One-Pot Creamy Spinach Lentils

50 reviews / 4.6 average

Creamy Spinach Lentils? Just celery, carrots, and onions – thyme, cream and spinach – a hearty potato-thickened broth base – and plain brown lentils cooked to perfection.

Oh, for the love of that humble little lentil.

They’re cheap, they’re adaptable to any recipe, they’re easy to make and store, and they are considered a power food that is somehow the nutritional fountain of youth. Not complaining, yo. To reiterate the bottom line (even though we already knew it): lentils are pure gold.

These affordable little nuggets of nutrition make for some pretty awesome curries and veggie burgers, but today we’re getting back to the basics.

I know it sounds pretty simple and humble and peasant-like, and that’s because it is. It is a bunch of regular, ho-hum ingredients slow simmered to perfection with all these classic flavors and textures to make a bowl full of creamy, comforting lentils that is rock-your-world yummy.

Lentils in a container.
Dutch oven with lentils and potatoes.

I am hesitant to announce this on the blog, but I’m going to do it anyways because we are trusting internet-food-blog friends who share things with each other. Right? Errr, something like that.

Sooo…Bjork and I are considering adopting a dog.

By considering, I guess I mean that we have completed our application, had our home visit approved, and are now waiting to meet one particular sweet little girl (at least let’s hope she’s sweet? ohmygosh, what if she’s actually crazy?) to determine if she’s right for us and if we’re right for her.

The little girl we’re going to meet is a one-year-old Beagle mix — wait, tell me all your Beagle horror stories right now. KIDDING, don’t slash we’ve probably already heard them — and (I can’t even believe I’m saying this) according to her bio online, she is very mellow, non-barky, and house and crate trained. And you guys, she likes car rides. Um, what? She likes car rides? Is that not the cutest thing ever? We’re 100% mature about this whole process.

Seriously though, I AM trying to develop my dog adoption maturity by getting informed. After years of following along as a superfan from a distance, in the last few weeks  I’ve stayed extra close by Cesar Milan’s side for moral support and pack leader guidance. How incredible is this dog whisperer of a man? TRAIN ME, Cesar.

All of a sudden I feel sort of shy and nervous about sharing this. Will you judge us if we meet her and find out that she’s not the right fit for us? Will you say I TOLD YOU SO if she becomes a wild maniac of a dog once we bring her home? Will she actually like car rides?!?! Meep.

Being that you – yes, you, awesome readers – always been so generous in sharing life experiences with us, your dog adoption feedback would be appreciated. Gentle feedback. Gentle, non-judgy, patient feedback for us dog newbies. Like you always do. ♡

One-Pot Creamy Spinach Lentils.
One-Pot Creamy Spinach Lentils in a red dutch oven.

Alright, enough bla bla bla about boring stuff like dog adoptions and let’s get back to the interesting topic of little brown beans.

This creamy spinach lentil recipe is almost just too perfect for these last few chilly days of spring. Thick and satisfying with really mellow, warm, earthy flavors, plus drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar because Jamie Oliver says you’ll like the twang (twang! haha. twang.) –> pretty sure these rustic creamy spinach lentils are about to bear hug your lentil-loving soul.

Easily, they are some of the best lentils I’ve ever made.

And you guys. I’ve made A LOT OF LENTILS.

Creamy Spinach Lentils in two bowls.
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One-Pot Creamy Spinach Lentils in a bowl with spoon.

One-Pot Creamy Spinach Lentils


Description

One-Pot Creamy Spinach Lentils – SO GOOD! Made with lots of veggies and a potato-thickened broth base to hold it all together.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons butter, oil, or (wait for it) bacon grease
  • half a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups uncooked lentils, rinsed
  • 2 medium Yukon potatoes, chopped (about 1 cup total)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (plan to add a few more cups as needed while cooking)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few sprigs fresh parsley
  • a few springs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 34 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste (be generous with the salt!)
  • olive oil and red wine vinegar for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat the bacon grease (that’s what I used) over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for 10 minutes until the vegetables are nice and roasty and fragrant. Add the wine slowly – it should give a little sizzle and get all the browned bits off the bottom.
  2. Add the lentils, potatoes, and broth. Tie the bay leaf, parsley, and thyme together and toss in the pot (the reason for tying is so you can easily remove them at the end – I actually wrapped mine up in a stalk of celery so it would be contained a bit better). Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more broth as necessary so the lentils are just barely covered in liquid. When the lentils and potatoes are soft, gently mash the potatoes against the side of the pot with the back of the wooden spoon to make the mixture creamy.
  3. Remove the tied herbs; add the half and half and spinach. Stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper (season, taste, adjust, repeat). Serve each serving with a drizzle of good olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar, per Jamie Oliver’s (and my) recommendation.

Notes

The cooking length for the lentils (and the amount of liquid you need) will partially depend on how old your lentils are. Mine have been around for a while… so they took about 6-7 cups of broth over about 45 minutes of cooking time. Just play it by ear and do what feels right if it looks like it needs more liquid and more time.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: spinach and lentils, lentil recipe, one pot dinner, vegetarian recipe

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One-Pot Creamy Spinach Lentils - just a few veggies and pantry ingredients is all you need to make these super delicious and healthy lentils!

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This recipe is part of our delicious lentil recipes page. Check it out!

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317 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh a puppy!! I hope she’s everything you expected just remember she may be shy or bervous the first few days and she will feed off of your loving energy and feel safe quickly! These lentils sound amazing I love Jamie Oliver

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    EXCITING! I hope the meet and greet goes well (and that she shares your love of lentils 🙂 ) No judgement no matter how it goes—you want the relationship to be the right fit for you both….is it weird that I feel like I’m talking about a first date now?

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kiara

    Your dog sounds perfect! But even when they aren’t, love and consistency go a long way. I adopted a lab-beagle mix (8 months old) in September. She had separation anxiety, a history of abuse and abandonment, fear of new people, and was extremely submissive (peed when meeting people, peed when voices raised, peed and showed belly meeting new dogs).

    Love fixes so much. Love, consistent training, being acutely aware of how we inadvertently reinforce bad behaviours (like dog is whining or being a nuisance and you give them a toy to make them shut up – they were just rewarded for being bad!).

    My dog is fine alone when I am at work, fine meeting new people (well, she jumps up excitedly which we’re working on, and we will call that an improvement!!), loves to go to daycare and play with other dogs.

    By the way, we did clicker training and she still loves it. Beagles love to find hidden things and use their noses – it’s fun to teach them how to do that (and other tricks) with clickers. My dog was responding to clicker training within minutes. Rainy day fun is hiding her Kong filled with treats and letting her find it.






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      This is so helpful. These are some of the things I’m worried about (like, that she’ll be overly nervous around other people and other dogs) but this is super encouraging and practical advice. Thank you Kiara!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Anita

      Oh My! Just had to respond, when I saw “beagle mix”! Our story is so similar to Kiara’s. We have had our beagle mix for 5 months (he is 1-1/2 to 2yrs old now). He was found abandoned on the roadside, after being hit by a car (please have your pet microchipped). He was taken to a vet, where he was fixed up, given lots of love and placed on their FB page for adoption. Now, he is ours! He rarely barks (very occasionally at our cat). At first, we were afraid he couldn’t bark, because he never did! Due to his recuperation at the vet, he was crate trained when we brought him home. Just like Kiara, he was very timid and still is. He, too, is a jumper (we’re working on that) and a chewer (beware!), but he is so very sweet and adorable! Their noses often dictate their actions. I can’t wait to try the clicker training…..sounds like a winner. Lindsay, you will love your new beagle-mix…..promise! Now, I’m off to the store for ingredients to make this delightful lentil dish!!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Puppy!!! Oh my goodness I’m so excited for you! My yoga instructor just adopted a rottweiler and she was the calmest, cutest thing ever. Just goes to show that the breed matters 50%, but the dog’s individual disposition is a whole other 50%. And I mean, come on. She likes car rides?! Uh-dorable. Good luck!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      There are so many cute Rottweiler puppies available for adoption – they are seriously the cutest little things I ever did see!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Don’t worry if she ends up being a little crazy! We adopted our dog two years ago when she was about one, and she can definitely fall into that category. She’s a German Shepherd/Collie/who knows what else mix and can love people/dogs/everything a little too hard sometimes. When we first brought her home, she was uncontrollably excitable. Training was a huge help (it’s as much to teach you as it is to teach them). She isn’t a “perfect” dog — we’re still working on polite greetings — but she’s so much more in control now than she was before.

    I hadn’t had a dog before, so this has been a learning process for me. I’d recommend finding a training center that uses positive reinforcement. It makes training fun for both you and your dog. We also figured out that our dog learns much faster when we use a “shaping” technique instead of directing her with our hands or with treats. Taking breaks during training sessions to play with a favorite toy also helped her to stay focused and motivated. Basically, as long as your pup has a good personality, everything will be fine!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh does this look good. I love lentil soup with spinach in it.

    After all the sugar I’ve eaten in the last four days I’m in for a healthy bowl of soup.

    My son and I made a double batch of snicker-doodle cookies. Then on Saturday (aka: Pi Day of the Century) I made two pies. Ugh, it makes me sick to my stomach to think about sugar right now.

    This soup will be a comfy, healthy, welcome to my tummy.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hearty and delicious! Good luck on the dog adoption. My boyfriend’s family adopted a basset hound / black lab mix from an adoption center last year. She’s the most lovable and sweet pup. She has a wonderful temperament and plays well with their other dogs. They took her to a training program and she did very well.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Okay stahp it right now with these lentils. I shouldn’t be wanting a bowl of these at 9am. SO GOOD! And gotta love that it only requires one pot. So excited for you guys to meet this little pup! Cheers to hoping she isn’t crazy! 😉

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Abbie Rose

    Lol…your “bla bla bla about boring stuff like dog adoptions” is one of my favorite things about your blog! I hope that’s not a bad thing…I’m just not a big foodie. =D
    A few things dog related:
    1. I am SO excited for you, but we will understand if she is not a good fit for you. That is your decision to make, and anyone who thinks they know better than you do has issues. We know that you will make the decision that is best for all of you.

    2. A few recommendations: “The Other End of the Leash” by Patricia McConnell, and “The Language of Dogs” (DVD) by Sarah Kalnajs. I could go on and on about both, but they really helped me to be a better, more understanding dog person.

    3.I don’t know how relevant this is, since I am in Washington, not Minnesota, but I volunteer at a Humane Society, and they scrape together anything positive about the dog to put on their website, and very delicately word the negatives. From your description, I would guess that for sure the car ride thing is true, and probably the other things as well. (The only thing that might be questionable is the quiet; that may be a subjective, “she’s quiet…for a Beagle” You may want to ask the rescue/shelter representative what *exactly* they mean by this. At the same time, earlier this year, we had a Treeing Walker Coonhound that was very quiet, so it’s not impossible.) You might want to think of issues they might not be addressing (unfortunately, I can’t think of any :S), but from what I can tell from you, she sounds like a nice, very adoptable girl!

    4. If your adoption goes through, even if she is housetrained, you might want to expect a few accidents, although, Beagles might not be as bad as other breeds, but it can’t hurt to expect the worst. ;P I still live at home, and my brother just adopted a one-year-old Papillion mix I was fostering for the Humane Society because she had been hit by a car, and needed surgery and physical therapy. Despite my concerns (I was sure she would never be fully housetrained), it has gone really well, and she is a little dog in a fairly big house. With a bigger dog, and your small house, it should go fairly smoothly. *knock on wood * =D

    5. Remember, 1 yr. is still a puppy, as I’m sure you know. =D But to me, 1 seems like the ideal adoption age, because you have the hard puppy stage over-with, but they are still playful and fun!

    I hope this helps! <3

    Oh, and if you adopt her, please, please PLEASE post pictures! I am dying right now, because Beagles/Beagle mixes have some of the cutest faces! Have you ever seen a Puggle (Pug/Beagle)? Actually, that was probably a bad suggestion. Don't look it up, because you WILL die! I'm not a big Pug fan, and *I* melted! =) Keep us posted!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    [email protected] Merchant Baker

    How exciting! A new dog! I love the whole seeing if it’s right for both of you. It’s a life time commitment so it should feel right for all involved.

    Lentils look amazing and I just bought a bag yesterday to try something new. I might wait for the day I have some bacon grease at hand because that sounds like a winning idea for all the flavor it would add. And, wine…need some wine….I’m on my fifth test of a darn muffin recipe and I’m thinking that wine would be good, now for me… and then after for the lentils 😉

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Susan

    Aside from the fact that I cannot abide Jamie Oliver, the lentils sound very nice.

    About beagles: my sister used to have beagles or beagle mixes, and the one thing I know you have to be aware of is that they will eat anything. Make sure you keep your chocolate and coffee – anything with caffeine – well out of their reach. My sister apparently had some chocolate covered coffee beans in her suitcase while she and her dog were staying with a friend, and the dog found and ate said beans. It necessitated a trip to the emergency vet (of course it happened after hours). The dog was okay, fortunately, but that episode taught my sister a good lesson. Hope your pup turns out to be a good fit for you.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Y’all are gonna be wonderful dog parents! Cannot wait to see your pictures when your little beagle moves in!
    By the way, potatoes and lentils and spinach in one bowl is pretty darn EPIC! I grew up eating lentils (or dhal as we call it) but I never had it cooked with wine before – very intriguing!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kristen

    This looks magical! Can’t wait to try it. I have no dog advice, but rather a question about your nutrition information. I love that you include it, but there are no serving sizes? Does the nutritional info above cover the whole dish – or if not, how many servings does the recipe make? My apologies if you have had to answer questions like these before!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Looks like you found it – and FYI, on this one the nutrition info is for the 6 servings. When I made it, I got five out of it… but I usually put 4-6 if I’m somewhere in the middle because people have different appetites and portion sizes. 🙂

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kelsey

    My family adopted a beagle a few years ago and she’s the sweetest pup you’ll ever meet! Best of luck!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I totally had a comment about the lentils (mainly that I made something very similar last night and I love lentils so much), but then you mentioned a dog – beagle, specifically – and my heart was like ‘forget the lentils, let’s discuss dogs forever and ever’ and so that’s what my comment is mostly about.

    I worked as a volunteer/foster at the local beagle rescue here in Tampa and got my current little nugget beagle mix from them. Beagles are the best dogs EVER. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. They root in your garbage and basically will do anything to get at some food, but they are sweet and loyal and playful and have the cutest dog ears in the history of dog ears. Mine is mixed with either chihuahua or french bulldog. She’s short and stocky and has these really big eyes, but the EARSSS. Swoon. Can’t wait to see pictures of your little lady!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Little nugget beagle mix – I can only hope we end up with that, whatever that is. 🙂 🙂 haha. Thanks for the comment Jennifer!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My family rescued a Pomeranian/pug mix when she was 8 months old! She has some quirks like being afraid of being held and she’s terrified of water (pools, her water dish, etc.) but with lots of love, she’s become so sweet and so loyal to “her people.” Congratulations on your adoption decision and I can’t wait to see pictures!

    And I agree that lentils are the best! So underrated. I recently made sweet potato, black bean, and lentil vegetarian chili, and it’s one of my new favorite recipes!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Susan

    Love lentils and can’t wait to try this recipe!

    I have a general question. Recipe is 4-6 servings. How many servings is nutritional info based on?

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    bryn

    Congrats (maybe) on the puppy! So fun.
    I resisted the bell training. I mocked the bell training. I rolled my eyes at the puppy trainer when she suggested (again) that we try bell training. Guess what? My puppy is bell trained. It really does work in our house where we are easily distracted and didn’t always notice the little pup walking towards the door and were unable to anticipate her needs. Now she rings the bells I attached to a small basket (where I keep her leash, collar and towel in case it’s wet or muddy outside) and waits for us to get to the door because she knows she has communicated her needs. Love it and apologize to all for my mocking. Also, if she cries the first night in her crate…reassure her, but leave her. She’s fine.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    The pup story really hits home. There is absolutely no shame in admitting a dog is not the right fit for you and your family. My fiance and I just recently adopted a very energetic lab/shepard mix. A few days later we sadly had to surrender him because he chased our cat in a really aggressive way. There is a big learning curve bringing a new pet into the home so be prepared for certain challenges and don’t be ashamed if you don’t think she is the right fit – there is a perfect family out there for her 🙂 Of course, I hope it’s you guys!

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary

    I’ve been in the mood for a good lentil dish and I believe I’ve found it! Definitely going to try. Now, onto important things: Animals. They need their forever homes after all. If you guys commit to this little girl (or even another) you will never be sorry. They love so unconditionally and are so happy with whatever you do for and with them. Beagles love walks and are such sweet dogs at home. Good temperament and playful. Just do the best you can and see where it takes you. I can tell you, you will both know immediately when she bats her doggie eyes at you….heaven. If she is up to date with her shots, is crate trained and house trained these are all good things. Do you know this dog’s history, i.e.,has she gone from home to home, any abuse, has she been spayed? That is most important and should be done before their first year (but ok, if she hasn’t been…just get it done as soon as you can). Any animal that has been mistreated could take much longer to assimilate…but we all need a chance in life, don’t we? Training is a huge plus…but the very best plus of all is the wonderful love and loyalty you guys will be gifted with when a deserving animal comes into your lives. I think it’s great that you’re considering it. Remember, dogs need to be walked every day…they need to go potty when you’re sleeping, too. Then there’s the subject of where you will place her when you travel…a good doggie sitter is ideal. And, after all that, remember, kitties need good homes too and are super independent, don’t need to be walked and love unconditionally…on their terms. Best wishes!

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Beagles are the absolute best!!! (this coming from the crazy beagle lady, but you know) 🙂

    They are seriously the sweetest things (ours is my little shadow and just follows me around the house and hangs out wherever I am). Between the husband and I we’ve had three (we each grew up with a beagle) and I really don’t think I could ever not have a beagle now!

    They can definitely be a little stubborn (she’s a smart little thing and knows what she wants) but with training and lots of love totally manageable! The one thing we have to be careful about is always always keeping her on a leash – with that hound nose she definitely would take off if she smelled something good!