Test Kitchen: Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

Easy, healthy recipes tested for you weekly at the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen

Caila Yates, Graduate Dietetics Student, SAR ’20

About the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen: We’re all about making healthy taste delicious here at Sargent Choice.  That’s why we’ve teamed up with faculty-in-residence Dr. Karen Jacobs to offer students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to trial and taste-test new Sargent Choice healthy recipes each week at the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen.  Dr. Karen Jacobs invites students of all majors (not just nutrition) into her home on Boston University’s campus to cook up a recipe developed by Sargent Choice Registered Dietitian, Jennifer Culbert.  Feedback from the weekly Test Kitchen gets incorporated into future Sargent Choice recipes and helps shape the face of healthy dining at BU.

To kick off the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen for the semester, we made a cozy, veggie-packed stew!  It was the perfect dish to make after the snow storm that just hit Boston with some single digit temps.

What we liked:

  • The nutrient density of the dish – there were tons of veggies, and therefore tons of vitamins and minerals
  • The coconut milk made it thick and creamy
  • It’s a one pot meal, so less dishes to do at the end!

Things to try next time:

  • Switch up the spices! Try curry powder and cardamom for an Indian flare
  • Use up any veggies that are about to go bad. You can add almost any vegetable in this soup and it will taste amazing
  • You may want to consider buying the pre-cut butternut squash rather than a whole one if you’re not knife savvy, as they can be hard to peel and chop
  • Add a little sriracha or hot sauce at the end to give the stew some heat

Nutrients in this recipe:

Protein from lentils
Vitamin E and Potassium from the butternut squash
Vitamin A and vitamin C from the sweet potato
More vitamin C from the tomatoes
Manganese from the garlic

Sargent Choice Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

Recipe modified from Oh She Glows
Yield: ~ 8 servings (1.5 cups per serving)


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, ½ -inch diced
3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups peeled, seeded, ½ -inch diced butternut squash
1 large sweet potato, peeled, ½ -inch diced
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
½ cup dried red lentils, rinsed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 bunch chard or kale, stemmed and chopped finely or 5 ounces baby spinach
Brown rice for serving.


  1. Cook brown rice according to package directions
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine, sautéing for a few minutes longer.
  3. Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  4. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are fork-tender.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar (2-3 teaspoons or to taste).
  6. Stir in the chard (or kale or spinach) and cook for another few minutes until greens are wilted.