Need to add protein to your diet? These recipes for lentils are perfect for your meal plan!
Lentils are one of the most loved legumes of all time. They are hearty, inexpensive, nutritious, versatile, and easy to cook.
Whether you want to serve lentils as a main or side dish, the collection of recipes for lentils below has something for you. Enjoy the deliciousness of lentils in soups, salads, veggie burgers, tacos, curries, pasta, and many more here!
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What are the four types of lentils, and how do they differ from one another?
As you might already know, there are many types of lentils. However, the four most common are brown, green, black, and red lentils. These types of lentils do not only differ in color but also in cooking time and uses.
Brown lentils are the most commonly used and inexpensive among the types of lentils. They take 20-30 minutes to cook and they hold their shape and texture well when cooked properly. Brown lentils are ideal for salads, soups, and veggie burgers as well.
Green lentils are also known as French lentils or Lentils de Puy. These lentils have a marbled olive color when raw and a nuttier and firmer texture when cooked. Green lentils take the longest time to cook, around 35-45 minutes, and are known to be the best type of lentils for salads.
Black lentils or beluga lentils are very much alike to green lentils aside from the fact that they are easier to cook. These tiny jet-black legumes need only about 25-30 minutes to cook. Black lentils have a deep and delicious earthy flavor which makes them a yummy ingredient to salads too.
Finally, red lentils are most famous for being the fastest to cook. Just 12-15 minutes and they start to lose their shape. The longer the cooking time, the mushier these lentils get. Hence, red lentils are often used for stews, purees, and soups as a thickening ingredient. Apart from their bright color, red lentils also add slightly sweet and nutty flavors to dishes.
How to prepare, cook, and store lentils?
Preparing, cooking, and storing lentils are easy. Simply take note of these tips:
Inspect your lentils before rinsing them. This is necessary to make sure that there are no rocks or any small hard debris mixed in with your lentils.
Use a colander to easily rinse and drain your lentils.
Soaking lentils is not necessary. However, like other legumes, if you want to cut down the cooking time by half, then feel free to do so.
You can cook lentils on the stove or crockpot. Lentils are best cooked in plenty of liquid. A good rule of thumb is three cups of water or broth for a cup of lentils.
To add flavor, boil lentils in stock or add aromatics to water. Other seasonings or herbs can be added when the lentils are cooked.
The best way to know if lentils are cooked is to give them a taste after the estimated cooking time. Well-cooked lentils are tender but not mushy.
To store cooked lentils, put lentils in a baking sheet pan, spread them widely, and freeze them for two hours in the freezer. Once the lentils are frozen, you can now transfer them in food containers or ziplock bags. This process will prevent the lentils from freezing together like a large block.
Ready to taste some of the best recipes for lentils? Whether you’re looking for a side or main dish, this list will help you find your next favorite lentil recipe!
Kitchen Essentials to Help You with Recipes for Lentils:
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Currently on Weight Watchers? This veggie-filled lentil soup is perfect for you! Apart from being healthy and Weight Watchers friendly, this soup is also super easy to make since you can cook it in the crockpot.
Red lentils cooked in a tomato-based broth with carrots, garlic, and onions and seasoned with oregano, cumin, and rosemary. This Greek red lentil soup recipe is even more delicious with a splash of lemon juice, fresh parsley, and feta cheese on top.
Bursting with flavors this stew recipe is seasoned with chicken bouillon and packed with green lentils, shrimp, potatoes, celery, and carrots. This recipe requires a simple prep and only an hour and 15 minutes to make!
Great for meal prep, you can make a large batch of these delicious chicken and lentil curry and freeze them for the next few days to come. This flavor-packed dish uses curry paste, tomatoes, spinach, red lentils, turmeric powder, plain yogurt, chicken stock, and chicken breast.
A veggie-filled curry recipe packed with black lentils, cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes, this tomato and lentil curry is a must-try! It's wonderful to serve with rice and only needs an hour of cooking time.
Meatless and full of Indian flavors, this creamy coconut lentil curry is best served with cauliflower rice or basmati rice. It's easy to whip up with less hands-on time and perfect for the whole family too.
Indulgent, wholesome, and can be put together in 45 minutes! This vegan red lentil curry recipe is flavorful because of the combination of red lentils, almond butter, crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, lemon juice, and cilantro.
Lentil Salad Recipes to Try!
This is your chance to add a refreshing and protein-filled dish to your meal plan! These lentil salad recipes are super quick and easy to make! Not to mention, extra-delicious too!
Tossed in balsamic vinaigrette dressing and filled with lentils and crunchy vegetables, this salad recipe is healthy, colorful, and flavorful! Plus, this recipe yields eight servings in just ten minutes.
A must-try vegan meal prep recipe! This marinated lentil salad comes with a bright lemon dressing. The lentils in this recipe are cooked with onions and bay leaves and then tossed with the dressing together with fresh parsley and sliced scallions.
An amazing combination of Indian and Mexican flavors in one dish! This lentil salad is made with French lentils, olive oil, cilantro, cumin, coriander, mango, and lime. It's a one-of-a-kind summer dish you wouldn't want to miss!
What makes this lentil salad recipe special is the way lentils are cooked. Instead of plainly cooking it in water, the dried green lentils in this recipe are cooked in broth with garlic, lemon peel, bay leaf, thyme, celery, and garlic.
Other Delicious and Easy Lentil Recipes for You!
Have you completely fallen in love with lentils? Need more recipes for lentils? Below is a list of more amazing and delicious lentil recipes you can try!
This simple and easy Turkish-inspired recipe makes yummy red lentil meatballs with a little kick of spiciness. These meatballs are filling, aromatic, a bit spicy, and best to pair with cauliflower puree.
Want lentils first thing in the morning? This lentils with poached eggs recipe will make your day! It's made with red lentils cooked in fire-roasted tomatoes and paired with poached eggs for a meatless and flavorful satisfying breakfast.
A fantastic combination of lean ground beef and brown lentils! This beef and lentil burger creates four servings in just 25 minutes. It's tender and filling with a little kick of spiciness from jalapeno peppers.
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