3.41 g ・ Sodium: 908.99 mg ・ Fiber: 8.29 g

The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.

Mexican Red Lentil Stew- How to Make It, Step by Step Photos

Dry Red Lentils in pan

In contrast to brown and green lentils, red lentils become very soft, lose their shape when cooked, and break down during cooking.

Because red lentils are dried and ground up, their texture is unique. It is very important to add two cups of dry red lentils (about one pound) to a pot and cover with water.

Swish the water around the lentils to rinse them. The water will probably become cloudy as a result of the process. The water needs to be carefully poured off and repeated until it has become fairly clear.

There are a number of ways to cook lentils, including adding three cups of water, letting it boil over high heat, then turning off the heat to let the lentils soften for at least 20 minutes, and dumping out any remaining rinse water.

After an hour, you can drain the lentils again, adding four cups of water, and placing the lid on top.

Onion and Garlic in pan ready to sauté

I am going to share the recipe for the lentil soup with you, while the lentils are cooking.

Once the lentils have boiled for some time, you can begin the rest of the soup.

Set one onion and chop four cloves of garlic in a large pot and drizzle in one tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté over medium-low heat for about a few minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.

Sautéed Celery in pan

The celery should be rinsed before adding them to the pot with the onion and garlic while the onions and garlic are sautéing.

Add them to the pot once they begin to soften (a few more minutes), and continue to simmer until the celery becomes tender.

Tomatoes and Spices added to pan of sauted onion, garlic and celery

As a next step you should add two 14.5 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes (with juices), 1 teaspoon chili powder (NOT hot red pepper powder), 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 teaspoon turmeric. Stir to combine and serve.

Cholula Hot Sauce shown to be poured into pan of ingredients

It would be good to add 10-15 dashes of your favorite hot sauce as well. You can use any type you like, but if you’re partial to Scotch bonnet sauce, I think sriracha might be interesting to add.

I happened to see some Cholula on hand, so I thought that would be a good fit. You can also use Tabasco, Frank’s, or any other type you like.

Cooked Red Lentils in pan -

As a result of soaking in hot water for approximately 20 minutes, the red lentils should now appear in the following fashion.

The lentils have absorbed a significant amount of water, but a little bit is still accumulated at the bottom and needs to be carefully poured off.

Once the lentils are in the soup pot, add some water to the water to keep them from drying out.

Lentils, ingredients and Broth Simmer in pan

There are many ways of using cooked lentils, but the easiest way to do so is to add 4 cups of vegetable broth.

After adding the lentils, stir the pot and then let it simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat. This will help break down the lentils and increase their thickness.

Cilantro and Lime being chopped up

If you are going to make soup while the soup is simmering, pull the leaves of about 1/2 a bunch of cilantro from its stems and give them a rough chop.

Cut half a lime in half and serve it with the soup.

I recommend starting with half of a lime to determine how much lime juice to use for the broth. If it is not enough lime juice, you can add more if you wish.

Taste the broth and adjust the salt or hot sauce as needed.

One of the perks of being able to combine “healthy” with “delicious” is the fact that it goes hand in hand. Don’t forget to tell Apronese about your cooking process, and comment on the results and new recipes (if any).