This authentic Spanish chorizo and lentil stew is packed full of flavor and a great dish that provides plenty of nutrients such as protein and fiber. It’s a warming, nourishing dish you can put together for a midweek meal for the whole family.
The dish is made using Spanish pardina lentils, although if you prefer, you can replace these with any brown or green lentils.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What Are Pardina Lentils
Before moving to Spain, I lived in America, and pardina lentils were not something I kept in my pantry or included in any of my cooking. To tell the truth, I had never even heard of them. However, this pardina lentil recipe is now a favorite meal in my house and one I make on a regular basis.
It depends on your preference for which kind of lentils you use when cooking. I like using red lentils because they cook quickly, particularly split red lentils. But green and brown lentils are equally good, although they take a little longer to cook. They also tend to hold their form better rather than softening into the dish.
The Spanish pardina lentils, however, are quite different; they have a bit of a nutty, creamy flavor, which I love.
Where I lived in Spain, it was pretty easy to get my hands on pardina lentils. But don’t worry if you can’t get them; brown or green lentils will work fine. I even used these lentils or green lentils to make an Indian dahl recipe.
Lentils with Chorizo
When living in Spain, this Spanish lentil stew with chorizo made a regular appearance at our dinner table. This was because it was easy to make with local ingredients. By using lentils, I could stretch the recipe using less meat. Plus, the lentils and vegetables made it a hearty and filling dish.
Lentils work perfectly when paired with chorizo. It’s common to find them together in many traditional Spanish recipes. I think the lentils’ earthy flavors complement the chorizo’s smoked spices well.
Chorizo is a type of sausage because they are both made from pork. There is a lot of difference, though, between perhaps an Italian sausage and chorizo.
As well as chorizo differing from other sausages, there are different variations of chorizo itself. For instance, Mexican chorizo is different from Spanish chorizo in that it needs to be removed from its casing before cooking. You can cook the Spanish variety with the casing on.
Generally, all chorizo varieties consist of the same spices, such as paprika, peppercorns, and garlic. They are also all the same bright red in color, adding great vibrance to any dish it’s used in.
You can pick up Spanish chorizo in stores and markets worldwide and on Amazon. It’s up to you whether you wish to buy your chorizo raw or cooked, and both will work well in this chorizo and lentil stew. Just be sure it isn’t a dry, cured chorizo. That type of chorizo is best for charcuterie rather than cooking.
Spanish Lentil Stew with Chorizo – Ingredients
This is a very basic recipe when it comes to the ingredients. As well as the chorizo and lentils, you will also need onions, garlic, carrots, and red or yellow bell pepper (Personally, I like to use half and half for color variation).
Start by dicing the onion as fine as you possibly can. The garlic will need to be crushed or pressed; you don’t want to have large chunks of garlic in your lentil and chorizo stew.
The carrots also need to be diced into small cubes; this speeds up the cooking process as you want the carrots to be quite soft in this dish. You can cut the peppers into larger pieces as they will soften and melt into the dish. If you prefer, add the peppers 10-15 minutes before the end of the cooking process to ensure they still have some crunch.
For the seasoning, you will salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and bay leaves. It’s down to personal preference whether you use sweet or smoked paprika. More authentic Spanish recipes tend to use smoked, but sweet works well.
When cooking the lentils, I like to cook them in chicken stock for additional flavor, but vegetable stock also works well.
Lastly, don’t hold back on the salt. This isn’t going to kill your dish but will help blend and enhance the flavors of your stew.
How to Make Spanish Lentils with Chorizo
To make this Spanish chorizo and lentil stew, firstly, you’ll need to add olive oil to a large preheated pan before adding in the onion, garlic, peppers, and carrots. Cover the pan with a lid, and leave to cook for around 5-7 minutes on medium heat.
Next, add the bay leaves, spices, and chorizo, stirring well, before leaving to cook for a further couple of minutes.
Stir in the pardina lentils, so they become coated with the mixture, and sweat them for around 2 or 3 minutes.
Now add in the chicken stock, and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil before reducing the heat and leaving it to simmer for around 30-40 minutes. (Until the lentils are cooked and softened).
**If you cover your pan while cooking, leave an air gap between the lid and the pan to avoid the stew boiling over**
During the cooking process, ensure that you check on your stew every 5 or 10 minutes and give it a good stir. Lentils tend to stick to the bottom of the pan, and if left, they will catch and burn. You also might need to add more liquid at various times to prevent the dish from getting too dry.
Spanish Chorizo and Lentil Stew Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ small yellow onion, finely diced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 diced carrots
- 1 bell pepper
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (sweet can be substituted)
- 1 chorizo ring cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 ¼ cup pardina lentils (green or brown will also work)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Heat your pan and drizzle in the olive oil, then add onions, carrots, garlic, and peppers to the pan.
- Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Add in the paprika, cumin, and bay leaves, along with the chorizo. Season, and cook, constantly stirring, for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add in the lentils, and combine to coat with the chorizo mixture. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken stock, and mix well.
- Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils have softened.
- Serve with some fresh spinach and a squeeze of lemon.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 12g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.