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Lentil and Chorizo Mulligan Stew – Slow Carb

Lentil and Chorizo Mulligan Stew – Slow Carb

Lentils are constantly being recommended as a good staple for the Slow Carb Diet, and are also appropriate for a Mediterranean Diet. Besides being a tasty base for all kinds of proteins and vegetables, lentils are cheap, nutritious and easy to work with. This lentil stew is both delicious and easy.

Red lentil and chorizo mulligan
Red lentil and chorizo mulligan
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Ingredients for lentil chorizo stew laid out on counter
Ingredients: 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 cup lentils, 1 tsp harissa, 2 cups chicken broth, 12-oz red peppers, 12 oz diced tomatoes. 1 lb ground chorizo

What does Mulligan mean?

So in informal golf games a mulligan is “…..a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder.

The food dish of mulligan stew shares a few concepts of the golf definition, in that the stew is often made with odds and ends of leftover food scraps (hence “second chance”).

Mulligan stew is a sort of catch-all dish of whatever is available, and is said to have originated in hobo camps during the early 1900’s. It usually contains meat, potatoes and vegetables in just about any combination.

I’m calling this lentil chorizo dish a “mulligan stew” because it’s kind of a stew, kind of a hash and kind of a soup.  It’s really a mash-up of lentils and chorizo and whatever else is in your fridge.  In my case, that was harissa, peppers and tomatoes.  

I will be making this frequently, and I’m sure it will be slightly different each time – hence the beauty of a “mulligan stew”.

The Mexican Version of Lentil Chorizo Stew

In the central region of Mexico, chorizo is used in everything from eggs to tacos. The addition of chipotle chile is also characteristic of this area. The ingredient list below shows that Mexican lentil chorizo stew is quite similar to the mulligan recipe below, but it adds the distinctive flavor of smoky chippotles.

The list of ingredients below is from an article about Mexican cooking focused on lentils and I found it on the website Mexconnect. It is similar to the mulligan stew recipe below, with the addition of carrots and chipotle. It also uses more lentils and less chorizo.

I can vouch for the wonderful flavor of my lentil chorizo mulligan stew, but I have not made the Mexican version. Looks good though! Let me know in the comments if you make this and how it turns out.

Ingredients for Mexican Lentil Chorizo Stew

  • ½ pound chorizo, crumbled
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 6-7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, seeds removed for less heat, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Other Ways to Add Flavor to Lentils

Lentils can often be bland. This lentil soup recipe adds smoky flavors for a rich, comforting flavor profile. Included in the above article are other suggestions to enhance basic lentil soups.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is lentil chorizo mulligan stew healthy?

Lentils, like beans, are considered “pulses” and they are one of the cornerstones of a Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet with lentils as a base consistently ranks as one of the healthiest diets, and there is a huge body of evidence documenting multiple health benefits. This comprehensive post goes into detail on the benefit and nutritional value of lentils and pulses.

Mulligan stews can easily be made vegetarian. In my recipe, just exclude the chorizo and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Add more vegetables if desired. Remember, a mulligan is a “hobo” stew, made with odds and ends.

Can lentil soups/stews be frozen

Yes! The stew will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days and will actually get better. If you still have some leftover, pack it in an airtight container and freeze for 6 months. You can freeze it in a ziplock freezer bag if you want it to lay flat in the freezer.

Can you use canned lentils?

Not really. Canned lentils need to cook together with the rest of the ingredients for a while and they tend to turn mushy and may disintegrate. Quick-cooking lentils are the best option, as they are quick and easy, but will still meld with the rest of the ingredients while holding on to their texture.

Are red lentils or brown lentils better?

There is a whole range of lentils, but the red and the brown lentils are the ones that are usually available in most grocery stores.

The brown lentil is by far the most common variety of lentil. They generally have a mild, earthy flavor, cook in about 20 to 30 minutes and hold their shape very well. 

Red lentils (sometimes gold or orange) are the sweetest and nuttiest of the lentils (IMHO). They usually cook in about 30 minutes, but can get mushy if cooked too long. Mushy is not necessarily negative, and is often what you want when making Indian dals and curries or for thickening soups.

Lentil Chorizo Mulligan Stew

Red lentil and chorizo mulligan
This is an easy stew (or mulligan) often made with leftovers in the fridge. It is flexible, delicious and very healthy. It is also compliant with slow carb and Pesco Mediterranean diets.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 4 people
Calories 620


  • large pot


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or smashed
  • 1 lb chorizo ground, not cured
  • 1 Tbsp harissa or sambal oelek, or other chile paste
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes Canned (I like Rotel) or fresh
  • 1 cup lentils red or brown
  • 12 ounces roasted red peppers chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley chopped


  • Heat 1 Tbsp oil in dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for 3-5 minutes until soft and golden brown. Add chorizo and break it up in the pot. Cook mixture until chorizo is no longer pink (5-7 minutes).
  • Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in harissa, tomatoes, lentils, peppers and stock and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly.
  • Stir in parsley and serve in bowls


Calories: 620kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 36gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 2760mgPotassium: 986mgFiber: 18gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1328IUVitamin C: 60mgCalcium: 113mgIron: 8mg
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Red lentil and chorizo stew
Red lentil and chorizo stew
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