Wondering what to do with that bag of lentils at the back of the store cupboard? We’ve found five easy lentil recipes sure to satisfy the whole family.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been rummaging through your store cupboards over the past few weeks and wondering what to do with those half used bags of lentils you’ve found shoved away in there. Thankfully, lentils are an extremely versatile - and often underrated - ingredient. They’re packed full of protein and a great way to bulk out meaty and vegetarian dishes. Plus, they’re cheap, healthy and can be used in a wide variety of comforting meals (and who doesn’t need some comfort food right now?)
Depending upon the variety you have to hand, you can make everything from stews to soups to delicious casseroles. All you need is a saucepan, some herbs and spices and a spare hour. Feeling inspired? Then let’s get cooking.
Red lentils don’t take long to cook, meaning that they’re a fantastic ingredient to use when you’re looking to throw together something in a hurry. When simmered, they break down into a thick paste, making them perfect for hearty dishes like The Last Food Blog’s Red Lentil Dahl with Spinach. Here, they’re simmered with turmeric and salt before being topped with a sizzling Tarka - a mix of spices fried in oil or ghee which are then folded through the Dahl just before serving. This Dahl also freezes really well, so we’d recommend making a huge batch so you can save some for a rainy day.
If you’ve been wondering what to make for lunch, we’d recommend Orangette’s delightful recipe for Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. She describes this as being ‘a quiet soup,’ - the kind of thing to slurp when you’re craving the food equivalent of a warm hug. Just don’t forget the lemon here as it really ties the soup together nicely. You could even make this in a pressure cooker if you’re short on time.
Green lentils retain their shape after being cooked, so they’re the perfect thing to add bite and texture to dishes like our Sausage and Lentil Casserole. Everything is cooked together in the pressure cooker in this recipe which makes it quicker, easier, tastier and leaves less washing up (always a bonus!)
If you’re looking for the perfect vegetarian alternative to spaghetti bolognese, try Jamie Oliver’s hearty Mushroom and Lentil Pappardelle Bolognese which uses puy lentils in place of minced beef. It’s packed full of veggies and is even more delicious when topped with fresh basil and loads of parmesan cheese. Yum!
Yellow lentils - also known as chana dal - are primarily used in Indian dishes such as BBC Food’s warming Yellow Lentil and Coconut Curry with Cauliflower. This is the perfect dish to throw together if you need to use up a load of veggies wilting away at the back of your fridge. You can serve it on its own (with plenty of rice and mango chutney, naturally) or as a side dish with some other delicious lentil-based Indian dishes.
Red, green, yellow - whatever colour of lentils you’ve got, you’ll always be able to get a satisfying meal on the table.
If you’ve been making delicious dishes with lentils recently, we’d love to see them! Post your pictures in our Facebook community or tag @YourPrestigeKitchen on Instagram.