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chicken lentil ethiopian stew in slow cooker
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4.92 from 24 votes

Slow Cooker Ethiopian Chicken & Lentil Stew

A hearty and flavorful slow cooker Ethiopian chicken stew made with Ethiopian spices, lentils and sweet potatoes.  Bring some exotic flavors to your dinner table!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Servings: 8
Calories: 228kcal


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons berbere spice mix *see note
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 2 ribs of celery sliced
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup green split lentils dried
  • 1 can 540mL/19oz diced tomatoes (including juices),
  • 1 cup chicken stock

after cooking

  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • salt if needed

to serve

  • flatbread
  • greek yogurt


  • Melt butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 5-8 minutes, until cooked through.
  • Add the berbere, cardamom, paprika, ginger and garlic, and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until fragrant.
  • Place the onion mixture in the slow cooker along with all remaining ingredients.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Gently stir in the lemon juice, brown sugar, and salt (if needed).
  • Serve with flatbread and yogurt.

To Assemble Ahead And Freeze:

  • Follow steps 1-2 (above) and place cooled onion mixture into a gallon freezer bag with all remaining ingredients except for the stock.
  • Remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw completely, then place in a 5 quart slow cooker with the stock and cook as directed above.


*Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend. You may be able to find it in specialty stores, however I made my own using the recipe below.
This stew is medium-spicy. If you don't like spice, you will need to reduce the cayenne/red pepper flakes in the berbere spice blend. If you want it SPICY!! then you will want to double the cayenne/ red pepper flakes.
This is a very hearty stew! ¾ cup is plenty for one person.


Serving: 1/8 batch | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 486mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g