24 of the BEST vegan lentil recipes – an inexpensive, filling, protein-packed, fiber-dense ingredient you can use in breakfast, soups, dinner, snacks, & even desserts!
Wondering What to Make With Lentils?
Having recently compiled a roundup of all my favorite vegan chickpea recipes, it’s time to shine a light on another of my all-time favorite pantry staples: Lentils. This impressive pulse can be purchased dry or canned and comes in several varieties with different flavors and textures (including black, brown, green, and red lentils) to make endless vegan lentil recipes.
Better yet, they’re inexpensive, easy to cook, meal-prep and freezer friendly, and a filling, nutritious, and protein-dense addition to plant-based (and omni!) diets. On top of being one of the best sources of plant-based protein (18 grams per cup), lentils contain heaps of fiber (16 g). They are also a great source of polyphenols and several essential micronutrients, including iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, copper, vitamin B6, and more.
Their consumption is associated with several benefits, including a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes, improved digestive health, managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, maintaining a healthy heart, and more.
Best of all, did I mention they’re super versatile, too? That’s why I’ve rounded up all the best vegan lentil recipes – including soups, sides, snacks, mains, and even a lentil dessert recipe. With cooked lentils to hand, you’re practically minutes away from hearty, nutritious, protein-dense lentil dishes.
Lentil Protein Bread
This healthy lentil bread is made entirely of whole food, whole-grain ingredients and contains a whopping 12 g protein per slice, perfect for replacing regular bread on your breakfast table and making super hearty avocado toast.
Vegan Omelette (With Lentil Flour)
You can make a delicious, nutrient-dense vegan omelette in just 20 minutes. Stuffed with mixed vegetables – perfect for a light breakfast/ brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Soups with Lentils
The Best Lentil Soup
This one-pot, Indian-inspired vegan lentil soup is absolutely loaded with nutrients, and has a wonderfully warming, slightly creamy, slightly spicy flavor the entire family will love. Plus, you can cook it on the stove, in an Instant Pot, or crockpot, AND it’s meal prep and freezer friendly!
This budget-friendly cabbage and lentil soup is an impressively antioxidant-rich, detoxifying, and nutrient-dense soup made with simple ingredients but a delicious, full-bodied flavor. Plus, you can simmer it on the stove or in a crockpot.
Vegan Lasagna Soup
As red lentil recipes go, you probably wouldn’t expect to see them in a lasagna soup. However, this humble pulse helps transform this creamy soup into a super hearty, comforting weeknight dinner the entire family will love.
Vegan French Onion Soup
French onion soup with a twist – not only is it 100% vegan, but adding lentils makes for a heartier, more nutritious soup. Plus, with caramelized onions, red wine, and fresh thyme, all topped off with cheese baguette slices, you certainly won’t complain about lack of flavor or texture in this vegan lentil recipe.
Vegan Lentil Recipes for Lunch & Dinner
Easy Red Lentil Dahl
This creamy dahl with bell peppers and carrot is one of my favorite red lentil recipes, made super simple with a combination of curry powder and cumin for cozy, warming flavor. Plus, it’s ready in just 30 minutes for a cozy, comforting meal perfect for enjoying with rice or naan bread.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Nothing says comfort food quite like this hearty vegan lentil shepherd’s pie. Combining a thick lentil and vegetable (carrot, celery, onion, peas, and corn) filling with super creamy, fluffy mashed potato for a super filling and delicious, protein-rich dinner and simple lentil meal prep recipe.
Mujadara (Lentils and Rice)
Middle Eastern mujadara combines brown or green lentils with rice cooked in a tasty vegetable broth/ bouillon, and a caramelized onion topping – for a simple yet hearty (and budget-friendly) side dish made almost entirely of pantry staples.
Combining lentils with sunflower seeds, rolled oats, mixed vegetables, tomato paste, and flavorful spices, these plant-based enchiladas are jam-packed with nutrients and good-for-you ingredients. When smothered in sauce and baked, these vegan enchiladas become a healthy, cozy treat.
Hearty Vegan Lentil Bolognese
No list of the best lentil recipes would be complete without lentil Bolognese. Ditch beef in place of hearty, meaty lentils combined with simple pantry staples to create a super flavorful vegan Bolognese. It’s a great lentil meal prep option.
Replace meat and seafood in the flavorful, satisfying, filling, nourishing vegan gumbo recipe with lentils and okra. A perfectly cozy dinner, perfect to enjoy with potatoes, rice, or bread.
Easy Vegan Moussaka
Layers of hearty lentils, potato, and eggplant are all topped with a super creamy, dairy-free béchamel sauce to create the BEST vegan moussaka with lentils.
One-Pot Lentil Dal
This healthy, one-pot Indian lentil curry dish is loaded with plant-based protein and nutrients but also super cozy, comforting, flavorful, satisfying, and cooks in under 40 minutes
Looking for more hearty pulse-based curries? Why not try my recipes for Chickpea eggplant curry, pineapple vegetable curry, sweet potato curry, and Thai coconut curry soup.
Pumpkin Potato Lentil Bake
If you’re looking for easy lentil recipes perfect for chilly fall evenings, this casserole is a must-try. Combining pumpkin (or butternut squash), potato, and lentils, this vegan lentil recipe is filled to the brim with comforting, wholesome heartiness. It’s perfect for a family dinner or on your holiday table.
Hearty Lentil Stew
Healthy lentil recipes like this lentil, mushroom, and vegetable stew are a winter family favorite. It’s loaded with good-for-you ingredients, has a flavorful, aromatic sauce, and will keep you satisfied for hours.
Sides and Snacks
Lentil Stuffed Eggplant
Stuff meaty lentils into tender eggplant, topped with gooey vegan cheese sauce, for a crowd-pleasing recipe with lentils. Enjoy it as a hearty side or plant-based main.
Enjoy all the classic flavors of hummus but with a twist in this tangy, creamy lentil hummus! This vegan/vegetarian lentil recipe is flavorful, nutrient-dense, and a great appetizer or snack with crackers, bread, and crudités. Plus, you can use red, brown, or green lentils.
2-Ingredient Lentil Wraps
If you’re wondering what to make with lentils that you’ve likely never tried before, these lentil-based, gluten-free tortilla wraps surely fit the bill. They only require TWO ingredients and are perfect for burritos, tacos, and more. Plus, they’re wheat-free, corn-free, grain-free, & yeast-free.
You might also like these healthy spinach tortillas.
Quinoa Lentil Burgers
Looking for easy lentil recipes for your next cookout? Why not try these vegan quinoa and red lentil burgers? They’re hearty, wholesome, and jam-packed with fiber and plant-based protein. They taste delicious in a burger bun, loaded with all your favorite toppings.
Red Lentil Patties
These red lentil-based fritters are tender in the middle, lightly crispy outside, and are a delicious and nutritious appetizer or side.
Lentil Stuffed Taco Cups
Stuff homemade tortilla cups with a hearty vegetable lentil filling to make this healthy lentil recipe. They’re perfect as an appetizer or main at dinner parties, taco Tuesdays, and large gatherings.
Easy Lentil Salad
This lentil salad combines fiber and protein-dense lentils with fresh, crunchy veggies and a creamy, zingy tahini-lime dressing. It’s simple, tasty, nutritious, and filling – perfect for potlucks, picnics, BBQs, and lentil meal prep!
I’ve already shared recipes for brownies made with chickpeas, black beans, and sweet potato. But it turns out even lentils can get in on the action for a healthy vegan lentil dessert. Best of all, these healthy vegan lentil brownies by Vegan Richa are super fudgy and don’t taste beany at all!
More Vegan Recipe Roundups
If you try any of these vegan lentil recipes, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating on their posts. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan—I love seeing them.
Vegan Lentil Recipes: 1-Pot-Lentil Dal
This healthy 1-pot lentil dal is creamy, satisfying and a great vegan comfort meal. The recipe is cooked in one pot and is very easy to make. Double the recipe if you want to eat leftovers on the second day.
- 1 cup (190 g) dry green lentils (see notes)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 large (200 g) finely diced carrot (see notes)
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 red or green chili pepper (seeds removed)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 3 cups (720 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 cup (240 ml) canned coconut milk (see notes)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
First, sort and rinse the lentils, removing any shriveled ones. I also like to soak the lentils for 15 minutes in lukewarm water, as it makes them more easily digestible. Drain the water afterward.
Meanwhile, finely dice the carrot, onion, chili, ginger, and garlic.
In a large saucepan or pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Then add the chili, garlic, ginger, and carrot. Stir and reduce the heat to low.
Next, add all the seasonings, the lentils, and vegetable broth. Stir, bring to a boil, and leave it to simmer for about 15 minutes.For even more flavor, temper the spices with a little more oil in the pan for 1 minute (until deep and fragrant) before adding the lentils and stock.
Stir in the canned coconut milk and cook for about 10-15 minutes to thicken and slightly reduce until the lentils are tender. Optionally, puree 1/4-1/3 of the dal for a creamier result.
Before serving, give the dal one last taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Then serve with rice, naan (flatbread), and garnish with parsley and optionally non-dairy yogurt. Enjoy!
- I typically use green or brown lentils, which cook in about 20-25 minutes if soaked beforehand.
- You can also use sweet potato instead of carrot.
- It’s possible to use any plant-based cream (like soy cream, oat cream etc.) instead of canned coconut milk. However, in my opinion, this lentil dal tastes best with coconut milk.
- Optionally, add a squeeze of lime/ lemon juice when serving to brighten the flavor.
- Recipe serves 4. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
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