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May 27, 2012

Recipe for slow cooker lentils with chicken sausage, spinach and feta cheese

Slow cooker lentils with chicken sausage and spinach. Not beautiful, but delicious! #slowcooker #crockpot

Ah, lentils. The Achilles Heel of my inner photographer. Try as I might, I could not get this dish to look even one-tenth as good as it tastes. So I ask you to close your eyes, and imagine this: creamy lentils, chicken sausage, spinach and feta cheese, the earthy-salty-tangy flavors melting together in your mouth, a piece of crusty bread and a tangy green salad on the side, a glass of nice red wine. That's the truth of this recipe, though the photographs might not inspire. In the slow cooker, the dish simmers while we work in the garden, and it tastes great -- satisfying and restorative to tired muscles --hot or at room temperature, when the temperature outside cools off in the evening, as it can do quite suddenly in the Spring.

Slow cooker lentils with sausage, spinach and feta cheese. Not beautiful, but delicious! #slowcooker #crockpot

Slow cooker lentils with chicken sausage, spinach and feta cheese

From the pantry, you'll need: lentils, chicken broth, chicken sausage, feta cheese.

Serves 4; can be multiplied and cooked in a larger slow cooker

Ingredients

1 cup brown lentils
2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1 leek, white part only, trimmed and chopped
12 oz pre-cooked chicken sausage (I use fontina and spinach flavor or roasted garlic flavor), sliced into rounds
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper, or more to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, or more to taste

Directions

In a 3-quart slow cooker, add the lentils, chicken broth, leek and sausage. Cook on HIGH for 2-1/2 hours, or on LOW for 5 hours, checking periodically to ensure there is enough liquid to cook the lentils.

After the initial cooking time, when the lentils are almost soft, taste, and add black pepper and salt (if needed). Then stir in the spinach and feta. Cook on LOW for 30 minutes.

Serve hot, at room temperature, or let cool completely and refrigerate, and serve cold.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Vegan barley and lentil pilaf with mushrooms and spinach
Slow cooker lentil and brown rice soup with preserved lemons and garlic sausage
Sweet potato, lentil and raisin stew
Whole wheat pasta with chicken sausage and green (or red) slow-roasted tomatoes
Armenian red lentils and bulgur (vospov khyma)

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Warm green lentil salad with caramelized onions, feta cheese, and pears, from Andrea Meyers
Quinoa, lentil and feta salad, from We are not Martha
Sausage and lentils with fried sage, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach salad with lentils and tart cherry vinaigrette, from Eggs on Sunday
Lentil soup with Italian sausage and spinach, from Cookin' Canuck

Comments

I've been having a craving for lentils lately and this dish looks simply wonderful. I love it.

Thanks for the recipe. My kitchen is already unbearably hot and Memorial Day isn't until tomorrow. And I agree that lentils aren't nearly as attractive as they are tasty. Maybe a little chopped parsley or cilantro on top would help. Not just for looks but also a pop of freshness and some extra vitamin C.

I don't care how it looks, I can tell I love this recipe!

Nisrine, it is truly delicious. Trust me!

Jeri, if I made this again this week, I'd definitely add parsley, now that I have some in my herb garden. But add it only at the end, and not during the cooking. Enjoy!

Kalyn, the flavors are great. My photography skills are not. What can I say?

I believe you! Lentils are enough to grab my attention, good photos or no - can't wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe!

Ah yes, those darn lentils can be so pesky to photograph. That being said, I'll bet this dish takes fantastic!

Jenni, you're welcome, and I hope you try it. I love the combination of flavors.

Cookin' Canuck, I know some photographers paint their food with water, or oil, to bring out the sheen, but as I don't do that, I just have to hope you will all taste the dish instead of going strictly on looks. Sigh.

I love lentil dishes - I've sometimes had trouble getting the right consistency for lentils - too over-done, or not done enough. But good to know there's a proven formula for the slow cooker.

Ahhhh slow-cooker love continues - I LOVE it!

The picture isn't that bad. But I totally understand. It does not sufficiently capture just how delicious lentils are! I love lentils too. My particular favourite is mung beans but I'm going to try your recipe out. I wonder if it's still going to be as tasty with mung beans instead.

I'm sadly without a slow cooker. Do you think if I put this in my dutch oven, either low on the stove-top or in the oven, it would work? What do you suggest?

Amanda, absolutely yes, it will work! Anything made in a slow cooker can be made on the stove top or, sometimes, in the oven. Lentils cook on the stove in 45 minutes or less, and you might need to add more liquid.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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