25 Tasty Ways to Start Eating More Lentils
We love lentils! And it's a shame they don't get more love. After all, they're cheap, full of healthy fiber, high in protein, and make meatless meals a whole a lot 'meatier' in texture. They're also easy to cook with -- if you're in any way intimidated by lentils read our ultimate guide to cooking lentils. Here are some top-rated recipes and easy ideas to help you appreciate and enjoy those humble lentils.
Red Lentil Curry
Lentils make a cheap and healthy alternative to meat in stews and curries. This popular vegetarian curry has been made and loved by over 1,000 of our home cooks. Aboyd raves, "Loved it. Healthy, lots of flavor, easy, and cheap to boot."
Red Split Lentils (Masoor Dal)
This traditional Indian curry with red lentils and veggies is full of flavor and really filling thanks to those lentils.
Green Lentils and Rice Assyrian Style
This hearty rice dish is almost good enough to eat on its own. Shannon Berkbuegler raves, "Delicious and simple. I thought I'd eat one small side helping. Ended up filling up and eating two big bowls. Husband loved it, and I'm looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow."
Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mujadarrah)
This easy recipe with onion and yogurt might just change your mind about lentils like it did with Alice V. Williams, "I had only eaten lentils once before and didn't like them. So, I tried this recipe to use up the lentils and this was great! Even my picky 18-month-old ate this dish. Another plus is that it is very simple to make."
Red Lentil Dal with Yogurt Raita
Red lentils simmer with tons of vegetables and spices in this quick dal brightened with a splash of lime juice and cilantro and served alongside a minty yogurt raita. Enjoy over brown rice. "This is delicious," says Buckwheat Queen. "I would suggest doubling the raita recipe."
Instant Pot® Cheesy Mexican Lentils and Rice
"If you have any leftovers, this is also great reheated and lightly mashed with a spoon, transforming it into a 'bean dip,' and served with tortilla chips," recipe creator Soup Loving Nicole says.
Big-Batch Turkey-Lentil Joes
Bulk up ground turkey with lentils in this budget-friendly recipe, which is perfect for crowds or leftovers. It freezes well!
"Wow, this is tasty! Really a good taco flavor, and the ancho pepper powder on its own is not hot, just very flavorful. I just cooked a batch of this as part of meal prep for the week, and my husband rushed into the kitchen to see what smelled so good." -- cookinformygang
French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese
To make this salad even easier you can use Trader Joe's Steamed French Lentils, and save yourself some time. Eddie Edward says, "I loved this recipe. I made it as written and my husband ate all the leftovers while I was at work the next day! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for a new side dish!"
Cranberry Lentil and Quinoa Salad
For this recipe, some home cooks used canned lentils to cut down on prep time. Buckwheat Queen raves, "A very nice salad that tasted better the longer I left it to sit in the fridge. It even pleased the pickiest eater in my family. You will find so many different flavors and textures in this salad. It really is a new discovery with every bite."
Lentil Salad with a Persian Twist
Serve with some bread, and you've got yourself a healthy and tasty work lunch. Krimille says, "This is delicious! I have made it several times. It's so light and fresh tasting, yet filling because of the lentils. Reminds me of fattoush salad, which is probably why it's so good with toasted pita."
Instant Pot® Warm Lentil Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
A red wine vinaigrette adds a nice tang to lentils, carrots, celery, and red onion in this warm salad.
Vegan Polenta with Ragu
"This is a vegan adaptation of traditional Italian creamy polenta and thick ragu full of vegetable proteins. Bake leftover polenta slices and top with any leftover ragu for bite-sized appetizers," recipe creator Buckwheat Queen says.
Zucchini Spaghetti with Lentil Marinara
This recipe calls for spiralized zucchini, but it's great with spaghetti squash, as well. "I just love lentils and marinara, so it was a quick decision to marry the two of them," Cindy Anschutz Barbieri says. "I love to drizzle my dish with a little extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese."
Slow Cooker Lentil and Ham Soup
This recipe is a great way to use up leftover ham, but it's so good it might become a regular at your house. Colleen says, "Mmmmm, this soup is so simple and satisfying. I originally tried this recipe to get rid of left-over ham, but now I am making it all the time! It is so healthy, extremely inexpensive to make, and the leftovers are very good."
Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)
We bet you've never had lentil soup that tasted this good. Vinegar is the secret special ingredient. RoseRover says, "Lovely! This is a great combination of flavors and the vinegar accents ties all of the flavors together wonderfully. Very easy to make."
Lentil, Chicken Sausage, and Sweet Potato Soup
"Flavorful, filling and nutritious, this lentil, sausage, and sweet potato soup does it all," says Zest to Impress. "Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with five-grain baguette."
Moroccan Beef and Lentil Stew
Turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, coriander, and allspice are among the Moroccan-inspired flavors that liven up lentils and chuck roast.
Lentil and Buckwheat Soup
Healthy and hearty, this soup packs in lentils, buckwheat, carrot, onion, and baby spinach.
Curry Red Lentil Soup
"So yummy and super easy to make!" says kireaa, "Definitely will be adding to my weeknight rotation. Makes great leftovers too for lunches through the week!"
Amazing Tomato-Red Lentil Soup
"This was easy and delicious," Yabba says. "I added a dash of cinnamon. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe and will be making it again. Note: Don't shy away from the amount of onion. It's perfect."
Vegetarian Mushroom-Lentil Soup
"This light, vegetarian soup is full of flavor and rich in vitamins and minerals thanks to the lentils and shiitake mushrooms that are in it," says recipe submitter fabeverydayblog. "You can prep this meal even faster if you purchase pre-sliced shiitake mushrooms."
Beef and Lentil Stew
"We loved this! Simple, tasty, and makes a ton and cheap. I used fresh rosemary and added a couple of bay leaves to the mix. This is a great hearty stew and is very comforting," Elizabeth says, "especially with a glass of Malbec."
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie II
"This is a very good, filling vegetarian meal. I used baby red potatoes mashed with a little bit of butter, milk, garlic, and salt for the top. I also had to use considerably more vegetable broth for the lentils and barley. I will definitely make this again," Shirley says.
"I love this recipe because I have all the things in my pantry or fridge," writes reviewer A1SAUCE3. "Best of all... it tastes great the next day."