Basic Red Lentils

Photo by: Sarah Shatz

by Whole Foods Market

over 2 years ago

Despite their name, red lentils are closer to orange or salmon-pink and the color fades as they cook, but this does nothing to diminish their good earthy flavor and excellent nutrient profile. Red lentils are about the same size as the more familiar brown/green lentils but they cook a little faster. For a warm side dish, combine cooked red lentils with olive oil, red onion and balsamic vinegar for a warm side dish. You can also add uncooked (but rinsed) red lentils to a stew or curry and let them simmer along with the other ingredients.

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • Salt to taste
  1. Pick over the lentils and rinse in cool water.
  2. Put lentils in a soup pot or large saucepan, cover with water by 2 inches. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered or loosely covered, until tender but not mushy, about 25 minutes. Strain; If you like, reserve the cooking liquid for making soup.

Nutrition Info:


  • 678 calories
  • 2g total fat
  • 0g saturated fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 346mg sodium
  • 115g carbohydrate (59g dietary fiber, 4g sugar)
  • 50g protein
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