Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils

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Big bowl of Moroccan Spiced Lentils surrounded by red bell pepper, garlic, fresh parsley, cilantro, and spices

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!

Food processor filled with vegetables for making gluten-free and vegan Moroccan-Spiced Lentils

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.

A food processor with freshly blended sauce for Moroccan-Spiced Lentils

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!

Large saute pan with Moroccan-Spiced Lentils garnished with fresh parsley and cilantro

I hope you all LOVE these lentils. They’re:

Subtly spiced
& 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!

Close up shot of a big bowl of Moroccan-Spiced Lentils on a wood cutting board with fresh ingredients

Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils

Flavorful, 30-minute Moroccan-spiced lentils with paprika, peppers, tomato, and fresh herbs. A healthy plant-based side or addition to bowls and salads!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of Moroccan-Spiced Lentils alongside vegetables and spices used to make it
4.66 from 122 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Moroccan-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days



  • 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.


*3 cloves minced garlic is approximately equal to 1 1/2 Tbsp.
*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.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 147 Carbohydrates: 27 g Protein: 9.2 g Fat: 0.6 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 167 mg Fiber: 11 g Sugar: 5.9 g

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My Rating:

  1. Sue says

    Thanks for this delicious and very favorfful recipe. I initially omitted the salt and sweetener,, but when it was cooked I added tamari and ketchup. Btw, I put it all in the instant pot and cooked 8 minutes on high, then quick release after 10 minutes. Great recipe!

  2. Sylvia W says

    This sounds absolutely fabulous! I found it by way of the stuffed eggplant recipe, as I was searching for something interesting to do with a purple beauty I found at my farm stand a couple days ago. The flavor profile sounds wonderful, so I would want make a double batch – part to go with the eggplant, the rest for over rice or quinoa or whatever.

    My question is, does this freeze well? I live alone and this would make more than I could eat in a week, as even the eggplant recipe will be 4 meals for me (big eggplant LOL)
    Thank you!

      • Sylvia W says

        This is wonderful! I had made a big batch of rice yesterday, so all I had to do was warm up a bowl and put this over it, and I am over the moon!
        Granted it isn’t perfect due to some missteps on my part. I had thought I had a red bell pepper, but apparently that was in my friend’s half of the farm stand purchase, so I used a green, which affected both the color and flavor slightly. Worse I had already begun assembly when I realized I had forgotten to get fresh parsley (I don’t do cilantro for the usual reason), so that also had an impact. Also I am wimp and used chipotle powder instead of cayenne, but since I was also using the smoked paprika that wasn’t a big issue. Despite all this it came out delectably!!!!!
        I also remembered that I can be all three of the Stooges in the kitchen, and after finding out that the first small blender wasn’t up to the challenge I had to move the partially smooshed gloop into the slightly stronger one – naturally a big mess ensued LOL
        OTOH, now that I have done it once and declared it worthy of being in the rotation, next time should go much more smoothly and accurately ;-)
        This batch will never see the inside of the freezer (too yummy by far!) but thank you – the next one will! I can see this keeping my insides warm and happy all winter long!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Whoop! We’re so glad it’s made it into the rotation, Sylvia. Thank you for sharing your experience! xo

  3. Danielle says

    Made this tonight (a day ahead) as I am having friends over for dinner tomorrow and it’s Moroccan cuisine night. Used red lentils (you were right about the mushy) and followed everything else from your recipe to the dot. Totally delicious. I sautéed the red onions and garlic and added a little extra cayenne pepper. Hopefully it will be a hit tomorrow night!

  4. Luke Beecham says

    I roasted the pepper and onion before blitzing them. I’m not a fan of the raw veg in this as I think roasted gives it a better flavour

  5. Suzanna says

    This was so yummy. I’ve been trying to get my family to eat more lentils. They’re a tough sell so far. My husband actually liked these. The kids said they were a little spicy, but I wasn’t expecting much from them. It’s the only lentils so far my husband actually said was tasty. Thanks for a good recipe. Will be making again.
    I didn’t have red pepper so I added a little extra tomato paste. Tastes good.

  6. Cathy says

    As the recipe is written I found the raw onion and garlic flavor a little harsh. HOWEVER, I mixed the lentils and sauce with another cup of water and simmered it until it was nice and thickened again and now I have a delicious lentil stew. Perfect with some pita and plain yogurt. I’ll be making this again soon!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lyuba. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  7. Claire says

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! We didn’t have any bell peppers so I subbed tomato sauce and it worked great. We ate it over polenta.

  8. Emily M says

    Made this (with just a few small tweaks) and loved it!
    I omitted the coconut sugar as I tasted the sauce before adding and it tasted balanced to me without it. I also mixed a few chopped carrots to the sauce and lentil mixture and let them simmer in the saucy lentils on the stove until slightly tender. I served over cauliflower rice that I sautéed in ghee w/ cumin seeds, ground coriander, cardamom, turmeric & black pepper, and topped with avocado and pickled Fresno pepper. (If you’re looking for a way to eat these lentils, highly recommend this way, lol.)

  9. Judi JJ says

    I made this recipe with only one change (no cayenne) and served it with cauliflower rice. What a wonderful recipe. It surprised me that with so little effort, there was so much flavor. I took one bite and declared this one a keeper. Thanks so much for the great recipe. Also, thanks for the nutritional content you include–very helpful.

    Next time I’ll try it with mushrooms and top with chopped tomatoes. I’ll make a double-batch to freeze. If I don’t have cauliflower rice, I’ll serve it in a sweet potato.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Judi! Thank you so much for your lovely review! xo

  10. Colleen says

    I love this recipe! So healthy and yummy. I typically serve it over white rice.

    Question: Would this recipe be good with turmeric rice? Not sure if anyone has tried it or has an opinion of this pairing!

  11. Colleen says

    I’ve made these a few times and always thought they were delicious on their own or over salads. This morning, I used these lentils along with sautéed mushrooms to fill empanadas (or pasties) made from puff pastry dough. It was so, so good!

    Thanks for the recipe! I love lentils!

  12. Tamara says

    This was a great recipe! I took some others’ advice of cooking up the garlic/onions, but went further and roasted the red pepper too. I was pleasantly surprised how spicy it was and even a nice small portion is filling and satisfying.

  13. Kallia says

    I decided to cook some lentils today, but I wanted to try something different from my usual recipe. This one seemed like the ideal one to try out since I had all of the spices in my pantry! The sauce tastes really good, and it makes me want to try using it with meatballs next time.

  14. Jan says

    Brilliant tasty recipe and so quick. Open a can of chickpeas, red beans or any such thing to make it even speedier. I do fry all the spices with the onions and garlic in a little oil because I am not keen on the raw curry flavour.

  15. Sarah says

    I’ve made this several times, and it’s always a winner. I agree with other reviewers that I prefer to cook the onions/garlic before mixing into the sauce. I like to make this when my partner bakes his homemade bread, because the saucy lentil goodness just begs to be scooped onto a crusty piece of bread.

  16. Reenie says

    Great recipe! I followed it as written but cooked the garlic and onion, and I tossed the pepper into the skillet for a bit as well. I then put some of the sauce into a skillet with the last of the pumpkin purée from last weeks sugar pumpkins, added lentils and brown rice, and then mixed in the cilantro. Delicious way to use up the end of the pumpkin and perfect for a slightly cool evening in early fall!

    • Shirley Mason says

      Just starting out cooking with lentils and spices and love this recipe. Have made the filled eggplant dish but see multiple uses for this recipe. Loving being almost vegetarian, who knew how many different recipes there were. Thank you.

  17. Diane says

    My house smells amazing after cooking this! I dont know if I just measured wrong, but I didnt feel like there was enough sauce to go with the amount of lentils so next time i might cut back on the lentils and/or double the sauce. Overall, the recipe was tasty and very easy to make. I will definitely be making this again.

  18. Laura says

    Wow, this turned out amazing! I used maple syrup, uncertain about how it would turn out, and it was delicious. I used a red onion because that’s what I had, and I added carrots because I found this recipe while looking to a recipe to use up left overs (tomato paste, red bell pepper, parsley). Served with sour cream and avocado. Yummm!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Patricia, sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it! Some readers have enjoyed it as written, but it looks like others do prefer to sauté. Let us know if you try it with sautéed!

  19. Nick says

    An easy, flavorful and light recipe (especially if subbing sugar with Stevia). I’m serving this dish with with cottage cheese, which keeps the dinner calories to a minimum, and maximizes the tastiness of the dish! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  20. Jolie Greiff says

    Just made this. Delicious. I substituted silan, date honey, for the sweetener. I cut down on the apple cider vinegar to 1 Tbs.

    Love your recipes. Nothing ever takes me as little time as posted!! Maybe if I had my food processor at the ready and all my spices out, and worked super quickly. I have learned to adapt the time for me.

    5 stars here. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Jolie! We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes! xo

  21. Tania says

    definitely need to sauteé the onions first
    I did the raw version and had to cock the lentils with the sauce, not ideal, but it improved a lot the dish

    otherwise, absolutely delicious, nutricious, and quick

  22. Paul says

    Hello, this sounds like and interesting recipe and i am looking to pair it with your stuffed Moroccan aubergine recipe. Can you please confirm the red pepper paste with onion, garlic and spices is not cooked off before it is used as an ingredient itself?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Paul, that’s correct. Though some readers have mentioned they prefer cooking it first, so you can if you would like!

  23. Britt says

    I have been looking for new ways to prepare lentils. This recipe is very excellent. Lots of flavor and the color is gorgeous!

  24. Sandy says

    Loved it. Less lentils, no cayenne, lots veges not as a sauce, and used it as a side dish with chicken drumsticks. I slow cooked onion, garlic, capsicum, carrot, celery, in olive oil and bacon fat …. yummm!

  25. Lisa says

    Love this combination of spices! So flavorful. I used about half as much cayenne because some of my family do not appreciate “heat” (poor souls…hahaha).
    My new favorite lentil recipe!

  26. Jon Gordon says

    I made this recipe. It was very good! I did have to swap out some ingredients. It came out hotter than I expected, but I think this is because I substituted hot paprika without reducing the amount. I served it with brown rice and diced tomatoes and cucumbers, which offset the heat well.
    Two comments I would make:
    1) The recipe never specifies that the red bell pepper should be chopped prior to adding to the blender. While this may be obvious, it would be helpful to know.
    2) 2 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils does not seem like enough. Mine boiled dry in 20 minutes.
    However, it made a different and satisfying main dish. I will definitely make it again, tweaking the recipe to my preferences.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback, Jon! We’re glad you enjoyed it! We’ll take a look and see if we can make improvements.

  27. saji says

    This has been my go to recipe for lentils for a year now! I make a big batch and keep it in my fridge for lunch or dinner. SO simple and delicious. I do not substitute any ingredients as I always have most of them all the time.
    I love this recipe as it is, it is so tasty and healthy, great protein and so filling! I eat this with roasted aubergines (like suggested) or with zoodles!

  28. Beth says

    Loved this! Easy, delicious and healthy. Will 100% be making again.
    Changes made:
    – Cooked the garlic and onions
    – Heat was too much for me so I added 1 can of tomato sauce (I think crushed tomatoes would work amazing too), 1 more cup of lentils, and more of the other spices to minimize the cayenne.

    It was top notch with great left overs. Thank you!

  29. Sofia Danielsson says

    I first made this red pepper sauce a couple of months ago. Now I make sure I always have some in my freezer to take out on a rainy day:)
    The pepper sauce is beautifully seasoned, so much flavour and sooo easy to make. I actually use the sauce as topping on my tacos or Mexican style wraps. I’ve also used it as dressing on a simple bean sallad with raw veggies. Basically I think it works on everything. Thanks for this!

  30. ccp says

    Made this last night. It was delicious over brown rice. You totally nailed the balance of flavors in the sauce. Will definitely make this again.

  31. Katherine Ward says

    I do prefer this if onion/garlic sautéed first. Still delicious without cayenne pepper if no heat is desired. I added sliced chicken frankfurters for the meat eaters in my family, and put a dollop of sour cream on top.

  32. Anna B says

    Delicious. I pre-cooked the peppers, onion and garlic and used roasted red peppers. Even my 18mo old gobbled it up. Thank you Dana!

  33. Rhonda Mowat says

    Made this last night. Sooooo easy. I followed the recipe but was generous with my spice measures, especially the yummy cayenne. I was hesitant about not the cooking onions and pepper first after previous comments. But decided to try it anyway, (one less pan to wash) My partner normally can’t tolerate raw red pepper but gobbled this down with no stomach upset afterwards. It was a total success and as delicious as I expect from your recipes. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  34. Lorraine says

    I made this last night , and we all agreed that this recipe is a keeper. I didn’t have a pepper, so I just omitted that. We only had red onions, so I used a half of that. Oh, I also didn’t have coconut sugar, so I just used regular sugar. I did not precooked anything, as per the recipe. I was a little concerned, because we only had a large blender, so it seemed like the garlic and onion weren’t getting completely blended. We had left over pasta, so i threw the lentils ( after cooking and draining) in a big skillet with just a touch of oil, along with the spices mixture and pasta. I heated it until the pasta was warm, and served it as a main dish. The flavors were out of this world. We all loved it. I will definitely make this again, hopefully with all the right ingredients.

  35. L says

    Such a satisfyingly simple yet healthy and delicious recipe. Comfort food without the sleepy hurtlocker at the end of the meal. :) Used this for the stuffed eggplants recipe but plan to do so with tomatoes, peppers, etc., etc. Chock full of nutrients for ultra-endurance type athletes and professionals. Will add this one into regular rotation. Bueno!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  36. Victoria says

    Do you think I could make these lentils in my pressure cooker? On sautée first then cook everything with lentils? I’m looking for simplicity. Also I have a tube of harissa paste I’m trying to use up. Do you think I can sub or add it to this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Victoria, we think that would work well! If using harissa, maybe reduce smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, and coriander. Let us know how it goes!

  37. Trish says

    Thank you for inspiring me to make lentils! I love lentils and had some in the cupboard. I am embarassed to say that I had never made them before. The lockdown is forcing me to use things I have on hand and I found your recipe that sounded delicious. I doubled the recipe and followed it fairly closely. However, I didn’t add the sugar or apple cider vinegar and I used some organic ketchup that no one really liked instead of the tomato paste(thank you previous reviewer for this tip). I did sautee beforehand the onions and red bell pepper, plus one lonely carrot I had in the fridge. I also added some tiny pasta towards the end of cooking the lentils to make it a bigger dish since it was dinner for four adults. It was a huge hit with my family! They want to know when I will be making it again :)

  38. Melissa K says

    I sauteed the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. When I put it all into the food processor, I went ahead and pureed the lentils, too, and made it into a dip for some home made pitas. Absolutely delicious! I told my 7yo that it was Moroccan sloppy joes, he gave it two thumbs up. Your site is amazing, everything I’ve tried has been excellent! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks so much for the lovely review, Melissa! We’re so glad you both enjoyed it! xo

  39. Connie says

    This recipe is pretty forgiving! I sautéed the veggies first and added yellow instead of red pepper. I think it would be great on pita with toum.

  40. Linda Wills says

    The recipe was recommended by our daughter. We used the 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper and wished we hadn’t! One bite was enough – couldn’t continue. Tomorrow we hope to take the sting out by mixing the lentils with rice. Fingers are crossed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! Sorry to hear that was your experience, Linda. Cayenne can vary in amount of heat- we wonder if yours was spicier? Hope you’re able to tame it down with the rice!

  41. Kristi says

    I was really looking forward for this recipe, however, I really don’t like the taste. I can feel the crunchy onion and it is too sweet and at the same time bitter. Really weird.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kristi, sorry to hear that was your experience! It sounds like you might prefer cooking the onions first before adding to the other ingredients. As for the sweetness- you can certainly reduce or omit the maple syrup or coconut sugar. We aren’t quite sure what might be causing the bitterness- were your spices fresh? Do you typically enjoy cilantro and/or parsley?

  42. YUKI says

    This was AMAZING! I used raw garlic and onion, and it tasted great. I might be more used to the flavor because I’m Korean and we use a lot of garlic. After tasting the sauce, I ended up adding a little more salt and ACV, but it was so good I was eating it by the spoonful. For dinner, I added the lentils and some sourdough bread cubes over mixed greens. Thanks for the wonderful and easy recipe!

  43. Star says

    I cannot believe how fabulously strong, yet light and airy this recipe is (due to lemon)! My boyfriend made it, and we added it to our permanent recipes list. We didn’t add the sweetener, but it was great all the same.

  44. Carolyn says

    I hesitate to post a review because I had to do a few modifications, due to my wife’s allergies, and it kind of became a different dish perhaps? However, it was inspired by this recipe and its comments, and came out amazing! My wife is allergic to red Bell pepper and vinegar, which I’m sure is a *huge* piece of the flavor. I ended up looking at the Moroccan stuffed eggplant lentil recipe, and making a mashup. I substituted a 14.5oz can of petite diced tomatoes instead of red bell pepper, and lemon instead of vinegar, which is offered as an idea here. I also took the suggestion of sauteeing the shallot and garlic, and made the sauce all over the stovetop In one pan. I ended up adding a cup of vegetable stock, and water As needed, as the flavor seemed very concentrated and thick (I followed the spices exactly). I also added some spinach for some extra veggies. It came out great!! I served it with sweet potatoes (mashed) and roasted brussel sprouts. A Moroccan Lentil mashes sweet Potato and brussel sprout plant based meal delivery service came up in my newsfeed and it called to me!! That’s how I stumbled on this recipe, for the lentil piece, to make my own. Super delicious! We both enjoyed it and it will become a staple.

  45. Heather F. says

    I made this recipe tonight. I skipped the sweetener, but otherwise followed the recipe. I loved the flavor, but the raw onion/garlic I found harsh. I wish I’d taken some of the other reviews into account and cooked them before the food processor or maybe cooked the sauce before adding it to the lentils.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your feedback, Heather! We’ll take a look at this recipe and see if improvements can be made!

  46. Natalie says

    Unfortunately this was just really, really bad. We aren’t that fussy but I found it honestly inedible. Followed the recipe almost exactly but cut the paprika back some.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! So sorry to hear that, Natalie! Would you mind sharing what you disliked about it? We wonder if something may have gone wrong!

      • Natalie says

        Hi Dana,
        Besides decreasing the paprika we followed the recipe to the letter. We really just found it overspiced and the raw onions were potent, it had a bitter flavor. It just came off as too strong with too many potent flavors all at once. It’s really hard to describe. It is funny how there are a few similar reviews to mine, but then mostly great reviews. I do wonder if the person who mentioned that maybe there is some weird flavor combination that tastes different to come people in there akin to how cilantro tastes soapy to some. I just can’t understand it! In any case, thanks for all your hard work and recipes!

  47. Lauren says

    Delicious, but that’s a lot of cayenne – I started with 1/4 tsp and it was plenty heat for me! The rest of the spices give it such a unique sweet/tangy/spicy flavor. I tossed it with cauliflower, spinach and barley for a main course bowl.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lauren. We are so glad you enjoyed it and adapted to your heat preference! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  48. Rebecca says

    I’ve made this more than a few times, and told friends. So smoky and delicious, I eat it with a spoon on its own. I will keep coming back to this recipe (although there are so many to try from Minimalist Baker!) Keep the yummy recipes coming!

  49. Michelle says

    Amazing dish, doubled the sauce as I am making it as a vegetarian main for Thanksgiving. Followed amounts but sauteed veg/spices/paste together before blending. Mixed with lentils and I’m thrilled with the results! Will probably add a little water to thin it out before serving over roasted squash halves. Will serve topped with feta, mint, and barberries (as my inlaws can’t eat cilantro).

    Minimalist baker is my go-to for yummy, plant-based food that isn’t insanely expensive or complicated.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Sofía. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  50. Nina says

    I made this lovely dish today. I suggest seasoning the ground (masala) spices in a bit of oil first and then adding the cooked lentils with a bit of water, and cilantro.
    I loved it and plan on making it for my friends lunch next week, thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and great idea, Nina. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  51. Amy says

    Cut the sugar if you don’t like sweet. I had to use real sugar, and I only used half the amount but it was too sweet (maybe because my paprika was sweet). Still pretty tasty though, and fast! I’m eating this over boiled yellow potatoes. Yum!

  52. Nicole says

    This recipe is really delicious and versatile. I leave out the sugar/maple syrup and the vinegar. The last time I made this I subbed chickpeas for lentils and sautéed some Swiss chard.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Nicole! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  53. Penny Metcalfe says

    Super delicious! I left out the ginger, and fried the onions/garlic/pepper and spices rather than having them raw. Will definitely make this again.

  54. Debbie K says

    This recipe is outstanding. The only suggestion I would make is to try making it with French lentils as opposed to regular green lentils which can get mushy.

  55. Natalie Johnson says

    Cut the coconut sugar to 1.5 tsp and cooked down the spice and pepper mix, then added it to the lentils. Ate this with yemeni style jasmin rice (Cumin, cinnamon, cardamon, tomato paste, onion, garlic, chicken stock). Topped it with some homemade hummus, fresh from the garden veggies and avocado. SOOOOOOOOOOOO good! The combination with the seasoned rice was phenomenal! This will be a repeat in the kitchen.

  56. Dana says

    My husband liked this, but like several other commenters I found this to be super bitter. I wonder if something is happening where some combination of the spices triggers a bitter taste in a minority of people? Kind of like how some people think cilantro tastes like soap? Who knows. My other half is more than happy to eat there leftovers.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dana, we’re glad your husband enjoyed it! Hmm, that’s an interesting theory about the bitterness- thanks for sharing that idea- perhaps the coriander? Did you make any modifications? Did you include the coconut sugar or maple syrup?

  57. Delainy says

    Well, I’m here for a second round of these deliciously spiced lentils! I did not use a red bell pepper but the other flavors did great without it. My husband keeps telling me to make them again, and so I’m back… With a review!

  58. Marty says

    Not a veggie…had mine with chicken… great simple way of spicing lentils..only addition waz to roast the veg for 20 mins first( i know against the rules)
    Thanks for website keep it up !