11 Recipes that Will Make You Fall in Love with Lentils

“Beans! Beans! Good for your heart. The more you eat the more you…”

šŸ™‚

I’ll be honest, thatĀ little song didn’t mean much to me for most of my life because I didn’t eat beans! Aside from the occasional lima bean or green bean, I didn’t eat so much as a chickpea until I was an adult.

When I was a junior in college, I spent a semester abroad in southern Spain and was exposedĀ to dozens of foods I had never eaten before. Since I was a picky eater, I wasn’t exactly excited about this but knew it was a way I needed to grow. I even told my study abroad programĀ I was allergic to seafood, so I wouldn’t have to try any of it!

I remember sitting down for lunch one day, as my host mom, Matilde, served me a big bowl of what looked like tiny, brown flying saucers (got that reference from Rebecca Katz!).

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It turned out to be lentil and carrot stew, and I had no choice but to try it (doing anything else was considered rude in Spain). Fortunately,Ā Matilde was so skilled at combining flavors in delicious ways that I tried it and loved it! Now, lentils are one of my favorite foods.

They also happen to be packed with nutrition to fuel your body and brain! Check it out:

  • They are PACKED with energy-balancing, weight-stabilizing,Ā fill-you-up fiber. *In fact, lentils fill me up more than any other food I eat.*
  • They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein. Green andĀ FrenchĀ lentils are especially high in protein!
  • They’re mineral-rich and contain calming magnesium, heart healthy potassium, and are the #1 plant source of folate, which is essential for brain and nervous system function, healthy pregnancy and fetal development, reduced cancer riskĀ and heart health support
  • They’re one of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GBOMBS foods, which are some of the most nutrient-packed, anti-inflammatory, disease-preventive foods on the planet.

It’s nice to know that lentils are such a nourishing food, but where do we buy them and how do we cook them?

There are several different kinds of lentils, but the ones I tend to use the most are green lentils, French lentils and red lentils. Red lentils cook much faster but aren’t as firm as the other two kinds and contain less protein, so I don’t use red lentils as much as green we always have them on hand. Our favorite kind of pasta is actually made out of red lentils (one ingredient!) and is made by a company called Tolerant. We find it cheapest at Home Goods, but Whole Foods and MOMs sell it, too.

tolerant rotini

Every grocery store sells lentils, and you’ll find them either in the international aisle or in the health food aisle. Trader Joe’s also sells several different kinds of lentils, so we end up buying ours there to save a buck or two.

I scoured some of my favorite blogsĀ and pulled together 11 lentil-loving recipes ranging from salads to soups to casseroles. I hope they inspire you to get excited about trying these little filling, fueling legumes!lentil-cover-image

Red Lentil Hummus by Jo Cooks

Lentil Bolognese from i heart eatingĀ (We made this for dinner this past week and served it over Tolerant lentil pasta…it was DELICIOUS!)

Photo Credit: i heart eating. Used with permission.

Photo Credit: i heart eating. Used with permission.

Balsamic Lentil Salad from Destination Delish

Photo credit: Destination Delish. Used with permission.

Photo credit: Destination Delish. Used with permission.

Cozy Quinoa Buddha Bowl from Simply Quinoa

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Photo Credit: Simply Quinoa. Used with permission.

Curried Lentil & Brown Rice Casserole from Nourishing Mealscurry

Warm Lentil Kale and Potato Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing from She Likes Food

Photo Credit: She Likes Food. Used with permission.

Photo Credit: She Likes Food. Used with permission.

Baked Salmon & LentilsĀ from Gimme Some Oven

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Photo Credit: Gimme Some Oven. Used with permission.

Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew from Eat Yourself Skinny

Mushroom, Lemon & Lentil Salad from Delicious Everyday

Red Curry Lentils by Pinch of Yum

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Photo Credit: Pinch of Yum. Used with permission.

Best Lentil Soup from Cookie & Kate

Photo Credit: Cookie & Kate. Image used with permission.

Photo Credit: Cookie & Kate. Image used with permission.

Do you like lentils? Do you have a favorite way you like to prepare them or a recipe you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!

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4 Comments

  1. Jackie Ireland

    I have to admit, I didn’t know what to do with lentils either! SO excited to have access to these recipes. I’ll try two of them this holiday weekend! Thanks Rachel!

    • Rachel Druckenmiller

      Oh, I’m so glad! Let me know which ones you try!

      • Jackie Ireland

        The Lentil Bolognese knocked our socks off! Be careful though as it does make a ton. On to the salmon tomorrow! Thanks Rachel!

        • Rachel Druckenmiller

          You’re right! It does make a TON of food. We ended up freezing half of it the second time we made it and served it over Tolerant red lentil pasta – it was delish! Let me know how the salmon turns out šŸ™‚

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