This collection of vegan lentil recipes covers all the best ways to use different types of lentils in your kitchen. From tacos to soups and curries and even desserts, you will love these healthy, budget-friendly lentil recipes.
Types of Lentils
The most common types of lentils used in the recipes below are red lentils and green/brown lentils but you may also come across French or black lentils from time to time.
Red and yellow lentils. Red lentils have a short cooking time and are soft and mushy once cooked. You’ll find them commonly used in dahls and other Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. They work well in curries, soups and stews and have a sweet, nutty flavour.
Green and brown lentils. Brown and green lentils are probably the most common and may even just be labeled “lentils” without an additional descriptor. They hold their shape well during cooking and are great for salads, soups, stews, burgers and meatloaf.
Black and Beluga lentils. Beluga lentils are named for their resemblance to caviar. They have an earthy flavor and soft texture and work well in salads.
French lentils. French lentils, or sometimes specifically Le Puy lentils, named after the Puy region in France, are darker and smaller in size than standard green lentils. They hold their shape very well when cooked so make a great choice for salads. Note that French lentils have a more distinct flavor than other varieties – they’re a bit nutty and peppery!
Why eat lentils? Well, lentils are an excellent source of nutrients!
Lentils are a good source of protein in a plant-based diet, containing roughly 9 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving but that’s not all they contain or offer in the way of health benefits.
Lentils have the second-highest antioxidant content among tested legumes and offer significant levels of iron, zinc and folate.
Lentils appear to improve glycemic control when eaten with meals and even after.
Lentils may offer significant anti-inflammatory effects.
One serving of lentils also contains about 20 grams of complex carbohydrates necessary for energy production, 8 grams of fiber, and 3 milligrams of iron. They are relatively low in fat and calories with only about 115 calories in a serving and 0.3 grams of fat.
Best Lentil Recipes
Enjoy these hearty, healthy and delicious plant-based lentils recipes that are easy to make and can be made gluten-free and oil-free, if needed.
These vegan red lentil quinoa bowls are full of nutrition and perfect for meal prep. They feature red lentils, quinoa, roasted squash and carrots, broccoli and lemon tahini sauce for a filling, buddha bowl-style meal. This recipe is gluten-free.
This vegan Mediterranean rice and lentils recipe is made with cooked rice, canned lentils and za’atar seasoning for a quick, easy and flavourful dish that’s perfect for a healthy, flavourful main or side.
This easy to make Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry takes less than an hour (mostly hands-off time) to make and is packed full of delicious Indian flavors. The recipe is gluten-free and can be made oil-free. Make extra because it only gets better the next day!
This healthy, vegan lentil nourish bowl is packed with wholesome ingredients like green lentils, roasted potatoes, steamed kale and roasted onions and carrots. This recipe is gluten-free and can be oil-free.
These baked lentil falafels are ready in just 30 minutes and deliver tons of flavour, a crispy crunch and soft, pillowy insides. Made with healthy ingredients lentils, cilantro, mint, garlic, and lemon and baked instead of fried! This recipe calls for some oil but they're so amazing, I had to include them.
These fun veggie tostadas are surprisingly quick and easy to make, especially if you’ve cooked the lentils ahead of time. Top them with a yummy, tangy avocado cilantro sauce and your favorites like salsa, cabbage, onion and carrot.
This vegan lentil kale salad with roasted broccoli is made with just a handful of simple, wholesome ingredients. Enjoy this warm salad when you want something easy to make but still nourishing and healthy. This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
Made with wholesome ingredients like walnuts and sunflower seeds, these lentil veggie burgers have a classic flavor that pairs well with any toppings. These can be made gluten-free by using GF breadcrumbs.
These spicy, sweet and sour Kung pao lentils are easy to make in one pot in 30 minutes for a delicious weeknight dinner that is gluten-free and vegan. The earthy lentils and Asian flavors of garlic, ginger, and soy sauce work perfectly together. Serve these vegan lentils with brown rice to turn it into a complete meal!
One of the most popular recipes from Running on Real Food, this red lentil dahl is always a hit! Serve on its own or with your favorite rice for a complete meal. You can also stir in some greens for extra nutrition!
The vegan lentil loaf is hearty, delicious and made with pantry staples! It’s customizable to be gluten-free, oil-free and can be made ahead. Try it for a delicious, protein and fiber-rich main dish. Great for holidays too!
Everyone needs a delicious, simple lentil salad recipe! This healthy version is made with cooked lentils and diced fresh diced carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion, parsley and lemon juice – perfect to make ahead for lunch for the week as the flavors only get better overnight!
This curried lentil bowl features steamed kale, roasted vegetables, and delicious garlic and turmeric coconut curried lentils. This hearty, plant-based bowl is lovely served warm in the Fall and Winter months but can also be served cold as a healthy, filling salad.