18+ Best Lentil Recipes

If you’re looking for a warm and comforting meal on a chilly day, look no further than these 18 scrumptious lentil recipes. With their rich protein content, versatility in cooking methods, and abundance of nutrients, lentils are an ideal ingredient to incorporate into your culinary repertoire.

Lentils come in a variety of types, including brown, green, red, Puy (French), and Beluga (black). Mastering a few recipes for each type will allow you to take full advantage of their health benefits. As a vegan or vegetarian, lentils offer an excellent protein source, but even meat-lovers can appreciate the flavor and texture they bring to dishes.

So, let’s dive into the best lentil recipes and discover the incredible flavors and benefits that these small but mighty legumes have to offer.

Moroccan Lentil Quinoa Soup

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Indulge in the vibrant flavors of Morocco with this nourishing quinoa lentil soup recipe, featuring red lentils as the star ingredient. This plant-based delight is effortlessly prepared using familiar pantry staples, making it a convenient option for busy days. With its versatility, you can cook this hearty soup in under 30 minutes using an Instant Pot or let it simmer all day in a slow cooker. The blend of warm spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and chili powder, paired with vegetable broth (or chicken broth for a variation), creates a rich and satisfying flavor profile that’s sure to become a new favorite.

Hearty Lentil Stew

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Looking to indulge in a wholesome and satisfying lentil recipe? Look no further! This lentil stew is so filling and packed with nutritious ingredients that you won’t even miss the meat. A medley of vegetables, including onion, celery, leeks, garlic, kale, sweet potato, red potatoes, carrots, and chopped tomato, add depth and texture to this hearty dish. To give it an extra boost of flavor, cumin, onion powder, and cinnamon are added to the mix. The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility – it can be cooked on the stovetop, slow cooker, or Instant Pot, making it a convenient option for any time of day.

Creamy Red Lentil Soup

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Indulge in our beloved vegetarian lentil recipe, featuring creamy red lentils paired with sweet carrots. This quick and satisfying soup can be prepared in under 30 minutes. The combination of coconut milk, sautéed onion, and aromatic garlic creates a rich and flavorful broth. For an added kick, sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes on top. To keep it vegan-friendly, substitute Greek yogurt with vegetable stock and skip the chicken broth altogether. This recipe is adapted from ambitiouskitchen.com.

Butternut Squash Superfood Lentil Soup

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Indulge in the creamy and nutritious world of veganism with this exceptional butternut squash and lentil soup. This velvety concoction not only provides an impressive dose of protein but also boasts a wealth of anti-inflammatory ingredients, making it a daily dose of wellness. The symphony of flavors comes from a medley of aromatic components – pungent garlic, the zesty kick of fresh ginger, the sweetness of onion and carrot, the warmth of yellow curry powder and turmeric, and the richness of coconut milk. And, if you prefer to take it easy, this recipe is also perfectly suited for slow cooker cooking.

Baked Sweet Potato Stuffed With Moroccan Lentils

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While a single sweet potato can be a satisfying meal on its own, when you add lentils to the mix, you’re looking at a filling and flavorful combination that will keep you satisfied for hours. The key to this Moroccan-inspired recipe is using pardina or brown lentils, which provide a nutritious and wholesome base for the dish. The real magic happens when you blend together aromatic ingredients like onion, garlic, fresh ginger, cinnamon, sweet paprika (or smoked paprika), and harissa paste with the natural sweetness of pomegranate molasses. And as an added bonus, I’ve also included a recipe for a tangy lemon tahini dressing that uses agave nectar, fresh lemon juice, and garlic to add a burst of citrus flavor.

Quick Coconut Lentil Curry

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To craft a mouthwatering and creamy coconut curry, you’ll be creating a rich coconut sauce that harmonizes perfectly with the bold flavors of curry spices and the earthy goodness of dried lentils. You’re free to substitute half-and-half or heavy cream for coconut milk if you prefer, but keep in mind you may not need as much. The aromatic blend of fresh ginger, garlic, yellow onion, curry powder, and cilantro adds depth to this delectable curry. Use vegetable broth or chicken broth to enhance the flavors, and don’t forget the nutritious boost from spinach. You have the flexibility to tailor the spiciness level to your taste – keep it mild or kick it up a notch, whichever suits you best.

Instant Pot Smoky Lentils and Rice

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For a delicious lentil bean dish that pairs perfectly with rice, look no further! Mujadaraz is a flavorful, gluten-free meal that’s bursting with aromatic spices and topped with sweet, caramelized onions. The blend of coriander, cumin (Jeera powder), and cinnamon adds depth and warmth to this hearty dish. Serve the Mjuadaraz over a bed of fluffy white basmati rice, cauliflower rice, or nutty brown rice for a well-rounded meal.

Sweet Potatoes with Lentils and Goat Cheese

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This sweet potato-centric recipe shines thanks to its supporting cast, particularly the beluga or puy lentils that add a substantial boost of protein. To bring this dish together, you’ll need those lentils alongside some sautéed shallots for added depth. When serving, create a fresh foundation by placing the sweet potatoes on a bed of peppery rocket greens (arugula). A sprinkle of creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of olive oil will round out the flavors nicely.

Ethiopian Lentils (Red Lentil Curry)

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Ethiopian cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and spices, and the traditional recipe for Misir Wot is a perfect example of this. At its core, Misir Wot is a hearty red lentil stew that showcases the country’s affinity for bold and aromatic flavors. The dish is made even more complex by the addition of hot smoked paprika, turmeric, garam masala, and freshly grated ginger, which combine to create an incredibly pungent and alluring aroma. For those who have access to it, topping Misir Wot with creamy Ayib cheese adds a luxurious touch to this already flavorful dish.

Best Ever Lentil Soup

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This easy lentil soup recipe is a staple in our household, thanks to its abundance of flavorful spices like cumin, curry powder, dried thyme, and a hint of heat from red pepper flakes. The combination of tender carrots, crushed tomatoes, sautéed onions, and nutritious kale (or collard greens) creates a hearty, comforting bowl of goodness that’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or as a meal prep option. Plus, it freezes remarkably well, making it easy to prepare a large batch and enjoy the benefits throughout the week. Simply thaw a serving in the microwave and serve with crusty bread for a satisfying and nourishing meal.

Vegetarian French Lentils Shepherd’s Pie

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Indulge in a comforting, healthy take on the classic shepherd’s pie by combining hearty vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, and nutritious French lentils. The dish is topped with fluffy Yukon gold or russet potatoes and baked to perfection. Use either green or brown lentils as the base of this vegetarian casserole. We appreciate the addition of frozen veggies like carrots, peas, corn, and green beans for an extra burst of flavor and nutrients. This recipe is inspired by cookieandkate.com.

Easy Dal Makhani

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Dal Makhani, a rich and flavorful lentil-based stew from the Punjab region of Northern India, is often reserved for special occasions. While it typically requires a significant amount of time to prepare, this recipe streamlines the process. The ideal ingredient is traditional urad dal, or whole black lentils, though regular black lentils can be substituted if necessary. What sets Dal Makhani apart is its blend of spices, including garam masala, cumin, coriander, and fresh ginger, which combine to create a truly distinctive flavor.

Lentil Nachos

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For those looking beyond the realm of soup recipes, a game-changing twist on traditional nachos awaits – lentil nachos. The secret to these innovative snacks lies in an unconventional cheese sauce crafted with flour, milk, butter, and shredded cheese. Feel free to get creative with your cheese choice, opting for options like Monterrey Jack, mozzarella, or pepper jack. To elevate the experience, pair your lentil nachos with a medley of Mexican favorites, including sour cream, guacamole (or its diced avocado equivalent), salsa, and pico de gallo.

Indian Red Lentils (Masoor Dal)

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Red lentils, also known as masoor dal in Indian cuisine, are a nutritious staple ingredient that boasts an impressive protein content compared to other lentil varieties. In fact, red lentils are renowned for their high protein levels, making them an excellent addition to any meal. There exist two distinct forms of masoor dal: the whole lentil and its skinned counterpart. However, this recipe specifically requires moong dal, which is essentially the split version of red lentils. The flavor profile is elevated by the judicious use of mustard seed, green chili, asafoetida, and cumin. For a truly authentic experience, serve these delectable red lentils with chapati or naan for dipping into their rich, savory broth.

Lentil Salad with Feta Cheese

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Cooked lentils are often relegated to soups and stews, but they can bring a wealth of flavor and nutrition to a variety of dishes. This refreshing lentil salad is a perfect example, showcasing the versatility of cooked lentils in a light and flavorful meal. To prepare this tasty side dish, start by combining cooked brown lentils with cherry tomatoes or chopped tomato, an English cucumber, pitted Kalamata olives, thinly sliced red onion, and crumbled feta cheese. For the dressing, mix together minced garlic, chopped shallot, red wine vinegar, honey, and extra virgin olive oil. This salad can be refrigerated for up to five days, making it a great option for meal prep or a quick lunch.

Simple Red Lentil Soup

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While it may seem counterintuitive, this Mediterranean red lentil soup’s simplicity belies its complex flavor profile. What makes this recipe truly special is that it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan-friendly, making it an excellent option for a wide range of dietary preferences.

The real magic happens when you combine the earthy sweetness of red lentils with the warm, aromatic spices of cumin, coriander, and harissa paste. To finish the dish, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro adds a bright, herbaceous note, while a squeeze of lemon juice injects a welcome burst of citrusy freshness. This humble recipe is elevated to new heights through its thoughtful blend of ingredients.

“Verde” Lentil Tacos

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Indulge in the vibrant flavors of our Verde lentil tacos, a delightful vegan or vegetarian twist on traditional Taco Tuesday fare. The recipe shines with its sweet and tangy pico de gallo, crafted from an unexpected blend of mango, pomegranate, red onion, fresh lime juice, and cilantro. Meanwhile, the taco filling is elevated by a harmonious mix of tomatillos, jalapeno pepper, poblano pepper, fresh lime juice, and garlic, resulting in a culinary experience that will leave you craving more.

Final Words

Get ready to delight your loved ones with these mouthwatering recipes. Whether you’re cooking for a casual gathering or a special occasion, these dishes are sure to impress. Take the opportunity to share your experiences and feedback with us!

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