How to Cook Lentils

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How to Cook Lentils
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How to Cook Lentils

Lentils With Red Wine and Herbs

With herbs and a scattering of mâche (a sweet and tender green), the stewy lentils become a perfect combination of soup and salad. French green lentils work best here, because they hold their shape when cooked.

Click here for the recipe: Lentils With Red Wine and Herbs

Green-Lentil Curry

This lentil-vegetable curry is a Western-style main course. Eaten over rice with yogurt, it's a very satisfying meal.

Click here for the recipe: Green-Lentil Curry

Grilled Green Bean Salad With Lentil Vinaigrette

Most cooks boil, steam or sauté green beans, but grilling them gives them a delicious char that's superb with the lentils, pancetta and baked tomatoes in this salad.

Click here for the recipe: Grilled Green Bean Salad With Lentil Vinaigrette

Rice & Lentil Pilaf

Tired of the same old sides? The lentils in this recipe add interest and texture, and you'll find that the dish pairs nicely with just about any main course.

Click here for the recipe: Rice & Lentil Pilaf

Lentil Rice Salad

Here's a great make-ahead side dish that works a great addition to a buffet, picnic, barbecue or formal meal. It's subtle flavors complement just about any main course.

Click here for the recipe: Lentil Rice Salad

Rice & Lentil Salad

A simple dressing of sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and paprika flavor this rice and lentil salad. It's a great way to use up leftovers.

Click here for the recipe: Rice & Lentil Salad

Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.

Click here for the recipe: Squash, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew

French Lentils With Roasted Roots, Caramelized Onions and Thyme

Although there are three main steps required to make this recipe, the prep time is minimal. This dish goes great with sautéed mustard greens, kale and/or collards.

Click here for the recipe: French Lentils With Roasted Roots, Caramelized Onions and Thyme

Warm Lentil Salad With Sausage & Apple

We like the firmer texture of French green lentils in this hearty dinner salad featuring sausage and tart apples. Serve with pickled beets and your favorite beer.

Click here for the recipe: Warm Lentil Salad With Sausage & Apple

Very Green Lentil Soup

Lentils seem to go with just about anything, and here they play well with a collection of greens and some cumin and coriander to add a gentle spice to this soup recipe. The result is a hearty winter soup with tons of flavor.

Click here for the recipe: Very Green Lentil Soup

Rack of Lamb With Warm Apple & Lentil Salad

Mustard and rosemary complement rich lamb and earthy lentils in this elegant meal. Don't let rack of lamb intimidate you. It is simple to prepare.

Click here for the recipe: Rack of Lamb With Warm Apple & Lentil Salad

Black Lentil and Bell Pepper With Mint Salad

In this dish, try combining all kinds of vibrant colors and flavors like fresh mint, lemon juice and of course, cilantro.

Click here for the recipe: Black Lentil and Bell Pepper With Mint Salad

Cumin-Scented Wheat Berry-Lentil Soup

Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright note to this toothsome and hearty winter soup, perfect for a weeknight supper with a hunk of crusty bread.

Click here for the recipe: Cumin-Scented Wheat Berry-Lentil Soup

Lentil Burgers

Walnuts and fresh marjoram accent these vegan lentil burgers. Substitute oregano for marjoram if you like. Serve with a smear of whole-grain mustard and roasted sweet potato wedges.

Click here for the recipe: Lentil Burgers

Kale, Sausage & Lentil Skillet Supper

Cooking the lentils in red wine adds rich, earthy flavor to this one-dish skillet supper. We prefer French green lentils in this dish—they’re smaller, cook faster and hold their shape better than brown lentils.

Click here for the recipe: Kale, Sausage & Lentil Skillet Supper

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Italians eat lentils to bring good fortune, linking their round shape with gold coins. No wonder: at 20¢ per 1/2-cup cooked serving (of brown lentils), these peppery little legumes practically put money in your pocket. (Brown are the most widely available, but you might also find French green "Le Puy," orange or black.) A serving contains over 9 grams of protein and a jaw-dropping 8 grams of dietary fiber, making them a boon to heart health as well. Plus, they taste great.


To cook lentils: Place in a saucepan, cover with at least 1 inch of water, bring to a simmer and cook until just tender, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of lentil. Drain and rinse with cold water. 1 cup dry lentils = about 2 1/2 cups cooked. Or use canned lentils: 15-ounce can = 1 1/2 cups. Rinse canned lentils before cooking with them to reduce the sodium by 35%.

Check out the slideshow above for our best recipes that use lentils.


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