Lentils

Five-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Lentils
Photo: © Danielle Tsi

These incredible recipes for lentils include creamy soups, vegetarian curries, bright salads and more.

01 of 22

Red Lentil Dal with Coconut Milk and Kale

Red Lentil Dal with Coconut Milk and Kale
Nicholas Hopper

Bloggers Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley serve these creamy, superflavorful lentils with vibrant toppings: spice-cooked onions, red chiles and chopped cilantro.

02 of 22

Spiced Lentils with Mushrooms and Greens

Spiced Lentils with Mushrooms and Greens. Photo © Tina Rupp
© Tina Rupp

"I love lentils: They're packed with protein, very filling and a good source of iron," says Jill Donenfeld. Eat these stewy lentils as a light lunch or serve alongside Donenfeld's roasted cauliflower with raisins.

03 of 22

Eggplant, Lentil, and Bulgur Salad

Eggplant, Lentil, and Bulgur Salad

It's two salads in one—a hearty, spicy mixture of lentils and eggplant and a crisp, cool combination of cucumber and tomato. Each is fine by itself, but they're even better when served together.

04 of 22

Beet-and-Lentil Salad

Beet-and-Lentil Salad

Both the beets and their greens are used in this hearty lentil salad, which has a delicious tart and creamy lemon dressing.

05 of 22

Lentils with Smoked Sausage and Carrots

Lentils with Smoked Sausage and Carrots

A good-quality, at least slightly hot mustard from France, Germany, or England is the perfect accompaniment for this. Put a dollop on your plate and dip each forkful into it.

06 of 22

Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Soup.
© Quentin Bacon

SoupCycle in Portland, Oregon, offers soups with wacky names ranging from Flemish Farm (a vegan take on French onion soup) to Who Framed Ginger Rabbit (carrot soup with ginger). Owners Jed Lazar and Shauna Lambert call this lentil soup Pot of For Goodness Sake! because the ingredients are so healthy.

07 of 22

Eggplant-Lentil Salad

Eggplant-Lentil Salad

Jerry Traunfeld uses French-style lentils grown in eastern Washington and Idaho. Sometimes he likes to use Moroccan mint, which is like spearmint but a little bit more spicy and savory. Home cooks can use any good French green lentils and regular mint for this hearty main-course salad.

08 of 22

Turkey-Date Meatballs with Lentils and Yogurt Sauce

Turkey-Date Meatballs with Lentils and Yogurt Sauce
© Tina Rupp

Turkey is not only a soporific but a source of iron, zinc, potassium and B vitamins.

09 of 22

Lentil and Linguine Soup

Lentil and Linguine Soup

As they cook, the lentils and linguine slurp up much of the vegetable-flavored broth, leaving a thick and hearty soup. Of course, if the soup is too thick for your taste, just stir in a little extra water.

10 of 22

Green-Lentil Curry

Green Lentil Curry from Madhur Jaffrey
© Quentin Bacon

Many of Madhur Jaffrey's books have an Indian slant, but she's most famous for her 1999 tome Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. While she often follows the Indian tradition of serving several small dishes together, the lentil-vegetable curry here is a Western-style main course. Eaten over rice with yogurt, it's a very satisfying meal.

11 of 22

Ocean Trout with Curried Lentils and Spring Onions

Ocean Trout with Curried Lentils and Spring Onions
© Antonis Achilleos

Vadouvan is a curry spice blend combining curry leaves, mustard seeds, shallots and garlic. At GT Fish & Oyster in Chicago, chef Giuseppe Tentori tops vadouvan lentils with Tasmanian ocean trout.

12 of 22

Lentils with Red Wine and Herbs

Lentils with Red Wine and Herbs
Jan Baldwin

Sophie Dahl fondly refers to this dish as Paris Mash because she used to make it in Paris while visiting an artist friend, Annie Morris. With herbs and a scattering of mâche (a sweet and tender green), the stewy lentils become a perfect combination of soup and salad. French green lentils work best here, because they hold their shape when cooked.

13 of 22

Lentils in Herb-Arugula Yogurt

Lentils in Herb-Arugula Yogurt
© Lucy Schaeffer
14 of 22

Lamb Sausage with Lentils and Sautéed Pears

Lamb Sausage with Lentils and Sautéed Pears
© Martin Morrell

One of Defne Koryürek's favorite homemade sausages includes beef, lamb, red peppers and garlic; she loves eating it alongside a creamy salad of lentils, roasted peppers and sautéed pears. The recipe is also delicious when prepared with spicy, rich merguez sausage.

15 of 22

Lentil Salad with Spinach, Pecans, and Cheddar

Lentil Salad with Spinach, Pecans, and Cheddar

Spinach serves two purposes here: Half of the leaves are shredded and wilted with the warm lentils, while the rest is dressed and makes a base for the salad. For the cheese, choose a good-quality aged white or yellow cheddar; its sharp flavor will perfectly contrast the lentils' earthiness.

16 of 22

Lentil Soup with Broccoli Rabe

Lentil Soup with Broccoli Rabe

Cook the broccoli rabe in a separate pan, not in the soup pot. That way, any excess bitterness from the vegetable goes down the drain with the cooking water rather than into the soup. You'll find, though, that a bit of bite enlivens the lentils.

17 of 22

Roasted Salmon with Lentils and Bacon

Roasted Salmon with Lentils and Bacon

A center-cut salmon fillet is best for roasting because it is uniform in shape and thickness and cooks more evenly than an end piece. Served on a bed of lentils that have been simmered with vegetables and bits of bacon, it's to die for.

18 of 22

Lentil and Garlic-Sausage Soup

Lentil and Garlic-Sausage Soup
© Ray Kachatorian

The inspiration for chef Tom Fundaro's garlicky lentil soup is the traditional cotechino pork sausage from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, where it's cooked slowly until moist and almost sticky, then served over creamy lentils. Fundaro's recipe skews pan-European, with French lentils, Manchego cheese and any really good garlic sausage.

19 of 22

Lentil Soup with Smoked Turkey

Lentil Soup with Smoked Turkey
© Quentin Bacon

Simmering the broth with a Parmesan rind gives the soup an even richer taste than sprinkling the cheese on top.

20 of 22

Red Lentil Dal with Tamarind and Asparagus

Red Lentil Dal with Tamarind and Asparagus

During her stay in Bangladesh, Naomi Duguid fell in love with dals (soupy lentil dishes) known as tok dal, or tart dal. "They all have an intriguing balance of tartness from tamarind and lime, and sweetness from slow-cooked onions." While asparagu isn't a traditional ingredient, Duguid was inspired to add it because Bangladesh is so fertile, and many green vegetables grow there.

21 of 22

Lentil Soup with Smoked Sausage

HD-201308-r-lentil-soup-with-smoked-sausage.jpg

This hearty soup, with its lentils and sausage, seems made for savory. For a special version, use imported Vertes du Puy lentils, which have a rich, earthy flavor. A firm whole-grain bread would be ideal alongside.

22 of 22

Five-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Lentils

Five-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Lentils
© Danielle Tsi

A dinner of Brussels sprouts, turnips, carrots, and lentils may sound more like a punishment than a treat, but believe us—the combination is delicious. In fact, the general effect is actually rather delicate.

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