Lentils are inexpensive and can turn a regular Monday into a magnificent meatless Monday. You don’t have to be vegetarian to love this legume because it goes great with meat dishes too.
Lentils can make a good protein substitute for traditional meat dishes like meatloaf or burgers or they can be a fabulous filler in soups and stews or served up in salads.
However you choose to showcase this little legume, your taste buds and belly will thank you. Read on for the 17 Best Lentil Recipes I could find.
- 1 17 Best Lentil Recipes
- 1.1 1. Lentil Burgers
- 1.2 2. Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes
- 1.3 3. Lentil Chili
- 1.4 4. Vegan Lentil Tacos
- 1.5 5. Easy Vegan Meatloaf with Lentils and Chickpeas
- 1.6 6. Hearty Spaghetti with Lentils and Marinara Sauce
- 1.7 7. Easy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- 1.8 8. Vegan BBQ Meatballs
- 1.9 9. Vegan Winter Lentil Stew
- 1.10 10. Easy Italian Lentils and Sausage Stew
- 1.11 11. Garlic Chili Lentil Wraps
- 1.12 12. Spinach Lentil Fritters
- 1.13 13. Breakfast Lentils with Poached Eggs
- 1.14 14. Beet and Green Lentil Cakes
- 1.15 15. Easy Lentil Salad
- 1.16 16. Lentil Salad with Spinach and Pomegranate
- 1.17 17. Lentil Salad with Spring Veggies, Mint, and Yogurt
- 2 Wrap-Up
- 3 17 Best Lentil Recipes
17 Best Lentil Recipes
Perfectly plant-based and packed with protein, iron, and fiber, lentils are renowned for soaking up the phenomenal flavors you cook them with. Flavorful lentil recipes are abundant and here are 17 of the best.
1. Lentil Burgers
If you have a hankering for a good old-fashioned burger but can’t make it the traditional way because of health or personal reasons, try the next best thing: lentil burgers!
Easy to make ahead and freeze, these lentil burgers will be a great source of protein for you and your family. Choose your favorite lentil, season it to perfection, and toss it on the grill. Source
2. Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes
Perfect when you need something fast and hearty, vegan sloppy joes put a nice twist on a classic recipe. Exploding with flavor, you’ll forget you ever used to make these with meat.
This vegan recipe combines red lentils with green lentils and mixes them with red onion, red bell peppers, tomato paste, and seasonings to make the perfect vegan sloppy joe. Source
3. Lentil Chili
Perfect for a cold winter’s night or a dreary fall day, lentil chili will warm you up from the inside out. Get your cheese and crackers ready.
Loaded with onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, and of course lentils, this chili is as flavorful as its meat counterpart. Throw on some jalapenos for a little spice. Source
4. Vegan Lentil Tacos
Give taco Tuesday a new twist. Lentils make a quality base for your tacos and loaded with seasoning, your tacos will have plenty of flavor.
When it comes to topping these vegan tacos, the sky is the limit. Some great options are carrot, avocado, beans, red onions, shredded lettuce, cilantro, and salsa. Source
5. Easy Vegan Meatloaf with Lentils and Chickpeas
Meatless meatloaf? Is that even a thing? Yes, it is and it is delicious! In this hearty recipe, flax seeds, lentils, and chickpeas come together to make a dense, meat-like texture.
Traditionally, meatloaf is topped with ketchup, but this wonderful recipe adds some balsamic vinegar to the ketchup topping to give it a little extra zing. Source
6. Hearty Spaghetti with Lentils and Marinara Sauce
You’ll forget spaghetti used to be served with meatballs after you try this incredible recipe. It’s a nice vegan twist on a classic Italian dish.
If you’re concerned about carbs, you can lighten this dish up by using whole-grain pasta and the addition of lentils ups the fiber in the meal. Source
7. Easy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Hot, savory, comforting, herby, and filling are just a few of the adjectives I can think of to describe this delectable, creamy lentil Shepherd’s pie.
Lentils take the place of beef and are mixed with fresh or frozen mixed vegetables and topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked to perfection. Source
8. Vegan BBQ Meatballs
BBQ meatballs make a great appetizer, side dish, or star of the dinner plate and these vegan BBQ meatballs are no exception. The best part of these is the homemade BBQ sauce.
Full of protein, fiber, and packed with flavor, these BBQ meatballs will wow whether you serve them over cauliflower rice, mashed cauliflower, or mashed potatoes. Source
9. Vegan Winter Lentil Stew
When winter starts knocking on your door, it’s time to start stirring up some stew. This hearty vegan lentil stew will wrap you up in a warm blanket of deliciousness.
Thick, flavorful, hearty, and loaded with fresh vegetables and herbs, this big batch recipe will allow you to freeze some for you to enjoy later. Source
10. Easy Italian Lentils and Sausage Stew
While lentils make a great substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes, they are not destined to stay in that lane because they go great with meat dishes too.
The Italian sausage can be whole, halved, or sliced in this stew. This filling stew is chock-full of carrots, celery, onions, herbs, and savory seasonings. Source
11. Garlic Chili Lentil Wraps
Perfect if you need something to grab and go or if you’re looking for something different to take for lunch, these garlic chili lentil wraps are a game-changer.
Full-flavored lentils are topped with cucumber, lettuce, or any other vegetable you desire and wrapped like a burrito in a whole-grain wrap. Perfect for meal prepping. Source
12. Spinach Lentil Fritters
Fritters are a wonderful finger food which in turn makes them a perfect appetizer. These spinach lentil fritters are crispy, healthy, delightful, and a lot of fun to eat.
A great dipping sauce can make all the difference and this dipping sauce is extraordinary. Simply made by combining sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Source
13. Breakfast Lentils with Poached Eggs
Lentils for breakfast? Yes, please! Fire-roasted tomatoes give this breakfast extra flavor and the lentils loaded with plant protein and fiber will keep you feeling full.
A poached egg serves as the icing on the cake atop a bed of flavorful lentils. Add any other toppings you like such as sliced avocado, green onions, or salsa. Source
14. Beet and Green Lentil Cakes
Beet and green lentil cakes make a beautifully colorful dish. Beets are low in calories and high in fiber and vitamin C making them a great partner for protein-packed lentils.
These colorful cakes are great topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt or mashed avocado. You can also serve them with your favorite sides like Brussels sprouts or a simple side salad. Source
15. Easy Lentil Salad
Overflowing with flavor, color, vegetables, and protein, this easy lentil salad will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Green lentils lend their robust flavor to this delicious salad.
Fresh cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, curly parsley, mint, and crumbled feta cheese all contribute to the beautiful color of this salad. Drizzle with a tangy lemon dressing. Source
16. Lentil Salad with Spinach and Pomegranate
Another colorful salad lands on this list of great lentil recipes. Spinach, pomegranate, lentils, and walnuts make for a colorful combination that is sweet, hearty, and crunchy.
The simple yet satisfying salad dressing is created by combining tahini, olive oil, water, garlic, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and orange zest then blending until smooth. Source
17. Lentil Salad with Spring Veggies, Mint, and Yogurt
Farmer’s market frequenters will find almost everything you need for this fantastic salad. Grab any combination of snap peas, green beans, radishes, chard, and asparagus.
Instead of topping the salad, your salad will top your yogurt sauce. Mix Greek yogurt, lemon juice, mint or dill, garlic, and salt. Smear on a plate and top with the salad. Source
As you so surely have learned, lentils are a highly versatile source of protein that makes a great meat substitute, pairs wonderfully with meat, and goes great in salads.
Any way you choose to enjoy your lentils, you can’t go wrong. From lentil burgers to lentil stew to lentil salads, you’re sure to become a lentil lover after trying some of these incredible recipes.