Tuscan Lentils & Chicken Sausage

I was really hoping to call this recipe, “Balsamic Lentils with Chicken Sausage.” Unfortunately that is a bit hard to do when you realize you’re out of balsamic vinegar halfway through making dinner. So I grabbed the crushed red pepper and went for a spicier version – you will have to tell me if you try this with some balsamic as I am really curious! As I made it, this dinner still satisfied plenty. My favorite dinners on cold night are the ones that can be eaten out of a bowl with a spoon, nestled on lap on the couch. Yep, I just admitted that I eat dinner on the couch. Sometimes. Especially when dinner is eaten out of a bowl.
Update, January 7th, 2010: We had this last night and I’m going to present to you a new and improved version. I was a little low on spinach, but I had some carrots in the fridge that I decided to throw in. What a great addition! Not only do they add a rich sweetness to the dish, they also serve as a gorgeous pop of color. I also added a teaspoon of olive oil, because we all know there’s nothing wrong with a little extra good fat. I’m editing the recipe & nutritional information below to reflect these changes, but feel free to experiment and use whatever veggies you have laying around, as I did here. Oh, and this time, I had the balsamic!

Adding one more thing – I decided to share this recipe with the Local Cook for her FitJerk Friday feature. Head on over and check out more healthy recipes by bloggers!

Tuscan Lentils and Chicken Sausage
Printable Recipe

1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (100gm)
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of minced garlic
about 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 links fully cooked chicken sausage (such as Member’s Mark from Sam’s Club Asiago & Spinach Chicken Sausage), sliced
14oz can diced tomatoes
pinch of dried basil
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry lentils
3/4 cup water
5 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, chicken sausage, crushed red pepper, basil, salt and pepper and saute 1-2 minutes more. Add the lentils, canned tomatoes, and water, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add spinach and balsamic vinegar. Cook 10 minutes more, until spinach is wilted and lentils are tender.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 378.5
Total Fat: 9.5 g
Cholesterol: 97.5 mg
Sodium: 1,640.2 mg
Total Carbs: 42.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 17.0 g
Protein: 37.6 g
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38 Responses to “Tuscan Lentils & Chicken Sausage”

  1. 1

    Erin — January 19, 2009 @ 2:54 am Reply

    This looks so yummy! I love that it’s healthy too :) This looks like it would be great on a cold winter day.

  2. 2

    Lisa — January 19, 2009 @ 8:25 pm Reply

    This looks good and because it has sausage my husband won’t even know it’s healthy. LOL.

  3. 3

    ellysaysopa.com — January 19, 2009 @ 11:46 pm Reply

    Mm, this looks great. I <3 lentils. :) I bet it would be great with the balsamic next time around!

  4. 4

    That Girl — January 20, 2009 @ 2:02 am Reply

    It’s almost as if sausage was made for lentils, isn’t it?

  5. 5

    Joelen — January 20, 2009 @ 2:42 am Reply

    Sounds delicious! I’ve had that particular sausage from Sams Club and its great!

  6. 6

    USA Kiwi (aka Kylee) — January 20, 2009 @ 3:40 pm Reply

    We were going to buy some of those sausages at Sam’s, but couldn’t find a price tag – and didn’t want to be shocked at the register – so didn’t get them.Next time….

  7. 7

    USA Kiwi (aka Kylee) — January 20, 2009 @ 3:40 pm Reply

    We were going to buy some of those sausages at Sam’s, but couldn’t find a price tag – and didn’t want to be shocked at the register – so didn’t get them.Next time….

  8. 8

    Kevin — January 30, 2009 @ 1:25 pm Reply

    This sounds really good. I have been wanting to use lentils more often.

  9. 9

    Liz — February 3, 2009 @ 1:15 am Reply

    I made a balsamic version tonight and loved it! I will get it up on the blog later this week. Thanks!

  10. 10

    Susan (peebsmama) — December 31, 2009 @ 11:24 pm Reply

    Made this last night and it was super delicious. I used garlic seasoned tomatoes and substituted chicken broth for the water but otherwise made it exactly as written. It was so easy that I think even my hubby could make this next time. TFS.

  11. 11

    Gwyn — January 12, 2010 @ 1:46 am Reply

    I made this tonight to start off our "eating healthy" kick! It was delicious. LOVED the addition of the balsamic! We don't have a Sams membership so i used a garlic chicken sausage from our grocery store & it worked wonderfully. Can't wait to try out some more of your recipes.

  12. 12

    Kara — April 15, 2010 @ 9:13 pm Reply

    Cara, seriously, my FAVE recipe of yours… EVER. We can hardly restrain ourselves every time I make this… it's AWESOME!

  13. 13

    Alyssa — July 19, 2010 @ 11:39 pm Reply

    Mmm… so good! I messed up the recipe a little… instead of diced tomatoes, I used a can of crushed tomatoes so it's a little more tomato-y then it probably should be, but still very tasty!

  14. 14

    Jessica — March 27, 2011 @ 3:07 am Reply

    I made a soup last weekend with turkey sausage & lentils, and it was kind of amazing…at least I thought so. (http://stylishstealthyandhealthy.blogspot.com/2011/02/sausage-soup-for-sickly-soul-turkey.html) But I really liked the combo of the spicey sausage with the lentils. I will have to try this next! Thanks!

  15. 15

    Kara — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    Cara, seriously, my FAVE recipe of yours… EVER. We can hardly restrain ourselves every time I make this… it's AWESOME!

  16. 16

    Gwyn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    I made this tonight to start off our "eating healthy" kick! It was delicious. LOVED the addition of the balsamic! We don't have a Sams membership so i used a garlic chicken sausage from our grocery store & it worked wonderfully. Can't wait to try out some more of your recipes.

  17. 17

    Susan (peebsmama) — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    Made this last night and it was super delicious. I used garlic seasoned tomatoes and substituted chicken broth for the water but otherwise made it exactly as written. It was so easy that I think even my hubby could make this next time. TFS.

  18. 18

    Liz — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    I made a balsamic version tonight and loved it! I will get it up on the blog later this week. Thanks!

  19. 19

    Kevin — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    This sounds really good. I have been wanting to use lentils more often.

  20. 20

    USA Kiwi (aka Kylee) — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    We were going to buy some of those sausages at Sam's, but couldn't find a price tag – and didn't want to be shocked at the register – so didn't get them.Next time….

  21. 21

    USA Kiwi (aka Kylee) — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    We were going to buy some of those sausages at Sam's, but couldn't find a price tag – and didn't want to be shocked at the register – so didn't get them.Next time….

  22. 22

    USA Kiwi (aka Kylee) — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    We were going to buy some of those sausages at Sam's, but couldn't find a price tag – and didn't want to be shocked at the register – so didn't get them.Next time….

  23. 23

    Joelen — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    Sounds delicious! I've had that particular sausage from Sams Club and its great!

  24. 24

    ellysaysopa.com — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    Mm, this looks great. I <3 lentils. :) I bet it would be great with the balsamic next time around!

  25. 25

    Lisa — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    This looks good and because it has sausage my husband won't even know it's healthy. LOL.

  26. 26

    That Girl — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    It's almost as if sausage was made for lentils, isn't it?

  27. 27

    Erin — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    This looks so yummy! I love that it's healthy too :) This looks like it would be great on a cold winter day.

  28. 28

    Jessica — March 28, 2011 @ 8:53 pm Reply

    I made a soup last weekend with turkey sausage & lentils, and it was kind of amazing…at least I thought so. (http://stylishstealthyandhealthy.blogspot.com/2011/02/sausage-soup-for-sickly-soul-turkey.html) But I really liked the combo of the spicey sausage with the lentils. I will have to try this next! Thanks!

  29. 29

    Alyssa — March 28, 2011 @ 8:55 pm Reply

    Mmm… so good! I messed up the recipe a little… instead of diced tomatoes, I used a can of crushed tomatoes so it's a little more tomato-y then it probably should be, but still very tasty!

  30. 30

    Jessica — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    I made a soup last weekend with turkey sausage & lentils, and it was kind of amazing…at least I thought so. (http://stylishstealthyandhealthy.blogspot.com/2011/02/sausage-soup-for-sickly-soul-turkey.html) But I really liked the combo of the spicey sausage with the lentils. I will have to try this next! Thanks!

  31. 31

    Liz — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    I made a balsamic version tonight and loved it! I will get it up on the blog later this week. Thanks!

  32. 32

    USA Kiwi (aka Kylee) — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    We were going to buy some of those sausages at Sam's, but couldn't find a price tag – and didn't want to be shocked at the register – so didn't get them.Next time….

  33. 33

    ellysaysopa.com — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    Mm, this looks great. I <3 lentils. :) I bet it would be great with the balsamic next time around!

  34. 34

    Lisa — March 29, 2011 @ 2:07 am Reply

    This looks good and because it has sausage my husband won't even know it's healthy. LOL.

  35. 35

    USA Kiwi (aka Kylee) — April 5, 2011 @ 1:22 am Reply

    We were going to buy some of those sausages at Sam's, but couldn't find a price tag – and didn't want to be shocked at the register – so didn't get them.Next time….

  36. 36

    ellysaysopa.com — April 5, 2011 @ 1:22 am Reply

    Mm, this looks great. I <3 lentils. :) I bet it would be great with the balsamic next time around!

  37. 37

    USA Kiwi (aka Kylee) — April 5, 2011 @ 1:22 am Reply

    We were going to buy some of those sausages at Sam's, but couldn't find a price tag – and didn't want to be shocked at the register – so didn't get them.Next time….

  38. 38

    Liz — April 5, 2011 @ 1:22 am Reply

    I made a balsamic version tonight and loved it! I will get it up on the blog later this week. Thanks!

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