In another of our series of potentially neglected ingredients in your pantry, food writer Helen Best-Shaw, takes a closer look at red lentils and finds 10 wonderful recipes to help use up that bag at the back of your kitchen cupboard.

What is not to love about lentils? They are cheap, nourishing and given the right treatment, absolutely delicious. Red lentils are probably the easiest to cook as they need no soaking and will cook in about 20 minutes. Once cooked they lose their shape, which makes them ideal to use in soups and dals.

Lentils are low in calories, almost fat-free, packed with protein as well as being high in fibre. To bag even more of a lentil bargain buy them from your local Indian supermarket, or the “World Food” aisle in your usual supermarket, the brands may be unfamiliar, but the quality will be excellent and the prices keen.

 

1. Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Stew

Butternut squash and red lentil stew

This brilliant orange stew is packed with good things – red lentils, smooth butternut squash, carrots and orange peppers – I can feel myself absorbing the health from reading about it!  One to make if you are feeling under the weather, or make a big batch and freeze ahead for the days you will need it! The recipe is written for a multicooker, but will be very easy to make in a large pot on the stove instead.

Get the recipe here: Amuse Your Bouche

 

2. Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil soup

Spiced red lentil soup is a classic. Here, Shetland based blogger and food writer Elizabeth, gives the dish a local twist by adding seaweed sprinkles and also dresses up humble soup to something more special by adding croutons. Use the soup as a base to garnish as you wish and according to taste.

Get the recipe here: Elizabeth's Kitchen

 

3. Red Lentil Sauce

Red Lentil Sauce

Throwing a handful of lentils into a tomato sauce and blitzing them to silky smoothness is an easy and cheap way to add some extra protein to a dish. Use this sauce with pasta or on a pizza. Unless you tell them no one will know about the lentils in this.

Get the recipe here: Fuss Free Flavours

 

4. Creamy Chickpea Spinach Courgette Curry

Chickpea spinach courgette curry

Jeanne’s creamy curry is packed with copious quantities of vegetables as well as red lentils and chickpeas. The creaminess comes from coconut milk. As well as being delicious it is low in calories and suitable for vegans and those with dairy allergies.

Get the recipe here: Cook Sister

 

5. Spicy Lentil & Bean Burger served with Sweet Peach Chutney

Spicy bean burger

The BBQ season is in full swing and this spicy red lentil and bean burger makes an excellent change from the ubiquitous beef burger and it well worth the effort it takes to make. Adding couscous to the burger mix is a clever trick to make a perfect burger that is neither dry nor mushy.

Get the recipe here: Krumpli

 

6. Healthy Lentil Walnut Pate

lentil walnut pate

Inspired by Gwyneth’s GOOP, this lentil pate might be healthy but it also looks amazingly delicious. Red lentils and walnuts flavoured with onion, tamari, lemon and paprika. Spread it liberally on toast or crackers, or treat as a dip and dig in.

Get the recipe here: A Side of Sweet

 

7. Red Lentil, Quinoa and Oat Patties

Red Lentil, Quinoa and oat patties

Protein packed lentil, quinoa and oat patties are gently flavoured with warming Indian spices, filled with a few raisins then gently fried. Saumya suggests serving them for breakfast, but I think they would make an excellent light lunch or snack with a selection of dipping sauces.

Get the recipe here: Saumya Kirasoi

 

8. Mushroom dill red lentil roast

Mushroom dill red lentil roast

This filling vegan “meat” loaf is based on lentils and mushrooms and flavoured with garlic and dill. It is super simple to make, simply boil the lentils, mix in all the ingredients and bake.

Get the recipe here: Connoisseaurus Veg

 

9. Flourless Lentil Chocolate Brownies

Flourless lentil chocolate brownies

If you are looking for something sweeter with your lentils then these chocolate brownies could be the recipe to try this weekend. The batter is made with lentils and eggs sweetened with dates. Add in vanilla, cocoa, pecans and chocolate chips and bake!

Get the recipe here: kiipfit

 

10. Red Lentil Waffles with Rosemary Pomegranate Syrup

Red lentil waffles with rosemary pomegranate syrup

If the flourless lentil brownies were not enough for you then you will love these innovative waffles that are made red lentils, rice and chickpeas. They are both gluten free and vegan and all that added protein will keep you full until lunchtime. Perfect for a leisurely weekend brunch.  

Get the recipe here: Eat Thrive Grove

 

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & recipe writer and blogger at Fuss Free Flavours.

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