Vegan Lentil Fesenjān (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)

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Pan of gluten-free vegan Lentil Fesenjan and a cutting board with ingredients used to make it

We’ve been big fans of Fesenjān for years now—ever since John’s aunt introduced us to it at a Persian restaurant in San Diego. Traditionally prepared for special occasions, Fesenjān is perfect for colder months. It’s hearty, comforting, savory-sweet, and so simple to make. Let us show you how!

Wood cutting board with ingredients for making satisfying gluten-free vegan Lentil Fesenjan

Origin of Fesenjān

Fesenjān (also called fesenjoon) is an Iranian stew traditionally made with meat, pomegranate molasses or paste, and walnuts. It’s believed that during the Sassanian empire (224 -651 AD), it was served to celebrate the new year.

Our version is not traditional, but is our plant-based take made with similar ingredients and flavors, such as walnuts and pomegranate molasses. You can find a more traditional recipe from Rozina’s Persian Kitchen.

How to Make Vegan Fesenjān

This recipe is simple to make, requiring just 9 ingredients.

It starts with toasting walnuts and sautéing onions to create a rich and hearty base for the stew. The walnuts are blended into a fine meal and are almost undetectable in the final dish, but add a nuttiness that I just love.

Food processor with ground walnuts for making our Lentil Fesenjan recipe

The flavor comes from plenty of warming spices like cinnamon and turmeric as well as vegetable broth and a somewhat uncommon ingredient—pomegranate molasses.

You can find pomegranate molasses at most specialty stores, or—good news—you can make your own (which is what I do). Simply cook down pomegranate juice until thickened and reduced and you’ve got a great homemade substitute.

Stirring a skillet of our satisfying vegan Lentil Fesenjan recipe

Though this dish is traditionally cooked with meat, I first began cooking it at home with chickpeas (a recipe you’ll find in our cookbook!). But I must say, lentils and Fesenjān belong together. They become tender in the broth and take on the flavors so incredibly well. I’m hooked!

Skillet filled with hearty and flavorful Lentil Fesenjan

We hope you LOVE this recipe! It’s:

Hearty
Savory-sweet
Comforting
Warming
Satisfying
Incredibly flavorful
Versatile
& So delicious

This would make the perfect meal for holidays, hosting, weeknight dinners, and beyond. We love preparing it in the winter months when pomegranates are abundant. Serve over rice and top with pomegranate arils and parsley for the ultimate festive dish.

More Hearty Stews

If you’re into hearty stews, also be sure to check out our 1-Pot Red Lentil Chili, Moroccan-Spiced Eggplant & Tomato Stew, Lentil Mushroom Stew Over Mashed Potatoes, and Easy Chana Masala. Mmm, comfort food.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plate of Lentil Fesenjan over rice for a hearty gluten-free vegan meal

Hearty Lentil Fesenjān (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)

9-ingredient vegan Fesenjān made with lentils! A hearty stew of toasted walnuts, pomegranate molasses, onion, and spices. A comforting, Persian-inspired, plant-based meal!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Skillet filled with a batch of our Vegan Lentil Fesenjan
4.87 from 79 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (3/4-cup servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Persian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

FESENJAN

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 2-4 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate juice // see instructions to make your own)
  • 1/4 cup water (or sub 1/2 the amount in olive or avocado oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth (or store-bought)
  • 1 cup rinsed uncooked brown or green lentils*
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub coconut sugar // plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (plus more to taste)

FOR TOPPING/SERVING optional

  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice* (or sub cauliflower rice*)
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Add walnuts to bare baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, being careful not to burn, just toast. Set aside.
  • In the meantime, if making pomegranate molasses from pomegranate juice, add 1 cup (240 ml) pomegranate juice (adjust amount if adjusting serving size) to small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes, or until darkened in color and reduced to roughly 1/4 cup (60 ml // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Reduce heat to medium-low if bubbling too vigorously. Once reduced, turn off heat and set aside.
  • Once walnuts are done roasting, let cool slightly then add to food processor or high-speed blender and pulse into a fine meal (see photo). Set aside.
  • Heat an extra-large rimmed skillet or pot over medium heat and add water (or oil) and onions. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
  • Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer (starting with the lesser amount and adding more later as needed). Add lentils and stir.
  • Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are just tender, stirring occasionally. Add more vegetable broth as needed to keep the lentils submerged.
  • Once the lentils are just tender, add walnut meal, pomegranate molasses (start with the lesser amount and work your way up – store-bought can be more intense in flavor), maple syrup, and spices (see photo). Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Then reduce heat to low and continue simmering for 10 minutes, or until thickened and fragrant. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup or pomegranate molasses for sweetness, salt for saltiness, turmeric for earthiness, or cinnamon for warmth. You can also add more vegetable broth at this time if it’s become too thick.
  • Serve over cooked rice (see notes for instructions) and garnish with pomegranate arils and fresh chopped parsley (optional), or enjoy alone as a hearty stew.
  • Leftovers keep well covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1 month, though best when fresh. Reheat on the stovetop until warm, adding vegetable broth to rehydrate as needed.

Video

Notes

*If you’d rather use canned lentils, you can sub the written amount for 2 cups cooked, canned lentils. Rinse before adding and reduce cooking time by half since they’re already cooked.
*Prepare jasmine rice while walnuts are roasting: Bring 1 cup (180 g) rice and 2 cups (480 ml) water to a boil in large saucepan. Then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Check package to verify instructions, which can vary depending on type of rice.
*Our version is not traditional, but is our plant-based take on this Persian dish. You can find a more traditional recipe from Rozina’s Persian Kitchen.
*A green salad makes an excellent side to this flavorful dish, as does pita.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for one 3/4-cup serving calculated with pomegranate juice, lesser amount of maple syrup, and without optional serving ingredients (like rice).

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 3/4 cup servings Calories: 427 Carbohydrates: 53.8 g Protein: 17.8 g Fat: 18.1 g Saturated Fat: 1.8 g Sodium: 462 mg Fiber: 9.2 g Sugar: 15.7 g

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  1. Amnily says

    Hi! I’m looking forward to making this recipe but am wondering if you’ve any advice on a substitute for the walnuts? I have histamine sensitivity and walnuts are very high in histamine. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amnily, you could try adding more lentils. Or perhaps sub half cashews / half pecans if you can have those?

  2. Emma says

    This was so good! I found that I had to add a lot more pomegranate molasses than the recipe called for because I love the taste of it! Will definitely make this again.

  3. CJ says

    Oh my WORD this was fantastic. I don’t even follow your blog! I literally just typed a few ingredients I had into Google and came across this. Thought it sounded weird, would never have put these things together on my own, but I’ve just finished eating 2 bowls of it and now I’m stuffed and happy!
    I made it with saffron rice. Also, I should say, I usually never follow recipes to the letter but since I was so unfamiliar with the flavour combinations in this dish I followed it exactly as written and it was *absolutely perfect*.

  4. Amy Perry says

    loved this! I made it from the cookbook and wish I had watched this first as I think I would’ve had a more thick version than what I produced . Your videos are so helpful!!! I hope one day you make an app with your recipes and videos.

  5. Holly says

    So good! Definitely a different flavor profile than I’m used to, but delicious none the less! I made the molasses from pomegranate juice and served with brown rice, parsley, and curried cauliflower. Wish I had some arils to toss on top – would’ve added a nice texture and pop!

  6. Rachel says

    This was tasty and easy! I made basically as written, but with no maple syrup and less pomegranate molasses because I prefer it less sweet. I also slightly caramelized the onions for extra flavor. It reminded me of mujadara, but came together a lot faster — I may make this in the future when I’m craving Persian lentils and don’t have several hours. I served with preserved lemon.

  7. Sateen says

    I’m Persian and my family uses butternut squash,
    Nutmeg, and I also caramelize the onions and garlic for the deep flavor. It really brings the flavors together.

  8. Sarah J says

    I’ve made this many times and am about to make it again for dinner this week. It is one of our favorites and always a hit with guests as well.

  9. Jasmeet says

    Phenomenal fool proof recipe. I used store bought pomegranate molasses and I substituted organic bouillon cubes with water for the veggie broth. Everything came together nicely. And tasted spectacular!

  10. Carol says

    I brought this to the family Christmas dinner as the Vegan entree. It was holiday-perfect with its unusual and festive flavors. I added some steamed diced carrots at the end to brighten the color, and served on top of mashed potatoes with the pomegranate arils that looked like jewels on top. It was truly outstanding!

  11. kungaa joseph says

    in your photo it looks red but that didn’t matter; had to make my own pomegranate molasses because I couldn’t find it at the store I go to and I wanted to make this today; I love it; sweet and tangy, and I added a little hot chili powder to give it a zing. this is another dish I will be making again.

  12. Molly says

    This is my favorite recipe from your site–I’ve been making it for like a year now. I’ve found that I prefer the homemade molasses made from juice instead of using a store bought one–you get a much more punchier and irresistible flavor. I always increase the turmeric and cinnamon at the end, too. You really have to watch the walnuts to make sure they don’t burn, because once they do it harms the flavor of the dish. Pomegranate being my most adored fruit, I am so psyched you came up with this recipe. Thank you!

  13. Darlene says

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I only had fresh basil for a topping, and it worked well. I will definitely add the pomegranate arils next time. I served over jasmine rice and the flavors in this dish were amazing. Perfect for a cool, rainy fall evening. Thank you! ???

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Darlene. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  14. Anna Viehbeck says

    Made yet another recipe from MB! This one had very interesting flavours— sour, sweet, nutty, hearty. Also it has a relatively small number of ingredients, so once you get the hang of the recipe, comes together very quickly. I made it in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Followed the recipe and served over white basmati rice. Delish!

  15. Nicole says

    Am eager to try this, but walnuts make hubby’s mouth hurt. Saw in comments that someone subbed 1/2 cashews with good outcome. I have pecans on hand in freezer, would they work do you think? Both walnuts and cashews seem “fattier” to me?

    (Also have been passing your recipes into my vegetarian daughter and a young vegan friend. They are thrilled.) Thanks!

  16. MC says

    Really delicious! I used the minimum pomegranate molasses and maple syrup and added frozen pomegranate arils and chopped parsley as suggested. No changes and was superb!

  17. Diana Garbera says

    This is a favorite at my house where I’m feeding two vegans and two who are gluten free. I purchase pom molasses ready made to keep life simple. The spice combinations and deep flavors are teriffic. I have trouble finding pom arils, so I typically omit them. Yum!

  18. Erin Covey-Smith says

    I love your suggestion of boiling down pomegranate juice to make molasses, and that has been my go-to method since making this recipe (no added sugar, besides the cost savings!). I decided to make a bigger batch (of molasses, not lentils) this time and am wondering how long you think it would last in the fridge?

  19. Beth says

    I have a question about the instructions. For the cooking of the lentils, it says to heat them uncovered. Is this correct? I tried this and the lentils were still very hard after 20 minutes.

    Besides some trouble with the lentils, though, this recipe was great! It’s so hearty and complex despite only a few ingredients!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Depending on the freshness / type of lentil, it can take longer to cook. You can cover to cook faster!

  20. kozy says

    before I became veg, Fesenjan was to me the ULTIMATE flavour combo for stews, first time having it literally blew my mind (most people don’t mention the large hole in my head, most times) and I crave it on occasion, that savoury, sweet n sour, tangy, oily, nutty goodness… there is nothing in the world like it…
    … short story long…
    THANK YOU Dana for posting this, will go to my middle eastern store right now for the molasses

  21. T says

    The first time I made this recipe, I was completely blown away by the flavour. I’ve never tasted (let alone made) anything like it! I would probably make this recipe weekly if I could find fresh pomegranates all year.

  22. Margot says

    I would make this all the time if walnuts weren’t sort of expensive and hard for me to acquire from the places that sell them more cheaply. I used organic brown sugar instead of maple syrup and I used a vegetarian “chicken” broth since the dish is normally made with chicken. So good I was eating it cold out of the fridge the next morning. I’m not a vegan so I’m always shocked and delighted when I make something vegan that’s so yummy. This is my 2nd Minimalist Baker recipe and now I’m fully obsessed. (The other is the golden lentil curry soup which I’ve made about 5 times)

  23. Anneke Ransijn says

    I just made this dish last night and it was oh-so-delicious! I didn’t miss the meat. I substituted pine nuts for walnuts since my roommate is allergic to tree nuts. It turned out wonderfully! A great way to make it for anyone who is allergic to nuts.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Anneke. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  24. Anna says

    I was so happy to find this recipe, as I bought a bottle of pomegranate molasses a few weeks ago and was wondering how I’d ever use it up. It turned out super tasty! I ended up needing a full quart of vegetable broth, but I live in a high and dry place so that likely influenced it. I followed the recipe exactly, then added a few handfuls of kale at the end to make it more of a complete meal. It is a wonderful blend of savory, tart, and sweet – definitely a different flavor profile from most things I make. Perfect served over the leftover brown rice I had.

  25. Nora says

    I can’t believe I didn’t review this last time I made it – it was, and is, amazing! Such great depth of flavor, so hearty, and so healthy! I froze some this time and will let you know how that goes upon defrosting. Thanks for another great recipe!

  26. Kate Moran says

    After bookmarking this recipe several months ago, I finally got around to making it tonight for dinner. WOWOWOW this was INCREDIBLE. I went vegan in January and was deeply distraught about the prospect of having to give up so many of the Iranian and other Middle Eastern dishes I love. This vegan fesenjoon is just the right amount of sweet and savory and warmed me right up on a chilly, rainy night.

    I would love to see more vegan riffs on other Iranian dishes (kashke bademjan, gormeh sabzi, etc)–thank you so much for taking the time to create this recipe, and please keep them coming!

  27. Sarah says

    I enjoyed this very grounding, aromatic dish. Next time I’d like to try it with the fresh pomegranate garnish and a homemade broth, but the stock cubes worked well. I used about 1/8 teaspoon hing instead of an onion, and I went with the smaller measurements of the pomegranate molasses and maple syrup. The fresh parsley was perfect to brighten it. Thank you for the recipe!

  28. Cherith says

    I made this last night EXACTLY as the recipe said (using the min. recommended amounts of pomegranate molasses and syrup) and it was so delicious! My toddler also loves it, so a winner on all fronts. I actually had the leftovers for breakfast this morning haha

  29. Cat says

    This was so tasty I will be making it again and again! It was surprisingly easy to make too, even with reducing down the pomegranate juice. It is very filling, which is dangerous with it being so tasty. Thank you for this post. I had never heard of fesenjan before and am happy I was introduced to it!

  30. Lucas Petrykowsky says

    My fiancé is Irani and we make our vegan khoreshte fessenjoon with mushrooms, sometimes we add seitan. Persian food is so delicious and exquisite most recipes are over a thousand years old! Thanks for sharing some Persian cuisine.

  31. Jenni Wells says

    My husband made this tonight and it was so delicious! He subbed pecans for the walnuts because we had pecans in the pantry. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The aroma is beautiful. We will definitely make this again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried using red lentils in this recipe, but I suspect it would work. I recommend cooking it for less time as red lentils tend to get mushy!

  32. Roz says

    Thank you for introducing the vegan version of this recipe, I can’t wait to try it. My family use chicken or duck. Nooshe Jon!

  33. Aurelia says

    Hi there!
    If I’m using cooked lentils, do I really need to use the vegetable broth? I don’t understand the use of it and lentils are already cooked. Is it adding more flavour?

    Thanks!!

  34. Kerstin says

    Loved it! Had done the chickpea fesenjan before but this one was even better. Very simple to make and the whole family devoured it.

  35. Jay Cohen says

    This does look good. I’d like to see cooking times using Instant Pot, as more and more people are using instead of stove top. I can figure it out, just saying for future receips.

    Thanks.

  36. Janet says

    I made this recipe last night for dinner. I made the pomegranate molasses and added all of it to the recipe. I served it over hulled barley and added some roasted root vegetables on the side. This dish was very easy and quick to prepare. I did my prep in stages up ahead. It is versatile and delicious and hearty and fits into my plant based diet. Thanks Dana for your genius work!

  37. Jessica Haight says

    This recipe was simply delicious and something refreshing to switch up the ol’ weeknight routine. It was very easy to make, not expensive, and heartier than I expected. I used half walnuts, half cashews becasue it’s what I had, and it turned out great. I made my own pomegranite molasses which I loved it– it really makes the difference in this recipe. I only used 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and I’m glad I did because anything more and it would have been way too sweet. One thing I added was about 2 teaspoons of paprika. It gave it that extra savory taste and depth of flavor I was looking for. I can’t wait to play around with this recipe and make it again!

  38. Rhonda Foster says

    Delicious! I made this last night. Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We’ve never tasted anything quite like it and we loved it! I made it as written with no substitutions. Thank you!

  39. Genevieve Remark says

    This was so delicious! So flavorful and hearty. It was a little too sweet for my liking so i added some thyme and smoked paprika to balance it out and it was delicious :)
    Thank you for introducing me to a new cultural dish!!

  40. Kelli says

    This is so delicious! I have the cookbook and saw the chickpea version, but was weirded out by the ingredients and couldn’t imagine it tasting that great. Well, today I was looking through the website and saw the lentil version and happened to have everything I needed on hand so I figured what the hell? Omg, I can’t believe how addictive this is!

    Long story short: just make it, it’s delicious

  41. Dayna says

    I’ve faithfully made minimalist kitchen recipes for years without commenting, but this was so amazingly good I had to say thanks for the recipe!! It takes a little time but wow I could eat this forever. Only tweak for me was skipping the maple syrup. YUM

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for being a fan all these years, Dayna! We are glad you enjoyed this recipe :D

  42. Saojenia says

    Mind blowing recipe! Yes as others have said be careful using Pom molasses as it can overpower the dish, but I added a little and it was amazing. Also I sautéed the onions in olive oil and bloomed the spices with the onions it made a lot of diff as the whole house was smellin amazing. Thanks for a great receive

  43. Cierra says

    This recipe was featured in the email newsletter, which is where I find most of my new recipes to try. If you haven’t subscribed to the emails, it’s worth it for this reason alone. I just made this recipe for New Year’s and it’s simple and delicious! The toasted walnuts add a nutty, depth of flavor and the blend of spices is especially comforting. I used Pom juice to make the syrup and omitted the seeds. I also used precooked lentils from Trader Joe’s to cut down on prep time. As usual, this is another win from Minimalist Baker! I will definitely add this to my go to list of simple, healthy meals for the new year!

  44. Sarah-Beth says

    Wonderful! I used grape juice to make molasses as I couldn’t get pomegranate, doubled the spices and added some more (smoked paprika, chilli flakes, cumin, ground coriander, oregano, basil and thyme) omitted the maple syrup and oh boy was this good! I beg anyone reading this to make it- you won’t regret it.

  45. Lori says

    Really good! I ended up adding 2 cups of broth for the lentils to cook! I did the reduction and it worked well but took about 1 hour to get to 1/4 cup! Tasty and would redo! Thanks

  46. Andrea says

    Hi Dana,
    I saw the picture of your the foods you cook and I felt in love with. I went ahead and purchased your cook book on amazon. I have just made this dish and I the color is not the same as in your pictures. But he taste is good. I can’t wait to make my next dish. Thank you for the creation of these amazing dishes.

    Take care
    Andrea

  47. Lynn McIntyre says

    I doubled this recipe (serve 4 X 2) for two seperate meals and placed in the freezer. I used the uncooked lentils as per your recipe. Over the holidays, we had one of the servings over jasmine rice, with fresh pomegranite and parsley. We all enjoyed this meal very much. The flavour was savory and I had my daughter guessing the spices used for this delicious stew. This accompanied by a side salad was a perfect meal as we looked outside to a snowy wintery day up north.
    Thank you Dana! Enjoy your recipes very much.

  48. Jai says

    We made this for our Christmas Eve dinner, it was wonderful! The cinnamon and pomegranate molasses give this dish a unique flavor that is perfect with the lentils. Thank you for your many wonderful vegan recipes. This one was especially easy and delicious!

  49. Musicalam says

    I dared to make this for the first time for Christmas dinner that I hosted for 18 guests. No regrets: It was super easy (I followed the instructions exactly) and incredibly delicious; a huge hit and already requested for next year.
    The pomegranate molasses was easy, but took me longer than 30 minutes to reduce it without scorching it. More like 60 minutes, but cooking it slowly it did not need any attention so that was ok.

  50. Neus Codina says

    Not sure what went wrong but my lentils did not come out like the pictures shown above at all. In fact, my stew was of a brownish color rather than the vibrant reddish shown in the recipe. Is there an ingredient missing? Like tomatoe paste? I am at a loss.
    Thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The pomegranate molasses adds the magenta color, along with the turmeric and cinnamon. But the pomegranate and parsley are the garnishes I recommend to make the dish pop! How was the flavor?

  51. Lydia Bendas says

    I made this last night, following the recipe and using the pomegranate juice reduction. Oh my goodness, it was delicious! Thank you for yet another great recipe!

  52. Melissa Frey says

    I make lentils all the time but i have never added ground walnuts to the recipe. What a different experience. The addition really elevates the dish. Dinner was enjoyed by the entire family.

  53. Lynda says

    Dana I just made this and it is amazing. I made your roadted chickpea sweet potato soup last night and decided to try another recipe of yours! Wow two hits! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes on the weekend! Thank you!

  54. Aneesha Kaushal says

    Made this recipe yesterday night it was yummyyy! Both me and my fiance loved it. Loved the sweet savory flavor!
    I didn’t have vegetable stock at hand so I just used water…even without that it tasted amazing.
    Will surely make this again for guests ;)
    Thanks!

  55. Gabrielle says

    Thank for sharing this recipe. I just made it and it’s about the best lentil dish there is. The cinnamon and the pomegranate molasses made it so flavoursome. I had it with bulgur wheat rather than rice and that was nice too.

  56. Heather B. says

    I was eager to try this because we’ve had Fesenjan before when a friend made it for us (her husband is Persian), and we’ve always loved it. I decided to use French lentils in the recipe because I wanted a bit more texture than normal lentils give, and I cooked it all in my pressure cooker (the main cooking time with the lentils only took 10 minutes). Delicious! I made my own pomegrante molasses, too, using juice and I confess that it hadn’t cooked down quite as much as it was supposed to… but it didn’t matter. It’s all about the flavors, and the flavors were there! My biggest mistake was in not doubling the recipe so there would be more leftovers for today! I’m craving this again already, and you can bet that I’ll be making this again very soon. :)

  57. Diana says

    Just made this tonight for dinner. WOW! The flavors are AMAZING! The recipe sounded so good that I just dove right in and made a triple recipe. Not sure how long this will last us, though! Can’t wait for the leftovers ?

  58. Sibel Lagerdahl says

    Im in Turkey right now visiting my parents and as all the ingredients were available at home I gave this ago tonight with jasmine rice and a green side salad. Very different from Turkish cuisine but both mum and dad loved it! Very filling too.
    I did however sprout my green lentils beforehand to enhance the nutritional value. Will make again when back in the UK. Yum!

  59. Karen says

    Tastes great! I used the juice reduction which worked very well. Hearty meal for a cold evening. Next time I plan on adding s few golden raisins.

  60. Sherri says

    This tasted great, but my lentils just would not get tender. I wonder if the vegetable brother I used was too acidic or salty for the lentils to get soft? I ended up blending all of that batch in my ninja and will make crackers from it. I am starting my second batch now, and will just cook the lentils first, before adding to vegetable broth. ( or follow your directions for using canned) :) Great flavor! It will be one of our Christmas dishes.

  61. Melissa B says

    Do you think this would taste good on top of roasted butternut squash? Or is the stew too sweet for that? (Made your stuffed butternut squash last week and now I want to stick everything in butternut squash haha)

  62. Shira says

    Omg. I just made this for lunch for tomorrow! I think I may eat it all up beforehand! Thank you! I will share around!

  63. Maneesha says

    This is such a delicious recipe!! I made the molasses from POM juice, and it turned out nice and thick! My family and I loved this recipe! First time making Iranian cuisine!

  64. Mark says

    I have never cooked a Persian dish before but was intrigued with the sweet savory feel of this dish. Besides using pecans instead of walnuts, cause that’s what I had, I flowed the recipe exactly and it turned out fantastic… and I’ll just say my wife really liked it which is always good. Oh… and it was so easy.

  65. Aleksandra Žarak says

    Mmm, yummy. Made the molasses from the scratch as I could not find it in my store. Also, guilty of using yellow lentils as I only had those at home. But they still retained their bite and the flavours came together incredibly well. Easy to make and delicious Dana. I tagged you on Instagram ;-)

  66. Nathalie says

    Hi Dana, thanks for another great recipe. I first tried to omit the maple syrup because I believed my pomegranate molasses (directly brought back from Iran thanks to my everywhere-traveler-sister) quite sweet: that was a mistake! MUCH better with the sweetener (1 Tbsp was enough).

  67. Dani says

    I did not make any changes to this recipe. I really did not know what this supposed to taste like as I had never had the original. So I was unsure about how salty/sweet to make it. My family thought it was good.

  68. Amy says

    I really liked this recipe. It was very different from most things that I cook. I subbed cauliflower rice and it still tasted great. One thing I would amend is if you use store bought pomegranate molasses. It tasted a little too sweet since sugar is added to it. Maybe suggest using a little less if you don’t make your own.

  69. Andrea says

    This was so delicious, very easy to make….I used POM juice to make the molasses. I was thrilled to have some leftovers, tastes just as good if not better the second day. Thanks for a wonderful recipe! I am looking forward to trying some of your other recipes.

  70. Claire Asghar-Stevens says

    This was a pretty intense dish. It was nice and the flavours were interesting and different, however the colour came out very poo brown and it didn’t look very appetizing. I’m not sure I’ll be making it again.

  71. WendyinCA says

    Made this tonight and everyone liked it alot (including the hard-to-impress hubster). I LOVED it. Only thing I did differently was to add the turmeric & cinnamon right after I sautéed the onions, to ‘bloom’ the spices for about 10 seconds before adding the broth (still added more turmeric at the end to finish it). I ended up adding a tetra (32 oz.) of veggie broth (as I kept adding some to cover the lentils), so next time I think I’ll just add the whole tetra at the same time. Found concentrated pomegranate juice so I just used that. I thought the recipe was excellent: super satisfying, delicious, and different, not to mention easy to get on the table. Thanks so much! It’s an A+ in my book. :)

  72. Brittany says

    If I am using store bought pomegranate molasses, should I be using less? More like a couple Tbsp’s than the full quarter cup? This is verrrrrrrrry tangy. Seems like too much.

  73. Jen K says

    I wasn’t sure I would like this, but it was really delicious and unlike anything I’ve ever had! I made it as written, though I ended up needing about 3.5 cups of broth, and it needed to cook a little longer than suggested. I added a little extra salt and extra turmeric at the end, and ate it over white rice. Definitely a keeper!

    • geeba says

      Haven’t made this yet (it’s on my list!), but based on your comments, would recommend using FRESH tumeric. Flavor is amazing and much more complex than dried powered. If you can find fresh, grate it and freeze for later use (almost as good…).

  74. Susan says

    I made this tonight, using the precooked lentils from Trader Joe’s, it was delicious. Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes you take your time perfecting and sharing with us. This one is definitely a keeper. I’m having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, yum!!!!!

  75. Little Plastic Footprint says

    This sounds so interesting! I love pomegranates and always looking for new ways to use them so thank you!

  76. Kim says

    Loved!!! I did have to double the veggie broth because I used French green lentils which took more liquid and longer to soften (about 40 minutes). The flavors are amazing. This is a keeper.

  77. M says

    Just made this tonight! I slightly overcooked the juice and left it to cool down too much so it was a bit difficult to get the thick syrup out of the pan, but it worked :). The flavour was really good, perfect for the winter! It did not look like the photos though, mine had more of a mud colour so I’m not sure I’d make it for a dinner party but I’ll definitely make it for myself again!

  78. Sam says

    I just made this tonight, and wow! The depth of flavor was seriously incredible and unlike anything I’ve ever had. I had a few pomegranates lying around so I made the juice and molasses from scratch, subbed the walnuts for almonds since I didn’t have any, and added a bit of pumpkin puree at the end since I saw another Fesenjan recipe recommending it to help balance out the sweetness. Turned out perfect!

  79. Jennufer says

    I had to cook my green lentils much longer than 20 min and had to add a lot more veggie broth. Maybe cooking them covered would be better. Thoughts?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, perhaps. Different lentils do cook at different times, but I find that 20 minutes is usually about right…

  80. Thomas says

    This reads like something I would enjoy making. I am fond of all listed ingredients. I would like to double the recipe. My question is do I need to make adjustment to the amount of ingredients or just double what is called for in the recipe as written.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      We have a feature in the recipe box where you can adjust the serving size. Just click up until it doubles the serving size and you’ll have your measurements!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      As a previous commenter suggested, hing (asafetida) would be a great thing to add! It’s an Indian spice that mocks the flavor of onion and garlic.

  81. Heidi says

    Oh, yay! I have a very similar dish that I make called “Persian Chickpeas” — a riff off of Persian Chicken. The spices and seasonings are nearly the same, but the base is chickpeas and jackfruit.

      • Shelly says

        I make this with raw pumpkin seeds as there are some severe nut allergies in our house. Obviously not quite the same, but still tasty. (I have never used this recipe, but another version. I will give this one a try too). It’s a 1:1 volume substitution.

        You may want to try adding some finely chopped reconstituted dried mushrooms to get some of the earthy flavour that walnuts give. Start with a few tablespoons of the broth and mushrooms and see if you like it. Add more if you like the flavour.

  82. Ellen Lederman says

    I loved this in your cookbook but then ran out of pom molasses and was too lazy/cheap to buy more. But now that you posted this, along with a link to the molasses (should be here in two days, although Amazon has been a little slow with their deliveries lately) and with lentils instead of chickpeas, the inertia about making it again is officially over My mouth is watering just thinking about dinner in a couple of days…

  83. Samantha says

    I’m so happy to see a lentil version of this recipe! I own your cookbook but have bi-passed the original chickpea version as I’m intolerant. Can’t wait to give this a go!

  84. LRS says

    Can you use regular molasses instead of pomegranate molasses? Or would that take away from that sweet sweet pom flavour?
    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s a totally different flavor. I’d recommend reducing pomegranate juice and adding that. Good luck!

  85. Sara says

    How do u make pomegranate juice? I happen to have a lot of pomegrante from my garden so I really wanna try this. How do U squeeze the juice?

  86. Alia @ Everyday Easy Eats says

    Wow this is my first time learning of Fesenjān! I love all of the ingredients and the dish sounds so comforting! I hope I get to try this sometime! :)

  87. Leah says

    Just made this tonight and it was delicious! I was stealing extra spoonfuls as I was scooping out the leftovers into tupperware. So easy to make and yummy!

    • Em says

      haha same tupperware experience here!

      I made chicken pomegranate for the first time a couple of months ago and have been wondering how to get those flavors in a cheaper & preferably vegetarian way, and this totally fits what I was looking for.

  88. Janie says

    This recipe was super easy to make and amazing to eat. I didn’t cook the lentils enough, whoops. But it was still great. I used 2 tablespoons of pomegranate syrup.

  89. Mims says

    I have two pomegranate shrubs and always looking for ways to use them up. I’m making this tonight! Btw, my go too pomegranate salad: chopped roasted red pepper, one preserved lemon finely minced, arils from one pomegranate, chopped green olives, chopped walnuts, harrisa, garlic, salt, olive oil, lots of chopped parsley and mint. Kind of a fresh raw take on this dish.

  90. Kelley says

    Just made this tonight since I had some frozen cooked lentils in the fridge and pomegranate molasses that needed a purpose. So very good! I substituted pecan meal and went heavy on the spices. Adding the parsley and pomegranate seeds makes it even more delicious (and prettier). What a perfect meal on a cold night, will definitely make again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks, Kelley! Yes, the garnishes kind of make the dish! Next time would you mind adding a rating? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xoxo

  91. Mara Sohn says

    I’ve made this recipe twice (from the cookbook) using chickpeas not lentils and love love love it. This last round I might have ground the walnuts too fine and they almost became a nut butter, the texture was not as hardy as the first time.

    The pomegranate flavor is so distinct in combination with the walnuts.

    Random side note: wish your star rating feature was still a thing (I use it to decide on recipes when searching Pinterest).

  92. Emily Koenig says

    Making this right now! I subbed pecans for walnuts because that’s what they had at the farmer’s market. It smells great and I can’t wait to try it. My husband’s stepmom is Persian and I LOVE Persian food.

  93. Neda says

    I was always glad to grow up Iranian with vegetable and herb-centric foods that were so easy to make meat-free and fesenjan was my favorite! My mom always made it with pinto beans, but I would love to try it with lentils. Supposedly, people from Tehran make theirs sweeter with more sugar, while Northerners (like my family) never included sugar, making it mouth-puckering sour aka perfect.

    Also nice job on making brown lumpy stew look appetizing in photos!