Lentils - The Healthy Food

by Sannel

Lentils are considered to be one of the five healthiest food and are beneficial for people with heart disease, diabetes, and can significantly lower the risk of breast cancer.

Lentils are a very inexpensive source for protein. Since lentils are high in fiber and low in fat, they can help to get rid of cholesterol and reduce blood cholesterol levels. With the high levels of fiber in lentils they make it easier for the body to get rid of toxins. Lentils are also low in calories, so we do not have to worry about gaining excess weight.


Lentils are an affordable, highly nutritious and easy-to-prepare legume. Rich in protein, iron, vitamins, fiber, folate, minerals and protective phytochemicals. Lentils are thought to be one of the five healthiest food and are beneficial for people with heart disease, diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Lentils are an essential part of the everyday diet in many parts of the world, especially in West and South Asia and the Indian subcontinent which have a very large vegetarian population. Lentils are also a very popular source in the Mediterranean diet as well.

Lentils are rich sources of protein, iron, folic acid, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and B, essential amino acids and trace minerals.

100 g serving of lentils contains:

31 g dietary fiber, 60 g carbohydrates, 26 g protein, 7.5 mg iron, 479 mg of folate, 0.87 mg thiamine and 1 g fat. Lentils have a high concentration of antioxidants as well. 

Types of Lentils

Lentils vary in size and in colors. The range from black and brown, green, red-orange and yellow.

The types are:


Brown-Spanish pardina 

Eston Green (Small green)

French green-puy lentils 


Yellow-tan lentils (red inside)

Laird (large green)

Macachiados (large Mexican yellow lentils) 

Masoor (brown-skinned lentils and orange inside)

Petite crimson-red 

Petite Golden 

Red Chief (yellow lentils)

Richlea (medium green)




Lentils - A Cancer Preventive Legume

A diet high in legumes can significantly lower the risk of breast cancer. This has to do with  the high levels of flavones that are to be found in legumes. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer today, and are the reason for a large number of fatalities all over the world. So why not include legumes in your diet as a cancer preventive method. 

Lentils are a good source of fibers to help in weight loss programs. Fibers makes us feel full and that makes us eat less when we include lentils in our diet. Lentils are also low in calories, so we do not have to worry about gaining excess weight. 

Lentil Loaf

Lentil Loaf

This is a cheap and easy recipe for families on a budget and even meat-eaters will find this dish to be healthy and delicious veggie option.

Prep time 15 min  -  Total time 80 min
Ingredients for 4 servings
2 cups water  • 1 cup brown or green lentils  • 1 cup chopped onion  • 1 garlic clove, pressed  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper  • 1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice  • 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, chopped  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs  • 1/4 Teaspoon oregano  • 1/4 Teaspoon cumin  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

This loaf has minimal hands-on prep time, but you can even cook the lentils ahead of time to make assembly faster. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

1. Rinse the dried lentils. Bring water to a boil. Add lentils and simmer 25 - 30 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain any excess water.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).

3. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a skillet on medium heat, add chopped onions, pressed garlic, red and green bell pepper and let cook until onions are transparent (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently.

4. In a mixing bowl combine, cooked onions, garlic and peppers, cooked lentils, bread crumbs, chopped nuts, soy sauce, 2 tablespoon olive oil, grated cheese, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and mix until well combined.

5. Spoon into loaf pan that has been generously sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice with a nice salad.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (2 Votes)
Greek Lentil Soup

Greek Lentil Soup

This Greek soup "Fakes (pronounced 'Fah-kehs') are a healthy and delicious veggie option. Made from just a few inexpensive ingredients, this is a great way to stretch your budget.

Prep time 15 min  -  Total time 60 min
Ingredients for 4 servings
1 onion, chopped  • 1/4 cup olive oil  • 4 cloves garlic, minced  • 2 bay leaf  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed tomatoes  • 2 cups dry lentils  • 8 cups water  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano  • 3 tablespoons red vinegar  • salt to taste  • ground black pepper to taste

In a large soup pot add water, tomatoes, lentils, onion, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper and olive oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until lentils are done. Stir once in a while. Remove from the heat, take out the bay leaves. Stir in the oregano and vinegar. Add some more salt and pepper to your taste.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (2 Votes)
Lentil Burgers

Lentil Burgers

This healthy burgers can be served with some salad and chilli sauce on a bun

Prep time 10 min  -  Total time 30 min
Ingredients for 4 servings
2 tsp olive oil  • 1 onion, finely chopped  • 2 garlic, crushed  • 400g can kidney beans, drained  • 400g can brown/green lentils, drained  • 2 heaped teaspoons of ground flaxseed** + 4 tbsp water  • 1 carrot, grated  • 1/2 cup cheese, grated  • 1 cup breadcrumbs  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup  • 2 tsp ground cumin  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder  • 1 tsp oregano  • salt and pepper

Stir the flaxseed and water together until it is creamy. Put the flaxseed mixture, onion, garlic, carrot, cheese, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, cumin, salt, pepper, chilli pepper, oregano and bean and lentils in a food processor/blender and blend until smooth.

Heat some oil in a pan on medium heat. Spoon out a ball of mixture in your hands. Make patties. Place them in the pan. Leave it for a minute then flip the ball (this ensures you have one side that's cooked enough to be prodded without sticking). Flatten with a spatula making sure the spatula is clean so the mix doesn't stick to it. Turn the heat down to low. This is important because you want the heat to cook through the patty, which takes a while, without burning the outside. Leave for about 5 minutes and then flip again. Leave for another few minutes. Repeat for the other patties, just make sure you turn the heat up before each batch so the first side cooks a little quicker than the second side).

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (2 Votes)
Hearty and rich lentil chili

Hearty and rich lentil chili

Prep time 10 min  -  Total time 50 min
Ingredients for 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped  • 2 shallots, chopped  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped  • 2 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated  • 1/2 tablespoons chili powder  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped  • 1 chipotle pepper (from can or rehydrate), minced  • 1 (8 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes  • 5 cups vegetable broth or 1 bouillon cube, chicken or beef works best  • 2 1/4 cups brown, or green lentils  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

In a large pot over medium heat add the olive oil, onion, and shallots. When the onions soften up and get a bit translucent, add the garlic, ginger, chili powder and cumin. Stir well and cook for a minute of so, until everything gets quite fragrant. Stir in the serrano pepper and chipotle pepper, tomatoes, and 5 cups of the broth. Add the lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer.
Simmer for about 35- 45 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through. You will likely need to add the rest of the water, a cup at a time, if the chili thickens up too much. Before serving do add more chipotle, salt, or whatever you think it needs.

Serve with these toppings (opt): A bit of feta or grated cheese of your choice. A bit of chopped serranos, yogurt, oregano, chopped onion, green lettuce, sliced tomatoes and olives.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (2 Votes)
Lentil Pasta Sauce

Lentil Pasta Sauce

Nice and hearty pasta sauce

Prep time 20 min  -  Total time 80 min
Ingredients for 4 servings
2 teaspoon olive oil  • 1/2 cup chopped onion  • 1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms  • 1 red bell pepper  • 1 green bell pepper  • 1 cloves garlic, minced  • 1, 5 cup cooked lentils  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce  • 1/2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste  • 1/2 cup of water  • 1 bouillon cube, chicken or beef  • salt and black pepper to taste  • 1 teaspoon oregano  • Grated cheese of your choice.

Cook the lentils ahead of time to make assembly faster.

Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a skillet on medium heat, add chopped onions, pressed garlic, red and green bell pepper, sliced mushrooms and let cook until onions are transparent (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently.

Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, 1 bouillon cube, lentils, salt, black pepper and oregano. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. If necessary, add more water to keep the sauce from sticking. Be careful not to dilute; the sauce should be quite thick.

Serve to any pasta of your choice and top with grated cheese.

Recipe  3.5/5 Stars (2 Votes)
Lentil Salad
Lentil Salad

Legumes containes enzymes that offer protection against the damage caused by cells by free radicals, which can lead to cancer, so try to incorporate legumes into your daily diet. Adding cooked lentils to any salad will make the salad even more healthful and delicious.



Thank you for reading,


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Updated: 08/08/2012, Sannel
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Mira on 01/30/2021

I much appreciate the recipes you've given here. I'm also thinking I could make burger patties with lentils and then cut them in small bits and serve them in tortillas. Your lentil loaf also inspired me with its combination of on-the-stove and in-the-oven cooking. Thank you!

pateluday on 01/30/2021

Indian lentil recipes are amazing. Also known as daal or dhal the variety and recipes are mind boggling. It is part of lunch and dinner almost all over India. Search for some recipes in India keyword "daal recipe". Daal is consumed with rice and also Indian breads.

These are source of protein and fiber for population which is largely vegetarian and many whose meat consumption is less.

frankbeswick on 11/16/2013

Now you evoking memories! In my childhood my mother used lentils a great deal. She often mixed them with barley, which she also liked, added some mutton chops, peas and carrots and then made a tasty stew. A wonderful way to cheaply feed a working class family when money was scarce.

Recently, I have been using soup made from my allotment vegetables. My wife, who insists that making it is her exclusive preserve, finds that adding lentils gives body to the soup.

However, I did not know that there were so many varieties of lentils.

cmoneyspinner on 11/15/2013

I enjoy a good pot of lentils. I must confess I have never tried all the different varieties, but I'm sure I'd love them all. The lentil loaf looks yummy! Sharing this via Pinterest.

kimbesa on 07/07/2013

Lentil chili sounds like it would hit the spot. Thanks!

EliasZanetti on 01/24/2013

Had no idea that lentil burgers actually exist! Great post, Sennel! I pretty much enjoyed it! Cheers!

sheilamarie on 09/20/2012

Your recipes look delicious! I'll have to try some of them.

Sannel on 08/26/2012

Hello Rose! Lentils are just perfect for Indian dhai's. I make it all the time. I love the combination of turmeric and lentils.

Rose on 08/22/2012

There's lots of Indian dhal's you can make with lentils too. I always keep a jar of lentils handy in case I haven't got time to shop and need to make dinner in a hurry.

Sannel on 08/20/2012

Thank you Audrey! I'm happy you enjoyed it.

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