Would you believe this is the first time I’ve cooked with lentils? I know… for shame! Not only are lentils bursting with nutritional value, they happen to be delicious too.
I’m sharing Spanish-Style Braised Lentils with Sausage today. It is a one pot meal that only takes about 30 minutes to get on the table. In the 20 minutes or so it takes to braise (hands off time), the table can be set and a salad can be tossed. A complete, satisfying and filling meal that fits a busy day perfectly.
The irony of the name of this dish is not lost on me. Yes, I’m referring to it as “Spanish style”…yet, it implements Polish sausage (kielbasa) and Hungarian paprika. Multi-cultural would be more fitting! Unfortunately the preferred sausage, morcilla, is not available in my area. The recipe I adapted recommended kielbasa in it’s place. Since I’ve never (in my memories) eaten morcilla, I can’t compare the two. Regardless, the meal was delicious and I’m sticking to the term “Spanish-style”…forgive me. :))
For the taste buds in my household, I thought this would be a safe lentil preparation. Kielbasa is never turned down by my male family members. The browned sausage lends a delicious flavor to the braised lentils. And I was right… everyone at the table enjoyed this one-pot meal fully!
Spanish-Style Braised Lentils with Sausage
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 pound kielbasa (each link cut in half, then halves sliced lengthwise to yield 8 pieces)
1 medium onion, diced
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1½ teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
5 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
1 cup dry lentils (I used red), picked over and rinsed
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1½ cups water
Fresh ground pepper
- Heat the oil in a large (12-inch or so) skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Carefully lay the sausage in the skillet (cut side down) and cook until lightly browned; about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate; set aside.
- Add the onion and salt to the hot oil/sausage drippings in the same skillet. Cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and paprika; cook until fragrant and well blended, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and thyme; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the lentils, broth and water; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the lentils are almost tender but still slightly firm, about 10-12 minutes. (Note: depending on the lentils used, cook times will vary.)
- Nestle the kielbasa into the lentils and continue to cook covered over low heat until the lentils are completely tender, about 10 more minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat; discard the thyme bundle. Salt and pepper as desired.
One serving of red lentils (¼ cup, uncooked) offers 13 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber, only 1 gram of fat and rich in iron. One serving is 190 calories (10 fat calories).
Recipe adapted from the cookbook, The Best Cover and Bake Recipes.