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French lentils

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Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

Lentils with Sausage and Spinach // Karista's Kitchen

The simplest meals are often my favorite. Lentils with Sausage and Spinach comes together without too much fuss and fulfills the need for healthy comfort food.

This dish usually happens when dinner inspiration has gone missing. Or when I didn’t make it to the market as planned. Which happens all too often.

I’ve sort of been in a Fall slump lately and I think it might be because my kids are away at college and there are no little ones to share the beginning of the holiday season. When my kids were little, we would spend an entire weekend decorating the house for fall and for Halloween. Then I’d let the girls choose one Halloween movie to watch each weekend. We’d usually make pizza or their favorite pasta and always Tamale Pie on Halloween night.  Weekend mornings I’d make bat and ghost shaped pancakes for breakfast and then we’d launch into Halloween cookie baking.

The only kids at home now are my two fur babies. Tank really doesn’t care about fall festivities unless there is a comfy sofa and tasty bone involved. Gus however, is very happy to accommodate my need to be outside in the falling leaves and brisk cool air.

While I was feeling less than festive last week I whipped up this little dish of comfort. Lentils with Sausage and Spinach seem to always make the day a bit more cozy and delicious. Although I added ground sausage to this dish for a bit more hearty texture, you can certainly keep it vegetarian and add a mix of greens to the dish.

Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

I’ve found the key to making lentils soar with flavor is to add aromatics and herbs while cooking them. This creates the loveliest lentils and a delicious base in which to add additional ingredients.

On occasion I’ll add diced pancetta or cooked bacon rather than sausage. And sometimes I load it up with extra veggies and skip the meat. However you prepare this dish, it’ll warm the heart as well as the belly.

Wishing you a festive and delicious fall season!

Loads of Love,


Lentils with Sausage and Spinach

Serving Size: 4-6

Lentils with Sausage and Spinach


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 2 cups lentils (I like the French green lentils but any kind will work)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-4 cups of vegetable broth (enough to cover the lentils)
  • 1/2 lb cooked ground sausage (optional) You can also use ground chicken or turkey sausage
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach or assorted greens such as kale, chard and mustard greens (about 1 5-ounce package)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shaved Pecorino or Parmesan to garnish


  • In a medium to large pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium to medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, oregano, thyme and chives. Saute the vegetables just until soft and then stir in the lentils.
  • Add the bay leaf and enough vegetable broth to cover the lentils. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and continue to simmer five more minutes to allow some of the liquid to reduce. If you don't have much liquid left you won't need to drain the lentils. However, if you have more than a cup of liquid still in the lentils, you may want to drain at least half. I like a bit of liquid still in the lentils as they will absorb the liquid as they sit.
  • Next, take the pot off the heat and stir in the sausage and then the spinach. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and then give it another drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. I like to serve this dish with freshly shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese.
  • Notes

    This dish also makes a great side without the sausage. I pair it with hearty roasts or a whole roasted chicken.

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    Karista's Kitchen Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Sassy French Lentils

    French Lentils with vegetables or squash

    What a summer it’s been.  Another move, a bit of travel, family visits, lots of delicious recipes tested and photographed, a new driver in the family, our college student returning to the city soon and Tank and I found new trails to run, cows and chickens to photograph and juicy ripe blackberries to snack on while we’re supposed to be running.  I think Tank loves the blackberry breaks more than me.

    Life is in perpetual motion and although this is a good thing, there are moments I need to put on the brakes, settle into a comfy chair and enjoy a quiet moment.  Hopefully with something tasty to sip – and always with a good book.  This does not happen often enough unfortunately, but today, I find myself scheming to find that moment in the near future.  I think you should to!  My little soapbox speech for the day. 🙂

    Mirepoix for French Lentils

    I’m in a bit of a sassy mood (can you tell?) and in honor of my sassiness, I’m posting this sassy little French lentil recipe.  Lentils have never thrilled my culinary taste buds – they’ve always just been there.  A side dish or ingredient that has useful qualities.  Mashed and blended with other exciting ingredients into lentil cakes or stirred into soups and stews to create a hearty texture.  Sometimes I’ll toss them into salads for extra texture and protein but I think I love them best prepared in the French style.

    French Lentils with vegetables or squash

    This is a recipe I can get excited about.  Layering flavor after flavor and then combining all those lush flavors with the lentils and summer vegetables makes for the loveliest entrée or side dish.   This dish is so simple and so delicious, I often pair it with grilled salmon or steak.  My oldest gal adores this dish a la carte, 0ften taking the leftovers for lunch.

    So, my friends, plan a quiet moment with something tasty to sip, a good book…  and make yourself some Sassy French Lentils.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Sassy French Lentils

    I use organic canned lentils for time sake, but feel free to use dried lentils that have been cooked.

    Serves 4-6


    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 red onion, diced

    2 anchovies

    1 medium carrot, diced

    1 rib celery, diced

    3 cloves garlic, finely diced

    1 3 inch sprig rosemary

    3 sprigs fresh thyme

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

    1 cup diced summer tomatoes (or canned)

    1 15 ounce can organic lentils or 2 cups cooked lentils

    1 teaspoon Dijon or stone ground mustard (optional)

    Squeeze of  lemon juice

    Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

    Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

    Add ins:  sliced roasted or grilled summer squash and zucchini, eggplant, green beans, corn and any other summer vegetable you adore, just stir them in or layer them on top of the finished dish.  If preparing this dish Fall/Winter I love to stir in diced roasted sweet potato or butternut squash.


    In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat and when it’s hot, but not smoking, add the onions, anchovies, carrots and celery.  Sauté until the veggies are nice and soft.

    Then stir in the garlic and sauté for one minute longer.

    Next stir in the rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley, oregano, tomatoes and lentils.  Let them heat through and then simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Remove the sprig of rosemary and then stir in the Dijon or stone ground mustard, squeeze of lemon juice (about a teaspoon), and drizzle of olive oil.  Continue to simmer on low for another 5-8 minutes.

    Take them off the heat and let them sit covered while you prepare the rest of your meal.  Or let them sit for about 5 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld together.  Taste for seasoning before serving.

    If you are pairing the lentils with veggies, ladle the lentils onto a platter and then top with the veggies.  If using diced roasted sweet potato or butternut squash, I like to gently fold those into the lentils and then ladle onto a platter.

    Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and dollops of plain Greek yogurt.

    Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

    Bon Appetit!