Smoky Cauliflower & Lentil Stew

Lovely, smoky cauliflower and lentil stew — super wholesome and incredibly delicious. A recipe you’ll make again and again.
Smoky cauliflower & lentil stew

I’m so excited that Autumn is finally here. I’m such a sucker for the leaves changing colour, the feeling, and sound of stepping on a fallen leaf, the crisp winter’s air making its way through the trees.

Plus, with the change in season comes a new yield of delicious ingredients to gather and get my hands on.

I always like to eat with the seasons. It gives you such a challenge in experimenting with certain ingredients during their short-lived time, and some of my favourite recipes have been discovered that way.

There is something almost magical about indulging in a certain vegetable to then not eat it again for another year. It makes the taste so much more vibrant and allows you to fall in love with it all over again.

And that’s exactly where the inspiration for this recipe came from.

I wanted to create something that was super delicious and warming and had those smoky undertone flavours I’ve come to love and utilise in probably about 80% of my recipes.

I also wanted to pair it with some of these amazing Autumnal vegetables that are popping up all over the place.

I’ve used cauliflower, which you know is one of my favourite ingredients, and paired it with deliciously earthy red lentils and lots of spices, before topping it with a creamy tahini dressing for an added layer of luxury.

This recipe uses cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander and chilli flakes to really build a base layer of flavour and then adds a smokey depth that amazes against these two earthy rich ingredients.

Don’t be scared of all the different spices that this recipe has. They balance each other out and mean you’re able to easily adjust to your own heat and spice preference.

I absolutely love spicy food after travelling around the Middle East for many years, so I always add in an extra pinch or two when I make this dish. Also, skip the more intense spices if you are making this for the family.

I also love to stir in a little coconut yogurt for an added hit of creaminess.

I also finish this dish with lots of fresh coriander, and then serve it with some chunks of fresh sourdough bread or deliciously fluffy flatbreads. They are the perfect vehicle for soaking up and scooping up all that gorgeously rich liquid.

Lentils are actually one of my favourite ingredients as they are low in calories, rich in iron and an excellent source of protein.

Plus, they can bulk out so many types of dishes, making them the ultimate store cupboard essential to stock up on.

The recipe is super simple to create and because it’s cooked all in one pan, makes the washing up a breeze!

I always make extra portions when creating this recipe because the flavours are even better the next day once they have developed and infuse all the wonderful components.

And, it freezes really well, making it the perfect meal-prepping dish. Just portion out and freeze in portions, and then thaw overnight in the fridge. It can be kept in the freezer for a few weeks.

I hope you enjoy my Smoky Cauliflower & Lentil Stew, love Niki xx

The Recipe

Smoky cauliflower & lentil stew

Smoky Cauliflower & Lentil Stew

Lovely, smoky cauliflower and lentil stew - super wholesome and incredibly delicious. A recipe you’ll make again and again.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
2-4 servings
4.96 from 23 votes


  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots chopped into small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1/2 cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 825 ml veg stock
  • 150 g red lentils rinsed
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp coconut yogurt or cream–optional

For the tahini dressing

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Splash water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  • In a large saucepan, fry the onion with the olive oil on a medium heat until soft and browning.
  • Now add the carrots and garlic and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add in the spices and fry for a minute.
  • Now the cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add in the stock and lentils plus the tomato purée, tamari and Worcester sauce
  • Cover and simmer on a low to medium heat for 15 minutes or until the lentils and cauliflower are tender.
  • Stir in the coconut yogurt if desired.

To make the dressing

  • Add all the ingredients to a mini chopper and blitz until creamy.

To serve

  • Spoon the stew into bowls and drizzle with the tahini dressing.
Print Recipe

I'd love to hear your comments…

  • Carrie Harvey

    5 stars
    We loved this – a perfect bowl of comfort food. We heated up some pittas from the freezer to have with it. Thank you! I’ll be making this again for sure!

  • Carrie Harvey

    5 stars
    We’ve just had this for supper – real winter comfort food! Very delicious indeed – thank you, Niki.

  • 5 stars
    Honestly Nikki, my veganism would’ve foundered long ago, if it weren’t for you and your recipes! Thank you very much – this is utterly delicious! We added chickpeas and (my newly discovered) Henderson’s relish instead of Worcester sauce.

  • Daniela

    5 stars
    Hi Nikki. Thanks for so many great ideas. About this one, i dont have this worcester sauce. Is it essential? I hope not! Best regards

  • 5 stars
    Delicious – did not use cocnut yoghurt but so yummy.

  • 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! tip: the tahini dressing is the game changer. Make in abundance and don’t ommit!

    • Your blog is my go-to when I feel the need to eat more plant-based, you always bring me back on it. This recipe was a big hit! I swapped the carrots for potatoes (didn’t have any and wanted more carbs). I was thinking about skipping the dressing but I am glad I didn’t. So easy to make and iso delicious! Will definitely make it again!

    • Ah thank you so much – so glad you love it as much as I do! – Niki

  • Maneesha

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious recipe! I added red lentils as well as chickpeas, because, well, why not? So yum!

  • This looks amazing! Can you replace the tamari with soy sauce? Thanks!

  • Really good very tasty

  • 5 stars
    another ridiculously super tasty and easy to make recipe. Thanks Nikki. am so pleased to have discovered rebel recipes, its just fab 🙂

  • 5 stars
    Just made this in the Instant Pot and it was so delicious! Set for 5 mins – the lentils were done and veggies still had nice texture. Added some Harissa to the tahini cream and a pinch of cinnamon to the soup. So tasty – Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • Hi Tianna, that sounds like a great addition – so glad you enjoyed it – Niki xo

  • 5 stars
    Just discovered the blog and made this for dinner tonight with your fast flatbreads. Delicious and so good to make something so tasty from store cupboard staples! We added a little flake of smoked salt on top to up the smokey flavour too.

    Can’t wait to make more of your recipes (and can’t wait to eat the second half of this for lunch tomorrow!)


  • Just wondering if there is an alternative to the Worcestershire sauce? Thanks!

    • Hi Helen
      You can use a little Tamari or just leave it out.
      Much love
      Niki xxx

  • Making tonight. Are the lentils tinned?

    • Great!
      I used fresh but tinned is also good.. add a bit less liquid is your do.
      Much love
      Niki xxx

  • Carol wilson

    5 stars
    I made this over new year for my veggie friends – the carnivores loved it too. Firm favourite in our house now. Thank you.

  • Candice

    5 stars
    We loved this! Delicious the first day and as leftovers!

  • Sue Doshi

    5 stars
    Just made this swapped parsnips for the carrots and didn’t have any tamari so that was omitted. Really tasty winter comfort food yummy

  • 5 stars
    I made this and I cannot stop eating it!! I have to make more more more!

  • Mmmmm, this is going to be tried this week! Any ideas how many calories? I can’t imagine there’s that many! Thank you.

    • Hi Debora
      Im afraid I don’t calculate but I don’t believe its high. Plus packed with healthy ingredients.

      Niki xxx

  • Debby Hitchmough

    5 stars
    Hi Nikki made this tonight, was delicious and lovely comfort food.

    Made flatbreads with organic chickpea and Wholemeal organic wheat flour 2/3 to 1/3 proportions. Also had some mango chutney on the side too. Great midweek supper! Thanks for the recipe!!! Xxx

  • Rhiannon

    Can you also cook this using a slow cooker? If so, how long would you recommend cooking it for? 🙂

    Many thanks


    • Hi Rhiannon
      I haven’t tried, but I would imagine with more water.
      Let me know!
      Niki xxx

  • Just made this! I used purple cauliflower instead of normal for extra colour. Very excited to try this for my lunch 🙂 smells delish.

  • Joy Kirk

    5 stars
    Made this tonight! Absolutely fantastic! So much flavour and the tahini dressing was amazing!

  • A is making it for the second time now – and this time we have cauliflower!

  • Delicious it looks! I like to eat Smokey Cauliflower & Lentil Stew. I make this recipe every Sunday.

  • 5 stars
    Really yummy despite my idiotic cockup of adding tahini instead tamari…

    But definitely will be cooking it again ☺

  • 5 stars
    I want to eat this every day until spring, it looks delicious!

  • A

    So happy you liked it!
    Love, Niki xxx

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