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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Since we're all always on the lookout for good, inexpensive, healthful recipes, I thought I'd start a thread of lentil recipes. Please share your favorite way to prepare lentils! Here are a few of my faves:

Lentil and Potato Stew

1 cup brown lentils
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 T butter or margarine
1 T olive oil
2-3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 t. turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 2 c. diced canned tomatoes
2 t. garam masala
1 t. sugar or honey

Combine lentils, water, salt and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are just soft. DO NOT DRAIN. Discard bay leaf.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter and oil, then add potatoes. Sprinkle with turmeric, salt, and pepper. Cook, tossing the potatoes, for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add the tomatoes, the lentils AND their cooking liquid, the garam masala, and the sweetener and stew the mixture over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, adding water if necessary and stirring occasionally.

Serve with a cucumber raita or a dollop of plain yogurt.

Velvet Red Lentil Soup


And last but not least, the infamous, amazing, much-ballyhooed...

Piglet's DH's Lentil Curry
boil 2 cups red lentils in water until desired consistency (some like them a bit crunchy)
pour in one can of coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 heaping tbsp of curry paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp of your favorite chili sauce (we use Sambal Oelek, available in the asian section of most regular grocery stores)

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Ooohh! Lentils!

Here is my very casually remembered recipe for "LENTILS AND KALE"

1.c Lentils
1/2 to 1 onion
cloves of garlic
1 carrot
1 large bunch of kale, de-boned and chopped finely
garam masala
Optional (if I feel like it): ginger, cinnamon

Soak and sprout lentils (if you are so inclined)
Saute onion, garlic, carrots in a good amount of olive oil.
In a large pot, add lentils and enough water for the lentils plus greens. Once the lentils are about halfway done, add chopped kale and sauted veggies.
Add spices, stir, taste, adjust, serve

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I like to just make a basic lentil soup, and add tomatoes, little browned Italian sausage meatballs, and wilt mustard greens in at the very end!

So good!


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There's a honey-baked lentils recipe that floated around on the Frugality forum for awhile. It's our favorite dinner here. Let me see if I can find it.

Edited to say: here it is, the third post in this thread:

I usually add a big handful of greens to it; spinach is great, also kale. I've also tried adding carrots and celery and leeks, and that's good too.

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I cook yellow or red lentils in a big batch and then freeze in small containers. Later when I am cooking rice, I dump one of the frozen containers of lentils in the rice and cook the rice like normal. The frozen container which contains a little liquid is about 1/2-3/4 the amount of rice. My boys love it and it's a quick meal.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Originally Posted by alsoSarah
I like to just make a basic lentil soup
alsoSarah, I know you're not a "recipe" kind of gal, but can you give me some specs on your basic lentil soup? I have never had good success with making it, despite my usual soup acumen.
It always seems to come out flavorless, or, well, just plain ol' gross. I have to say, your additions sound yummy, so I'm motivated to try again.


Originally Posted by amseiler
What can you compare lentils too. I have never had them. Are they like a kidney bean, rice, ????

I am trying to broaden my legume (They are a legume right?) horizon but I am finding it hard to be adventurous.
Amseiler, they look a bit like split peas but really have a taste all their own. There are several different colors, brown and red being the most common (at least where I live/shop). They are very inexpensive, though -- maybe that will help you being adventurous?
So you could try one of the simpler recipes, like a dahl, with the knowledge that if you hated them you could chuck the whole thing out with no great loss. Or maybe try a prepared lentil dish from your local HFS before you cook with them yourself. I used to hate them, but now they're one of my favorite foods.

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This is my favorite lentil recipe, even DH who really doesn't like meatless dishes keeps asking when I'm gonna make it again!

(I like my lentils to be total mush, if you don't, reduce the cooking time or don't soak them)

Lentil, Corn and Sweet Pepper Chilli

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups lentils, soaked overnight picked over, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 1/2-oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Add all ingredients to crockpot and cook on Low for 8 hours.

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Originally Posted by VikingKvinna
alsoSarah, I know you're not a "recipe" kind of gal, but can you give me some specs on your basic lentil soup?
Actually a kitchen-novice friend of mine fell for this soup and made me write it out in great detail for her, so I'm *so* ready!

(Though, I'll admit, I'm still guessing on amounts--- but the guesses are probably fairly good ones!

Lentil and Italian Sausage Soup with Mustard Greens.

Converts easily to a vegetarian recipe.

About a pound of Italian Sausage, casings removed, shaped into meatballs.
Brown sausage in a very lightly oiled stockpot.

2 medium onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3T. minced fresh garlic
1/2 t. Sambal Oelek (Thai chili paste), more if you like heat--- but be careful!
1 - 2 T. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
A large pinch of nutmeg
black pepper (lots)
Use the onion to deglaze the pan. Cook all over medium-low heat until onion is soft.

Add one pound of dry lentils and nearly 2 quarts of stock. (I usually use mushroom Better Than Bouillon to make it, if not homemade.)
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer until lentils are *very* tender.

Add a (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes, and
3 T. red wine vinegar (to brighten the flavor).

Simmer a few minutes. Adjust seasonings. Add mushroom base if it needs to be saltier. Add stock or water if too thick.
Add 1 large bunch of mustard greens, torn (No sustitutions). Wilt in soup.
Serve with lovely bread.

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For those of us WAAAY too wimpy for Piglet's curried lentils, here's a super-easy, less spicy, Indian curried lentils.

1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 cup chicken or vege broth
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. yellow curry powder

Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add onions and garlic, stir until soft. Add broth and lentils, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add curry powder, cover and simmer approx 20 minutes, until lentils are soft and liquid is absorbed. Eat with brown rice, basmati rice, millet, couscous, etc.

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Here's my favorite crock-pot lentil soup recipe
It's really very free-form, depending on what I have on hand. The only real rule is 8 c. liquid to 1 lb. lentils.

4 slices bacon, chopped into pieces
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large or 2 small potatoes, chopped
and/or other root veggies, whatever you've got on hand - turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, a little celeriac.
8 c. liquid - I usually use 4 c. chicken or beef stock and c. water, but vary it depending on what I have on hand.
1 lb. lentils
Bay leaf or two

Cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat renders and the bacon is crunchy. Lift the bacon out and reserve. Saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and sautee for another minute. Put the vegetables in the crockpot with the lentils, liquid and other vegetables. Add big pinches of pepper and tumeric and the bay leaf (I use as much as a quarter to a half teaspoon of each, but I like things spicy
) You can also add the reserved bacon, or keep it to sprinkle on top all nice and crunchy. Cook on low overnight for lunch the next day, or for a few hours on high for dinner that night. Add salt after it's done, as salt will prevent the lentils from softening.

I've done it really lazy, too, skipping the bacon and throwing everything except the salt right in. It cooks plenty long to soften and sweeten the onions.

This turns out fairly thick, which is how I like it; it's still clearly a soup. You can reduce the liquid by a little bit (maybe 7 cups) to get a thicker lentil glop that's lovely on top of rice or quinoa. Actually, if you make it thick, you can always thin it down a little later with more water or stock.

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Great thread! I love lentils! I'm really frustrated now though because I was looking for my lentil stew recipe to post and I can't find it! Aaaah! Too tired to look for it now, but if I find it I'll post it. My favorite lentil recipe comes from the New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook though - it's lentil loaf. The recipe says it makes one loaf, but that would be a huge loaf. Either I don't measure right, or it makes two loaves! Here's my slightly modified version:

1 1/2 C lentils
1 large chopped yellow onion
1/4 C olive oil
2 C cooked brown rice
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 C BBQ sauce
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp marjoram

Cook lentils in 3 1/2 C water until tender. Partially mash lentils. Saute onions in oil - mix with lentils. Combine with other ingredients. Press into an oiled loaf pan and spread extra BBQ sauce on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (This doesn't hold together well as a loaf, but it is yummy. I usually serve it with extra BBQ sauce - it is great with mashed potatoes and steamed greens! Yum.)

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I eat this over a chopped up baked potato, or sometimes over brown rice.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 white onions, halved and sliced into rings
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup lentils
2 cups water or broth
1 package frozen spinach or fresh works too
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)

1. Heat oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Saute onion for 10 minutes or so, until it begins to turn golden. Add minced garlic and saute for another minute or so.

2. Add lentils and water to the saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer about 35 minutes, until lentils are soft.

3. Meanwhile cook the spinach in microwave according to package directions. Add spinach, salt and cumin to the saucepan. Cover and simmer until all is heated, about ten minutes. Grind in plenty of pepper and press in extra garlic to taste.

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OMG!!! That honeybaked lentil recipe is the bomb. I can't believe how delicious it is and how simple the recipe is. I added spinach, too (two handfuls, would add twice as much next time) and it was great. Thanks for posting the link to that thread!

One question about it - for those of you who have substituted some grains in there for some of the lentils, do you know if only the "white" quicker-cooking grains work, or would brown rice be ok, too?

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Originally Posted by Keeta

One question about it - for those of you who have substituted some grains in there for some of the lentils, do you know if only the "white" quicker-cooking grains work, or would brown rice be ok, too?
Usually if something calls for white rice and I'm using brown, I precook the rice about half way through.

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Originally Posted by Keeta
OMG!!! That honeybaked lentil recipe is the bomb. I can't believe how delicious it is and how simple the recipe is.
Do you just mix it all together and put it in the baking dish w/o cooking anything (like the onion) first?

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Originally Posted by nomadmom
Do you just mix it all together and put it in the baking dish w/o cooking anything (like the onion) first?
Yep! Just chop the veggies and throw it all into the baking dish. It took like 5-10 minutes to get it into the oven and then I just forgot about it for an hour and a half.

And it reheats really well, too! DH and I just wrapped some up with brown basmati rice and sauteed swiss chard in a whole wheat tortilla last night and it was fabulous.

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Put 1 cup lentils, 2 cups veg broth, and seasonings (see below) in large pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer 20-30 minutes, depending on how soft you want them. Add 2 cups white rice (I guess if you were to use brown rice, you'd put it and the water in at the same time as the lentils), 5 cups water, and 2-3 cups assorted fresh or frozen veggies (quick-cooking veggies like spinach or peas should be added a few minutes later). Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed. Check to see if rice is done; if not, add another cup of water and continue cooking. Serve as a main dish with a side of yogurt and fruit.

Herby Version: Seasonings are herbs like rosemary, parsley, thyme, dill, and a little garlic. Veggies are broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, kale, zucchini, brussels sprouts, and/or peas.

Curry Version: Seasoning is yellow curry powder. Veggies are cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, apple, and/or raisins--put them in at the same time as the rice so they get all plump. Peanuts are good in this too.

Mexican Version: Cook some diced onion in olive oil in the bottom of the pot before you start the lentils. Seasonings are chili powder, and hot sauce if you like. Veggies are tomatoes, bell pepper, and olives.
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