Mediterranean Lentil Dip

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Bowl of our gluten-free vegan Mediterranean Lentil Dip made with shallot, garlic, hummus, lemon and tahini

Can you ever really have too many dips in your life? I think not.

Care for one more? I hope so, because I have the simplest, most flavorful Mediterranean-inspired dip loaded with healthy ingredients + protein. It’s the perfect appetizer or snack and can even be converted into a meal.

No, I’m not joking. Let’s get to it.

Cooking shallot in a cast-iron skillet for delicious Mediterranean Lentil Dip

This recipe was born out of my intense love for all things Mediterranean, as well as my lack of lentil recipes on the blog! Up until now, the only other dishes with lentils are my Kale, Lentil & Roasted Beet Salad, Simple Vegan Stuffing, and 1-Hour Vegan Shepherd’s Pie. Swoon.

Lentils are the unsung hero of plant-based cooking. Besides containing 9 grams protein per 1/2 cup cooked, they’re also high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, and folate, among other benefits. Plus, they cook in less than 30 minutes and take on virtually any flavor you’re craving.

Cooking gluten-free vegan Mediterranean Lentil Dip in a cast-iron skillet

All in all, this dip requires about 30 minutes and only 10 ingredients! Plus, it’s vegan, gluten-free, and perfect with pita chips or vegetables (to keep it gluten free). If you’re a sucker for kalamata olives like me, throw a few on for garnish – it won’t disappoint.

Bowl of our delicious Mediterranean Lentil Dip recipe alongside pita bread and carrot sticks for dipping

I hope you all love this dip! It’s:

Creamy
Hearty
Zesty
Mediterranean-spiced
Filling
Simple
& Delicious

This would make a lovely appetizer dip when hosting guests or to take along to parties, as it’s portable and delicious at room temperature for hours.

It would also be a nice high protein snack to have around during the week. Or, to make it more substantial, throw it on top of a baked sweet potato or salad for a quick + easy plant-based meal.

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!

Big bowl of our Mediterranean Lentil Dip for the perfect vegan appetizer

Mediterranean Lentil Dip

Creamy, Mediterranean-inspired Lentil dip with sautéed garlic and shallots, and a 2-minute garlic-dill sauce. A protein-packed, vegan and gluten-free appetizer or side dish.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of Mediterranean Lentil Dip topped with kalamata olives and freshly chopped parsley
4.75 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 (1/3-cup servings)
Course Appetizer, Dip
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

LENTILS

  • 1 cup dry green lentils (well rinsed, pebbles/debris removed)
  • 2 cups water
  • ~1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil

SHALLOT + GARLIC

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (2 large cloves yield ~1.5 Tbsp)

SAUCE

  • 1/3 cup hummus (DIY or store-bought)
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or sub 2 tsp dried per 3 Tbsp fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon yields ~2 Tbsp)
  • Water (to thin)

FOR SERVING / GARNISH optional

  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • Pita chips* or crackers
  • Vegetables
  • Chopped kalamata olives
  • Baked sweet potato

Instructions

  • Add lentils and water to a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Then reduce heat to medium/medium-low, or until a mild simmer is achieved.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender and not mushy, or 'al dente.' (Mine only took about 18 minutes.)
  • Strain to remove any remaining water, then return lentils to saucepan off heat. Season with salt and pepper, maple syrup, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir to coat. Sample and adjust seasonings as needed. You want them to be flavorful on their own, and not bland, so don't be shy.
  • While lentils are cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil and shallots and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Then add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until just lightly golden brown. Remove from heat but leave in skillet.
  • To prepare sauce, add hummus, tahini, dill, maple syrup, and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then thin with hot water until slightly thick but pourable (see photo). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Add cooked, seasoned lentils to the skillet with the garlic and shallot. Add sauce and stir to combine.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with fresh parsley or dill, pita chips or crackers, or vegetables (optional). Best when fresh, though leftovers keep stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • While this makes a great appetizer or snack dip, it would also be delicious over a baked sweet potato or salad for more of a meal.

Notes

*To make your own pita chips, slice 2-3 pieces of pita into triangles and brush or spray both sides with grapeseed or coconut oil. Lightly season with sea salt and garlic powder and toss. Then arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast on each side for 3-5 minutes in a 400 degree F (204 C) oven (or until golden brown and firm to the touch). This can be done while the lentils are cooking to save time!
*For more tips on cooking lentils, see this helpful article from The Kitchn.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without any additional toppings or sides.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 one-third-cup servings Calories: 222 Carbohydrates: 25.9 g Protein: 10.9 g Fat: 9.2 g Saturated Fat: 1.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 160 mg Fiber: 11.6 g Sugar: 1.9 g

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  1. Olivia says

    Another great recipe, enjoying this right now! It turned out chunkier than I wanted (thinking next time I’ll cook the lentils for a few more minutes and thin the sauce more!) maybe I’ll add some spice as well :)

  2. EM says

    perfect for pandemic food, feels fun to eat & has very basic ingredients. made herby crackers from sourdough discard for this dip & made us so happy. thanks!! <3

  3. Emilia says

    Obsessed. Skipped maple syrup all together and added some fresh jalapeño to shallots and garlic. Try that people! <3

  4. Sarah says

    I can’t stop eating this! I made it for a party and am so glad I made extra because it’s spectacular. I especially loved that it was good warm, room temp, and cold. So low maintenance. Thank you!!

  5. Danielle says

    I made this recipe last night as a main dish and I can say that it 100 percent works that way too! Next time I would probably cut back on the dill and use more hummus (I love hummus!) but it was still very tasty!

    • Danielle says

      Just a quick note regarding the rating feature: I clicked four stars but it showed up as five and wouldn’t let me click any other number of stars. Just so you’re aware and can make the necessary adjustments.

  6. Shane says

    So delicious, Miss Dana! We loved them warm but they are also great at room temp. Also had them with avocado on warm wheat bread like a sandwich spread. I may try them with Beluga lentils next time for a change of texture!

  7. TonyXx says

    Great recipe. I used brown lentils that i soaked for a few hours. So tasty and creamy. I used more maple then recommended.

  8. Johanna says

    I love and regularly eat all the ingredients you used except tahini, that I have a hard time to develop a tooth for (I prefer home made hummus without tahini). So I started by making the sauce first and I have to say the tahini as always overpowers everything. That wonderful fresh dill that can brighten up any meal had no chance. I will play with he dill and lentil combo and get back to you if I come up with something comment worthy.

  9. Emily says

    I’m not sure if you realize this or not, the video has been taking down now but there was a vegan youtuber named kalel who literally took this exact recipe and said it was her own and made a video with it giving you no credit

  10. April says

    Really tasty, really simple recipe. I ended up adding a little more maple syrup than it called for, but I wanted that extra sweetness. I will definitely make this again.

  11. ana says

    Hi, great recipe idea. How on earth though do you remove the pebbles and debris from lentils? Like you dont have to sit there do you and go through every single little lentil? That thought depresses me greatly :'( x

  12. Michelle says

    So tasty! I had to modify as I accidentally opened a tin of lentils and then googled lentil dips :) Will def make again with dried and do it properly.

  13. Planete says

    I just made it and I think it’s very delicious! It’s a keeper for sure. Thank for sharing such amazing recipes.

  14. Christine says

    Planning to make this for a get together tomorrow night but I won’t have time to cook prior…. should the dip be served warm or cold? Thinking I could make cook everything then heat up a pan with the sauce and throw the lentils in right before? Unless cold is okay! Thanks!

    • Christine says

      Ended up reheating the dip for the party and it turned out GREAT! It was a huge hit. I served it with pita, jalepeno mary’s gone crackers (ah-mazing), and cucumber. Would definitely make again. Quick, simple and absolutely delish!

  15. Keri Ann says

    I ate this on top of mixed greens for dinner, with pita chips crushed on top… Perfect, easy meal! I dipped some carrot sticks in it as well and it was equally as delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Barbara says

    Dana! I can’t rate this recipe, because it’s OFF THE CHART!! So delicious. It’s even amazing without the sauce. Next time, I’m going to double this recipe, so I have some to eat during the week; maybe wraps with this dip and fresh spinach. Or, a simple salad with this dip piled on top. Thanks for another “keeper!”

  17. Jennifer says

    Looks amazing, but unfortunately my daughter is allergic to sesame and tree nuts (tahini) — any thoughts on what might be a good substitute? My sesame-free hummus just isn’t the same.

  18. Nadia@maisontravers says

    This sounded so delicious, I made it for lunch and ate it as a side salad with grilled chicken. Delicious!!!

  19. Lisa | Chocolate Meets Strawberry says

    I only have five words: come at me, lentil dip! :D This looks amazing, Dana. And as always, your photgraphy is just stunning. Love it!

  20. Caroline says

    I’m a bit of a lentil freak…love them so much AND Mediterranean flavors as well. Can’t wait to make this…it’s really lovely.

  21. Liora (Allthingsloveli) says

    This looks so delicious! I love the combination of lentils with the hummus and tahini. I actually woke up with a craving for lentils and made them for lunch. I’m so happy I have enough leftover to make this dip!

  22. Mathilde says

    Unfortunately I am allergic to lentils but I have to admit this look delicious! Do you have any other option that would taste as good but just without the lentils ?

    Have a nice day,
    Mathilde

  23. Madeline @ Teen's Tasty Eats says

    I love lentils but have never thought about turning them into a dip!! Will have to try this one!

  24. Megan says

    This looks so good! Love that you left the lentils whole instead of mashing them – it’s so nice to have some texture to a dip!

    • Lynne says

      This recipe is wonderful; after tasting as I made it, I’m not so hungry for dinner.
      I also made your hummus recipe first- the microwave cooking one- you’re right; the hummus is rich. Thank you. I’ve already passed the recipes on to a friend.

      • Tom ~ Raise Your Garden says

        Ohhhh, and that’s the whole point. My wife always says that smoothies and dips make great meal replacements when she doesn’t want to make dinner. And the kids love it too. Who doesn’t need a break for the daily grind of making dinner? Lentils are so good for you! Lots of protein so the kids are whining an hour later about being hungry. Yippee Skippee.