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  • Writer's pictureCommunity Food Basket

Using Dried Beans and Lentils

Cooking with dried beans and lentils can seem like an overwhelming task. But have no fear! Our local University of Illinois Extension office has put together a comprehensive packet and video with tips and tricks to use these nutrition-packed pantry staples.

Click HERE to see Community Worker, Shasta Hladovcak, demonstrate the delicious Crockpot Vegetable and Lentil Stew recipe that is included later in this post.

Crockpot Vegetable and Lentil Stew


1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup carrots, chopped

2 cup kale, chopped

2 cup Swiss chard, chopped*

2 cup dried lentils

8 cup vegetable broth, reduced sodium

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.

  2. Gently rub vegetables under cool running water.

  3. Sauté garlic and onion with oil in medium skillet until tender.

  4. Combine garlic and onion mixture with remaining ingredients in a large slow cooker.

  5. Cook in slow cooker for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

  6. Remove bay leaves and serve.

Note: *Note: if you have trouble finding chard at the store, spinach can be used as a substitute.

Recipe is provided courtesy of the University of Illinois Extension. Thank you!

To get helpful tips straight to your phone, sign-up for the University of Illinois Extension's text message program! Click HERE to sign up today.

The cover photo for this post is provided by Marco Verch for use under Creative Commons 2.0. All other photos are courtesy of the University of Illinois Extension.

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