Monday Meal Ideas: Spanish-style Lentils with Chorizo Sausage

Even among palm trees in Barcelona, winter means goosebumps, and a certain chill that seeps from the outside in, that only hot food, and hot drinks can really assuage. One of my favorite winter-weather staples are lentils. Stewed with red curry paste and coconut milk and garnished with fresh cilantro, mixed with peppers, rice and fresh pork sausage, lentils are versatile and easy to prepare.

One of my husband’s favorite versions of lentils are Spanish-style lentils (lentejas) with chorizo sausage. So without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients for Lentils with Chorizo for 2 (as a main dish): 

  • 1.5 cups dry green lentils
  • 8oz diced tomatoes (canned)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp tomillo
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup of chunked chorizo sausage (I prefer spicy Spanish chorizo sausage)
Lentejas con salchicha chorizo al estilo espanol

The smoked paprika in Spanish chorizo gives this dish it’s signature flavor. If you can’t get ahold of it, you can order it on Amazon, and all year round. Before I would prepare lentils and chorizo with a fresh Mexican Chorizo sausage, I would try other hard-cured spicy European sausages.

  1. Soak your lentils overnight.
  2. Put 3 cups of water on low heat.
  3. Add lentils, tomillo and bay leaf, turn up heat, and cook on high heat until the water starts to boil.
  4. Turn down the heat and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
  5. Drain any excess water.
  6. Sautee garlic, onions, and chorizo sausage in olive oil until the onions are golden.
  7. Add tomatoes and lentils.
  8. Sprinkle with Spanish smoked paprika before serving and drizzle with a little uncooked extra virgin olive oil if you like.


lentejas con chorizo

Lentils with chorizo are an ideal winter weather meal, especially for meat lovers who are sick of chili and interested in trying something new

Extra tips 

  • The peppery tasting green lentils complement the tomato and chorizo in this dish better than the tiny brown ones.
  • Save time making this dish by skipping the pre-soak for the lentils. It helps ensure more even cooking, and supposedly aids digestion, but they cook up fine without soaking, too.
  • Unlike other dry beans, lentils cook quickly, but you can save a few minutes buying them canned and precooked.
  • Use spicy smoked chorizo from Spain. Mexican chorizo doesn’t have the same texture, flavor or spices. In a pinch, I would use a spicier Italian pepperoni before I would substitute Mexican chorizo.
  • Cut fat and calories with turkey or chicken chorizo, but since this is a dish that uses chorizo as more of a garnish or spice than a main ingredient, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, unless you tend to go overboard on your smoked meats…
  • Make this dish vegetarian and vegan friendly by skipping the chorizo and adding a smoked paprika to taste (sweet or spicy) before serving to give it some chorizo-esque flavor.
  • This dish is easy to prepare gluten-free. Just double-check the tomato sauce, lentils and chorizo when purchasing to make sure they don’t contain any gluten. Chorizo that’s white on the outside has usually been coated in flour.
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