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Ideas for red lentils?

1064 Views 18 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  rootzdawta
My husband made some lentil burgers last night and they were, well, not so great. I know there have got to be more ideas out there!
Do you use red lentils in anything yummy? I am feeling domestic and would love to try out some new ideas.
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Red lentils quickly turn to mush when you cook them, so they are perfect for soup. Here's my MIL's recipe for Red Lentil soup. It is very yummy, and you could make a meal of it with salad and pita bread on the side, or serve it as a starter:

Hiyam's Lentil Soup
Don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe - it is a great way to use up left-over vegetables from the fridge.


2 T olive oil, plus more to garnish
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed
1 carrot, chopped coarsely
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 lemon, quartered
Fresh parsley, chopped finely


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, and then sauté the onions until translucent.

Pour the lentils into the pan, and then add enough water to cover the lentils by about half an inch.

Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the carrot, cumin, and salt to taste. If you are using additional vegetables, you can add them at this point, too. Cook the soup until the carrot is soft; this will take about 20 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat, and puree in small batches until smooth. Serve immediately, drizzled with additional olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and chopped parsley.
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I throw a handful into a simmering curry or spaghetti sauce. Honey/maple baked red lentils are nice too.
I've made a curried lentil dish served over rice that's really yummy. I used red lentils for it and they were cooked just perfectly. I'd have to dig out the recipe from my recipe stash and I'll try to post it if I get the chance (and remember too).
Fresh frm the slowcooker's red lentil soup is amazing..I dont have the actual recipe..but this is something LIKE it

2 c red lentils
6 c liquid(broth or water)
1 can tomatoes
1 onion diced
garlic-to taste diced
ginger-to taste diced
1 large carrot diced
Spices I used-corriander, cinamon, cumin..sadly I cant remember what else LOL
Cook in the slow cooker on low for about 6-8 hours about a half hour before serving add in 1 can of coconut milk. Blend with a stick blender, or leave chunky
i made chicken and lentil soup last week with my lentils. Lots of lemon and its delicious.

Originally Posted by BettinaAuSucre View Post
i made chicken and lentil soup last week with my lentils. Lots of lemon and its delicious.
I was about to share my spicy Italian sausage and red lentil soup recipe but notice this is the veg/vegan forum.

None the less! I make a red lentil soup similar to Owen'nZoe's as well.

simmered red lentils
carrots, sliced
potatoes, cubed
onion, chopped
a can of chopped tomatoes, with their juice
ground cumin to taste

I add a splash of balsamic vinegar instead of the lemon.

That ginger and coconut milk combo sounds luscious.
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I like to make Dal with them
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I put them is spaghetti sauce sometimes for a protein boost, but much prefer the texture of green lentils.
I do dahl also, which is super easy and can be a great base for many great dishes.
I like an ethiopan recipe similar to this one...
Yummy the first day even better warmed up!
I make a soup/stew with them.

1 small onion diced
1 carrot chopped coarsely
1/4" chunk of fresh ginger diced
1 C red lentils-rinsed
veggie broth
plain yogurt (optional)

Saute the onions in olive oil until soft, about 5 min. Add some salt if you wish. Add the carrot and saute for a few minutes. Add the ginger, saute 1-2 min. Add the lentils and 2-4 cups of broth depending on how soupy (more) or stewy (less) you want the end result to be. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 min. Serve on it's own, or over rice. Top with yogurt if you desire.

Tomatoes work well in this too. I sometimes chop up a tomato or two and toss it in when I add the ginger.
I threw some into the spaghetti sauce I made this afternoon. I've also made dal.
Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry! Seriously delicious!

1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoon madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
4 cup cauliflower florets
1 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeded, and diced fine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon eavporated cane crystals

In a large saucepan over low heat, combine lentils, onions, curry powder, salt, turmeric, and 2 cups water; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes. Add tomatoes, cauliflower, and jalapeno peppers and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Serve with rice and/or chapati bread.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook for about 10 seconds. Add garlic and ginger; saute until the garlic is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in cayenne and immediately add the oil-spice mixture to the cauliflower mixture. Stir in lemon juice, cilantro, and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and cayenne.
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Jenille that looks delicious. We got a big cauliflower head in the produce box this week. I think that's I'll do with it.
Sloppy Joes! We like them with any lentil but the red has a better flavor I think. I go between making the sauce with the seasoning packet and tomato sauce or using Manwich. I much prefer the Manwich stuff honestly.
The trick is adding the sauce to the lentils. That way you can have the amount you want to use and you won't be overmaking a batch or having too much sauce to lentil ratio. Trust me on this! Lentil first, sauce next.

We also use them in chili and a creamy lentil soup. I've found making patties out of lentils (and loaves for that matter) is not an easy thing. I've only tried a couple times and it's never really worked for me.
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Dal and curry were my first thoughts, too
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I add them to my dals. I use mostly chana dal and then throw in a handful of red lentils. (If you can get fresh curry leaves- it makes all the difference in the world)
You can use them in the World Famous Honey Baked Lentils recipe (which was written by an MDC mama) but also we just love this recipe for Red Lentil Soup which I originally found in Mothering magazine a few years ago (I blogged about it here).
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