This Spanish Chorizo Lentil Stew recipe is incredibly easy to make and full of the coziest savory flavors.
I’m pretty sure it’s a crime that I haven’t posted a single recipe using Spanish chorizo since we moved to Barcelona over four years ago. Pero bueno…today’s the day we finally make it happen!
Meet the Spanish Chorizo Lentil Stew I’ve been loving lately.♡
It’s big on flavor and incredibly low on fuss, which are two of my very favorite things on busy weeknights. And the starring ingredient — Spain’s famous dry-cured chorizo — does double-duty by infusing light tomato broth with the most delicious smoked paprika and garlicky flavors, along with adding some extra heartiness to the veggie lentil stew. Here in Spain, there are about a million different options when it comes to buying chorizo. But internationally, you typically have the choice between “sweet” or “spicy” Spanish chorizo, either of which would be delicious in this stew. (Heads up though that “spicy” is more what people here would wink and consider “Spain-spicy,” which is actually incredibly mild for my palette. So feel free to toss in some crushed red pepper flakes if you’d like more heat!)
I have to give a shoutout to my Catalan friend, Laura, for inspiring this recipe. She and her boyfriend housesat for us while we were back in the States visiting family over the holidays, and apparently noticed that we were missing the obligatory chorizo and fuet (a local Catalan sausage) stocked in our kitchen. So we returned home to a rope casually draped over the towel rack, which I sautéed up for a quick impromptu stew while we were busy unpacking, and thus…this recipe was born. I hope you all enjoy it!
Spanish Chorizo Lentil Stew Ingredients
As you can see from the photo above, the ingredient list for this recipe is wonderfully short! Here are the items you will need:
Spanish chorizo: Living in Spain, I feel like I need to give the disclaimer that there are actually many varieties of Spanish chorizo (fresh, semi- and dry-cured, picante or dulce, with any number of different regional flavorings). But internationally, most people are think of dry-cured sausage when they think of Spanish chorizo, which is what we’re using here in this recipe. By contrast to Mexican chorizo (which is usually fresh/ground and quite spicy), Spanish chorizo is dried until hard and shelf-stable. And while it doesn’t need to be cooked, I recommend sautéing the chorizo in this recipe to crisp it up and render out the extra fat so that it’s not too greasy. I used picante (“spicy”) Spanish chorizo for this recipe, but dulce (sweet) chorizo would work just fine too.
Mirepoix: I used a classic mix of carrots, celery and onion as the base for this stew, which you’re welcome to chop as chunky or finely as you’d like.
Garlic: The Spanish chorizo will add some extra garlicky flavor to this stew, but I like to amp it up by sautéing a few extra cloves (or as they’re called in Spanish, dientes or “teeth”, hehe!) in there too.
Chicken or vegetable stock: Feel free to use either as the base for the broth. (Also feel free to add a bit extra if you would like an even brothier soup.)
Brown lentils: You can really use just about any kind of lentils, but I went with basic brown lentils so that they would cook fairly quickly yet still hold their shape well in the stew. If you use a different variety of lentils, just note that the stew may need to simmer for more or less time.
Potatoes: I chopped up a few Yukon Golds for this recipe, but Russets or reds would work well too.
Tomato paste: Just a few tablespoons to add some of that rich tomato flavor.
Seasonings: I also like to add a bay leaf to the broth, and of course season the final stew with salt and pepper as needed.
Optional toppings: I just sprinkled on a bunch of chopped fresh chives to brighten things up, but a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of Parmesan, or a pinch of fresh parsley would also be delicious here.
Possible Recipe Variations
Here are a few different ways that you’re welcome to customize this recipe if you’d like…
Use a different type of sausage. If you can’t find Spanish chorizo (or it isn’t your thing), feel free to swap in another variety of sausage that you love best. Any variety of smoked sausage (Andouille, Polish, etc), Italian sausage, or even Mexican chorizo would all be delicious options here.
Add different veggies/green. I kept things pretty straightforward with the basics that we had in the fridge/pantry, but feel free to toss in any other stew-friendly veggies that you would like. And of course, some extra greens (such as spinach, kale, collards) would be delicious mixed in too.
Make it vegetarian/vegan. Alternately, please feel free to use a plant-based sausage for this recipe too! I’m partial to Beyond or Field Roast, but use whatever you love best. Then also be sure to use vegetable stock for the broth.
Make it gluten-free. This recipe should already be naturally gluten-free, but please be sure to double-check the chorizo label if you are sensitive as occasionally some brands are not certified GF.
Favorite Lentil Recipes
If you’re new to working with lentils, here is my basic guide to Lentils 101 explaining the different varieties, cooking times, flavors/textures, etc. And here are a few of my favorite recipes to make with them!
Brown the chorizo.Cook the chorizo in a large stockpot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes (or until most of the fat has melted out). Transfer the chorizo to a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the remaining fat and discard the rest.
Sauté the veggies.Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of chorizo fat in the same stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Simmer.Add 7 cups stock, lentils, potatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, cooked chorizo, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the stew reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Season.Discard the bay leaf. If you would like a brothier stew, feel free to add in a bit of extra stock. Taste the soup and season with salt and black pepper as needed. (See note below below too if the soup seems too greasy at this point.)
Serve. Serve warm, garnished with lots of chopped fresh chives.
How to skim off excess grease: If enough isn’t rendered out of the sausage in Step 1, a thin layer of grease may float to the top of the stew. If that’s the case, no prob. Just remove the stew from the heat (so that it is not simmering), gently drape a paper towel so that it lays flat on the surface of the soup (it will soak up the grease), then remove and discard the paper towel and repeat if necessary.