Easy Spiced Lentils Recipe

Lentils are one of the most widely used food all over the world. Lentils come in many varieties and all are loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Because of this fabulous combination, lentils keep you full and satisfied, which keep you out of the fridge seeing what else is in there. This easy spiced lentil recipe, brought to us by wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn, will have you frequently scooping out brown lentils from the bulk bin. You won't be able to get enough of this tasty lentil recipe!

"My favorite thing about this dish is how you can eat it multiple ways. I like to eat it with rice, served over quinoa, wrapped in a tortilla, or stuffed into a pita pocket," Hahn shares. If you've made it ahead of time for the week, you can vary the toppings to change it up. We love it because it's a one-pot wonder with simple ingredients, and only minimal chopping — what's not to love?

Gather the ingredients for easy spiced lentils

You will need brown lentils for this recipe along with garlic, oil, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, garam masala, smoked paprika, turmeric, black pepper, powdered ginger, and lemon. We hope your spice cabinet is up for the challenge! One word of caution from Hahn regarding the lentils, "If you want to use a different type of lentil, the green variety will be an acceptable swap, but red and black will not work here." If you happen to only have diced tomatoes, you can use those instead of the tomato sauce for added texture or blend them up in a blender to mimic a smooth tomato sauce.

Prep the lentils and garlic

Lentils tend to be a little on the dirty side, so dump them in a colander and give them a good rinse. It is also a good idea to pick out any small rocks in there which you may find trying to hide. Chop the garlic and add the oil to a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once the pot is hot, add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the remaining ingredients

The next step is super simple — just add the rinsed lentils, broth, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, garam masala, smoked paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and ginger to the pot. Bring this mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, check to make sure the lentils are tender. If not, give them a couple more minutes but be careful, as Hahn warns, "The lentils can go from firm to mushy pretty quickly, so stay nearby." When the lentils are done to your liking, squeeze in the lemon juice and these lentils are ready to go.

Serve the lentils as desired

These flavorful spiced lentils are ready to serve. You can eat them as is, or doll them up with rice, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, or unsweetened yogurt. You can also enjoy the lentils alongside some naan. They will last for up to five days in a sealed container in the fridge and will be just as delicious leftover as when they are freshly made. Hahn likes to heat them up on the stove but notes that "warming them in the microwave works well too."

Easy Spiced Lentils Recipe
5 from 35 ratings
These easy spiced lentils are loaded with both flavor and nutrition — they pair wonderfully alongside rice, naan, and fresh tomatoes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
lentils in two bowls with spoon
Total time: 22 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups dry, brown lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ lemon, juiced
Optional Ingredients
  • rice, for serving
  • tomatoes, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving
  • unsweetened yogurt, for serving
  1. Rinse the lentils in cold water.
  2. Mince the garlic.
  3. Put the oil into a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the lentils, broth, tomato sauce, salt, cumin, garam masala, smoked paprika, turmeric, pepper, and ginger. Stir.
  5. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Squeeze in lemon juice, stir, and serve.
Calories per Serving 306
Total Fat 4.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 50.5 g
Dietary Fiber 9.0 g
Total Sugars 3.8 g
Sodium 591.6 mg
Protein 18.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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