Here’s a recipe that checks all the boxes: quick, healthy, adorable, vegan (or not), and an all-around crowd pleaser. This dish can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, adaptable to the time and ingredients you have and who will be eating it. I’ve cooked this countless times for my family, friends, coworkers, and students with great results. In my house, we enjoy these lentils once a week.
Serve as a side or main dish, very good with starches like mashed potatoes, basmati rice, or quinoa. This recipe makes a lot of lentils, but never mind–they freeze very well, or can be used for one of the leftover ideas listed below
one full or half bag of dried lentils
water or broth
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
3-4 bay leaves
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter for serving
- Put lentils in a large cooking pot and cover with water or broth.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes, adding more liquid as it evaporates during the first 15 minutes of cooking to keep lentils covered.
- Around 15 minutes of cooking, check lentils for the degree of doneness you prefer–al dente or soft.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil or a bit of butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Leftover Lentil Ideas
Toss into a green salad for added protein
Blend with other ingredients into a smooth soup
Combine with other ingredients to make veggie burgers
Use as a filling for tacos, wraps, crepes, or veggie bowls
How often do you enjoy lentils? What is your favorite thing about them?