Fall Favorite: Curried Lentil, Squash and Apple Stew

Spotting all the gorgeous piles of winter squashes and heirloom apples at the farmers’ market, I was reminded of one of my favorite fall recipes, Curried Lentil, Squash and Apple Stew.

Infused with belly-warming curry spices and chock-full of wilted spinach and sweet chunks of butternut squash and apple, this nourishing lentil stew is incredibly fragrant and flavorful. A one-pot dish, it’s super easy to prepare and makes great leftovers.

Enjoy it solo, or with quinoa or brown rice. It’s also delicious topped with a dollop of plain yogurt. I’ve included more of my twists on the original recipe below.

Curried Lentil, Squash and Apple Stew

Yield: 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dried brown or green lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups peeled butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes)* 
  • 1 large unpeeled organic apple, diced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (or more)

*If pressed for time, you can use pre-cut squash.

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and sauté onion and carrot until almost soft.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, curry and salt, and let cook a few more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Stir in lentils, broth and tomato paste. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add squash and apple, cover and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until vegetables and lentils are tender.  
  5. Remove lid and stir in spinach until wilted.  
  6. Add salt to taste and serve.

My Twists: 

  • I add a few splashes of extra broth as it’s simmering if the moisture is getting low.  
  • For a little extra kick, I use a heaping tablespoon of curry powder and add a few pinches of cinnamon and cayenne pepper. As curry powder intensity can vary greatly, proceed with caution!
  • I wait until the last 10-15 minutes to add the apple otherwise it can become too mushy for my taste.  
  • I use a lot more spinach and add it fresh when reheating leftovers.  

Adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen