How to cook lentils

How to cook lentils

Perfectly cooked lentils everytime

Lentils are a simple to prepare bean that are a staple in French, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Varieties include red, green, orange, brown, white, black and French green lentils. They have a nutty flavor which combines well with other seasonings.

Lentils are versatile in both hot and cold dishes. They can be used in soups, salads, as a main dish or as a side dish. Lentils can even be used to make cookies!


Step 1

Place the dried lentils in a bowl

Dried lentils can have debris in them leftover from the harvesting process. Sort through them and remove any debris.

Step 2

Rinse the lentils

Rinse the lentils a few times with cold tap water. Rinsing will reduce foaming during the cooking process.

Step 3

Boil the lentils

In the dutch oven, add 1 cup of lentils to 3 cups of water or stock. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes.

Step 4

Simmer the lentils

After boiling turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer the lentils for 15-30 minutes. Stir the lentils frequently. Remove any foam that forms.

Step 5

Add water

Replace water that evaporates during the cooking process.

Step 6

Simmering time

The time needed to cook the lentils will depend upon the type of lentil and desired tenderness. Red lentils require around 20-30 minutes while green lentils require 30-45 minutes.

The end use of the lentils will determine the necessary cooking time. An additional 15-20 minutes of cooking is needed to obtain the mushy cosistency needed for making dal.

Step 7

Remove from heat

Remove the dutch oven from the stove top to stop the cooking process.

Step 8

Ready for use

The cooked lentils are now ready to be used in soups salads, as a side dish or as a recipe ingredient.

Step 9


Cooked lentils can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Things Needed
• Package of dried lentils
• Water
• 4.5 qt. Dutch oven
• Timer
• Time to simmer

Tips & Warnings
• Lentils do not need to be presoaked.
• Lentils will foam while cooking.
• Add water to cooking lentils as it evaporates.
• Red lentils require less cooking time.
• Dried lentils can be stored for up to a year.
• Adding salt before the lentils are cooked will make them tough.
• Add acidic ingredients after the lentils have cooked.


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