20 Lentil Recipes to Try Now

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Lentils are nutritious and budget-friendly, but don’t be fooled by their simplicity! This collection of delicious lentil recipes offers ideas that are perfect for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking for a hearty and flavorful meal.

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 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.

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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.


  • 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


  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

Keywords: Lentil Recipes

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