Easy Brown Lentils
Whether you’re a seasoned lentil lover or still a skeptic, TRY these brown lentils! It’s an easy recipe ideal for busy weeknights and packed with nutrition, not to mention inexpensive and filling! Naturally vegan and gluten free.
I remember joking with some fellow food bloggers at the end of last year about brown lentils. Brown lentils are not attractive. They are not sexy. They do not have cheese that can be stretched, they don’t sparkle, and they aren’t swimming in a sweet teriyaki glaze. This recipe will never wind up on BuzzFeed, and you won’t share it on your mom’s Facebook page and beg her to make it for your next birthday.
But that’s okay.
When you need an inexpensive, highly nutritious, filling, quick and easy meatless meal… these easy brown lentils will be here for you.
And it turns those requirements I just listed? They happen to me every single week.
I like to cook a pound of lentils on Sunday and then keep them in the fridge, reheating portions for meals as I need them. There are so many ways you can use lentils: Toss them with quinoa, add them to soups, sprinkle them on salads, stuff them in mushrooms, eat them on rice, saute them with everything from bacon to kale. The list goes on.
Most of the time, I make them with carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. It’s quick, simple, and very satisfying. If I’m shaking with feelings of primal hunger (which happens A LOT when you work in the food blogosphere), a bowl of lentils will reset my cravings and free me of the demons demanding cheeseburgers and cheesecake. And cheese. SERIOUSLY. Lentils work wonders.
If you have lentils cooked and ready to go, this recipe will come together in just minutes. If you don’t have lentils on hand, allow 20 minutes or so, and you can still have this dish off the ground and running in under 30 minutes. A pound of lentils goes a long way and probably costs you $2.00 or less.
A Nutritional Powerhouse
Lentils are loaded with protein, fiber, seven minerals, and B-vitamins. I’m not a nutritionist, and I am not offering dietary advice, but you can read more about the benefits of lentils here. It’s compelling stuff!
Truly, I like brown lentils served with just a bit of salt. They have a mild, savory flavor that I enjoy and a nice chew. If I add the vegetables and garlic as in this recipe, they are even better. Because as much as I wish I ate food because it was good for me, I find that I mostly eat food that tastes good.
So what are you waiting for?! Brown lentils are waiting for you!
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Easy Brown Lentils
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- ½ cup celery chopped
- ½ cup carrots chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- white rice for serving optional
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add lentils and stir until uniformly combined and heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm plain or over rice.
To cook lentils, bring 4 quarts of water and one pound of lentils (picked over and stones removed) to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until lentils reach desired tenderness. Drain well.