If, like me, you didn’t have much exposure to lentils when you were growing up, it can be tricky figuring out exactly how they can be used in your own cooking.
But being that this little green legume is so dang tasty, not to mention healthy, I thought I’d share my journey to lentil enlightenment in the form of some awesome meal prompts.
With this short article, I’ve made it my mission to prove that there’s a green lentils recipe for all occasions, all weathers, and all moods.
Let’s get to it!
Why I’ve Learned to Love the Lentil
The first time I really got into lentils was when I stopped eating meat (don’t worry, not all my meal suggestions are vegan).
My first mistake was relying too much on fake, soy-based meats. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing meat substitutes out there, but much like real meat, they should be consumed in moderation.
Full of protein and fiber, lentils were the perfect stand-in to keep myself fighting fit and meat-free.
What’s more, they’re incredibly inexpensive, last practically forever in your cupboard, and they’re easy to utilize — if that ain’t a superfood, I don’t know what is.
See Also: Jamaican Food Recipes
Best Green Lentils Recipe Ideas
1. Green Lentil Soup – A Stone Cold Classic
I couldn’t start with anything else. Lentil soup is a timeless and tasty dish to warm your cockles on a drizzly day.
Use plenty of garlic, a dash of ginger, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve it up with toasted crusty bread — rosemary focaccia is my personal favorite.
2. Hyper-Health Green Lentil Crock Pot Soup
This one is similar to your standard green lentil soup mentioned above, but this time around you’re packing in tons of onions, carrots, spinach, kale, and squash, as well as a dash of olive oil for good measure. Eat this once a week, and you’ll feel superhuman.
3. Smokin’ Chickpea and Lentil Soup
Lentils and chickpeas make the BEST team. Sure, chickpeas can be a little bland, but that’s why you jazz things up with a heaping helping of smokey paprika and garlic powder.
For more of a meaty smoke, I recommend giving this Mesquite Hickory liquid smoke a taste.
4. Vegan Power Green Lentil Soup
For this one, I go all out. If I’m ever feeling run down or tired, it’s the perfect pick-me-up. The idea is to throw in as much good stuff as possible.
We’re talking tomatoes, broccoli, green peas, butter beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, mixed seeds, cashews, kale, and of course, spinach for DAYS!
5. Green Lentil and Harissa Soup
Harissa is just the best. Using this Recipe you can learn how to combine it with your spare tin of green lentils gathering dust in the cupboard for a Tunisian twist on an otherwise simple soup.
Lentil Stew and Curry Ideas
6. Green on Green Thai Green Curry Green Lentil Soup…GREEN!
Throw your lentils and whatever veg you want into a single pot, cook them up, stir in a tin of chopped tomatoes, add two tablespoons of green Thai curry paste, a can of coconut milk, a sprinkle of sugar, and voilà!
Psst…I also like to add pasta into this hotpot dish for some healthy carbs after a workout.
7. Green Lentil and Pasta Hotpot
When I’m short on time, I simply chuck some veggie stock, chili powder, green lentils, some leafy greens, and some pasta in a hotpot, then go about my day for 15 minutes, dreaming of the awesome tastes to come.
When I’ve got more time on my hands, I like to follow this recipe and add spiced mushrooms and a potato topping too.
8. Stupendous Vegan Lentil Stew
If you’ve got a slow cooker, you’ll want to use it for this amazing meal. Use plenty of veggie stock and let your chosen veggies simmer for as long as you can stand to wait.
9. Coconut Lentil Curry
This one’s a total breeze to make. Just bake some squash for around 15-20 minutes, cook up your lentils in a pan with your curry and chili powder, then stir in coconut milk. Add brown sugar, salt, and pepper to taste, and you’re done.
10. Mashed Curried Pumpkin and Hot and Spicy Lentils
For this one you want your pumpkin to be rich, creamy, and lightly spiced. Your lentils then add the spicy kick to the equation. I recommend using this Curried Mashed Pumpkin with Spicy Green Lentil recipe as a point of reference.
See Also: Cannellini Bean Recipes
11. Chicken and Lentil Stew
This tasty Chicken Lentil Stew is perfected by an even blend of garam masala, cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika. You can use on-the-bone or boneless chicken — it’s all good.
12. Lentil and Mushroom Stew with Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Fry up some mushrooms, lentils, garlic, ginger, and cumin in some stock, then leave it all to simmer whilst you whip up some super fluffy mashed potatoes.
Green Lentil Salad Ideas
13. Lightning Fast and Fresh Green Lentil Salad
Easy to throw together in a time-sensitive situation, this fresh salad is the ultimate stress-reducing meal.
14. Mustard Lentils and Chicken Salad
I love mustard, so when I discovered this mustard-based Chicken Salad Recipe, I was over the moon.
15. Curried Green Lentil Salad
The idea with this one is to tinge everything with a satisfying curry edge. I like to do this by coating my ingredients in curry powder then baking them.
If I’m using cauliflower, I’ll do a separate spice mix for the florets to bring some versatility to the dinner table.
16. Lemony Lentil Salad
This is an exquisite cold salad made up of lentils, cucumber, spinach, rocket, feta, lemon salad dressing, and nuts/seeds of your choice. I like to use pomegranate seeds to bring some color to the bowl.
17. Warm Lentil Salad
Sometimes I crave a healthy meal, but cold food just won’t cut it. That’s when I pull this bad boy out the bag. Cook up your lentils, toast some red onions and pine nuts, then layer them over some fresh spinach to wilt it naturally.
18. Lentil Salad with Chargrilled Cauliflower
Whip up a salad, and throw on some chargrilled cauliflower — simple! And if I were you, I’d treat the cauliflower to a buffalo spice mix before cooking.
Lentil Loaves, Meatballs, Dips, and Other Delicious Misc. Meals
19. Garlic, Onion, and Green Lentil Paste Ciabatta Toast
Looking for a deliciously healthy and filling snack?
Blitz a garlic clove, half a yellow onion, a teaspoon of olive oil, and sprinkle of salt, a pinch of mustard powder, and a teaspoon of spicy paprika, then spread the paste over a buttered, toasted ciabatta slice.
It makes a great sharer appetizer.
20. Lentil Meat(less)Balls
These meat-free wonders are a great way to stay veggie and proud. This Lentil Meatballs recipe in particular is easy to follow and quick to make.
21. Veggie Lentil Loaf
If you’ve grown tired of nut roasts, why not give a lentil loaf a try. They’re filling, versatile, and delicious. This Ultimate Vegetable Lentil Loaf recipe is a great place to start.
22. Green Lentil Bolognese
Here’s one of the first meals I ever made with lentils. I made bolognese as normal (everyone has their own methods), then instead of mince or soy mince, I added oodles of green lentil goodness.
23. Green Lentil Jam
This ingenious twist on jam is made the usual way: with a little water and lots of sugar, but you can add interesting things like vanilla, ginger, and orange zest to spice things up à la this fantastic Recipe.
24. Lentil-Stuffed Yams
Next time you have a monster yam, try stuffing it with your favorite lentil concoction. You won’t be disappointed. This Stuffed Sweet Potatoes recipe utilizes kale and sun-dried tomatoes to bring the flavor.
25. Lentil Potato Cakes
These Vegan Potato Lentil Cakes are to die for, and the perfect substitute for meat in a roast.
26. Mediterranean Lentil Dip
Whip this awesome Mediterranean Lentil Dip together in 30 minutes with only 10 ingredients. It’s one of my absolute favorites!