Are you looking for delicious lentil recipes to make when it’s cold outside? We’ve got you covered with 18 wonderful and easy lentil recipes!
There are several different types of lentils, including brown lentils, green lentils, red lentils, Puy lentils (French lentils), and Beluga lentils (black lentils). It’s great to know a few recipes to make with all of the different lentils because lentils are so healthy. They’re an excellent protein source if you’re vegan.
Lentils are a protein-rich plant-based food that’s nutrient-dense, low in calories, and super easy on the family budget.
Oh, and lentil dishes are also incredibly delicious.
Lentils, a small but mighty legume, have been a staple in many cuisines for centuries. They are not only packed with nutrients, such as protein, fiber, and essential minerals, but also serve as a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. In this article, we will explore some delectable and nourishing lentil recipes that are sure to satisfy your taste buds and add depth to your home cooking repertoire.
From comforting soups and stews to refreshing salads, lentils can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Whether you are a seasoned home cook or just starting to dabble in the world of culinary arts, these lentil recipes will provide you with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to ensure success in your kitchen endeavors.
Incorporating lentils into your meals not only offers a boost of nutrition, but also contributes to a more sustainable, eco-friendly way of consuming food. As lentils require very little water to grow compared to other protein sources, their cultivation leads to a lower carbon footprint. Try out these recipes and experience the incredible flavors and benefits that lentils have to offer.
When prepared correctly, lentils are an excellent way to make healthy and satisfying meals.
Lentils are a great protein source if you’re following a vegan or vegetarian diet, but dedicated carnivores can find lots to love about cooked lentils, too.
Are you ready? Let’s explore the best lentil recipes.
We love the flavors of Morocco, and this hearty Moroccan quinoa lentil soup that’s made with red lentils will check off all of your flavor-seeking boxes.
This recipe is vegan, and you can make it with easy everyday ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
You can also make this lentil soup in your Instant Pot in less than 30 minutes or cook this delicious lentil soup in the slow cooker.
This lentil soup recipe is made with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chili powder, and vegetable broth. You can use chicken broth if you prefer.
When you want healthy lentil recipes that are super hearty, this can be your new go-to recipe.
You won’t even notice that there’s no meat in this stew. It’s just that filling.
This lentil soup is loaded with veggies, including onion, celery, leeks, garlic, kale, sweet potato, red potatoes, carrots, and chopped tomato.
The fresh herbs and spices for this stew are equally extraordinary, and they include cumin, onion powder, and cinnamon.
This recipe is for the stovetop, but you can easily cook this hearty lentil stew in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
One of our favorite vegetarian lentil recipes is this creamy red lentil soup that’s loaded up with carrots.
You can have this lentil and carrot soup ready in less than half an hour.
Coconut milk makes this lentil soup extra creamy, and the onion and garlic add tons of flavor.
Top your soup with a pinch of red pepper flakes for a flavorful kick.
Want to keep it vegan? Just skip the Greek yogurt topping and use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth.
When you want a creamy soup that is packed with protein and also vegan, this butternut squash and lentil soup is a perfect choice.
This superfood healing soup is packed full of ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, so it’s sure to make you feel better every day of the week.
This savory soup is also loaded with flavor thanks to garlic, grated fresh ginger, onion, carrot, yellow curry powder, turmeric, and coconut milk.
You can also cook this butternut squash and lentil soup in your slow cooker.
A big sweet potato is a meal by itself, and when you stuff it with lentils, you’re going to stay full for hours.
For this unique Moroccan recipe, you need pardina dried lentils or brown lentils.
The flavor comes from onion, garlic, fresh ginger, cinnamon, sweet paprika (or smoked paprika), harissa paste, and pomegranate molasses.
There is a recipe for the lemon tahini dressing included, and it contains agave nectar, fresh lemon juice, and garlic.
For this easy creamy coconut curry recipe, you’re going to create a creamy coconut sauce that goes so wonderfully with flavorful curry spices and earthy dried lentils.
If you want to use half and half or heavy cream instead of coconut milk, that’s totally fine, but you probably won’t need as much.
The seasoning for this delicious curry includes fresh ginger, garlic cloves, yellow onion, curry powder, and cilantro.
Use vegetable broth or chicken broth to make this curry. Spinach brings tons of delicious nutrition.
You can make this lentil curry recipe either mild or spicy. It’s up to you!
If you’re looking for lentil bean recipes that go well with rice, we’ve got just the one for you.
Mujadaraz is one of the lentil recipes that is a gluten-free meal full of fragrant spices and topped with decadent caramelized onions.
The spices are coriander, cumin (Jeera powder), and cinnamon.
Serve your Mjuadaraz over fluffy white basmati rice, cauliflower rice, or brown rice.
Sweet potatoes are the star of the show in this recipe, but the lentils provide so much delicious protein.
You’re going to use beluga lentils or puy lentils for this dish. This recipe also calls for shallots.
Serve your sweet potato and lentil dish on a bed of rocket greens (arugula).
Add some goat cheese to the top and drizzle with olive oil.
One thing most of us associate with lentils food is curry, and this recipe for Ethiopian Misir Wot doesn’t disappoint.
In Ethiopian cuisine, red lentils are a popular ingredient and one of the country’s signature dishes is Misir Wot, a traditional Ethiopian stew.
The incredible spices in Misir Wot are hot smoked paprika, turmeric, garam masala, and freshly grated ginger.
Top your Misir Wot with creamy Ayib cheese if you can find it.
When you’re looking for a simple lentil recipe, you can’t go wrong with this easy lentil soup.
We love that this lentil soup recipe is loaded with so many wonderful spices, including cumin, curry powder, dried thyme, and a pinch of spicy red pepper flakes.
Veggies in this lentil soup are carrots, diced or crushed tomatoes, onion, and kale (or collard greens).
It’s also great to know that this kale lentil soup freezes exceptionally well.
You can make a huge pot of soup and have some for a busy weeknight evening. Just pull it out of the freezer and defrost it in the microwave.
Serve this savory soup with crusty bread.
If you’re longing for a comforting casserole, but you’re also looking for healthy French lentil recipes, this shepherd’s pie will check off all the boxes.
To make this vegetarian shepherd’s pie, you soak all of your hearty vegetables in a deliciously brothy sauce.
The shepherd’s pie is topped with fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes and then baked to bubbly perfection.
We like to use Yukon gold potatoes to make our mashed potatoes, but you can also use nice russet potatoes.
You can use either green lentils or brown lentils to make this vegetarian shepherd’s pie.
We love that this French lentil casserole recipe calls for frozen veggies with carrots, peas, corn, and green beans.
12. Easy Dal Makhani
Dal Makhani is a rich and spicy lentil-based stew that is made for special occasions in the Punjab region of NOrthern India.
Traditionally, Dal Makhani takes quite a long time to prepare, but this recipe makes the entire process much easier.
If you can find traditional urad dal (whole black lentil), that’s even better. However, if you need to use regular black lentils, they work great for this Dal Makhani recipe.
Spices in this Dal Makhani are garam masala, cumin, coriander, and fresh ginger.
13. Lentil Nachos
If you’re searching for “lentil recipes not soup,” you’re going to be delighted to learn that you can make delicious nachos with lentils.
The unusual cheese sauce for these lentil nachos is made with flour, milk, butter, and shredded cheese. You can use Monterrey Jack, mozzarella cheese, or pepper jack.
Be sure to serve your lentil nachos with other Mexican food favorites, including sour cream, guacamole (or diced avocado), salsa, and pico de gallo.
Masoor dal means “red lentils,” and red lentils are commonly used in Indian cuisine.
Compared to other lentils, red lentils have even more protein, so you’re getting a very nutritious meal when you cook with red lentils.
There are two varieties of masoor dal: the whole lentil and one that is skinned.
You need moong dal (the split version of red lentils) to make this recipe.
Mustard seed, green chili, asafoetida, and cumin add all the flavor.
Serve these delicious red lentils with chapati or naan for dipping into the yummy soup.
Who says you can only make soups and stews with lentils?
This lentil salad is proof that cooked lentils can work beautifully in all types of meals.
To make this lentil salad, you need cooked brown lentils, cherry tomatoes (or chopped tomato), an English cucumber, pitted Kalamata olives, sliced red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.
The dressing is made with chopped shallot, red wine vinegar, honey, extra virgin olive oil, and minced garlic.
You can refrigerate this tomato lentil salad for up to five days.
Sometimes the simplest recipes turn out to be the most complex in flavors, and that’s exactly the case with this Mediterranean red lentil soup.
This lentil soup is naturally gluten-free and vegan, so it’s perfect for nearly any way of eating.
The spices in this red lentil soup are cumin, coriander, and harissa paste.
Fresh chopped cilantro is perfect for garnish, and the fresh lemon juice adds a nice zing to the soup.
When it comes to a terrific green lentil recipe, these Verde lentil tacos are the best.
Green lentil tacos are another great Taco Tuesday option if you’re vegan or vegetarian (or just trying to eat more plant-based meals).
We love this recipe because it includes a fruity pico de gallo that is made with mango, pomegranate, red onion, fresh lime juice, and chopped cilantro.
The “taco” portion is made with tomatillos, jalapeno pepper, poblano pepper, fresh lime juice, and garlic.
Perhaps one of the easiest and quickest lentil meals, lentil tacos made in the Instant Pot were made for busy weeknights.
In just 20 minutes, you can have a unique meal on the table for Taco Tuesday. And these tacos are vegetarian, too.
While these tacos are great for vegetarian diets, they are so hearty your meat lovers will probably not even miss the ground beef.
To make them vegetarian, you can use vegetable broth, or use chicken broth, or beef broth for a meatier flavor.
Types of Lentils
The awesome thing about lentils is that there are several different types that you can work with. Even better, every type has its own unique personality. Here are some of the more popular lentils.
Green and brown lentils: These are the lentils you probably think of when you imagine lentils. Brown and green lentils are the standard types that are most commonly seen in recipes. These lentils cook in about 20-30 minutes and they typically fall apart when they’re cooked. Unlike some lentils, brown and green lentils don’t usually hold their shape. This makes them perfect for curries and soups.
Red lentils: Gorgeous red lentils have a bright orange color, and you often find red lentils in Indian curry dishes. For example, daal is made with red lentils. Red lentils cook in about 20 minutes and easily break down into a sort of “mush.” If you’re wanting a nice curry or mushy soup, go for red lentils because they break down even more quickly than brown or green lentils.
French lentils (Puy lentils): These lentils hold their shape through cooking, so they’re quite different from green, brown, or red lentils. French green lentils are small and have a greenish-gray color. If you need lentils for a salad or for stuffing delicious baked sweet potatoes, French lentils are the perfect lentils. They aren’t the best lentils for curries and soups.
Black lentils (also called Beluga lentils): The most flavorful lentils are black lentils, which are also known as Beluga lentils. Black lentils are dark and very small in size, so they’re a combination of brown lentils and French lentils. For this reason, black lentils hold their shape beautifully when you cook them for salads. However, if you allow them to cook longer, black lentils will fall apart nicely for soups and curries.
Want to know more about cooking dry lentils? Watch this video.
18+ Best Lentil Recipes (+Lentil Nachos)
- Lentils cooked in enchilada sauce
- 3 cups water or broth
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
- Tortilla chips
- Cheese sauce or shredded cheese
- Salt optional
- Toppings: guacamole jalapeno, cilantro, lime
- After cooking the lentils in the broth and enchilada sauce, make your cheese sauce.
- Add the chips to a baking sheet, then top with ingredients and bake until cheese has melted.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.