Easy methods to use lentils for many wholesome, tasty meals

If you happen to’re like most of us who stocked up on groceries within the age of COVID-19 social distancing, you doubtless picked up one pantry staple: lentils. Not solely do these yellow, purple, inexperienced, and brown legumes final on cabinets for months—whether or not you purchase them canned or dried—each chew of them provides you a high dose of nutrients, so there’s good motive for storing them in bulk.

“First issues first, lentils are loaded with protein,” says Nealy Fischer, founding father of The Flexible Chef and writer of Food You Want for the Life You Crave. One cup of cooked lentils gives 18 grams of the macronutrient—much more than an equivalent serving of black beans. “That makes them an amazing meat substitute,” says Fischer.

If protein isn’t sufficient to maintain you full and happy, lentils additionally supply up a whopping 16 grams of fiber per seving. And to spherical out their health-promoting properties, you additionally get a mega dose of calcium (36 grams per cup), plus some iron, folate, potassium, and magnesium.

While you’re looking for these protein- and fiber-packed little bites, you’ll see them both offered dried or canned. And whereas both work properly for soups or stews, Fischer prefers the style of the dry selection. (Although she says to go for canned if you wish to toss them on a salad—it’s simply simpler.) “One large concern about canned lentils is the sodium content material,” she says. Whereas it’s finest to search for these canned in water, with no added sodium, working your canned lentils below cool water will take away a majority of the additional sodium as properly, she provides.

After you decide up your lentils, Fischer says they’re tremendous simple to prepare dinner. “Not like many legumes, lentils don’t must be soaked they usually prepare dinner up in 30 minutes or much less, relying on the kind,” she says. Her fast tip on ensuring they don’t get mushy: When you deliver the lentils to a boil, flip the warmth as little as it could possibly go to complete them off. Additionally, Fischer suggests utilizing purple and yellow lentils for soups and curries, and black and French (or inexperienced) ones for salad, as they maintain their form higher, she says.

Obtained all that? Superior. To provide you some inspiration in your upcoming pantry meals, listed here are 5 recipes that will help you expend your lentils. You’ll by no means take a look at the legume the identical approach once more.

Easy methods to use lentils in 5 scrumptious, wholesome recipes

Able to prepare dinner up one thing that tastes good and does your physique good, too? Attempt these simple recipes, all from Fischer.

lentil bolognese how to use lentils
Picture: Getty Photographs / Enrique Diaz / 7cero

In-A-Pinch Lentil Bolognese

Make your favourite pasta meal meatless, with out ditching the protein. It takes only a few minutes to make to get a satisfying, nutrient-dense dish.


Olive oil, for pan
1 massive onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 frozen bag of blended veggies, defrosted
2 cans complete tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup dried brown lentils
Salt and pepper, to style
Dried basil, to style

1. In a big pot, deliver water to a boil and prepare dinner desired quantity of pasta. As soon as pasta reaches desired doneness, drain, and evenly drizzle with olive oil. Put aside.

2. Warmth olive oil in a big frying pan over medium warmth. Add the onion and sauté till translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Add within the garlic and veggies, stir to mix. Then add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste, stir to mix. Lastly, add the lentils, salt, pepper, and basil. Stir to mix.

4. Decrease warmth to simmer and prepare dinner sauce for one more 10 minutes, or till cooked by.

5. Style for seasoning one final time.

6. Plate the spaghetti and prime with lentil-infused sauce. Eat and revel in!

how to use lentils lentil soup
Picture: Getty Photographs / Lauri Patterson

Lentil Soup

Sure, you could possibly purchase canned lentil soup—nevertheless it gained’t be practically as contemporary or as flavorful as this scrumptious bowl of consolation meals. Whip it up in below an hour and revel in as you sit again and calm down on the sofa.


Three tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped (or 1 cup frozen diced onions)
2 cloves garlic, minced
half of cup celery diced (omit in case your grocery store is out)
2 carrots, diced (omit in case your grocery store out)
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cups dry lentils
1 cups veggie or rooster inventory or water
half of cup contemporary or frozen spinach
Salt and pepper, to style

1. In a big soup pot over medium warmth, warmth the butter or olive oil and prepare dinner onion, stirring, till translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, celery, carrots, cumin, and lentils and prepare dinner, stirring, till aromatic, roughly 1 minute.

3. Add the broth, spinach, salt, and pepper. Carry the combination to a boil. Scale back the warmth and simmer the soup till the celery and carrots soften, about 30 minutes. Serve in bowls and revel in.

lentil salad
Picture: Stocksy / Harald Walker

Lentil Salad

In fewer than 30 minutes, you’ll have a veggie- and vitamin-packed salad, with lentils to spice up its satisfaction issue. It’s a contemporary and filling lunch or dinner.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 half of cups Puy (or French or inexperienced) lentils
1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
3/Four cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful of spinach leaves
1/Four cup mint leaves
2 tablespoons purple wine vinegar
2 tablespoons further virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly floor pepper, to style

1. In a big frying pan, warmth olive oil over medium warmth. Add curry powder and stir for about 20 seconds.

2. Add the lentils, stirring to coat properly. Add beneficiant pinch salt.

3. Cowl the lentils with water, deliver to a simmer, and prepare dinner for about 20 minutes, or till the lentils are delicate. Don’t allow them to boil dry, prime up with extra water if essential however don’t make them too moist.

4. Take away from warmth, drain, rinse and put aside to chill.

5. Put cooled lentils in a big bowl with the onion, tomatoes, spinach, and herbs, whisk collectively the vinegar and oil in a separate dish, pour over the salad and toss properly. Season to style with the ocean salt and pepper.

lentil stew
Picture: Getty Photographs / Westend61

African Coconut Lentil Stew

Fischer realized to prepare dinner up this dish on a latest journey to Africa. Whereas this recipe requires extra substances, it’s definitely worth the buy—and it’s nonetheless tremendous simple to make.


1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, grated
1/Four cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon floor cumin
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon tomato puree
half of cup tomato sauce
1 can coconut milk, divided
1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
half of cup chopped purple pepper (use frozen if that’s what you might have)
half of cup chopped yellow pepper (use frozen if that’s what you might have)
1 bunch spinach (use frozen if that’s what you might have)
1 cup cooked brown lentils
Salt and pepper, to style

1. Warmth oil in a big pot. Add the onion and prepare dinner for about 1 minute, till aromatic. Add the garlic, stir-fry till they begin to brown.

2. Add the spices, stir for 30 seconds.

3. Add tomato puree. Stir till properly coated.

4. Add tomato sauce, half of cup coconut milk, greens, and lentils.

5. Improve warmth to excessive and convey to a boil. As soon as effervescent, scale back to low, cowl, and simmer for 15 minutes, till greens are cooked by.

6. Add the remaining coconut milk, stir till sauce thickens to desired consistency.

7. Flip off warmth, style, and season to your liking. Eat sizzling.

Vegan Italian soup with lentil meatballs

You too can make a stunning dupe for meatballs utilizing lentils, as confirmed by Kelly LeVeque in a latest episode of Properly+Good’s Cook dinner With Us present.


For the meatballs:
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium shallot (minced)
Three cloves garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1 tbsp of olive oil,
1 half of cups cooked + cooled lentils (cooked in vegetable inventory)
1 half of Tbsp dried Italian seasonings
1/Four cup contemporary Italian parsley
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dietary yeast
5-6 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (plus extra for coating)
~1/Four tsp Sea salt and black pepper to style
2 tbsp of almond flour

For the soup: 
2 teaspoons further virgin olive oil
half of cup chopped yellow onion
1cup 1/Four inch diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
Eight cups vegetable broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon minced contemporary basil
1 tablespoon chopped contemporary parsley
2 zucchinis, zoodled
Pink Himalayan salt and freshly floor black pepper

1. First, make the meatballs: In a frying pan, sauté garlic and shallots in 1 tbsp of olive oil.

2. Pulse lentils, 1 tsp olive oil, sautéed garlic and shallot, Italian seasonings, flax meal, parsley and tomato paste.

3. Roll into balls and mud with almond flour.

4. Sauté balls in a frying pan till golden brown, 6-Eight minutes. Switch to a plate and canopy with tinfoil or put within the oven on low to maintain heat.

5. To arrange the soup, warmth the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high warmth. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté till tender and aromatic, Four to six minutes.

6. Add the broth, tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, basil, and parsley. Cowl, deliver to a simmer over medium-high, flip the warmth to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

7. Take away the bay leaves and rosemary. Add the meatballs and zoodles, cowl and simmer for five minutes, till the meatballs and zoodles are heated by. Season with salt and pepper to style and serve.

In search of extra issues to do along with your pantry staples? Listed below are some delicious and creative ways to use chickpeas. And this stunning pantry meals can come with a side of pesticides.

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