Do you love cooking with lentils? I sure do. This Marinated Lentils recipe is just what you need to help out with increasing grocery costs. Perfect for batch cooking, so it saves you time in the kitchen too.
Warm lentils soak up the simple oil and vinegar dressing. This precooked lentil recipe can be eaten hot or cold. Added to soups, salads, sandwiches and more. Bonus, they keep for days in the fridge.
Packed with protein, and great for plant-based eating. Lots of people are jumping on this bandwagon. And why not? With all the health benefits, there are endless ways of incorporating lentils into your diet.
I have always been a fan of having some meatless meals during the week. Yes, we do love our steaks, chicken, lamb, and all the other delicious meats. However, eating meat on a daily basis is not the healthiest (or cheapest) option. With so many people struggling to make ends meet, lentils are a great meat alternative.
RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS for these versatile marinated lentils can be found at the bottom of this post.
In fact, this vegan tourtiere recipe is a hit during the holidays. If you know anything about the history of this classic dish, it’s all about the meat. Yes you can have a meatless tourtiere.
Meat marinades bring so much flavour to a recipe. The same works for vegetables. Why not make a marinade to bring dry lentils to a whole new level? Yum! Believe me, you really need to try this recipe.
You Will Need:
- dried green lentils
- white balsamic vinegar (rice wine or red wine vinegar works well also)
- olive oil
- black pepper
Types Of Lentils
Did you know they are also called pulses? They are part of the legume family, which are plants that grow in pods. So we eat the dry seed within that pod.
There are several types that would work well in this recipe. You want to use a variety that holds firm after cooking.
- Green Lentils (affiliate) have a slight peppery flavour. They are more robust than the brown variety and hold their shape well after cooking.
- Puy or French Lentils (affiliate) Grown in the Puy region of central France. About one-third the size of the standard green variety. They hold their shape extremely well.
- Black or Beluga Lentils (affiliate) They have a deep, earthy flavour and firm texture. They resemble the look of black caviar and are the most nutritious out of all the types.
Any of the above varieties will work in this recipe. All of them have great nutritional benefits, and cooking with them is:
- a great meat alternative
- vegan friendly
Dried pulses can be stored at room temperature, in an air-tight container, for about 2 to 3 years. The best way to tell if they have spoiled is by smell and appearance. If they develop an off odor or appearance, or if mold or insects appear, they should be discarded.
How To Marinate Lentils
Perfect recipe for batch cooking. Make as much (or a little) as you like. This particular recipe yielded 16 ounces. See the recipe card for FULL instrucitons.
- rinse the lentils in cold water
- place in a pot, bring to a boil then simmer until done (make sure they are firm like al dente pasta)
- drain in a sieve (do not rinse)
- place in a shallow dish to cool naturally
While they are cooking, prepare the marinade.
- combine the oil and vinegar
- add the salt and pepper
- whisk and set aside
Once the pulses are cooled (you still want them to be slightly warm) add the vinaigrette and mix thoroughly.
Use in cold salads, added to soups, used in sandwiches or wraps. You can also add some things like feta cheese, marinated artichokes, or sun-dried tomatoes. This makes a great side dish for chicken, fish, or any meat.
Serve immediately, or cover and marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Stir well before serving.
Common Cooking Mistakes
- Buying OLD lentils. Buy the freshest possible. Older ones take much longer to cook and often shed their skins during cooking.
- Forgetting to sift and rinse before cooking. Sometimes debris and small pebbles end up in the bag. You want to make sure you don’t end up with these in your recipe.
- Forgetting to season. They are a blank canvas, and take on any flavour you add to them. You can also cook them in stock instead of water. Add herbs and spices to the water.
- Overcooking. Don’t boil, use a gentle simmer until done.
- Salt and acid should be added after cooking while pulses are still warm to absorb the flavours.
How Long Will Lentils Last In the Fridge?
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Can You Freeze Lentils Once They Are Cooked?
You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag with the air pressed out for up to 6 months. Thaw them in the fridge, microwave, or place the bag in warm water. You can add them directly to warm dishes such as soup or stew.
Looking For More Great Lentil Recipes?
I happen to have a few for you to try.
- Lentil hash is perfect for brunch or dinner. Packed with protein, a great meatless meal for any day of the week.
- Puy lentil pasta sauce is hearty and delicious. This tomato free recipe uses goat cheese, and is perfect over spaghetti squash.
- Vegan mushroom pate is perfect on crackers, or as a sandwich filling.
- Mini cream cheese balls are a fun and tasty appetizer. Great for parties, or added to a charcuterie board.
- Beluga pasta sauce combines red wine and mushrooms. A dense spicy sauce perfect for any type of pasta.
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Basic Marinated Lentils Recipe
- 1 cup dry green lentils (sift through for debris)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (you can also use red wine, or rice vinegar)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Cook The Lentils:
- Get your amount of lentils in a measuring cup.
- Place in a sieve and remove any debris.
- Rinse under cold water until it runs clear.
- Add them to a pot and cover with cold water (about 2 inches above the lentils).
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until done (do not over cook). This will take about 15-20 minutes.
- Pour into a sieve, and drain the water. Do not rinse.
- Place the cooked lentils in a shallow dish to cool naturally.
Make The Marinade:
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Once the lentils are slightly cooled, add the marinade and mix thourghly.
- Store marinated lentils in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to use.