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How Long to Cook Lentils on Stove

This small legume are so very versatile in dishes with other grains like Instant Pot Lentils and Rice, in stews or a nutrient packed side dish. A fantastic source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients in every tender bite. We’ll share how long to cook lentils on stove whether using green lentils, red, black or other variety.

how long to cook lentils on stove

One cup of lentils on stovetop for us is usually just about right for our family. Simmered with a few cups of water to get them tender but not mushy, you can make them spicy with a kick or make into our hearty  Lentil Stew Recipe. Let’s talk about all the ways to make these. (affiliate links present)

How Long to Cook Red Lentils

These are the quickest and probably most popular variety. Without the hull in tact you need very little cook time to get them to tender. We have made these Red Lentils Instant Pot style which is handy if your other pots are busy but in a pot works quite well too. You just add, cover with liquid, heat and simmer, reduce the heat until they reach the texture desired.

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Literally they all are made this same way, just the timing varies. The reason why the green and brown varieties take longer is that they are sold with their seed coat intact therefore maintaining more of their lens like shape even after boiled. Then enjoy as is or as Sloppy Lentil Joes.

How Long to Cook Red Lentils

Different Types of Lentils

Before delving into the specifics of lentil cooking times, let’s take a closer look at the various types of available to you at the grocery store or online.

How Long Does Red Lentils Take to Cook

No matter which type you choose you will want to rinse the lentils in water using a fine mesh strainer instead of a colander. Reason for this is the holes are too large with one you would use for pasta and they will fall right thru.

  1. Red Lentils are known for their quick cooking time and tend to break down when cooked. They are often used in soups, stews, and Indian dals.
  2. Dried Lentils are the most common type of lentils you’ll find in stores. Dried lentils come in various colors, including red, black, green, and brown.
  3. Black Lentils are also known as beluga lentils, these lentils hold their shape well and have a rich, earthy flavor. They are commonly used in salads and side dish.
  4. Green or Brown Lentils have a more robust flavor and maintain their shape during cooking. They are ideal for salads, casseroles, and hearty soups.
  5. French Lentils are small, green brown in color, also known as Puy lentils. Prized for their peppery flavor and ability to hold their shape. They are frequently used in French cuisine.
  6. Yellow Lentils cook quickly and are often used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes like our Lentil Curry Recipe. They can become quite creamy when cooked, making them suitable for dal recipes.

Whether you’re a fan of red, black, green, or brown mastering the timing is essential for creating delicious dishes. If you follow the tips and and timing below your dish should turn out perfect.

How Long Does Red Lentils Take to Cook

Cooking Times for Lentils

The cooking times for lentils can vary significantly depending on the type of lentil you are using. Here’s a general guideline for cooking times:

  1. Red Lentils are the quickest to cook, taking approximately 15 to 20 minutes to become tender. They are perfect for recipes when you want a creamy texture, such as soups and stews.
  2. Black Lentils typically take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook. They retain their shape well and are an excellent choice for salads and side dishes.
  3. Green or Brown Lentils require a bit more time, usually around 25 to 30 minutes. They are versatile and work well in dishes where a meat is added like our Lentil Soup with Ham.
  4. French Lentils have a slightly longer cooking time of around 25 to 35 minutes. They are prized for their ability to hold their shape and are ideal for salads and as a side dish.
  5. Yellow Lentils cook quickly, usually in 15 to 20 minutes. They are commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine for dishes like dal.

If you want to make your main dish with this in another pot here’s How to Cook Round Steak on the Stove alongside it.

Lentils

How to Cook Lentils

In all their colorful variety, these are a fantastic addition to any plant based diet. Learning how to cook lentils perfectly is a valuable skill that opens the door to a wide range of delicious and nutritious home recipes.

  1. NO Soak Lentils – These don’t require soaking like some other legumes, a quick rinse and check for any debris or pebbles are recommended. Soaking can help reduce cooking time slightly and improve digestibility.
  2. Use a Mesh Sieve when cooking and draining. Consider this sieve to drain them instead of a traditional colander. This will help you save any flavorful cooking liquid, which can be used in your recipes.
  3. Follow Your Recipe for best results. If your recipe calls for a longer time than listed here it may because they should be broken down more in order to thicken the dish overall. Cooking times can vary depending on the specific dish you’re making. Always refer to those directions for guidance, as it may call for different times vs. listed here.
  4. Don’t Overcook because can result in a mushy texture. To prevent this, start checking for doneness a few minutes before the recommended cooking time is up.
  5. Add Flavor with seasonings to enhance their taste as well as cooking them in vegetable or chicken broth vs water.
  6. Experiment with Texture since longer times = more tenderness. Some dishes benefit from firmer lentils red or lentils green versus others that work better with a creamier consistency.

Crafting a creamy Indian dal, or a hearty salad with these legumes? Understanding the cooking times and techniques specific to each type of lentil will elevate your culinary skills and delight your taste buds. So, grab your favorite lentil recipe, and let

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How Long to Cook Lentils on Stove

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword lentils, stove
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 0.4kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Rinse lentils in a fine mesh strainer. Drain and put into a pot with enough broth to cover them + 2 inches above that. Cover pot, set to medium high heat until it reaches a rolling boil, then reduce to medium and cook according to times below.
  • ** Remember that times are approximate and depend on a number of factors so set to minimum and check to see if they are the texture and tenderness of your liking. Then remove from the heat, drain with same strainer and enjoy mixed with other ingredients for a stew or as is as a side dish.
  • Timing below is using whole lentils, split lentils will take about half the time listed.
  • Red Lentils take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to become tender. They are perfect for recipes when you want a creamy texture, such as soups and stews.
  • Black Lentils typically take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook. They retain their shape well and are an excellent choice for salads and side dishes.
  • Green or Brown Lentils require a bit more time, usually around 25 to 30 minutes. They are versatile and work well in dishes where you want this legume to have more texture and not get too soft.
  • French Lentils have a slightly longer cooking time of around 25 to 35 minutes, hold their shape and are ideal for salads and as a side dish.
  • Yellow Lentils cook quickly, usually in 15 to 20 minutes. They are commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine for dishes like dal.
Nutrition Facts
How Long to Cook Lentils on Stove
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 0.4
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.001g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.001g
Sodium 0.01mg0%
Potassium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 0.1g0%
Fiber 0.04g0%
Sugar 0.003g0%
Protein 0.03g0%
Vitamin A 0.05IU0%
Vitamin C 0.01mg0%
Calcium 0.1mg0%
Iron 0.01mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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