The humble lentil is one of the world’s healthiest foods. And for good reason: This tiny legume packs a major nutritional punch. Just one cup of lentils has 16.5 grams of protein, or about one-quarter of your daily needs. Plus it has 90% of your daily folate, 56% of your daily fiber requirements, and 37% of your daily iron needs, in addition to other vitamins and minerals like vitamin B5, vitamin B6, thiamin, magnesium and zinc.

Studies show that these earthy pulses are key for reducing LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, and blood sugar. And with a grounding quality that makes lentils a mainstay in many plant-based meals, it’s no wonder we keep pulling them out of the pantry. Read on for my favorite go-to lentil recipes from around the internet, for the fact that they are delicious, nutritious and some of the healthiest dishes you can make. Keep these in rotation for whenever you need a quick, easy, healthy and satisfying meal to whip up.

1. Four Corners Lentil Soup

From: My New Roots

A super satisfying, quick-to-assemble recipe that’s just as good over brown rice on day two. Make a double batch and freeze for easy winter weeknight suppers. 

2. Lentils Folded Into Yogurt, Spinach, and Basil

From: 101 Cookbooks

Sub your favorite cashew yogurt and vegan parm to make this dairy-free, but we love scooping this on top of hearty toast for a happy desk lunch.

3. Beet Lentil Salad (Epic Travel Salad)

From: My New Roots

If you dared us, we could eat this salad every. damn. day. It’s just that good. Juicy pomegranate gems and good-for-you beets combine with delicately spiced lentils and fatty olives—just the kind of grounding meal you crave after a hectic day. And yep, it definitely travels well. 

4. Lentil Meatballs

From: Sprouted Kitchen

These dense little nuggets make a great main course when tossed with lemony pesto and served over zucchini noodles. Swap in vegan ricotta and parm if you like, and add a little tomato-cucumber salad on the side. 

5. 1-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup

From: Minimalist Baker

This classic lentil soup is satiating, fiber-rich, and super savory all at once. Don’t skimp on the salt and add the greens at just the last minute so they stay vibrant. 

6. Beluga Lentil Crostini

From: 101 Cookbooks

This recipe has become our go-to appetizer for parties of all kinds—housewarmings, baby showers, holidays, you name it. It’s super versatile: The garlic-rubbed mini toasts bring major flavor while the shiny black lentils feel a lil fancy, yet it comes together easily. Swap the goat cheese for dairy-free ricotta or creamy cashew cheese to make it vegan.

7. Lentil Almond Stir-Fry

From: 101 Cookbooks

A new twist on the classic stir-fry, this lentil version gets an electrifying jolt from a spicy-sweet mint drizzle, crunchy almonds, and creamy new potatoes. Stellar for a casual supper with friends—whip it up immediately.

8. Mujadara Lentils and Rice with Crispy Onions

From: The Mediterranean Dish

This is pure comfort food done right: Super simple peasant food that soothes your soul. Lentils and rice is a time-tested tradition honored in many cultures across the globe, and it only improves with the addition of crispy fried onions and a handful of parsley. 

9. Lentil Bolognese

From: Minimalist Baker

We promise you won’t even miss the beef in this twist on classic Bolognese sauce. Stewed tomatoes, carrots, lentils and spices come together for a flavorful, veg-forward meal in under 30 minutes. 

10. Lentil Polenta Casserole

From: 101 Cookbooks

We’re way into this genius idea to transform leftovers into an entirely new meal: stir a little lemon zest into leftover lentil soup and top with polenta circles, bake then broil until crispy. Finish the pot with a big handful of chopped greens lightly dressed in more lemon and olive oil.

11. Chickpea Lentil Coconut Curry

From: Vibrant Plate

Cook up this lentil coconut curry when you’re craving beef chili—the heartiness, heat, and spice are reminiscent of the winter classic, but this plant-based version won’t leave you feeling weighed down and overly stuffed. 

12. Braised Leeks with Muscovado Lentils

From: Sprouted Kitchen

The sweet taste of braised leeks is superbly complemented by caramelized lentils, achieved by lightly frying cooked lentils in a little bit of muscovado sugar and rice vinegar. The result? A savory-yet-sweet finish. 


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