Are you looking for some easy and tasty vegan lentil recipes to add to your meal plan? Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and nutrients, making them an ideal ingredient for vegan diets. Plus, they are versatile, affordable, and easy to cook with. From soups and stews to salads and curries, there are countless delicious ways to incorporate lentils into your meals. In this article, we have rounded up some of the best and easiest vegan lentil recipes that you can make at home with minimal time and effort. Whether you are a seasoned vegan or just starting your plant-based journey, these lentil recipes will satisfy your appetite and nourish your body.
The Benefits of Lentils in a Vegan Diet
As a vegan, one of the biggest challenges is finding sources of protein and iron. Lentils are a great solution to this problem. They are packed with protein, iron, and fiber, making them an excellent addition to any vegan diet. Here are some of the benefits of lentils in a vegan diet:
Lentils are one of the best sources of protein for vegans. A single cup of cooked lentils contains around 18 grams of protein, which is almost as much as a 3-ounce serving of chicken breast. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, and it is especially important for vegans who do not consume animal products.
Not only do lentils provide a high amount of protein, but they also contain all of the essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis in the body. Most plant-based sources of protein are incomplete, meaning they lack some of these essential amino acids. However, lentils are one of the few plant-based sources that contain all of them.
Including lentils in your vegan diet can help ensure that you are getting enough protein to support good health.
Another important nutrient that lentils provide is iron. Iron is necessary for the formation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. A deficiency in iron can lead to anemia, which causes fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
One cup of cooked lentils contains around 6.6 milligrams of iron, which is more than one third of the daily recommended intake for adult men and women. But unlike animal sources of iron, lentils are a non-heme source of iron, which means they are plant-based. Non-heme iron is not as easily absorbed by the body as heme iron, which is found in animal products. However, there are ways to increase the absorption of non-heme iron, such as consuming it with foods high in vitamin C, like tomatoes or citrus fruits.
Lentils can provide vegans with an important source of iron, helping to prevent anemia and support overall health.
Lentils are also an excellent source of fiber, which is essential for good digestive health. One cup of cooked lentils contains around 16 grams of fiber, which is more than half of the daily recommended intake for adults. Fiber helps to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which is important for digestion and immune function.
Not only does fiber benefit digestion, but it can also help lower cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health. Including lentils in your vegan diet can help you meet your daily fiber needs and support overall health and wellness.
Lentils are a great addition to any vegan diet. They are a rich source of protein, iron, and fiber, providing many important health benefits. Whether you add them to soups, salads, or curries, there are countless ways to enjoy the benefits of lentils in your plant-based diet.
The Basics of Cooking Lentils
Cooking lentils is simple and straightforward, requiring only a few basic steps to ensure they’re cooked to perfection.
Choosing the Right Lentils
Before cooking, it’s essential to choose the right type of lentils for your recipe. Lentils come in various types such as green, red, yellow, and brown. Each variety differs in taste, texture, and cook time. Green and brown lentils hold their shape well and are perfect for soups or stews, while red and yellow lentils become mushy when cooked and are excellent for making dips or curries.
Preparing Lentils for Cooking
Once you’ve chosen the right type of lentils, the next step is to prepare them. Start by rinsing the lentils under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, soak them in water for about 30 minutes to an hour to reduce cooking time. You can skip this step, but it will take longer to cook the lentils. After soaking, drain the water and rinse the lentils again.
The cooking time for lentils varies depending on the type and size of lentils. Generally, lentils take around 20-30 minutes to cook. Place the rinsed and drained lentils in a saucepan and add enough water or vegetable broth to cover them. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and let the lentils cook until tender. Stir occasionally and add more water or broth if needed. Once cooked, drain any excess liquid and serve immediately.
Easy and Delicious Vegan Lentil Soup Recipe
If you’re looking for a healthy and filling meal that’s perfect for cool weather, then look no further than this easy and delicious vegan lentil soup recipe. Made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and loaded with wholesome lentils and flavorful vegetables, this soup is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. Plus, it’s easy to make and ready in under an hour!
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup dry green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- 2 cups spinach or kale, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion, celery, and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
- Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir well, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf, thyme, and more salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Add in the spinach or kale and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the greens wilt.
- Remove the bay leaf and season the soup with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
If you want a creamier soup, use an immersion blender to blend some of the lentils and vegetables until smooth. You can also add other vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or squash, to make the soup more filling and flavorful. And if you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or freeze for later.
Spicy Vegan Lentil Curry Recipe
If you are looking for a delicious and easy vegan lentil recipe, this spicy lentil curry is a must-try! It is packed with flavor and nutrients, making it a perfect dish for lunch or dinner. Plus, it is a one-pot meal, which means less cleanup and more time to enjoy your meal.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup green or brown lentils, washed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- Heat the coconut oil in a pot and add the onion. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
- Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the lentils, vegetable broth, coconut milk, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice or naan bread.
This vegan lentil curry is not only delicious but also rich in plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients. The lentils provide a hearty texture and absorb all the flavors from the spices and coconut milk. You can adjust the spiciness to your liking by adding more or less cayenne pepper. It also makes a great meal prep option that can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later.
Overall, this easy vegan lentil curry recipe is a winner for those who crave something flavorful, nourishing, and budget-friendly. Try it out and enjoy a bowl of comfort food that will keep you full and satisfied!
Savory Vegan Lentil Salad Recipe
Lentils are a healthy source of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins, making them a perfect ingredient for vegan salads. This savory vegan lentil salad recipe combines boiled lentils with fresh veggies and a zesty dressing to create a nutritious and delicious meal.
- 1 cup uncooked lentils
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Start by boiling the lentils in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Drain any excess water and set aside to cool.
In the meantime, prepare the vegetables and dressing. In a large bowl, mix together the red onion, cucumber, red bell pepper, and parsley. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper.
Once the lentils are cool, add them to the bowl of vegetables. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
This vegan lentil salad recipe is versatile, and you can add or substitute any ingredients to your liking. Here are some suggestions:
- Add chopped tomatoes, avocado, or olives for extra flavor and nutrition.
- Swap red wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for a different taste profile.
- Add a pinch of cumin, chili powder, or smoked paprika for a spicier version.
- Use other types of lentils, such as French lentils or black lentils, for a change of texture.
Enjoy this savory vegan lentil salad as a light lunch, side dish, or potluck contribution. It’s easy to make, delicious, and packed with wholesome ingredients that will fuel your body and satisfy your taste buds.
Simple Vegan Lentil Tacos Recipe
If you are looking for a delicious, easy-to-make vegan meal, then you might want to try these simple vegan lentil tacos. These tacos are packed with protein and fiber, making them a satisfying meal any day of the week. Best of all, they can be whipped up in no time, so you can enjoy them even when you’re short on time.
- 1 cup of cooked green lentils
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 8 small corn tortillas
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, quartered
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent and the peppers are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked lentils, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Cook until the lentils are heated through and the spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Warm the tortillas in a separate skillet until they are slightly charred on each side.
- Spoon the lentil mixture onto each tortilla. Top with sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Serve and enjoy!
These vegan lentil tacos are a tasty and healthy way to enjoy a meal any day of the week. They’re easy to make, packed with protein and fiber, and bursting with flavor. Whether you’re vegan or just looking for a meatless meal, these tacos are sure to satisfy your hunger and your taste buds. Give them a try today!
Frequently Asked Questions about Easy Vegan Lentil Recipes
If you’re new to veganism or just looking for easy and healthy meal options, lentils are a great choice. They are a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and other nutrients that your body needs to function properly. If you’re thinking of trying out some vegan lentil recipes, here are some frequently asked questions that you might have:
Can I substitute other types of lentils in these recipes?
Yes, you can substitute other types of lentils in these recipes. However, you need to remember that different types of lentils have different cooking times and textures. Here are some common types of lentils and their characteristics:
|Type of Lentil||Cooking Time||Texture|
|Green Lentils||30 – 40 minutes||Firm, earthy, and nutty|
|Brown Lentils||20 – 30 minutes||Mild and earthy|
|Red Lentils||10 – 15 minutes||Tender and sweet|
If you don’t have the type of lentil called for in the recipe, you can try substituting it with a similar type. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
How long does it take to cook lentils?
The cooking time for lentils can vary depending on the type and the recipe you’re using. Here are some general guidelines:
- Green lentils: 30-40 minutes
- Brown lentils: 20-30 minutes
- Red lentils: 10-15 minutes
You can also use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook lentils in less time.
Can I freeze lentils?
Yes, you can freeze lentils. Cooked lentils can be frozen for up to 6 months in an airtight container or bag. Make sure to let them cool completely before freezing and label them with the date so you know when they were made. You can also freeze uncooked lentils in a separate bag or container.
Are these recipes gluten-free?
Most lentil recipes are gluten-free, but it depends on the other ingredients used in the recipe. If you have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten, make sure to check the labels of other ingredients, such as vegetable broth, soy sauce, or pasta, to ensure they are gluten-free. You can also look for certified gluten-free products or make your own substitutions if necessary.
Thanks for joining us on this culinary adventure
We hope you enjoyed these easy vegan lentil recipes as much as we did! Remember that going vegan doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or comfort. With recipes like these, you can easily follow a plant-based diet while still enjoying hearty, delicious meals. Be sure to visit us again for more vegan food inspiration. Happy cooking!