Seasoned Black Lentils Recipe

This seasoned black lentils recipe is a tasty way to cook lentils, simmered in broth with garlic and herbs. Serve them as a side or use in salads!

Seasoned black lentils recipe

Got a bag of black lentils and not sure what to do with it? We’re here to help! Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja, self-proclaimed lentil experts. We’ve got a huge number of lentil recipes under our belt, like our best damn lentil soup (which lives up to its name!). We cook lentils on the stovetop, and in the lentils in the Instant Pot. Because they’re inexpensive and a healthy plant-based protein, we cook with them all the time! This seasoned black lentils recipe is a basic way to cook them, and seriously tasty. Serve it as a side dish, or use it as a component in salads or throw together bowl meals. Ready to get cooking?

What are black lentils

What are black lentils?

A bit of lentil info before we get started! What are black lentils, and how are they different from other lentil types? Also known as Beluga lentils, black lentils are small and dark-colored. They look and cook similar to French lentils. Contrary to other types of lentils like brown or red lentils, black lentils hold their shape when cooked. That is, they don’t cook down into a mush like in our Masoor Dal (Indian Red Lentils). Because they stay lentil-shaped, they’re perfect for eating in salads or as a side dish.

Black lentils recipe

Tips for making this seasoned black lentils recipe

This seasoned black lentils recipe is a basic way to cook black lentils. The premise is simple: you’ll simply boil them in vegetable broth with a few seasonings, then drain and serve! It’s really as easy as that. Here are a few notes and tips for making this recipe:

  • How long to cook black lentils? 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re tender.
  • What type of pot should you use? You can use either a saucepan or a deep skillet, which we’ve used here.
  • Do you have to cover the lentils? Nope! No need, just maintain a low simmer.
  • What’s the lentil to water ratio for black lentils? 3 parts liquid to 1 part black lentils. In this recipe we used 4 cups broth, 2 cups water, and 1 pound black lentils (2 1/2 cups).
  • Do you have to soak black lentils? No! You can cook them right away, which makes them quick and easy.
  • What if I don’t have dried tarragon? The dried tarragon adds a little flair, but you definitely can omit if for the recipe.
  • How should I use the lentils when it’s done? You can add a little salt and pepper and serve them as is as an easy side dish. Or see the section below for more ideas…
Lentil salad
Lentil Salad combines black lentils with crunchy veggies and feta cheese

Top black lentils recipes!

Once you’ve cooked up a pot of these black lentils, there’s lots of ways to use them! Because they’re so full of protein, lentils are perfect for whole food plant based (WFPB) meals. Here are our top ideas for how to serve black lentils:

  • Black Lentil Salad. This Lentil Salad combines these black lentils with feta cheese, arugula, radishes, and a zesty vinaigrette dressing. It’s SO seriously good: and it gets even better the next day. Serve as a side or as lunches throughout the week. Or, use black lentils in this easier French Lentil Salad.
  • Black Lentil Tacos. Substitute these black lentils into this Lentil Tacos Recipe and top with sliced radishes and feta cheese. Makes an easy weeknight meal!
  • Burrito Bowl. Omit the sweet potato and add black lentils to make this Vegetarian Burrito Bowl even more filling! Or make your own free-form concept.
  • Dal Makhani. Turns out, black lentils are used in the traditional Indian Easy Dal Makhani: it’s bursting with flavor.
  • Sweet Potatoes with Black Lentils. A stunning way to serve lentils: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese & Lentils. Even easier: just make our baked sweet potatoes and throw lentils & goat cheese on top!
Black lentils recipe

Are lentils healthy?

Black lentils are not only tasty: they’re full of nutrition benefits and are inexpensive to buy! Here are a few of the major nutritional benefits of lentils:

  • Protein & Fiber: Lentils have a large amount of plant-based protein. 1 cup of cooked lentils has about 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber. (Source)
  • Low in Fat & Calories: Lentils have virtually no saturated fat and are low in calories.
  • Protect Against Heart Disease: Lentils are rich in polyphenols, micronutrients thought to help protect against cardiovascular disease. (Source)

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Seasoned black lentils recipe

Seasoned Black Lentils Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (39 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This black lentils recipe is a tasty way to serve up this hearty plant based protein: simmered in broth with garlic and herbs.


  • 1 pound black lentils (2 1/4 cups)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. In a large saucepan or deep skillet, simmer the black lentils with the broth, water and spices for about 15 to 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Drain excess liquid. Taste and if serving as is, season with additional salt and pepper as necessary. Or, use directly in our Lentil Salad or other recipes. 
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: Black lentils recipe, Black Lentils, How to cook black lentils

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    May 6, 2020 at 2:13 am

    really good!!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    How long should these last in the fridge?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 8, 2021 at 12:23 pm

      They should last 3-5 days covered in the fridge.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    Great seasonings, I cooked them in veggie broth-love lentils as a side dish or sprinkled in salads, etc, like a lot of your ideas. I made these to go along with some salmon.

  • Reply
    Antoine Edmonson
    March 1, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for this! What’s the serving size?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 1, 2021 at 7:42 pm

      It should make 8 servings about 3/4 cups each.

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