Lentil Surprise Stew

Shared by Eric Payne, Crestwood, KY USA

No meat lentil stew. Can be cooked on the stove, but it’s faster in an Instapot pressure cooker. Dries wonderfully in the dehydrator and rehydrates well on the trail.

Servings: 6


  • 1 lb. bag brown lentils
  • 32 oz. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 large onions, sliced thin
  • 6 oz. shredded carrots
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

At Home:

Slice onion thin and sauté with garlic, carrot, and spices.

Add lentils and chicken or vegetable stock. Pressure cook for 11 minutes @11.5 psi. Natural release. Or, cook on stovetop for approximately one hour.

Lentils should be soft but not mushy, and the stew should be thick. Tweak with salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste.

Spread stew thinly on lined dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 135° F until all the moisture is gone, approximately eight hours.

Break up dried lentils and dump into bowl making sure to scrape the drying sheets collecting all the flavorful bits and dust. Divide into trail sized portions such as 1½ cups per serving.

Make this a few times at home and tweak as you go. Your taste will invariably be different than mine. I usually make a double batch as it doesn’t last long around here.

On the Trail:

Rehydrate with 1:1 ratio of boiling water to lentil surprise stew. Pour on boiled water, stir, and let it sit ten minutes in an insulated container.

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