Chicken sausage and sweet parsnips add savory flavor to this easy lentil stew.
The day I discovered chicken and apple sausage at Costco was one of the best days of my life. Okay, that’s probably a big exaggeration, but I truly love the stuff. It adds a savoriness to any soup, stew or casserole, and is amazing combined with sweet potatoes!
But today’s recipe is all about the chicken breakfast sausage I grabbed at our local Hagens the other day along with a bag of lentils to make myself a lentil stew.
If you’re calorie watching, then chicken or turkey sausage is definitely a leaner choice than pork sausage. According to Food Network’s Healthy Eats, “Pork sausage has 290-455 calories and 23-38 grams of fat per link. Turkey and chicken sausage have 140-160 calories and 7-10 grams of fat for the same amount.”
This is a marvelous calorie deal if you ask me!
A bag of Trader Joe’s parsnips seemed like a fun alternative to the typical mirepoix I would have started my stew off with. Don’t you love that word – mirepoix? Just using the word makes me feel like a fancy chef! (FYI – if you aren’t familiar, all it means is carrots, celery, and onions.)
Besides the fact that lentils are literally packed with fiber, I love the fact that they cook quickly, so using dried beans as opposed to their sodium-packed canned cousins is definitely a heart healthy choice.
Don’t skip the fresh parsley. A bunch of parsley costs literally pennies and adds color, appeal, and freshness to this easy lentil stew.
Hearty Winter Chicken, Lentil and Parsnip Stew
15 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 1 pound extra lean chicken breakfast sausage
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 1/2 cups parsnips, cubed
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a non-stick cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Combine chicken sausage, onion and thyme in a bowl. With a small ice cream scoop, form sausage into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the sausage. Roast another 5 - 10 minutes until cooked through.
- In a large skillet add lentils, broth, thyme, bay leaf and parsnips. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then lower the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are tender. If needed add more broth to keep a stew-like consistency.
- Remove bay leaf, then add sausage meatballs and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Food energy: 328kcal
Weight Watchers PointsPlus 8
Saturated fatty acids: 3.72g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 5.54g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.83g
Total fat: 10.09g
Calories from fat: 90
Carbohydrate, by difference: 39.34g
Total dietary fiber: 6.40g
Total lipid (fat): 11.36g
Total sugars: 6.36g
FYI – if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, or think you need a non-stick coated skillet to be a healthy cook, you’d be mistaken.
Eating Well confirms that you can use less oil, and use a pan that is chemical free as opposed to the chemicals in non-stick coatings. Not to mention the boost of iron they impart to your foods (don’t worry, you can’t taste it.) My cast iron skillet is seasoned well and is without doubt non-stick – affordable too. You can get yours on Amazon for under $35 pre-seasoned.
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