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Lentils are nutritious, protein-packed and budget-friendly! This collection of delicious lentil recipes offers ideas that are perfect for anyone looking for a hearty and flavorful meal.

Lentil recipe: soup in bowl with spoon and garnished with parsley.
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Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are a plant protein that’s pretty darn perfect—and they’re budget friendly too! Luckily, they also have that most important final element that’s necessary for any food: they’re delicious.

Here at A Couple Cooks we’re a married pair of cookbook authors who have been writing recipes for over 15 years. Here’s what we’ve found: Prepared correctly, lentils can be one of the best ingredients for a healthy, satisfying, economical, and delicious meal. So what are you waiting for? Here are our top lentil recipes, from soup to nachos!

Types of lentils

Before we start, here’s a quick primer on lentil types! We long loved this legume as an economical and delicious superfood (here are some documented benefits of lentils per the National Institutes of Health). Make sure to use the type the recipe specifies, because they have different flavors, shapes, cook times. Here are a few of the most popular types of lentils:

  • Brown & green lentils: Brown and green lentils are the most “standard” varieties when you think of lentils. They cook quickly (in 20 to 30 minutes), and tend to fall apart when cooked instead of hold their shape. This makes them ideal for soups and curries.
  • Red lentils: Red lentils are bright orange in color and most commonly found in Indian curry dishes like daal. They take about 20 minutes to cook and break down quickly into a uniform texture.,
  • French lentils (also called Puy lentils): French lentils hold their shape when cooked, making them different from brown, green and red lentils. These small and greenish-gray lentils are great for salads or stuffing into vegetables like sweet potatoes.
  • Black lentils (Beluga lentils): Black lentils are extremely flavorful. They’re very small and dark, like a combination of French lentils and brown lentils. They’ll hold their shape when cooked which works for salads, but when cooked longer they fall apart like in curries and soups.
Measuring cup with green lentils.

And now, our top lentil recipes!

Here is a list of the top lentil recipes from this website that we make over and over again, along with a few tasty ideas from some of our other favorite recipe websites.

Our best lentil recipe? Try this 7 ingredient lentil soup: it’s a fan favorite!

More legume recipes

Lentils are legumes, or members of the bean family. There are seven different types of legumes: lentils, peas, broad beans, chickpeas, soybeans, beans, and peanuts. Legumes are full of protein and fiber, making them a great healthy choice for meals. Here are a few more recipes with legumes:

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Lentil recipes

20 Easy Lentil Recipes: Easy Lentil Soup


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4.5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

This easy lentil soup is only 7 ingredients (excluding salt and water) and simple to meal prep as a lunch or dinner recipe! It’s one of our top cheap and delicious healthy meal prep ideas.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 9 to 10 cups water
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) dried green or brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin*
  • Optional garnishes: Finely chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper, grated Pecorino cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, and garlic and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until tender.
  2. Add the water, lentils and cumin. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add the additional ½ to 1 cup of water as needed. Taste and add additional salt to taste. 
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate for meal prep: the soup lasts up to 1 week refrigerated and leftovers taste even better (you can also freeze them for up to 3 months). Leftovers may soak up extra broth, so you can add a splash of water and pinch of salt if the texture becomes too thick. 

Notes

*If desired, you can change up the spices. This soup is great with 2 to 3 teaspoons curry powder (and a half can of coconut milk, if you like). You can also substitute other spices like dried tarragon, dried oregano, and more. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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11 Comments

  1. Alex Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you try our new soup!






  2. Denise Cooley says:

    I ha e been wanting to try lentils so I’ve saved about 6 recipes. Glad I fou d your site. Thanks






  3. Virginia W. Voigt says:

    I have recently learned how to make lentil bread. Yes, that’s right, lentil bread. It does not have any grain flour in it, only soaked and ground red lentils for the main ingredient. There are a number of recipes on the internet for it, but my favorite comes from Refika’s kitchen (YouTube). She is from Turkey. Apparently, they know their lentils there. I encourage you to investigate. I found the bread quite rewarding.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Thank you for the idea!

  4. Margie Lips says:

    Looking for a meatball recipe using lentils. Can you help.

  5. Winifred Watson says:

    Thank you for giving me ideas on making meals using Lentils. I have just recently started to use Lentils and am loving the recipes from you.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad to hear that!

  6. Deborah says:

    lENTILS ARE THENEW FOOD i HEAR SO TIME TO GET CREATIVE WITH LOTS OF NEW RECIPIES WE HAVE SOME TASTES TO TURN TO LENTILS THANKS :)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love this! Thank you for the hard work put in. Much appreciated.

  8. Cassandra Costley says:

    These recipes were great! I will eventually try them all. Thanks so much!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You’re welcome!