How to Prepare Lentils

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Lentils come in different types and colors. They vary in nutrition and in ways to prepare them. Yet, they’re all low in fat and high in protein as well as fibers and calcium.

Moreover, lentils are a favorite for many people because it’s inexpensive and fast to prepare. It doesn’t need soaking before cooking like lots of beans. You can also store dried lentils for as long as you want as they have a long shelf life.

Yellow, brown, and green are the main types of lentils. They differ in taste and shape. Moreover, each type works best with different cooking methods and recipes.

Want to know more about how to prepare lentils with different delicious recipes? We‘ll take you through each one step-by-step.

Let’s dive in!

How to Season Lentils

Seasoning lentils depends primarily on the dish you’re preparing and your seasoning preferences. However, there are basic seasoning tips that can never go wrong with lentils.

Salt and Pepper

Salt and pepper are the essentials to give your lentils some taste. They can be enough if you’re adding the lentils as a side to the main dish.

They may also be all you need with a green salad. Half a teaspoon of each is enough for one cup of lentils.

Onion and Garlic Powder

Onion and garlic powder match well with cooked lentils. If you’re making soup, you can add them instead of adding onions and garlic. They’re also delicious additions to salads, sauces, dippings, and fillings with lentils.

Curry or Paprika

Curry and paprika may not be everyone’s favorite, but they give a unique taste to lentils. In the case of yellow lentils, their colors match so well. They’ll also result in a tasty, radiant dish. The mixture of lentils and curry is popular in Indian cuisine, so if you’re a fan of it, you’ll love this combo!

Do You Drain Lentils After Cooking?

Yes, you should. The exception is if you’re cooking lentils to make a soup or sauce, for instance. To keep your lentils a bit crunchy, you should drain them after boiling immediately. Moreover, rinse in cold water to maintain its texture and stop any further cooking.

How to Cook Lentils for Salad

Lentils can be a tasty and nutritious addition to your salads. Brown  and green lentils are usually used in salads as they tend to keep their shape after cooking.

Here’s how to cook lentils so that you can enjoy it with your bowl of salad.

Step 1: Rinse and Sift

Carefully rinse your lentils until completely clean. Afterward, sift through to make sure there is no dirt, stones, or any broken bits.

Step 2: Add Water

Add 2 ½ to 3 cups of water to each cup of lentils and bring them to a boil.

Step 3: Simmer Until Tender

After the lentils boil, allow them to simmer for 20-30 minutes. It should be tender enough to eat. In case you like it a bit crunchy, check its texture once the 20 minutes are over.

If you prefer soaking lentils first, cook them for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4: Drain and Rinse

Once cooked, drain your lentils completely. Rinse with cold water to prevent the heat from cooking it further.

Step 5: Season

Season your lentils separately with salt and pepper before adding to the salad. As an alternative, you can add your lentils to the salad and season everything together by adding your favorite dressing.

How to Cook Lentils in Soup

One way to enjoy the rich taste of lentils is to puree them into soups. Yellow lentils are the most famous type used to make soup. They’re smaller in size and softens faster than other types.

Here are the steps of cooking tasty and easy-to-make lentil soup.

Step 1: Rinse and Sift

Rinse and sift your lentils carefully before you start cooking.

Step 2: Add Water

In a pot, add one and a half cups of water to each cup of lentils. Place the pot on medium heat.

Step 3: Add Vegetables

Add onion, garlic, carrots, and tomatoes to the pot. You can either cut these vegetables into small bits or blend them together. The amount depends mainly on your taste preference.

Step 4: Lower the Heat and Cover

Keep the mixture on medium to high heat until it starts boiling. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and cover the pot. Leave to cook for about 30-40 minutes.

Step 6: Add Water If Needed

Add more water if you’re aiming for a thinner texture. Yet, make sure you bring the mixture to boil again for it to cook properly.

Step 7: Season Your Soup

Season your soup with salt and pepper as you like. White pepper is preferred to keep the radiant orange color of your soup clear.

Though this is among the most popular ways to cook lentil soup, there’re many others. You can prepare lentil soups using brown or green lentils. You can also add different vegetables to your lentil soup. Furthermore, you can add meat or chicken to the soup.

How to Prepare Over Medium Eggs for Lentils

Eggs are unique additions with lentils and lentil salad. The two tastes are usually combined in many tasty recipes. Moreover, preparing over medium eggs only requires a few easy steps.

Step1: Prepare Your Utensils

All you need is a large saucepan and a slotted ladle. Also, keep ready a bowl of ice-cold water. Put the eggs in the saucepan and add water just enough to cover the eggs.

Step 2: Bring to a Simmer

Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes only.

Step 3: Put in Ice-Cold Water

Get the eggs out with your slotted ladle and immediately put in the bowl of ice-cold water. Let the eggs cool entirely before you take them out to peel and serve.

How to Prepare Lentils, the Complete Guide

Lentil soups and salads are among the most famous dishes in many different cuisines. Due to their nutrition and benefits for health, they’re worth adding to your daily diet.

Furthermore, lentils are easy to find and make, which makes them a very convenient option. Preparing a dish full of protein, fibers, iron, calcium, and low in calories is only a few steps away.


Last update on 2020-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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