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How Long to Cook Lentils

How Long to Cook Lentils

Last Updated on 22nd April 2022 by

Lentils are a powerhouse of proteins and fibers, and these legumes are a perfect go-to plant-based recipe to add to your meal.

Aside from their nutritional benefits, lentils are also delicious and can be an add-on to salads, soups, tacos, burgers, and so much more.

In addition to their high protein and fiber content which will keep you satiated for a relatively long period, there are a few other reasons you may want to make lentils an integral part of your diet.

For instance, they are high in iron, a good source of phytochemicals, and can help control weight.

Whether serving mixed salads or soup or as the foundation of a primary dish, lentils make a good and healthy add-on. However, if using a recipe is not required, it’s not difficult to prepare a delicious lentil-based dish without many courses.

Ingredients for Cooking Lentils

  • 1 cup of lentils – The quantity of the cups of water varies for their types (located below each type)
  • One bay leaf

How Long to Cook Lentils

In this article, let’s find out how to make lentils and how long do lentils take to cook. It mainly varies from type to type.

Brown Lentils

Brown-colored lentils are the most widely recognized type of lentils, and they range from light brown to a practically dark and exceptionally earthy color. Brown-colored lentils are more modest than green lentils and taste gentle.

In a medium pot, mix 1 cup of dry brown-colored lentils with 2½ to 3 cups of water. Heat until water is boiled and stew for 35-45 minutes until tender. If adding to a soup or stew, add them to the pot with around 40 minutes of cooking time left.

Green Lentils

Green lentils have a slightly peppery flavor and have a medium to a firm surface, making them ideal for salad and servings of mixed side dishes. Green lentils are an affordable substitute for the renowned French Puy lentils.

How to cook green lentils? In the same medium pot, mix 1 cup lentils with 2½ cups water. Heat until it boils and stew it for 35-45 minutes until tender.

Red Lentils

Red lentils are quick to cook legumes with a mild and sweet flavor. They separate while cooking, which makes them ideal for flavorful dishes. Red lentils taste incredible on their own or with a mixture of different foods.

To know how to cook red lentils, remember that they cook rapidly, generally in around 15-30 minutes. When you want to add them to a soup or stew, you need to gently add them to the pot within 15-30 minutes of cooking time. While cooking them alone, bring 1½ cups water and 1 cup dry lentils to a bubble, then stew until delicate, 10-15 minutes.

Black Lentils

Black lentils are also called Beluga lentils. The black lentils are small and dim-shaded. Unlike different kinds of lentils, like brown or red lentils, dark lentils hold their shape when cooked.

Bring the water to bubble in a medium pot. Add the lentils and cook uncovered for 20 minutes or until they are “somewhat firm” yet cooked through. Place it in a colander to deplete and flush under chilly water and drain it.

Puy Lentils

Puy lentils initially came from the volcanic soil of Puy, France.

However, they are now being grown in Italy and North America. They are known for their rich peppery flavor and capacity to hold their shapes while being cooked.

Puy lentils typically require more cooking time than different lentils. Beluga or brown-colored lentils can be considered substitutes; however, they don’t hold their shape as well as puy lentils.

To cook puy lentils, combine 2½ cups of water with 1 cup of lentils. Let the water boil with the lentils and stew for 20-30 minutes until delicate.

How to Cook Lentils in an Instant Pot

An instant pot is a multicooker with huge capacities, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, and steaming, and it makes it generally easier to cook lentils.

Simply add the ingredients, set the clock, and wait. Cook one cup of brown or green lentils in 3 cups of stock or water, in addition to any flavors and aromatics. Lastly, cook under high tension for 9 minutes.

Tips for Cooking Lentils

Look for the date before buying. More seasoned lentils can affect how long to cook them and their taste like other dried beans. Assuming they are exceptionally old, they may never soften. Search for the best by date on the bundling or search for them in the mass food canisters, where they might be fresher and more affordable.

Use a suitable variety of lentils to cook. First, you need to determine the appropriate measures to cook lentils by being specific about what type of lentils you prefer to cook.

Don’t soak them first. Beans are typically soaked first before cooking. However, when cooking lentils, you don’t need to soak them before cooking to avoid a mushy texture.

Wash and sift through them. Even though there’s no need to soak the lentils, it is still necessary to give the lentils a decent flush in a colander to eliminate any debris and filter through them to ensure that there are no hidden stones tucked among the legumes.

Be gentle and watch the time. Since lentils are easy to break, you need to gently cook them and watch the time. Simmering too long will lead to a mushy texture. You can also lower your burning stove when necessary.

Don’t cook with plain water. While cooking lentils, you can add halved onion, crushed garlic, or salt to the water to add flavor.

To add more flavor to the lentils, add bay leaf, chicken or veggie bouillon, or any of your favorite spices or flavors to the water. Dispose of the aromatics before serving the lentils.

Lentils are not difficult to cook, it’ll only take approximately 20-30 minutes cooking time, and the rest varies if you’re going to add it to another dish. Additionally, it doesn’t require soaking like other legumes. It is the most easy go-to nutritious food that you can cook!

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I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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Thursday 28th of March 2024

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Monday 26th of February 2024

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