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This seasoned black lentils recipe is a tasty way to cook lentils, simmered in broth with garlic and herbs. Great as a side or 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 ½ 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. Add black lentils to make this Quick 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

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


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


  • 1 pound black lentils (2 ¼ cups)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


  1. In a large saucepan or deep skillet, combine the black lentils with the broth, water and spices. Bring to a simmer and simmer 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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. 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.

  2. Delicious. I added some more spices & herbs , Paprika, Chile, Bay Leaf, & Basil & served the lentils over quinoa. I was hungry!
    Anna in Ecuador

    1. Excited to try this recipe! Do you put the lentils in after the water is simmering or before? Hello from Manta, Ecuador 👋