Lentils have been an increasing ingredient in my recipes over the past few months. They are a good source of nutrition, cheap and widely available making them a great ingredient to bulk out meals when you’re on a budget, and also to sneak vitamins and fibre into your diet without necessarily knowing they are there.
Lentils come in a variety of colours and you can buy them tinned, or in their natural state. I prefer them dried to be able to add to my recipes when needed. They keep really well in the cupboard and I have a large jar of them ready to add a handful to my recipes when I need to.
A couple of years ago, I would have passed the lentils in the supermarket as I wouldn’t have had a clue what to cook with them. After experimenting with lentil fritters, a ragu, and also curry, my knowledge is growing and I now cook with lentils on a regular basis and wish I had taken the plunge years ago.
You can use lentils as the main ingredient in a lot of recipes such as the ten ideas here, or you can add lentils as an additional ingredient to dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, or thicken your stock for a meat based dish. Add them to a casserole or when making homemade stuffing. The ideas are endless, but it’s worth learning about the different type of lentils and what they may be best suited to. For example split red lentils are best for bulking out your meals as they disintegrate when cooking for long periods of time, but green and brown lentils retain their shape when cooking so they are better suited to salads and stuffings.
- Dahl Lentil Curry
- Beany Lentil Cottage Pie
- Lentil Ragu
- Red Lentil and Tomato Curry
- Spiced Lentil Carrot and Roasted Tomato Soup
- Lentil Fritters
- Sweet Potato, Lentil, sweetcorn and Coconut Curry
- Vegan Curried Lentil and Millet Soup
- Thai Chicken and Lentil Curry
- Slow cooker Spiced Carrot Lentil Soup
A bag of lentils stored in an airtight container will keep for a very long time so you never have to worry about not using them up. If you end up using lentils in bulk quantities then it’s probably best to purchase from the whole food shop, but for my domestic use, I find a smaller bag from the supermarket works well.
Do you cook with lentils?