How to cook with lentils. We know lentils are a healthy addition to a meal, but we often forget about them or don’t know how to cook with them.

Lentils come in many colors—brown, green, yellow, red or black. They are low in calories, rich in iron and folate and an excellent source of protein. They also contain health-promoting polyphenols and may reduce several heart disease risk factors.

Lentils may protect your heart by supporting weight loss, preventing homocysteine accumulation in your body and improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

They’re easy to cook, taking only 5–20 minutes. You can also buy them pre-cooked.

Try black lentils for a change of pace. Unlike their perfect-for-soup brown kin, black lentils hold their shape when cooked. That makes them great for salads, or a standalone bed for fish, chicken, or tofu.

For two cups, simmer ¾ cup of lentils in 1½ cups of water until just tender, 15-20 minutes.

No black lentils? Try these recipes with cooked white beans or French lentils.

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This Recipe Shows How to Cook with Lentils

Try this heathy recipe and learn how to cook with lentils.

Warm Black Lentils & Tomato (serves 4)


• 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic, sliced
• ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
• 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 15 oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
• 2 cups cooked black lentils
• 1 Tbs. capers
• ½ tsp. kosher salt


1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat until shimmering hot. Sauté the garlic and red pepper until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

2. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until softened, 2-3 minutes.

3. Stir in the lentils, capers, and salt.

Nutrition per serving (1 cup):

• Calories: 250
• Total fat: 11 g
• Sat fat: 1.5 g
• Carbs: 28 g
• Fiber: 13 g
• Total sugar: 4 g
• Added sugar: 0 g
• Protein: 11 g
• Sodium: 300 mg


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