Looking for the best lentil recipes? Want to know how to cook lentils? Lentils are low in calories, high in iron and a great source of protein. Try using them in hearty soups to impressive dinner party show stoppers. Find more meat-free and vegan entertaining recipe ideas here…
The benefits of lentils
Our nutritionist Kerry Torrens says… “Rich in iron and dietary fibre, lentils are a source of plant-based protein and supply folate, which is important during pregnancy, infancy and adolescence. They also contain phyto-oestrogens – plant compounds which mimic the effects of oestrogen. These help balance hormones, protect against heart disease and benefit bones.”
We used green, puy, black and red lentils in our recipes
This easy recipe is the perfect midweek winter warmer to feed the whole family, plus it's low in calories. Garlic and ginger pastes are available from large supermarkets, and are a great cheat when preparing Asian recipes – they also give an extra warming kick to soups like this one.
Packed with red lentils, fresh red chillies, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cloves and spinach, all for less than 350 calories – this recipe shows you can eat your favourite takeaway dishes without compromising on flavour.
To say that aash is merely a soup would be underselling it – this hearty staple of Persian cuisine is always herb-based but there are many varieties: some with meat, some with barley, rice, tomato or pomegranate molasses. It’s the best comfort food on a cold day. This is Sabrina Ghayour's Western version, which is vegan and every bit as delicious.
Check out this super simple creamy feta recipe with sweet red onion and punchy chilli. This easy meal is low in calories and veggie friendly. Packed with fresh herbs and ready in 30 minutes, this dish will perk up your midweek blues.
This recipe for roast broccoli with lentils makes for a really easy midweek meal for one. It's vegan, ready in under an hour and around 300 calories, but still delivers big, punchy flavours. It can be eaten hot or cold so is also a great healthy lunch box option. You're welcome.
This recipe for herb-crusted lamb with lentils from Tom Kerridge is a great dish, full of flavour and perfect for a colder spring day. The cannon is the eye meat from a lamb loin. It’s a more expensive cut but very simple to cook and gives beautifully pink, tender lamb. Treat yourself to this delicious high protein alternative to the classic roast.
Serving up half a squash is a great meal option for vegetarian friends or family. This one is baked then stuffed with lentils, spices and lemon juice and finished with creamy feta cheese and coriander. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Sweet potato linguine is more robust than courgetti, so can withstand a bit more cooking. Served with a warming vegan bolognese-style ragù, this gluten-free low calorie main is perfect for the start of the cooler months. Dust off your spiraliser and try something new but comfortingly familiar. Here's our pick of the best spiralisers to use.
This vegetarian recipe for spiced lentil shepherd's pie is a great vegan version of a classic. It's ready in 1 hour and is enough to feed the whole family. This homely comfort food is also a great way to hide veggies for fussy kids, secretly packed with carrots, celery and parsnips.
Check out this quick and easy vegan burger recipe with spicy lentils. Ready in just 30 minutes, these punchy patties make a super simple summer recipe for four. Packing lots of flavour and protein, these burgers will please meat-eaters and veggies alike.
Jazz up your weekend brunch and make this veggie shakshuka with lentils and punchy spice. This simple egg recipe is not only easy to make it's low in calories, too. Top with lemon, coriander and yoghurt for a late morning pick me up.
Check out this easy alternative to oven-baked moussaka. Ready in just 15 minutes, these speedy vegan bowls contain the flavours and textures of a slow-cooked moussaka, without the wait. Layer aubergine and tomato slices with spiced lentil mince and nutmeg soya yoghurt to make your perfect personal moussaka.
Lashings of butter and cream give this warming dal the X-factor. The beans need time to soak, but once it’s in the oven it looks after itself. This indulgent, slow cooked dal will revolutionise your view of the humble lentil.
Want an impressive side to go with your curry? Cook this low calorie octopus black lentil dahl from Neil Rankin's restaurant, Temper City. It may take a bit of time but it's definitely worth the effort.