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favourite meatless lentil recipes

Now that Lent has started, I was curious...what are your favourite ways to prepare lentils without meat?

I made a Lentil and Coconut soup yesterday that turned out well. Basically 2 leeks, 3 carrots, a cup of green lentils, 5 cups of water, 1/2 can of Coconut Milk, 1 heaping tablespoon of Spice Trader's Royal Curry Powder, and 1 heaping teaspoon of Spice Trader's Curry Powder.

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  1. I like a salad made with cooked puy lentils, cherry tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese dressed with a mustard vinaigrette.

    1. Another plug for Jeff Smith's lentil salad: http://life-eos.blogspot.com/2007/10/...
      Adding some cooked long grain rice at the end will lighten up the texture, if you can stand the carbs.

      1. lentil salad with radish, cukes, tomatoes, cilantro, mint, tiny bit of raw onion, dress it with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and cumin powder. its very good.

        1. http://www.invinciblemuffin.org/fancy...

          i regularly make this one. sometimes i sub some butter in for the oil to make a richer taste. last time i made it, i also chopped up some artichokes in it.

          1. This is a favorite, though I love lentils curried also. For this, I use romaine lettuce instead of radiccio:


              1. I really love Deborah Madison's wine-braised lentils with winter vegetables. I can't remember which of her cookbooks it is in--maybe Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone or Local Flavors?

                I also adore the lentil soup in the original Moosewood cookbook--super simple, super tasty.

                2 Replies
                1. re: icecreamgal

                  The wine-braised dish was in Veg Cooking - that book also has a couple of other great simple lentil dishes: one with lentils, onions and hard boiled eggs with toast, a fantastic weeknight dinner possibility, and another of just rice, lentils and caramelized onions.

                  1. re: icecreamgal

                    That wine-braised lentil dish is fantastic! I just love the earthiness of it.

                  2. I didn't use a recipe, but last week I made a Cauliflower and Lentil Curry. It was very nice. Serve if over rice if you can spare the carbs.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jennalynn

                      Would you mind sharing your recipe for cauliflower and lentil curry? what kind of lentils did you use?

                      1. re: sds

                        I didn't have a recipe. I had an idea of what I wanted and just kept adding things until it tasted like that ; )

                        But here's some of what I did.

                        I broke the cauliflower into small florets and tossed it with olive oil and salt and then roasted it with small baby carrots in a 400 degree oven until it was nice and golden and a little shriveled.

                        I sauted onions and garlic in a 6qt Le Creuset dutch oven. I added some curry powder, some ground corriander, cumin, salt, pepper and chicken stock. Add in the roasted veggies.

                        I used red lentils... and cooked them all together until they were thick and wonderful.

                        I added some diced apricots and raisins at the end.

                      2. re: Jennalynn

                        Buzzing light bulb just went off in my head - this is probably a sambar variation.
                        In the meantime here's mine: http://life-eos.blogspot.com/2007/10/...

                      3. I make a red lentil pastitsio - cooked red lentils, softened onions in olive oil and garlic, add cubed and presalted eggplant, fresh tomatoes cubed and a jar of tomato sauce, cook all down till a fine mush resembling minced meat, season to taste.

                        Boil pasta shapes - bows, macaroni or whatever till cooked, combine lentil mix with pasta into a greased ovenproof dish - then make an egg custard - a roux with 2 eggs mixed in off the heat, with some nutmeg, make it fairly thick and don't forget to add salt to it. Pour on top of pasta mix, poke it with a knife so that the custard sinks in a bit, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, bake till risen and browned.

                        1. I have a very basic lentil soup that I consider to be the ur lentil recipe. Saute chopped onions and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Add water and lentils, simmer for 45 minutes or so, then add salt and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. All ratios are adjustable to your taste -- I use 1.5 cups lentils for 7 cups water, one large onion, and a tablespoon or so of oil. You can add a bay leaf or some thyme if you want, and if you prefer to leave out the salt, be generous with the lemon juice.

                          1. I would sometimes add a smoked hock to my lentils, but during Lent I usually opt for liquid smoke instead, and surprisingly, I achieve a pretty good result even sans meat.
                            Haven't tried ketchup in my lentils yet, but I hear that the taste can be very appealing, especially for those with a sweet tooth. To be very honest, I prefer my lentils with curry, or even just plain [with a simple mirepoix].

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Cheese Boy

                              Another way to achieve a smoky effect without the meat is to add some dark sesame oil.

                              1. re: Cheese Boy

                                try plain with a dollop of Major Grey's Chutney thrown in at the end of cooking! Heaven.

                              2. OK, you'll have to wing it on the proportions, but this one is good:
                                cook lentils in apple juice with a good amount of grated ginger (season with salt once cooked, if you like)
                                meanwhile, boil up some brown rice
                                then saute in olive oil: onion, zucchini, red pepper; mix in rice wine vinegar and soy sauce
                                serve the lentils, topped with the veggies, over the rice
                                I like to top the whole thing with a dollop of plain yogurt

                                1. got this from a friend and it is very good...

                                  Tasty Lentil Tacos
                                  1 cup finely chopped onion
                                  1 garlic clove, minced
                                  1 teaspoon canola oil
                                  1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
                                  1 Tbs. chili powder
                                  2 tsp. ground cumin
                                  1 tsp. dried oregano
                                  2-1/2 cups chicken broth (or beef broth)
                                  1 cup salsa
                                  12 hard taco shells

                                  In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute.

                                  Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Stir in salsa.

                                  (Heat up your taco shells while doing the last part of the above)Spoon about 1/4 cup into each taco shell and top with your favorite taco fixing's.

                                  1. There's a dish which is traditional amongst Middle Eastern Christians during Lent, called m'jedera (the name varies depending on which country.) It's ridiculously easy, and strangely good, and it's my Good Friday staple. It's basically equal parts of lentils and white rice boiled together (start the lentils first, of course) with salt and pepper and allspice. While it's cooking, saute a quantity of thinly sliced onions in olive oil until golden. Serve the lentils either hot or room temp, topped with the onions, with some yogurt and various salads.

                                    This ordained deacon wishes you all a Holy Lent!

                                    1. Any daal!

                                      Or mjeddera, a Lebanese dish, as mentioned above.

                                      Or Egyptian Koshary! MMMMHHH!

                                      1. Some people have mentioned combining lentils with rice in their recipes. I like to combine lentils with barley or bulgur wheat.

                                        1. Lentil 'meatballs' made with red lentils and fine bulgur (mercimek kofte, in Turkish)Fantastic!

                                          Haven't tried this particular recipe (mine's an in-your-head, no measurements thing) but it looks right. Be particular about the lentil-bulgur ratio so you don't end up with soup! It has to be the right texture to form.


                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: crowbar

                                            There is a very good and easy Italian style lentil soup that my family makes which is basically as follows:

                                            1 cup of lentils boiled in water. Add to it 1 bay leaf, garlic, salt , pepper and olive oil. Boil one cup of tubettini or other small pasta. Once pasta is cooked drain but reserve as much of the pasta water as possible and set water aside. Add the pasta to the lentils and then begin to add back some of the pasta water until the mixture is as soupy as you want it to be (depends on personal taste). Add any extra salt and pepper to taste, and serve in a bowl and provide lots of parmesan cheese to add on top. Very good winter time comfort food. You can also increase or decrease the quantity by combining the pasta and lentils in any equal ratio.

                                            1. re: Mel.D

                                              Jamie Oliver has a wonderful lentil recipe which I'll post if anybody's interested.

                                              It's lentils cooked as usual and then chopped herbs and spinach are mixed into the beans along with yoghurt. It's a great combo.

                                              He serves it with salmon wrapped in prosciutto...not very Lenten.

                                          2. May we please have more details: construction, cooking times, etc.?

                                            1. This is a fabulous Mediterranean flavored lentil soup from NY Times a couple weeks back. Delicious and v. easy to make. Don't skip drizzling on olive oil and chili powder at end.

                                              1. This time of year, I like making platters of lentils topped with roasted vegetables. I use Puy or beluga lentils cooked with sauteed red onion or shallots and garlic, with bay leaf, thyme or rosemary, wine, and vegetable stock. When the lentils are cooked, I mix in a teaspoon or so of vinegar (red or white wine, depending on which color I used to cook the lentils), and usually some chopped parsley. Then I spread the cooked lentils onto a platter and top with some combination of grilled portobellos (I use a cast-iron grill pan), grilled zucchini, roasted peppers, roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted fennel, roasted garlic, etc., depending on what I could find at the store. Finally, I'll top off the platter with crumbled goat cheese or feta, and black pepper. (Alternative topping: Greek yogurt and toasted pine nuts.) A great winter supper, served with a green salad dressed with a tart vinaigrette - when friends are around and hoping for a big meal, I'll add crusty bread, olive tapenade, and hummous.

                                                1. Thanks for all the great suggestions;) Much appreciated!

                                                  1. Spicy Lentil Salad:

                                                    Lentils, cooked "al dente" (but be careful that they're not too chewy) - drain very well, add a little oil and vinegar (you can get away with Italian dressing) and toss with chopped onion and sliced fresh jalapeno. Yum!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: wayne keyser

                                                      yum that does sound good. will try it sometime. in the meantime can anyone suggest accompaniments with lentil salad ? i know its getting away from meatless but i am always stumped what goes with...