29 Lentil Recipes You'll Swear By

Soups, salads, meatless mains and more — there are so many ways to incorporate this fiber- and protein-rich legume into your meals. With recipes this good, it’s easy to enjoy the "lentil" things in life!

May 19, 2022

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Lots of Reasons to Love Lentils

What exactly are lentils? If you've wondered, you're not alone. Lentils are legumes; one of the best plant-based proteins out there, lentils are packed with nutrients and can be used in many mouthwatering recipes that vegans, vegetarians and even meat eaters will love. Not all lentils cook the same way, though, which is why it's important to learn about the different types of lentils and how best to use them. Brown lentils are perfect for making hearty burgers and flavorful soups, and green or red lentils are great in this curry-spiced stew. The lentils in this beautiful salad get a double-dose of flavor; they're infused with fresh garlic during the cooking process and they're tossed with fresh herbs and smoky cumin.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Kebabs with Lentil-Herb Salad

Healthy Braised Lentils with Kale

In the Mediterranean, meals rely heavily on plant-based recipes favoring legumes, whole grains and loads of fresh vegetables and fruits. This recipe fully embraces that philosophy, borrowing a few of the classic cooking techniques and ingredient combinations from the region--firm black lentils from France and olive oil-fried eggs from Spain. This recipe is super simple, yet hearty enough to satisfy even the most hard-core meat eaters in your family.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Braised Lentils with Kale

Roasted Squash with Marinated Lentils

Steaming canned lentils (or any canned bean) for a few minutes softens them and freshens the flavor. While warm, they more readily absorb the oil and vinegar marinade in this recipe and become a full-flavored counterpart to roasted squash and creamy goat cheese.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Squash with Marinated Lentils

Lentil Soup

Lentils are the perfect addition to this pasta-and-veggie soup. They make it even more hearty and satisfying.

Get the Recipe: Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Lentil-Veggie Burgers with Slaw

Here's a simple and well-balanced veggie burger that won't break the bank. Tender Instant Pot® lentils and roasted sweet potato and mushrooms come together in a satisfying patty that's served piled high with creamy, tangy coleslaw.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Lentil-Veggie Burgers with Slaw

Healthy Lentil Chili

This hearty vegetarian chili is both nutritious and satisfying, thanks to the protein-packed navy beans and brown lentils. We added a generous dose of dried spices and other pantry staples to boost the flavor and make this dish accessible for any night of the week.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Lentil Chili

Lentil-Stuffed Peppers

These peppers, inspired by the fresh flavors of the Mediterranean, are loaded with fiber and plant-based protein, thanks to the lentil stuffing. Delicious and satisfying!

Get the Recipe: Lentil-Stuffed Peppers

Lentil-Mushroom Meatballs

Get saucy with protein packed, no-meat meatballs! Lentils work together with onions, garlic, tomato paste, soy sauce and nutritional yeast to make these meatballs taste meaty.

Get the Recipe: Lentil-Mushroom Meatballs

French Lentil Salad

Why choose French lentils? They keep their shape better than some other varieties, making them the ideal choice when you're planning to toss them into a salad.

Get the Recipe: French Lentil Salad

The Best Lentil Soup

Brown lentils are the star of this dish. To boost flavor, we used a classic mirepoix—onion, celery and carrot – as well as thyme, bay and oregano for an herby finish. We found the fresh lemon juice and parsley at the end brightened up the soup and added a nice pop of color.

Get the Recipe: The Best Lentil Soup

Salmon with Lentils

In the habit of always making the same side to serve with salmon? Shake things up with Ina's flavor-packed lentils. They're infused with garlic, herbs and chicken stock — and an unforgettable accompaniment to the fish.

Get the Recipe: Salmon with Lentils

Mum's Everyday Red Lentils

These 5-star lentils pack so much flavor that one FN fan raves they could "convert virtually anyone to vegan/vegetarianism". Pro tip: Wait until the very end of the cooking process to add salt. This ensures the best flavor and texture.

Get the Recipe: Mum's Everyday Red Lentils

Spinach-and-Garlic Lentils

Incorporate orange lentils into your dish for a quicker cook time and brighter presentation.

Get the Recipe: Spinach-and-Garlic Lentils

Lentil Brownies

High-protein brownies that will curb your craving for sweets? What's not to love about that?!

Get the Recipe: Lentil Brownies

Spicy Lentil Soup

Bring the heat with serrano chile pepper, fresh ginger and garlic. If you need to cool things down a bit, top this piquant lentil soup with a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Lentil Soup

Spiced Lentils and Scrambled Eggs

Inspired by vegetarian fried rice, we cooked up red lentils in one skillet with loads of bell peppers, onion, garlic and classic Mediterranean spices like cumin, allspice, nutmeg and paprika. The lentils are then pushed to the side of the pan to crisp up while eggs are scrambled in the center. Everything gets tossed together at the end with fresh grape tomatoes, salty olives and fresh basil to garnish for a hearty breakfast packed with veggies.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Lentils and Scrambled Eggs

Lentil Quinoa Salad

This power salad pairs hearty lentils with nutty quinoa for a filling and nutritious bite. Best of all, you only need a handful of basic ingredients to add tons of savory flavor.

Get the Recipe: Lentil Quinoa Salad

Indian Shrimp and Lentils

Lentils are right at home in this Indian-inspired shrimp dish. As they cook, they soak up all the delicious flavors of the fragrant tomato sauce they’re cooked in (like garlic, ginger and garam masala), which gives them their signature flavor.

Get the Recipe: Stewed Garam Masala Lentils with Buttery Shrimp

Lentil Sausage Soup

Ina recommends French green lentils for her hearty sausage soup because of their texture. When they’re cooked they’re tender but not mushy, making them just the thing you want to find in every spoonful!

Get the Recipe: Lentil Sausage Soup

Crispy Cod with Lentils

This delicious recipe proves that lentils don’t have to be the main ingredient to completely make the dish. Here, they’re combined with aromatic vegetables and a little seasoning to create a savory topping for the salad that rounds out the meal.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Cod with Lentils

Vegan Lentil Burgers

Get your burger fix with this lower-fat, vegan alternative made with hearty lentils. The patties are packed with fiber and protein — and plenty of flavor.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Lentil Burgers

Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls

Giada takes advantage of hearty lentils in her marinara-topped swiss chard rolls. She mixes cooked green lentils with brown rice, goat cheese, herbs and seasonings to create a stick-to-your-ribs filling that’s both delicious and satisfying.

Get the Recipe: Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls

Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Lentil Soup

Jeff’s putting a Mediterranean spin on good-for-you lentils – and it couldn’t be simpler. Throw all your ingredients into a slow-cooker (and let the aromas fill your kitchen) until ready. Super easy!

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Mediterranean Lentil Soup

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe’s just got a little bit healthier. Instead of making them with only ground beef, try a mix of meat and lentils. You’ll add an extra dose of filling fiber, without sacrificing any flavor.

Get the Recipe: Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Stew with Coconut and Madras Curry

This vegetarian stew has a hearty texture, thanks to red lentils – which break down a bit as they cook. Geoffrey calls for madras curry powder to flavor them (it’s a touch spicier than some other blends of curry spices) but you can use whatever you have on-hand.

Get the Recipe: Lentil Stew with Coconut and Madras Curry

Lentil and Orzo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chard and Herbs

This salad is guaranteed to become one of your favorite ways to eat this healthy legume. It’s an explosion of color and flavor that will keep you full and fueled because of the protein and fiber in the lentils.

Get the Recipe: Lentil and Orzo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chard and Herbs

Vegan Lentil Chili

This vegan chili is every bit as comforting as the meat-filled counterpart, thanks to hearty lentils, beans and vegetables.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Lentil Chili

Perfect Lentils

Lentils don’t require soaking like other dried legumes, making them ideal for an easy weeknight meal or pantry cleanout dish. The key to tender and intact (not mushy) lentils is to cook them at a gentle simmer — and resist the urge to stir! The following method works equally well for green, French Le Puy, brown or beluga lentils. But it’s not a good match for red and yellow lentils, which usually come split and cook faster.

Get the Recipe: Perfect Lentils

Instant Pot Masoor Dal With Shiitake Mushrooms

This vibrantly spiced red lentil stew comes together quickly and involves minimal kitchen clean up afterwards. Dried mushrooms deepen the flavors and add an irresistible texture.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Masoor Dal With Shiitake Mushrooms