BBQ Red Bean & Lentil Stew with Vegan Option

Today I just want to focus on the good stuff. And when I say good, I mean food. See, as you know off season is has started a little early for us. And with that in mind, I’m changing a few things in the Cotter feeding zone. During the season I try to keep a good balance of meals for the kiwi, but I often exclude high-fiber meals during the day in case the he has an intense workout. You all know that would literally backfire ha ha. But since the kiwi is resting and taking it easy for the next 3 to 4 weeks, I can incorporate more fiber rich foods. That means lentils, some red beans, and split peas are back in the picture!


For a while I had to avoid lentils in order for my digestive system to heal. But now that my gut is about 95% healed, we can enjoy them in moderation.

A few days ago I made a huge batch of lentils and decided to mix it up with of a bit gluten-free red pepper chicken sausage. A fiber and protein rich meal that would last a few days.  This recipe just happens to be Texas themed. A little barbecue seasoning can go along way here. Some might call it strange but good.

cotter chili (4 of 1)



  • 3-4 cups low sodium GF broth (save a little extra for the end of cooking)
  • Half a 16z bag of lentils
  • 1/2 to 1 cup red beans, black eyed peas, or adzuki beans
  • 1 cup cooked chicken sausage (chopped)- I used a red pepper and spinach flavor
  • Half a cup of diced onion – red or white
  • Your favorite barbecue rub or seasoning. I used a bourbon chili spice mix about 2-3 tsps (if it has high salt content,reduce amount you use or taste first.
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Half a cup of diced carrots or tomatoes (optional)
  • Vegan Option- Use BBQ tempeh or tofu. Could also use Meatless burgers. These options might not be gluten free though so read labels.

Cook your lentils according to the package first. But use the broth instead of water. I use low-sodium broth due to the salt content i will be adding with the rub. Half way through the cooking process add your spices, chicken sausage, veggies, and BBQ rub. Add a little more broth or water if needed and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or until lentils and veggies are fulled cooked. Stir in your molasses for a little sweetness. Serve with broth for a stew or without for a heartier dish or filling. I love topping it with some sort of slaw! You can also throw everything in a crock pot! Super easy. Just start with your lentils and half way through add your spices, meat, etc. For cooking lentils in a crock pot see here.
Note: Feel free to cook the whole bag of lentils and double the recipe if you are serving more than 4 people. [/print_this]

If you prefer just lentils, then try this without the red beans or pinto beans. Both are divine and work great!

BBQ Lentil Stew Favorite way to eat lentils?




thanks for the great tips in the comment section from this post! Be BOLD!

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  1. i’m all about stews in this cold weather!!

  2. Backfire LOL ha! Too funny. I had some backfiring the other day on the treadmill. hahahaa. Oy.

    I can’t remember the last time I had lentils. Maybe I should hold off until after my workout 😉

  3. nothing about this seems strange to me, just GOOD!! totally pinned it because I love how easy it is!

  4. Oh yum!! That sounds so delicious!!! I loooove recipes like this for the cold weather!

  5. This recipe sounds delicious…unlike some of those Vegemite ones :)
    My favourite way to eat lentils is in a hearty vegetable soup! Happy Friday!

  6. Kanoelani says:

    I love them in stews or soups! I add them to curry ones all the time… yum if you like curry! And I love your snack idea for your niece so good & easy. Hmmm… my fav snack… I loved salty snacks… I still kinda do UGH but since I try to have less of the salt these days haha I still have it but less is more hehe. I love sweet & salty snacks AKA kettle corn yum! 😉

  7. Love BBQ lentils! Not strange at all! Favorite school snack was bagel bites. When pizzas on a bagel you can have pizza any time! Haha

  8. I don’t think this looks strange at all – it looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

  9. Mmmm…I love lentil stew! When my grandpa was alive, he used to make it all the time and it was SO tasty. I’ve actually never cooked with lentils myself, but I really should try that out sometime.

  10. Lentils bother my sister too. I love them. I usually make veggie burgers with them. And the snack mix sounds perfect!

  11. I love how you manage to sneak molasses into so many of your recipes… definitely one of the most underrated ingredients. And paired with BBQ sauce? Sounds good to me!

    I think the last time I had lentils was in snobby joes… I love them, but my stomach has some issues with them so I can’t enjoy them as much as I’d like :(

  12. I love lentil soup in the winter. BBQ? Would never have thought of it, but it does sound good! I like a little Texas twist!

    Have a great weekend!

  13. I was and still am a huge fan of pb and celery or pb and apples. It never steers me wrong.

  14. I love me some stews when it gets cold out! Lentils have been hurting my tummy lately… :(

  15. waiiit…you mean I’m not just supposed to eat the lentils with a spoon straight from the can while still in sweaty bike gear? (classy, eh?) 😉
    GF Chex mixed up in a trail mix is the best- haven’t gotten the vanilla flavour yet, but my favourite is the corn one with frozen blueberries (yes…still frozen) with vanilla almond milk and cinnamon. How is that for strange but good?

  16. YUM!! I LOVE lentils and lentil soups! totally pinning this one :) vanilla chex…not sure I have tried them but now I shall have to!

  17. OMGoodness sounds delicious!


  19. BAHAHAHA I’m cracking up over the “backfire” comment. TOO funny – and this is totally getting pinned for dinner!

  20. Must try this recipe out!!! I am obsessed with lentils. They are so tasty…well when you add awesome things to them at least.
    I didn’t know lentils could be harming when healing from digestive stuff! Very interesting, but glad you can enjoy them in moderation now because they are delicious.

  21. My favorite after school snacks were of the junk food variety. The best? DUNKAROOS! Loved ’em. “it was literally backfire” HAHAHAHA. You’re too funny.

  22. Lentils I usually do Indian-style. BBQ is such a good twist! Heather got be hooked in BBQ flavors last year.

    Favorite after school snack… Homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk! Slightly healthier were the ants of a log – celery sticks filled with PB and dotted with raisin “ants.”

  23. Mmm, we did a similar sloppy jo lentils before that was delicious- sounds odd, but you’re right, it really works! I feel James’ disappointment… pretty sure my race is out, and I don’t know if it’s worth it to try for another one and lose fitness in the meantime. I might be joining y’all in the off season sooner than I had planned!

  24. This recipe looks AMAZING! Thank you for sharing!!!! =)

  25. This sounds super duper tasty!! I will definitely be trying this out with some vegan sausage!

  26. My family would love that snack mix!

  27. LOVE lentils! That is a great recipe!!!! The chex one too!!!! YUMMY!!!!!

    Making Your Own Healthy Cereal; Ban on Trans Fats; Happy Bday

  28. I can’t wait to try the lentils. I really want to love lentils but I haven’t found a recipe that makes me want to come back for more. Maybe this is the one! And for the chex mix? I haven’t tried the vanilla version yet, but it sounds delicious and not weird at all. I guess when you’re GF/DF that definition really changes!

  29. Does Costco sell bags of lentils? HAHA! I’ve seen so many yummy lentil recipes lately and cannot wait to try some out. Having chili tonight on this cool Texas evening! XOXO

  30. Thanks as always for the recipe Lindsay. Did someone say sausage? Mmmm

  31. Ohhh I miss eating legumes- Its so annoying, I love them but my stomach doesn’t- a pain in the…..

    If you don’t mind me asking, did you just lay off them for a while then introduce them back in? I’d love to be able to eat them again- that recipe looks so so so good.

  32. Mmm, the subtle sweetness of that lentil recipe sounds divine! I’m a total sucker for anything savory and sweet. My favorite after school snack was always PB&J… and I guess you can say that it is now my favorite after work snack now too 😉

  33. Will you believe I’ve never had BBQ anything? Not even as a sauce and I’m unsure the seasoning is available in stores. But since I just rediscovered my fondness of lentils this recipe sounds awesome. Especially as it’d give me another excuse to finally buy molasses again despite my already overstuffed pantry, ahem.
    My current favourite lentil recipe is my kabocha red lentil stew but they’re also delicious as a pizza topic [yes, really!].

  34. Yum! I love lentils in pretty much any form-they are so under-rated! My favorite way to eat them is with some chorizo and an over-medium eg. PerfecT! Can’t wait to try these with one of the hubster’s homemade rubs.

  35. Oh my gosh, this looks so good! Definitely have to make it this week!

  36. Mmmm….lentils… We eat beans and lentils regularly. They are such a great way to stretch food dollars in a really healthy way. Thanks for the recipe.


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