October 26, 2009 3:21 PM   Subscribe

What delicious lentil dish can I make tonight?

Any extremely delicious lentil recipe would be madly appreciated. I have so many lentils! I can run out and buy any ancillary items at a moment's notice. What is your favorite recipe for this cheap, nutritious legume?
posted by airguitar2 to Food & Drink (40 answers total) 134 users marked this as a favorite
Mujidara. Cook some lentils. Cook some rice. Caramelize a lot of onions, slowly, until they're soft and sweet and very dark. Mix together.

Seriously. So, so good.

Real recipe if you want one.
posted by peachfuzz at 3:22 PM on October 26, 2009 [5 favorites]

Boil them down; add enough red chili powder to get a buzz; dollop greek yogurt for respite as needed.
posted by motsque at 3:26 PM on October 26, 2009

I really like lentils mixed in with cooked cubed onions, carrots and peas to which you a little homemade vinaigrette and some lemon juice.
posted by mmascolino at 3:27 PM on October 26, 2009

Last week I made Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew and found it extremely delicious.
posted by craichead at 3:27 PM on October 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

green, red for french? (or something else I guess) With French lentils my wife makes a great soup - lentils, some instant veggie stock, whatever root/hard veggies you have on hand. So good.
posted by GuyZero at 3:29 PM on October 26, 2009

Cook 'em in a can of coconut milk. Separately, fry some onions, a cinnamon stick, some lemon grass and some turmeric in a bit of oil. Mix them together when the lentils are soft, serve over rice.
posted by dr. boludo at 3:29 PM on October 26, 2009

To peachfuzz's recipe, I'd add that you should put in some cumin and coriander. Then add more cumin, and more coriander. Then when you put those delicious onions in, add some more cumin. Then, go back in time and make even more onions, put them on top, and sprinkle cumin on them. Oh did I mention olive oil?

posted by fritley at 3:37 PM on October 26, 2009

Cook some nice smoky bacon, some caramelized onion, and your lentils. Add a little cream, salt and pepper... whizz in a blender until gloopy, eat with crusty bread.
posted by itsjustanalias at 3:39 PM on October 26, 2009 [3 favorites]

Bacon-lentil soup! Chop some bacon (I use about 4 slices) and fry in soup pot or dutch oven till brown but not quite crispy. Skim off all but about 1-2 Tbsp of the fat. Toss in a chopped onion, 1-2 chopped carrots, 1-2 chopped celery stalks, and a bay leaf or two. Stir for a few minutes till onion begins to soften and the mixture starts getting fragrant. Then add 1 cup of lentils and 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Season, bring to a boil, then simmer till the lentils are soft (around 30 minutes or so).
posted by scody at 3:43 PM on October 26, 2009 [5 favorites]

I like lentils mixed with Italian (or other fennel-seedy) sausage, sauteed onions, and rice.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:45 PM on October 26, 2009

I have the recipe at home, but I love making soup out of lentils, sausage, and spinach. I brown the sausage along with some aromatics, add lentils along with water or broth, season, cook slowly, and just as it's done cooking I stir in fresh spinach. There is something about the combination of sausage and lentils that I really love.

My husband also made something similar the other night, but he made lamb meatballs instead of using sausage. He made the meatballs separately - I would have browned the meatballs in the pot first thing, then transferred them to the oven to finish so that I could use some of the lamby brown bits in the soup.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 3:47 PM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Goat's cheese, lentil and potato salad. Om nom.
posted by hot soup girl at 3:48 PM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

i make a lentil soup (any variety works - but i usually go with a lentil/tomato/carrot/spinach thing) and then when it's all done cooking, i throw in a handful of couscous and put a lid on it for 10 minutes.
posted by nadawi at 4:00 PM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Lentil salad, with a mustardy-garlicky vinaigrette. Fry up some bacon, take it out and drain it while you sautee some onions and carrots and garlic with the grease. Toss those with the cooked lentils and a dressing of dijon mustard and red wine vinegar. It's very good served on a bed of sharply flavored greens (watercress, escarole, frisee, etc), and good warm or cold (as in, the leftovers are just as good right out of the fridge the next day).
posted by padraigin at 4:01 PM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

crockpot lentils with onions, shredded carrots, bacon,and maybe even some potato. Throw in some cumin, too.
posted by jander03 at 4:03 PM on October 26, 2009

It's maybe not fancy enough for a main meal (maybe a way to use leftovers), but I really enjoy toasted sandwiches made with red lentils, spiced tomato and a slice of good cheese.
posted by fearthehat at 4:07 PM on October 26, 2009

Add cooked lentils to lots of fried mushrooms, strong garlic, parsley and fresh black pepper. Eat on toast scraped with raw garlic, be generous with olive oil. OM nom nom!
posted by hannahlambda at 4:10 PM on October 26, 2009

carmelized onion and lentil pilaf
posted by Sara Anne at 4:10 PM on October 26, 2009

Misr wot, which I really liked with yetakelt w'et. The berbere is a little bit of work (I used the Saveur recipe with good results) but quite worth it.
posted by kmennie at 4:11 PM on October 26, 2009 [3 favorites]

Lentil tacos!
posted by fancypants at 4:30 PM on October 26, 2009

Lentil soup with ground lamb, potatoes, onions, and kale is nice and hearty.

Along the lentil tacos line, lentil nachos can be quite good, if you spice the lentils with some chili and cumin.
posted by yarrow at 4:47 PM on October 26, 2009

From Ms. Vegetable:

cheesy mustard lentils

1. Cook lentils. Drain. Do not rinse. You want them hot.
2. Add cheese. Preferably orange (cheddar, american, etc.) You want this cheap.
3. Add mustard. Not honey mustard.

Delicious. I made this once at my parents' house (when I was craving my homemade food, not theirs), and everybody still asks about it. My sister emailed once with "what's that recipe?" She watched me make it, no less.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:56 PM on October 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Lentils, garlic, leeks, brown rice

A good stick to the ribs type meal that you can repurpose in many ways (eat it hot on top of vinegary bed of greens, or cold with feta cheese, olives, and some crusty bread the next day).

4 servings

1 TBSP olive oil
3 cups sliced leeks (white and tender green parts), rinsed well
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
4 cups water
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP pepper
1 cup lentils

Place the oil in a heavy 3 qt saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft.

Stir in the garlic and rice, saute the mixture for 1-2 minutes or until the rice looks opaque.

Add the water, salt, and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture quickly to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.

While the rice cooks, pick over the lentils and rinse them in cold water, drain well. Stir the lentils into the pan and cook the pottage for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice and lentils are tender and the water is absorbed. If the pottage sticks during cooking add a little more water; the finished dish should be dry, not soupy.
posted by thejrae at 5:01 PM on October 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

I agree with the first comment - muhjadarrah! I like this recipe.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:09 PM on October 26, 2009

I love this Pasta with Lentils and Kale. I've made it with regular brown lentils and it was super tasty (it calls for green). Simple, nutritious, and yummy!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 6:31 PM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ah, lentils are the best food in the world for vegetarians.. My favorite lentil dish is to take brown basmati rice (optionally with a bit of wild rice), cook it for 10 minutes, add lentils, when the water is almost boiled out, add soy sauce, again wait until soy sauce and remaining water are gone, turn off the flame and fluff rice and lentils with a fork and leave standing for ~5 minutes.

At the same time, sautee some vegies: my favorite is broccoli with kale and with finely chopped yams for colour highlights (green beans or peas are also very good, and zucchini).

Add about a couple of tablespoons of good, regular - non-virgin olive oil (preferably to a cast iron dutch oven, but you can use a heavy steel skillet), add ground cardamom, black pepper and nutmeg; sautee the spices for ~4-5 minutes on medium; add vegetables, sautee on high for a few minutes then cover and reduce heat. A few minutes before the end, add some gray, moist french salt (penzey's have one that's inexpensive and good).

Rice and lentils take about 40 minutes, vegetables - ~25.

This is a kind of dish that never gets boring, at times I would make it every day for many months and it doesn't get old with a bit of variation in vegies!
posted by rainy at 8:01 PM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

I made this lentil sausage ragout recipe last week. It was as delicious as it sounds, and it took almost no time to make.
posted by smartyboots at 9:31 PM on October 26, 2009


1 1/8 c. brown lentils
1 c. elbow macaroni
1/2 c. long grain rice
Freshly ground pepper


2 minced onions
2 crushed cloves garlic
2 tbsp. oil
16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 chili pepper, crumbled (either fresh or dried)
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
Freshly ground pepper

Place lentils in saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring to boil and simmer 30 to 40 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Fry onions and garlic in oil 5-10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, and chili pepper and simmer 10 minutes until thickened. Add parsley, season to taste.

While sauce is cooking, boil macaroni and rice together in water for 12 minutes. Drain. Mix together lentils, macaroni and rice, season to taste. Place on heated serving dish. Pour tomato mixture over all. Serve hot. - from cooks.com
posted by watercarrier at 2:02 AM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

You didn't say what kind of lentils. Assuming Puy, the easiest lunch dish I have in my repertoire is lentils and tuna: put 60g washed lentils in a pan with cold water 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp bouillon, put in high heat abs being to boil then simmer for 25 minutes. Then drain and mix in a can of tinned tuna and season well. That's it.
To turn it into main, lightly coat some monkfish or somthing with seasoning of choice (e.g. Paprika salt and pepper), pan fry, slice and serve on the lentils. Can be augmented with a lime curry emulsion (simple version: mic curry powder and lime juice into yoghurt).
posted by chill at 2:02 AM on October 27, 2009

Oh dear, that will teach me to reply using my iPhone.
posted by chill at 2:04 AM on October 27, 2009

Lentil Hummous
posted by watercarrier at 2:04 AM on October 27, 2009

Dal! Here's my recipe:

Use a 2 to 1 ratio of water to lentils.

Boil red lentils with tomato, green chilies, garlic, red chili powder, turmeric,
season with salt. Cook until they're mushy.

In separate frying pan, heat oil and fry cumin, fennel, onions, then add into dal
posted by pravit at 4:27 AM on October 27, 2009

Here to second lentil tacos. Soooooo good.
posted by teragram at 4:37 AM on October 27, 2009

Another lentil salad: Cook the lentils, adding corn (chop it off the cob either before or after cooking) and chopped green beans in the last 5 minutes. Drain and let cool while you chop a capsicum (bell pepper?) and a few sticks of celery, and a handful of basil, then mix all these in a dish. Dress with a vinagrette made from olive oil, red wine vinegar, and garnish with thinly sliced spring onions. Add soft cheese if you like, but I like it just fine without. Keeps nicely in the fridge so you can have leftovers for lunch or in a pita bread.
posted by harriet vane at 6:10 AM on October 27, 2009

We do an Ethopian cold curried lentil salad in the summer but it also works well hot. It was a big hit at my non-vegetarian company lunch. The freshness of the parsley and the light curry taste is wonderful.

Cooked lentils (I use the black beluga ones), finely chopped onions, carrots, and bell peppers, huge bunch of fresh chopped parsley (curly or Italian), sea salt, olive oil, Italian dressing, and curry powder to taste.

When we're sick of it, I add some chicken broth and puree it for soup.
posted by answergrape at 7:13 AM on October 27, 2009

Mediterranean (Lentil) Veggie Burgers with Mint-Yogurt Sauce and Carrot Salad! We eat 'em without the bun. Quick and easy and soooo delicious.
posted by Terheyden at 11:48 AM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's a frenchy sort of lentil salad that I improvise on (from the Julia and Jacque Cook at Home cookbook):
put 1.5 c French lentils (I've also used brown), 1 c chopped onion, 1+ sprigs of fresh thyme (I like thyme), a bay leaf, .5 tsp salt and pinch of cloves in pan with 3.5 c of water. bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25min. I've also added additional veg such as carrot, broccoli, etc, but may add a little later in cook time so it's not mush. cool lentils to lukewarm, drain remaining liquid, pour into mixing bowl and discard thyme/bay.

meanwhile, whisk together 2tbs white wine vinegar, 4tbs olive oil, .5tsp salt, .25 tsp black pepper (or MORE), 1 tbs dijon mustard, few drops of tabasco. add in 1 large chopped tomato (core and seed it if you are fancy), 1/3 c chopped shallots/scallion/onion/whatever you've got, 2 tsp minced garlic. pour this over the warm lentils and gently fold it all together.

this is DELICIOUS.
posted by maryrussell at 5:04 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

This Lentil Salad with Haloumi is seriously simple and seriously good.
posted by WayOutWest at 8:04 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is the way Balthazar in NYC prepares their lentils and they are fabulously French:

Rinse 1c lentils (I use lentils du puy, but any green lentil will do) and add to pan with 4c water. Simmer 20'.

Meanwhile, saute 2 strips bacon and a few sprigs of thyme or some dried. (I have skipped this part only because I didn't have bacon). Add 1/2 finely chopped onion and 1t salt and saute until translucent (about 7 minutes...I did this in EVOO since I didn't have the bacon fat. I also add a little thyme here). Add a finely chopped carrot and celery rib and saute 2-3 mins. Then add 1c water, 2T butter and simmer about 10'.

Drain lentils and combine with onion mixture. Simmer about 5-10' more or until very tender. I always add some dry vermouth (my secret ingredient) and S&P.

posted by robstercraw at 8:09 AM on October 28, 2009

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