I have to admit that I used to struggle with lentil recipes. I found them bland and never knew what to do with them.
How thankful am I for the internet?
There is a cornucopia of amazing lentil recipes out there. So much so, that I struggled to pick just 23!
From an inexpensive way to bulk out a stew to some truly incredible vegan meatballs, the humble lentil has come a long way.
This list of 23 lovely lentil recipes has you covered for meatless Mondays, and everyday in between.
20+ Must-Make Lentil Recipes
Not only is this filling soup packed with flavor, it’s also full of nutrients and protein.
Perfect for vegans, this winter warmer can be prepped in minutes and just needs 30-40 minutes to simmer.
Feel free to substitute pumpkin or squash, and even chicken broth for the meat lovers.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
You absolutely read that right!
I know cauliflower is all the rage, but this recipe is a must-try.
When blended together, the dough just needs to be poured onto the tray and baked for 20 minutes.
Add the toppings of your choice and enjoy!
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.
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.
Using lentils over chickpeas will make your falafel super moist. They blend great with spinach and garlic to make the perfect little patties.
The best part about these fritters has to be the crunchy outer shell that comes from frying in a skillet.
I’m sure they would bake up well, but you wouldn’t get that bite from the hot oil.
Feel free to add extra chilis to the mix for more heat.
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.
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.
If you’ve never tried liquid smoke before, now is your chance!
This high fiber, protein-packed hummus is creamy, with a touch of smoke that has bacon flavors!
It’s a wonderful alternative to the usual store-bought hummus.
In recent years, I’ve been trying to incorporate meatless meals into the house.
With all the great recipes out there, it’s so much easier than it once was!
For this curry, you’ll get the healthy lentils with the chunky sweet potatoes in a perfect coconut curry.
What’s not to love?
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 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.
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.
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.
Unlike the last curry recipe, this curry is tomato based and spicy.
You’ll also need to serve with plenty of flatbread to wipe your plate completely clean.
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.
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.
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.
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