Quick lentil recipes for a complete meal, no soaking required

Incorporating lentils into your diet is a great way to increase your intake of beneficial nutrients like plant-based protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, and folic acid.

Quick lentil recipes for a complete meal, no soaking required
There is no need to presoak lentils before cooking them. Methods for making a full supper. Photo by Frédéric Dupont / Unsplash

Now it's time for lentils, the hero that opens up the most ways to cook. They are so small that they can fit anywhere, and they are light and tasty. Unfortunately, this bean is still trying to find its place in the kitchen. Maybe that's because it can be hard to think of what to make with lentils.

Here are some easy, healthy recipes that will give your body a lot of plant protein, fiber, B vitamins, and iron and folic acid. Because they have a lot of protein, lentils can make even "green fodder" filling, and when combined with meat, they make you feel full for a long time.

Lentils are the quickest to cook

Unlike other legumes, lentils don't need to be soaked before they can be cooked. Also, it takes less time to cook. It's ready in about half an hour. The lentils that cook quickly should also be mentioned. Some people wonder if they are as healthy. Yes. Lentils take longer to cook because of the shell of the legume and the size of the seed.

Quick-cooking Lentils are stripped of their hull and cut in half. This product still has most of its important nutrients, but it cooks quickly and loses its shape, so it works best in porridge or soup that has been pureed.

Choose the color and size you want. Lentils vary in color and size. Most people eat brown lentils. They don't break up when you cook them. They go well in soups, stews, salads, and with meats and grains.

French lentils look like greenish marble. They taste a little bit like pepper and go well in soups and salads. Green lentils may taste slightly like nuts. Like French lentils, they keep their shape when cooked, so they look good in soups and salads.

Red and yellow lentils are different. They are usually sold in pieces, so the time it takes to cook them is much shorter. Since they cook quickly and lose their round shape, these beans are best used in sauces, pureed soups, and stews. They have a sweet taste.

Black Beluga lentils don't show up on store shelves very often. As the name implies, they look like black caviar, but they don't taste like the sea. Vegan food has an interesting answer to this: if you marinate these lentils in nori leaves, soy sauce, and black salt, they start to taste like caviar. A good idea for people who don't like fish or can't eat it. How to make lentils? Here are some recipes.

Lentils with red onions and tomatoes

It's quick, easy, and cheap, and you don't have to peel the ingredients for hours. This dish can be a main dish, but it goes best with grains like buckwheat or rice. When you mix lentils and cereals, you get the best mix of essential amino acids, which is the same as eating meat.

Per serving:

1 cup brown lentils (200 ml)
1 large red onion
2 large spoonfuls of vegetable oil
tomatoes in their juice (without skin and seeds), 100 g
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper, herbs


Rinse the lentils, put water on top, and cook until done (20-30 minutes). You can cut the red onion into any shape or size you want. Fry the onion in oil in a hot pan until it is soft (about 5 minutes). Add half a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and two large spoonfuls of water.

Some sugar can be added. Fry for 2–5 minutes more, or until the onions are golden brown. After draining the lentils, put them in the pan with the onions. Add the tomatoes in their juice, half a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Keep cooking for 3 more minutes. Add the greens. Done.

Lentil meatballs

The latest dietary guidelines say to eat less meat, so instead of traditional meatballs, you can make lentil meatballs, which are the most popular vegetarian recipe ever. If you don't have cereal, serve it with a slice of rye bread.

For 4 servings:

100 grams of red lentils
1 carrot
1 onion
1 small tomato
2 large spoonfuls of semolina
1 teaspoon curry seasoning
2 large spoonfuls of soy sauce
300 millilitres of water
vegetable oil for frying


Grate the carrot and cut the onion into small pieces. Fry both in a large pan with vegetable oil for 3–5 minutes. Take the skin off the tomato and cut it into small pieces. Add the tomato to the carrots and onions. Fry for 2 minutes more. Rinse the lentils, then add them and the other ingredients to the pan. You don't have to cook them ahead of time.

Soy sauce and curry are added. Pour 300 ml of water on top. The lentils should be done after 15 minutes. This can be seen by seeing if all the water has been "absorbed" by the lentils. Mix well after adding the semolina. The lentil meatballs are ready.

Make lentil meatballs by rolling the meatball mixture in breadcrumbs. Fry the meatballs in a little oil in a hot pan until they get a crisp crust. Ready.

Lentil thick soup with bacon

Hearing the word "soup" may scare people who are not used to making it. This will be a recipe for puree soup, which can't go wrong. Because it has bacon, you won't have to think about cooking meat for long. If you are worried about how much cholesterol and fat your food has, you can replace bacon with turkey ham or chicken roulade. When it's cold, this is a real protein bomb.

For 4 servings:

1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 liter of water
1 cup red lentils (200 ml)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
100 grams of bacon
half teaspoon oregano seasoning
salt, black pepper, red pepper


Cut the onion and garlic into small pieces. Make small pieces out of the carrots and celery. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot with a heavy bottom. Add all the vegetables and fry for 5 minutes. Use the cube and 1 liter of water to make a stock.

Pour the stock over the dry lentils that you rinsed and put in the pot. Wait 15 minutes. Add salt, two kinds of pepper, and oregano when the lentils are done. Blend everything in the pot with a hand blender until it has the consistency of pureed soup.

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook them in a dry pan until they are crispy. On top of the soup, put the bacon slices.