Spinach-and-Garlic Lentils

This bright and satisfying lentil side dish will make you forget you ever had a dull brown one. We use orange lentils, which cook fast, and finish the whole dish with a garlic-spice butter drizzled on top.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: about 9 cups
  • Nutrition Info
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One 2-inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 serrano chile, thinly sliced, (remove seeds for less heat)

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

5 ounces baby spinach (about 4 tightly packed cups)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

1 pound split orange lentils (masoor dal), picked through and rinsed (about 2 1/4 cups)

1 medium tomato, chopped

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


  1. Combine the lentils, tomato, 2 cloves of garlic, ginger, serrano chile, turmeric and 6 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a high simmer and cook, occasionally whisking vigorously, until the lentils are tender and begin to fall apart and the mixture is like a thin porridge, 15 to 18 minutes. Add the spinach to the pan in batches and stir until wilted. Add the lemon juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Remove from the heat.
  2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining clove of garlic and the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Swirl until the garlic and is golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the lentils into a large serving bowl and drizzle with the garlic butter. Serve hot.
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