Protein-packed, rich in fiber, iron, and potassium, cheap, and quick-cooking, lentil recipes are becoming more and more common at American dinner tables. Lentils come in various types: black, brown, French green, and yellow, in addition to red, which cooks much faster than the other types. We’ve rounded up our favorite recipes with lentils including a chunky lentil burger, lentil pasta, and a refreshing lentil salad.
Make-Ahead Turkey-Lentil Sloppy Joes
Don’t feel like going through the hassle of shaping burger patties? Sloppy Joes come to the sandwich rescue! But this is no plain Jane joe—ground turkey goes further with the addition of brown lentils, and the optional carrot-date slaw adds unique upscale oomph to a reimagined classic.
French Lentil, Leek, and Mushroom Soup
This rustic soup tastes as bright as it looks, delightfully colorful with its riches of tomatoes, leafy greens, carrots, and pesto. French or brown lentils are best for longer simmers like this, as they’ll stay firmer longer. Serve with a hunk of crusty country bread, generously slathered in French butter, for a hearty lunch.
Lentil Veggie Burgers
Buying veggie burgers can be hit or miss—increase your odds of success by making your own! This way, you can have a thicker patty than store-bought since you’re shaping them yourself. Flavor- and texture-wise, mushrooms enhance the earthiness of the lentils here as sweet potato contributes sweetness as it binds the mixture.
Za’atar Chicken and Lentils
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made with dried thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. As a more flavorful cut, dark meat chicken is a great vehicle for it, and the green lentils this lentil recipe calls soak up all the rich flavors.
Lentil soup recipes with ham are one of the more commonly searched applications of lentils, providing a nice change of pace from beans. Seven hours in the slow cooker and as few as three steps yields six servings of this savory, comforting, and budget-friendly wintertime favorite.
Chunky Vegetable-Lentil Soup
Very often, lentils are paired with hearty meats such as beef, or strong flavors like tomato. This recipe provides a light contrast, with a clear veggie broth base and simple, natural flavors that let its clean vegetarian character shine.
Chicken Lentil-Farro Bowl
Chewy pearled farro matches the size of the green lentils in this dish but adds a textural pop that satisfies, along with whole-grain fiber. You can opt to make your own chicken bone broth, as this recipe includes bonus instructions, but it’s available in ready-to-use form at most major markets, too.
Lentils don’t always have to be in a broth-based soup. They’re delicious in creamy soups as well. Sweet corn meets aromatic curry and ginger in this unique take that tastes and looks like sunshine in a bowl. Optional edible flowers make this a dinner party conversation piece.
No lentil recipe roundup could be considered complete without a recipe for Indian dal; it’s an absolute classic that many are accustomed to ordering when out and surprisingly easy to make. This recipe calls for whole red lentils or brown lentils, whose colors disappear under the cheerful yellow hues of turmeric.
Slow Cooker Lentil Bolognese
Before there was plant-based meat, there were lentils with pasta recipes to offer vegetarian spins of ground beef Bolognese sauces. Make a robust, rich sauce from scratch using this recipe, and break out the slow cooker for convenience—no one needs to know you didn’t spend hours at the stove!
Lentil and Rice Stuffed Peppers
Fill your peppers with wholesome grains and plant-based protein your next Meatless Monday with this vegetarian take on a traditional favorite. This garden delight incorporates carrots, celery, and tomatoes into another easy slow-cooker lentil recipe that cooks in three hours.
Roasted Pork and Duck with Lentils
A perfect fancy dinner party dish, this calls for visually striking black beluga lentils to complement the deceptively easy-to-prepare roasted pork and duck breasts. Together, dressed with your own arugula walnut pesto, these elements create a complete dish everyone will be buzzing about.
Black Lentil Salad with Oranges and Beets
Didn’t finish the package of beluga lentils from the last recipe? Use it for this delightful fall salad! The classic combination of peppery arugula, creamy goat cheese, and sweet citrus and roasted beet becomes a perfectly protein-enriched lunch or side with the addition of this mighty seed.
Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Red Lentil Stew
It’s a pulse-apalooza in a bowl as this recipe with red lentils pairs up with garbanzo beans, or chickpeas. You can switch the pumpkin with any other winter squash like acorn or butternut, but the orange ones look most beautiful against the thick-cut carrots. Cilantro, ginger, lime juice, and chopped peanuts make this stew unique and unforgettable.
Wilted Greens & Lentil Bowls with Charred Red Onions
If the last two recipes didn’t prove it, this one certainly does: earthy lentils are simply fantastic with autumnal flavors. This gorgeous entrée salad adds chicken for more lean protein, but the flavor is carried by a balsamic vinegar-based dressing, sweet sliced fresh pears, lightly crisped kale, and sweet charred onion.
Spiced Chicken-Lentil Tacos with Quick-Pickled Red Onions
If you prefer your red onions pickled over charred, give this Mexican-inspired lentil recipe a try. It only takes 15 minutes to pickle them and half an hour total to pull the entire meal together if you pre-cook your lentils. Coated with chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and clinging to the chicken, you won’t want to wait until Tuesday to break this hot take out.
Lentil and Black Bean Tacos
Cutting back on meat? No worries. Taco night comes together in a pinch…of seasoning mix. Pre-cooked lentils and black beans provide all the protein you need, and gut-healthy fiber besides with this double dose of pulses. Plus, with the money you’ll save on this meat-free dish, guac is no longer extra—go ahead and splurge!
Lentil and Bulgur Pilaf with Feta
Turn powerful lentils into a power bowl by bulking it up with nutritious bulgur wheatberries, a delicious, chewy whole grain that offers twice the fiber of white rice. Mediterranean seasonings like garlic, oregano, and cumin meet sweet corn and carrots in the slow cooker; tomatoes and feta ties the theme together at the finish.