Braised Lentils with Pumpkin & Fennel

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Skill Level
Preparation Time 15 minutes Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 Cost Per Serving $0.96
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Image of braised lentils with pumpkin and fennel.


1 cupFrench (Puy) Lentils or Green Lentils
1Large Onion, roughly chopped
2 cupsPumpkin or Butternut Squash, medium dice
1 cupFennel, roughly diced
4 clovesGarlic, peeled and smashed
3 cupsVegetable Stock or Water
1 tbspDried Mushrooms (Shiitake or Porcini)
2Bay Leaves
5 sprigsFresh Thyme
1/2 tspGround Nutmeg
2 tbspWhite Wine Vinegar
2 tbspPumpkin Seeds, toasted
1 1/2 tbspLight Olive Oil
To tasteSea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer or ripple, add your onions and fennel.
  2. Sauté the onions and fennel for about 7 minutes, until they begin to turn golden brown.
  3. Add the garlic cloves, pumpkin (or squash), bay leaves, thyme sprigs, ground nutmeg, dried mushrooms and lentils, and stir to combine. Add the stock or water, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender to taste.
  5. Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and a splash of white wine vinegar. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve.


  • Diets that are low in red meat and high in fibre-rich foods such as legumes are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and are recommended for cancer survivors. Lentils are very high in fibre: a ¾ cup serving has 12 grams of fibre, half the amount most women need in a day, and one third the amount most men need each day.  
  • If you have diarrhea or an ostomy bag, or have had a bowel obstruction, talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much fibre you should have each day. 
  • Lentils are an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin that is needed to form red blood cells and for proper nerve function. It may also help prevent heart disease and some types of cancer.
  • Lentils are rich in manganese, a mineral that is needed to absorb calcium and to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It is part of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a compound which protects healthy cells from free radical damage and which may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. 
  • Nutritionally speaking, various types of lentils are quite similar. Whole lentils are higher in fibre than hulled or split lentils. For the same volume, red lentils are higher in calories, fibre and protein than other types of lentils because they are thinner and more can fit into the same volume.