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10 ways with brown lentils

Brown lentil salad

Brown lentils are an incredibly versatile and budget-friendly ingredient.  Tinned or cooked lentils make a convenient, tasty and high-fibre addition to both vegetarian and meat-based recipes. If you’re keen to try these protein-packed nutrient powerhouses, here are 10 of our best ideas of what to do with brown lentils. 

These ideas call for canned lentils but can easily be adapted using the equivalent weight in cooked lentils.

Enjoy this protein-packed, fibre-rich food in these delicious dishes.

  1. Soup boost
    Add a can of brown lentils, rinsed and drained, to your favourite winter soup.
  2. Power rice salad
    Mix cooked brown rice with canned brown lentils, rinsed and drained, then add pine nuts, currants, tinned corn and fresh herbs such as chives and parsley.
  3. Vege burger
    Add chopped onion and grated carrot to a can of brown lentils, rinsed, drained and mashed. Mix in chopped fresh herbs, fresh breadcrumbs and an egg to hold it together. Shape into patties, coat in flour, spray with oil then pan-fry, grill or bake until golden.
  4. Nutritious dip
    Place 2 cans of brown lentils, rinsed and drained, into a food processor with 1-2 garlic cloves, the juice of 1 lemon and a splash of olive oil. Process until you have a smooth paste, adding more oil if necessary. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.
  5. On the side
    Great with grilled fish. Sauté a chopped onion in oil until soft. Add a can of brown lentils, rinsed and drained, and a diced tomato. Cook until the tomato is soft and lentils heated through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and balsamic vinegar to serve.
  6. Main event
    To turn the above dish into a main course, substitute roasted red capsicum for the tomato. Top with chopped parsley, pitted black olives, chopped walnuts and cubed feta, and serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
  7. Curry in a hurry
    The next time you make an Indian curry, throw in a can of brown lentils, rinsed and drained.
  8. Delicious dhal
    Sauté a chopped onion in oil until soft. Add 2 chopped potatoes, dried Indian spices (cumin, turmeric and cardamom), and stir until fragrant. Cover with water and cook until potato is tender. Add 2 cans of brown lentils, rinsed and drained, and 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves. Cook until spinach is wilted. Serve with a dollop of low-fat natural yoghurt.
  9. Classic combo
    Together these ingredients create the perfect flavour combination – mix canned brown lentils, rinsed and drained, with some baby spinach leaves and finely chopped red onion. Dress with yoghurt and lemon juice.
  10. Lentil bolognese
    Make your favourite bolognese sauce, or cannelloni or lasagne filling, substituting the minced beef with canned brown lentils.

For more tasty lentil recipes head here.

Article sources and references

Date modified: July 13 2022
First published: Jun 2008

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