Rating: 4 stars
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1

This chicken stew, generously seasoned with the Ethiopian spice mix berbere, is loaded with tomato and red lentils. Depending on brand, berbere spice blend can be rather spicy. For a less spicy stew, start with 3 tablespoons spice blend rather than 5.

EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016; updated August 2022


Recipe Summary

40 mins
5 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Wash lentils in cold water in a medium bowl until the water runs clear; drain and spread in an even layer in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place chicken on top of the lentils.

  • Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add berbere and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping the onion mixture from the bottom of the pan, then stir in tomatoes with their juice.

  • Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker on top of the chicken, then pour in broth.

  • Cover and cook until the chicken is falling-apart tender, 5 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. Stir the stew to combine.


The secret to the irresistible flavor of this chicken stew is berbere spice blend (find it in well-stocked supermarkets or at teenytinyspice.com). This staple in Ethiopian cooking is a heady mix that usually includes garlic, fenugreek, allspice, red pepper, ginger, chiles, coriander, cinnamon and black pepper. If you can't find it, use a mixture of 4 tablespoons garam masala, 1 tablespoon hot paprika, 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek and 1 teaspoon salt in this recipe.

To make ahead

Trim chicken, prep onions, garlic and ginger. Refrigerate separately.


5- to 6-quart slow cooker

Nutrition Facts

about 1 1/4 cups
430 calories; protein 38g; carbohydrates 35.2g; dietary fiber 7g; sugars 4.6g; fat 13.9g; saturated fat 4.1g; cholesterol 98.2mg; vitamin a iu 334.8IU; vitamin c 13.6mg; folate 102.1mcg; calcium 68.7mg; iron 4.8mg; magnesium 59.4mg; potassium 724.7mg; sodium 665.6mg; thiamin 0.6mg.

1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat