32 Easy Vegan Lentil Recipes

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Assortment of recipes made with lentils

If you haven’t gathered yet, we’re big lentil fans around here! What’s not to love about these ultra-versatile, protein-packed legumes? From tasty appetizers to hearty, crowd-pleasing entrées and more, there’s SO much you can do with them. To help get you inspired, we’ve gathered all of our BEST lentil recipes, including sides, salads, soups, mains, and more! Scroll through and find a new lentil recipe to make this week!

(Note: Dietary symbols listed throughout for easy navigation!)

What’s so great about lentils?

Lentils are a part of the legume family and can be used in a large variety of recipes due to their neutral flavor. They’re an extremely nutritious and inexpensive source of plant-based protein, fiber, and also folate, phosphorous, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and more! Plus, their consumption has been associated with a lower incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers (source).

Sides

Top down shot of a bowl of Smoky Refried Lentils topped with cilantro and surrounded by plantain chips
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Smoky 1-Pot Refried Lentils
These flavorful, creamy refried lentils are infused with smoky spices and chilis and made in 1 pot in less than 30 minutes! Say hello to the perfect side for Mexican night.
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Pan of Curried Golden Lentils with two spoons, lemon slices, and cilantro
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Coconut Curried Golden Lentils (20 Minutes!)
Simple, flavorful curried yellow lentils seasoned with fresh spices, garlic, and ginger and swimming in a curried coconut sauce. The perfect plant-based side!
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Plate with three Vegan Barbacoa Tacos topped with sliced cabbage, radishes, cilantro, and lime
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1-Pot Vegan “Barbacoa”
Amazing, rich, flavorful vegan “barbacoa” with spices, chipotle peppers, lentils, and shredded carrots! The perfect plant-based “meat” for taco night!
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Big bowl of carrot ribbons with marinara and Easy Lentil Meatballs
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Easy Lentil Meatballs
Lentil meatballs made with just 10 ingredients in 30 minutes! Savory, tender, flavorful, and perfect atop gluten-free pasta or carrot noodles!
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Lemon wedges and fresh cilantro on a platter of our Cauliflower Rice Mujadara recipe
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Curried Cauliflower Rice with Lentils & Crispy Shallot (Mujadara-Inspired)
A grain-free, healthier take on Middle Eastern-inspired mujadara with cauliflower rice, lentils, and crispy shallot! A satisfying, affordable, flavorful side dish or main.
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Bowl of Mediterranean Lentil Dip topped with kalamata olives and freshly chopped parsley
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Mediterranean Lentil Dip
Creamy, Mediterranean-inspired Lentil dip with sautéed garlic and shallots plus a 2-minute garlic-dill sauce. A protein-packed, vegan and gluten-free appetizer or side dish.
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Picking up a taco from a plate
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1-Pot Smoky Lentil Vegan Taco “Meat”
Easy vegan taco “meat” made with lentils, carrots, and TONS of smoky spices! Just 30 minutes required for this flavorful, 1-pot dish!
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Salads

Using wooden salad spoons to pick up a serving of Lentil Grape Cauliflower Salad
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Curried Cauliflower, Grape & Lentil Salad
Super delicious kale salad topped with red grapes, lentils, and curry roasted cauliflower. Served with a tahini-green curry paste dressing! Just 30 minutes required for this flavorful side or entrée.
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Platter of our Lentil Curry Salad made with Kale, Roasted Veggies, and Green Curry Dressing
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Curry Roasted Vegetable & Lentil Kale Salad
A hearty, intensely flavorful kale salad with roasted curried vegetables, lentils, and a tangy, spicy green curry dressing. Just 30 minutes required!
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Big plate of our Kale, Lentil, & Roasted Beet Salad made with pecans and apple
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Kale, Lentil & Roasted Beet Salad
A simple kale salad with lentils, roasted leeks and beets, and toasted pecans in a tahini-lemon dressing! Seriously satisfying and so healthy.
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Soups

Bowl of Instant Pot lentil soup topped with cilantro and coconut milk
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Instant Pot Curried Lentil Soup (Indian-Inspired)
Comforting lentil soup with a little bit of spice, a lot-a-bit of flavor, and just the right amount of creaminess. A nourishing, plant-based meal made effortless with the help of the Instant Pot!
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Holding a bowl of creamy sweet potato lentil soup topped with coconut milk and pepitas
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Warming Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot!)
Creamy sweet potato and red lentil soup infused with coconut milk and warming spices. The ultimate fall and winter dish. Made in the Instant Pot and perfect for meal prep!
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Big pot of vegan Curried Cauliflower Lentil Soup
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Creamy Curried Cauliflower Lentil Soup (1 Pot!)
Creamy, Indian-inspired 1-pot curried cauliflower soup with carrots, ginger, and red lentils! Subtly spiced, quick and easy to make, and perfect for meal prep!
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Holding a pot of Spiced Sweet Potato Lentil Soup made with green beans
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1-Pot Spiced Sweet Potato Lentil Soup
1-pot lentil soup made with sweet potatoes, green beans, and warming spices! The ultimate easy meal to enjoy throughout the week or to please a crowd. 
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Skillet filled with a batch of our Vegan Lentil Fesenjan
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Hearty Lentil Fesenjān (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)
9-ingredient vegan Fesenjān made with lentils! A hearty stew of toasted walnuts, pomegranate molasses, onion, and spices. A comforting, Persian-inspired, plant-based meal!
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Using a spoon to grab a bite of our delicious 1-pot Golden Curried Lentil Soup
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1-Pot Golden Curry Lentil Soup
1-pot goodness in the form of curried lentil soup! Rich with flavor, fiber, and protein and incredibly comforting. The perfect 30-minute healthy meal or side!
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Big bowls of Red Lentil Chili garnished with sliced jalapeno, cilantro, and red onion
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1-Pot Red Lentil Chili
Hearty red lentil chili made in 1 pot with simple ingredients! A smoky, flavorful, protein- and fiber-rich plant-based meal perfect for cold nights and feeding a crowd.
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Bowls of Everyday Vegan Lentil Soup beside a tray of vegetables
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1-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup
An easy, everyday recipe for lentil soup with potatoes, carrots, kale, and simple herbs and seasonings. The perfect plant-based main or side that requires just 10 ingredients, 1 pot, and about 30 minutes to make.
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Simple Curried Lentil Veg Soup SQUARE
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Curried Kale, Potato & Lentil Soup (1-Pot!)
Hearty, comforting curry lentil soup with potatoes and kale! Big curry flavor in this 1-pot soup that comes together in less than 45 minutes. The perfect satisfying, healthy, plant-based meal.
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Mains

Vegan Lentil Meatloaf partially sliced on a cutting board
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Vegan Lentil Nut “Meat” Loaf
Incredible vegan lentil “meatloaf” with wholesome, whole-food ingredients like lentils, nuts, sweet potato, and mushrooms! Just 10 ingredients required for this flavorful, comforting entrée.
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Wooden spoon in a pan of Cauliflower Potato Red Lentil Curry topped with fresh cilantro
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30-Minute Potato Cauliflower Red Lentil Curry
A rich and hearty curry of potato, cauliflower, and red lentil made in just 30 minutes! Hearty, comforting, and incredibly satisfying.
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Plate of Lentil Mushroom Stew Over Mashed Potatoes
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Lentil Mushroom Stew over Mashed Potatoes
Crazy delicious and hearty mushroom lentil stew gravy over mashed potatoes! Entirely vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free. A delicious and easy-to-make 10-ingredient meal or side!
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Fork resting on a plate of vegan moussaka
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The BEST Vegan Moussaka
Incredibly delicious vegan moussaka with layers of roasted eggplant, hearty tomato lentil sauce, and roasted garlic cashew bechamel! Just 10 ingredients and simple methods required.
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Platter of four Moroccan-Spiced Lentil Stuffed Eggplants
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Moroccan Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant
Stuffed baked eggplant with Moroccan-spiced lentils! Just 9 ingredients, big flavor, plenty of protein and fiber, and the perfect side dish or entrée.
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Pan of Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie with a spoonful removed
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Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
A colorful take on classic shepherd’s pie with lentils, vegetables, and a fluffy sweet potato topping. You’ll love this 10-ingredient plant-based meal!
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Bowls of Coconut Curried Golden Lentils with cauliflower rice, cabbage, kale, cilantro, roasted sweet potato, lime and chimichurri
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Nourishing Curried Lentil & Sweet Potato Bowl
An amazingly nourishing, delicious bowl with roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower rice, curried lentils, and cilantro chutney. Just 30 minutes and SO tasty!
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Bowls and pan of Vegan Lentil Dahl and fresh naan
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1-Pot Lentil Green Curry
Creamy lentil green curry prepared in 1 pot! Easy, quick, healthy, and incredibly flavorful. Serve with rice of choice for a hearty, wholesome, plant-based meal.
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Plate with a slice of Lentil & Eggplant Lasagna topped with fresh basil
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Lentil & Eggplant Lasagna
Satisfying, healthy eggplant lasagna with lentil marinara. Made with just 10 ingredients, this is the perfect plant-based, gluten-free entrée!
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Plate of zucchini noodles topped with Vegan Lentil Bolognese
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Zucchini Pasta with Lentil Bolognese
A hearty red sauce with lentils and carrots over zucchini noodles! A flavorful, healthy, 30-minute plant-based meal.
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Bowl of Red Lentil Curry and brown rice topped with red onion and cilantro
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Spicy Red Lentil Curry
Insanely delicious, 30-minute red lentil curry! Saucy, hearty, and protein-rich. Perfect over brown rice for a simple, plant-based meal.
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Big plate of Spicy Red Pasta made with lentils
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Spicy Red Pasta with Lentils
Simple, 30-minute spicy red pasta sauce with red lentils for added protein and fiber. Serve over gluten-free pasta for a delicious and hearty plant-based meal!
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Glass baking dish of Vegan Shepherds Pie with a couple servings removed
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1-Hour Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
A hearty, 10-ingredient Vegan Shepherd's Pie that's loaded with veggies and savory lentils and topped with fluffy mashed potatoes. So flavorful and satisfying that you won't miss the meat!
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If you try any of these lentil recipes, let us know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Enjoy, friends!

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  1. Susie says

    Your recipes sound delicious!
    I’m wondering if it is imperative to use the specified lentil (as in don’t sub red for green or brown)? I usually have both green and red on hand; are they interchangeable?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Susie, it will depend on the recipe, but sometimes they can be subbed. Red lentils will cook faster than green and are more prone to being mushy. We’d suggest checking the comment section on a specific recipe to see if we or other readers have offered suggestions. Hope that helps!