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Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives

This Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew is a delicious meatless dish with a hint of chocolate and just a touch of spiciness. And this tasty recipe is also low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Click here to PIN this tasty Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew!

Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives found on KalynsKitchen.com.

My nephew Jake has been cooking with me for the blog since 2011, and this Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Sweet Bell Peppers and Green Olives is still one of his favorite recipes out of all the recipes we’ve tried together. We first spotted the recipe in The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook, and I loved the sound of a stew with lentils, sweet bell peppers, green olives, onion, garlic, chile powder and a hint of cocoa powder.

Then when we tried the recipe Jake and I kicked it up a little, adding oregano, some canned tomatoes, a bit of Green Tabasco Sauce and extra  green olives.  We ate this with a generous shake of green Tobasco, and it made a satisfying meatless dish that we loved from the very first bite. 

But truthfully, the photos from 2011 were definitely a bit ugh (see below), so recently I made this again and took new pictures, which show off the recipe a lot better! And this time I added a little bit of green olive juice to the finished stew for even more flavor, plus I had the idea of garnishing the stew with sliced green olives, which probably appeals to all the green olive fans like myself!

Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives found on KalynsKitchen.com.
Rinse lentils and pick out any broken ones. Then simmer with garlic, salt, and water until lentils are soft. Drain over a pan to catch the liquid. While lentils cook, chop the onions, red pepper, and green olives.  Brown onions in a little olive oil in a pot that’s large enough to hold all the stew. 

Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives found on KalynsKitchen.com.
Add the minced garlic, diced red pepper, chile powder, and oregano and cook a few minutes more. Then add diced tomatoes with  juice, tomato sauce, cocoa powder, sweetener, and diced green olives and simmer about 10 minutes. Add the cooked lentils, 1 cup (or more) of the lentil cooking water and simmer 20-25 minutes on low heat. Add the Green Tabasco Sauce and 1-2 T green olive juice and stir.

Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives found on KalynsKitchen.com.
Serve the stew hot You can top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream if you don’t care whether it’s vegan. I loved this with some sliced green olives for garnish, so pretty!

Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives found on KalynsKitchen.com.

And oh my, here is the original photo from 2011, definitely a bit meh don’t you think?

Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives
(Makes about 6 small servings; recipe adapted from The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook.)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups dried brown or green lentils, rinsed and picked over
4 tsp. minced garlic (4 large cloves)
3/4 tsp. salt
2-3 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, diced medium
1 T ground chile power (I used ground Ancho Chile)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
2 tsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. Stevia In the Raw granulated or other sweetener of your choice
1 cup diced green olives
1 cup or more lentil cooking water
1 T Green Tabasco Sauce, plus more for serving if desired
1-2 T green olive brine (optional, but if you like green olives this kicks up the flavor!)
plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for serving (optional)

Instructions:

Pick over the lentils to remove any that look too dark or too light, rinse the lentils and put them in a medium-sized saucepan.  Add minced garlic, salt, and 6 cups hot water, and bring lentils to  a boil.  Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered until lentils are soft, about 20-25 minutes.  (If you have old lentils that have been in the pantry a while they make take significantly longer to cook, so try some to see when they’re done.)  When lentils are soft, drain them into a colander placed over a bowl or large measuring cup to catch the liquid.

While lentils cook, chop the onion, bell pepper, and green olives.  Heat oil in a heavy dutch oven type pan that’s large enough to hold all the stew.  Add the onions and saute over medium-high heat until onions are just starting to brown.  Add the minced garlic, diced bell pepper, chile powder, and oregano, and cook 3-4 minutes more.

Add diced tomatoes and juice, tomato sauce, cocoa powder, sweetener of your choice, and diced green olives and simmer about 10 minutes.   Then add cooked lentils and 1 cup or more of lentil cooking water, and simmer 20-25 minutes more on low heat. Stir in the Green Tabasco Sauce and green olive juice as desired. 

Serve hot, topped a generous dash of green Tabasco sauce if desired. If you don’t care about the recipe being vegan, this is also good with Greek yogurt or sour cream.

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Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions: 

This flavorful dish is loaded with  low-glycemic ingredients, and it would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet or other low-glycemic diet plans. Remember that serving size is limited for the South Beach Diet Phase One. Lentils are probably too high in carbs for strictly low-carb eating plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Nutritional Information?

If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Meatless Recipes with Lentils:
Mexican Red Lentil Stew with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Spiced Lentils and Rice from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Bengali Red Dal Curry from Jake from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Lentil Vegetable Soup with Collards from Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies

Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives found on KalynsKitchen.com.

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17 comments on “Vegan Picadillo Lentil Stew with Peppers and Green Olives”

  1. I love lentils and I think I added mango when I made my lentil picadillo. Super delicious. 🙂

  2. Janet, I think mango would be great in this!

  3. I keep looking for lentil stew/soup ideas as well. We add raw mangoes to our lentil stews sometimes. Bell peppers and olives would be great.

  4. Haha Janet and I made the same mango picadillo, but this versions sounds quite delicious also! I love the hint of cocoa powder.

  5. Sangeeta, glad you like the sound of it!

    Joanne, I thought the touch of cocoa powder was great in this.

  6. We're both thinking along the picadillo line! I just made a shrimp picadillo, but I love this lentil version. The sweet-and-sour flavoring is irresistible.

  7. This looks like a recipe I will try. Can you tell my what a picadillo is?

  8. Picadillo is the name for a Latin dish that's kind of a stew or hash made up of very finely chopped ingredients. It often contains olives, which is why the name is used for this recipe.

  9. I love the brininess that olives add to a Spanish dish like this! I would love to throw in some mango or raisins too.

  10. Right in the middle of making this, I realized that I didn't have any tomato sauce or canned tomatoes (for some reason I thought I did) But I did have a small can of tomato paste. Added that to a small pot with about 1 cup of water and heated up for about 10 minutes and used that in place of both tomatoes called for in this dish. It came out absolutely wonderful!

  11. Just made this now! Yummy!!

  12. I pinned this months ago,and just got around to making it today. I was planning on having it for my lunches all next week, but it smelled so delicious that my husband wanted to taste some. Needless to say, it's half gone now!

  13. So glad you both enjoyed it!

  14. Trying to eat less processed & shed about 80 lbs. Loved this recipe. Im going to eat this all week. It made a lot. I didnt have cocoa powder. but it still tasted great. I topped it with avocado.

    Any idea how many calories might be in this recipe? Thanks for sharing

  15. Leah, glad you liked it. I don't count calories, but I recommend a site called Calorie Count if you want to enter the ingredients. There is a link under FAQ.

  16. This turned out fantastic. Thank you!

  17. Pingback: Vegetarian Lentil Chili: 30 MInute Meal or Slow Cooker Recipe

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