Home Recipe Roundup 23 Best Lentil Recipes

23 Best Lentil Recipes

These lentil recipes have you covered for meatless Mondays and every day in between.

From soups and stews to vegan meatballs, the possibilities are endless!

Lentil Stew with Spinach
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Lentils come in an array of hues and sizes, each with a unique flavor and texture profile.

  • Brown Lentils have a mild, earthy flavor and hold their shape moderately well. They’re ideal in soups, stews, and plant-based burgers.
  • Green Lentils are firm and slightly peppery. They hold shape well, making them ideal for salads and stews.
  • Red Lentils cook quickly, breaking down into a creamy consistency. They’re perfect for thickening soups and stews, and making traditional Indian dals.
  • Yellow Lentils are soft and creamy with a mild sweetness when cooked. They’re a common ingredient in South Asian dishes like soups and curries.

No matter the lentil, you’re guaranteed to whip up flavorful and nourishing dishes with these lentil recipes.

20+ Must-Make Lentil Recipes

Lentil sausage soup in a pot.
Source: Fromachefskitchen.com

1. Lentil Sausage Soup

Sausage lentil soup is a real treat: spicy sausage, earthy lentils, and fresh veggies in a tangy broth.

It’s hearty, nutritious, and just plain good. Plus, lentils bring that extra health kick with protein and iron.

Perfect for those days when you need a bit of warmth and flavor in your life.

Sliced meatloaf with lentils and chickpeas.
Source: Shelikesfood.com

2. Easy Vegan Meatloaf with Lentils and Chickpeas

I’m forever amazed by what you can do with a can of chickpeas. Have you ever made chickpea blondies? You should!

But we’re here to talk about lentils, and this recipe is so satisfying.

The combination of chickpeas, lentils, and flax seeds creates a dense and almost meaty texture.

It’s best to blend the lentils and chickpeas in a food processor to smooth them out, but if you like more texture, feel free to hand mash!

Tacos with green lentils, Mexican spices, garlic, avocado sliced and onion.
Source: Runningonrealfood.com

3. Vegan Lentil Tacos

I’m always on the lookout for new taco combinations, and this one didn’t disappoint.

As much as I love beans, sometimes I want something different.

I like to mash mine just a little, but still keep the texture.

Make up a big batch and let people DIY. They go great with chicken, shrimp, or spiced sweet potatoes.

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Pot of lentil stew packed with vegetables.
Source: Theharvestkitchen.com

4. Hearty Lentil Stew

Although this recipe is packed full of vegetables and is great for a chilly meatless Monday, lentils are such a fabulous way to bulk out a stew.

Always rise your lentils and add them dry to your stew. They will cook along with everything else, soaking up all that flavor as they do.

Lentil shepherd's pie with lentils and mushroom in a dish.
Source: Easypeasyfoodie.com

5. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

I didn’t miss the meat in this recipe at all!

Between the lentils and the mushrooms, it has such a great texture, and the flavor is out of this world.

Lentils can be high in carbs, so if you’re looking to cut down, try this mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes.

Lentil meatballs on top of pasta with marinara sauce.
Source: Minimalistbaker.com

6. Easy Lentil Meatballs

With just 10 ingredients and 20 minutes to cook, you can have these gluten-free vegan meatballs on the table super fast.

Once the onion and lentils are cooked, all you have to do is blitz it all together and form the meatballs.

Serve with a spicy marinara and polenta.

Bowl of creamy red lentil carrot soup with cream on top.
Source: Nutmegnanny.com

7. Creamy Red Lentil Carrot Soup

Creamy red lentil carrot soup is a star in weeknight dinner recipes.

In just 30 minutes, it brings together the sweetness of carrots and the smoothness of red lentils.

A touch of curry adds a subtle warmth, making it an easy, comforting pick.

It’s ideal for those evenings when you crave something simple yet deeply satisfying.

Bowl of lentil salad with peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, and carrots.
Source: Simpleveganblog.com

8. Lentil Salad

If you’re looking for a nice way to up the protein in your salads, this one’s for you.

This recipe uses peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, and carrots, but you can add any veggies you like.

Drizzle with some lemon and olive oil for a super healthy side.

Lentil burgers made with lentil meatballs with lettuce and dressing.
Source: Healthylittlefoodies.com

9. Lentil Burgers

Just like they make excellent meatballs, lentils can blitz down to make an amazing burger patty.

They freeze well, so you can prep a few at once and keep them ready to go whenever you might need a last-minute dinner.

Lentil Bolognese loaded with veggies, lentils, tomatoes, fresh herbs and plenty of seasonings.
Source: Foodwithfeeling.com

10. Lentil Bolognese

Lentil bolognese is a plant-based twist on a classic. It blends lentils with veggies and tomatoes for a rich sauce.

It’s hearty, packed with protein, and full of robust flavor.

Served over pasta, it’s a crowd-pleaser that’s both nourishing and satisfying.

A perfect pick for those who love a flavorful, meat-free meal.

Lentil Tabouli salad on a plate with lentils, tomatoes, lemon, and herbs.
Source: Feastingathome.com

11. Lentil Tabouli Salad

Lentil tabouli salad is a fresh take on a weeknight dinner recipe.

It’s a medley of lentils, tomatoes, lemon, and herbs.

Its unique blend of cinnamon and allspice adds an unexpected yet delightful Lebanese twist.

It’s vegan, gluten-free, and stays great for days, making it perfect for a quick, flavorful meal.

Bowl of coconut red lentil dahl with coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder, and coriander.
Source: Runningonrealfood.com

12. Coconut Red Lentil Dahl

Coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder, and coriander are Indian staples that will bring your lentils to life.

This can be served as an excellent vegetarian option with rice, or as a flavorful rice substitute for a chicken curry dish.

Top view of a bowl of lentil chili made with lentils, onion, tomatoes and bell pepper.
Source: Littlebroken.com

13. Lentil Chili

As soon as the weather starts to turn, I get out my crockpot and make up a big batch of chili.

Granted, mine is full of beef, but this lentil recipe might just be good enough to convert me.

Full of lentils, onion, tomatoes and bell pepper, you can really go all out with this. I would add in roasted sweet potato, corn, and even jalapenos.

Source: elavegan.com

14. Creamy Lentil Hummus

If you’re craving something creamy for your next party, check out this lentil hummus recipe.

It has the same amazing flavors of garlic, lemon, and tahini. But instead of chickpeas, you’ll use lentils.

Brown lentils will give you that signature hummus color, but use whatever you like best!

Sweet potato lentil curry with crispy sesame chickpeas on a bowl with spoon.
Source: Halfbakedharvest.com

15. Sweet Potato Lentil Curry with Crispy Sesame Chickpeas

Here’s an easy dinner recipe with a Thai twist.

This dish combines sweet potatoes, red lentils, and coconut milk with Thai curry paste.

It’s a perfect blend of spicy, tangy, and sweet, creating a satisfying, healthy meal.

Braised lentils with beets in a pot.
Source: Source: Feastingathome.com

16. Braised Lentils with Beets

As far as colorful sides go, this is the winner.

Beets can have a super earthy flavor, and they’re not for everyone. But if you like that, these lentils make the best side for chicken, fish, or red wine braised beef.

Sloppy joes with lentils and onions filling.
Source: Minimalistbaker.com

17. Vegan Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes really take you back, don’t they?

This recipe has all that great messy flavor, with no meat in sight.

They have an almost pulled pork flavor to them and would be another wonderful recipe to try that liquid smoke.

Spaghetti with lentils and marinara sauce in a bowl with fork.
Source: Cookieandkate.com

18. Hearty Spaghetti with Lentils & Marinara Sauce

The resemblance to ground meat makes their substitution way easier to achieve here.

You eat with your eyes after all, and this looks just like grandma used to make.

If you like your sauce to coat the pasta, I would add a little extra marinara, since the lentils will soak it all up.

Tuscan lentil and kale soup on a bowl.
Source: Acouplecooks.com

19. Tuscan Lentil & Kale Soup

Using fire roasted tomatoes truly makes this soup something special.

If you’re not a huge fan of kale, you can easily substitute for spinach and still have a fantastic and warm soup.

Spicy red lentil curry in a bowl on top of a red table.
Source: Minimalistbaker.com

20. Spicy Red Lentil Curry

Unlike the last curry recipe, this curry is tomato based and spicy.

It works as a stand-alone, but I would serve it with coconut rice or curry roasted sweet potatoes.

You’ll also need to serve with plenty of flatbread to wipe your plate completely clean.

Bunch of lentil stuffed buns on top of a newspaper.
Source: Savoryspin.com

21. Lentil Stuffed Buns

These make the best to-go snacks. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or something to bring to a BBQ, they travel well and will be an instant hit.

They have a recipe for a great whole wheat bun, but you can use store-bought biscuit dough to save on time.

Red lentil lasagne with Layers of lentil with carrots, celery, garlic, and red bell pepper, with pasta sheets and a creamy cottage cheese and cheddar top.
Source: Healthylittlefoodies.com

22. Red Lentil Lasagne

It might not be vegan, but it will be a welcome ground beef alternative.

Layers of lentil with carrots, celery, garlic, and red bell pepper, with pasta sheets and a creamy cottage cheese and cheddar top, this recipe is a lighter version of the classic.

Lentil mushroom ragu with mushrooms, walnuts, red lentils and tomatoes mixed with pasta.
Source: Veggiesociety.com

23. Lentil Mushroom Ragu Recipe

The combination of mushrooms, walnuts, red lentils and tomatoes make up a vegan pasta sauce that will dress up pasta, polenta and even those lentil meatballs from number six!

There might be a lot of ingredients, but it comes together in one pot in under 10 minutes.

After just 25 minutes of cooking, you’ll have a hard time not scooping it out on some fresh bread.

23 Best Lentil Recipes

Course: Dinner, Plant-BasedCuisine: Indian
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

385

kcal

Looking for the best lentil recipes? Try this lentil and potato curry for a satisfying and soul-warming plant-based meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed and drained

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes

  • 3 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the mixture is fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the spices are well combined and fragrant.
  • Add the lentils, potatoes, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils and potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in the fresh spinach and continue to simmer the stew until the spinach has wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • If the stew is thicker than you like, add a bit more vegetable broth or water to reach your desired consistency.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 385kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 57g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 608mg
  • Potassium: 1529mg
  • Fiber: 21g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Calcium: 100mg
  • Iron: 7mg
Lentil Recipes

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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