Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage

Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage is an Italian style lentil dish for the New Year with wine braised sweet sausage.
Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage

Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This is something I got the idea for in a conversation on FaceBook,  when someone mentioned having lentils with Italian sausage for their New Year’s meal. I must admit I haven’t really had that prepared in that way before. But I like salsiccia, so why not?

But then I found out that it is often made with Cotechino, which is actually a much larger sausage similar to a salami charcuterie, but it does require some long cooking (about 4 hours). Then someone else  mentioned that their family uses the sweet Italian sausages  and that the differences are mostly regional.

I’m not Italian at all, so regions are of little importance to me. Just ease of prep and flavor. And sweet Italian sausage is quite easy for me to prep, and I do well seasoning things like beans and lentils in soups and braises. If I wasn’t using the Cotechino, it didn’t really matter if my recipe was traditional anyway, right? So if you were counting on something particularly authentic, I can’t guarantee it. But if you are just looking for good flavor, carry on.

Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage

So I thought I would do this a bit like I do my lentil soups with mirepoix as part of the flavor base, but expanding into Italian flavors with tomatoes,  copious amounts of garlic and fennel. Plus wine ties it all together.

The flavors are really good and I quite enjoyed it (so did Bill, who had a second helping). I think it’s a great alternative to having pasta if you want Italian but don’t want pasta. The flavors aren’t like marinara sauced spaghetti, but it will still do. This definitely will become part of my rotating arsenal, as I hope it does yours.

Tomorrow I turn toward another part of the world (the southwest USA) for my final post of the year, which is for posole. I use the dried type of posole in it (which I discovered I should do as it is important for the texture of the corn). I worked it out for the crockpot and was very happy with it. Hopefully you enjoy it as well. Cya’ tomorrow!

Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage

Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 19 ounces sweet Italian sausage links
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups French puy lentils
  • 15 ounces canned petit diced tomatoes with juice
  • 10 fluid ounces dry red wine
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 


  1. Brown the sausages in oil and set aside.
  2. In pan oil, saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic until softened.
  3. Stir in the bay leaves, fennel seed, thyme, marjoram, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, lentils, diced tomatoes with juice, red wine and vegetable broth, stirring to  mix.
  4. Put the sausages back in the pan with the lentil mixture and bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover and simmer  until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 30-40 minutes. 
  5. Tip: Remove the lid and let the excess water evaporate off if needed, or add a little stock if it is  too dry, but the important part is to get  the lentils tender.

From the kitchen of

Braised Lentils with Italian Sausage

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