Lentils know no bounds. They’re the perfect high-protein, high-fiber food that take on just about any flavor you add to them. And speaking of flavor, I love spices. I felt inspired by the flavors of Morocco by this dish. Think paprika, turmeric, coriander, and pepper.
If you’re into saucy, smoky lentils, this recipe is for you. Let me show you how!
What are Moroccan Spices?
Some of the spices common in Moroccan cuisine are cinnamon, cumin, ginger, paprika, saffron, and turmeric. A blend called Ras El Hanout is also commonly used in Moroccan cooking. It includes spices such as anise, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric, and peppers. (source)
Find more info on how Moroccan spices are used here. And learn more about the history of Ras El Hanout, as well as a traditional recipe for this vibrant spice blend here.
This 30-minute recipe starts with cooking your lentils. And while that happens, it’s time for the sauce.
To create a super flavorful and quick sauce, I blended onion, garlic, and red bell pepper with spices like turmeric, paprika, and cayenne. Tomato paste adds depth of flavor, and apple cider vinegar adds a little acidity. It’s the perfect mix of bold flavors I was looking for.
All that’s left to do is add the sauce to the lentils with some fresh herbs – like parsley and cilantro – and stir to combine. Yeah, it’s that easy!
I hope you all LOVE these lentils. They’re:
& Insanely delicious!
This would make the perfect side dish or addition to salads, wraps, sandwiches, rice bowls, and more! I have an idea involving eggplant coming soon, so stay tuned!
For more lentil dishes, be sure to check out our Coconut Curried Golden Lentils, Nourishing Sweet Potato and Lentil Bowl, Lentil & Eggplant Lasagna, 1-Pot Curried Lentil & Potato Soup, Curry-Roasted Vegetable & Lentil Salad, 1-Pot Red Lentil Chili, and Mediterranean Lentil Dip!
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup green lentils (rinsed and well drained // or sub canned lentils lightly rinsed and well drained)
- 3 cloves garlic* (skins removed)
- 1/2 medium onion (or 2 small shallots // chopped)
- 1 large red bell pepper (or use 2 small), seeds removed, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup (or stevia to taste)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 Tbsp smoked or sweet paprika (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp ground cumin (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp ground ginger (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to preferred spice level)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 3/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or cilantro (I used 1/2 cilantro + 1/2 parsley)
- Cook lentils first by bringing water to a boil and adding lentils. Bring back to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer (uncovered) for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- In the meantime, to a food processor or small blender, add garlic*, onion or shallot*, bell pepper, tomato paste, coconut sugar, sea salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Mix to thoroughly combine.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more tomato paste for depth of flavor, spices for more overall flavor (especially coriander and paprika), cayenne for heat, coconut sugar for sweetness, apple cider vinegar for acidity, or salt for saltiness. Set aside.
- Once the lentils have cooked, drain off any excess liquid and then add spice mixture and parsley or cilantro and mix well to combine (see photo).
- Enjoy immediately with salads, rice (or cauliflower rice), bowls, and more. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*Some reviewers have mentioned they would've preferred the garlic and onion / shallot sautéed before adding tot he sauce! Try this out for a more subtle flavor.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
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