Hevizs

How to Cook Lentils Perfectly Every Time

There are so many reasons to love lentils. These versatile legumes are rich in fiber and protein, making them an essential part of any vegan or vegetarian diet. They’re also extremely shelf-stable, making them the perfect pantry item to stock up on.

Use them year-round for soups and stews in the winter months and cold salads in the summer months. And unlike beans, they don’t require soaking. They’re so fast and easy to cook, the hardest part is not overcooking them. Lucky for you, we have step-by-step instructions for how to cook lentils two ways: using the traditional stovetop method and the Instant Pot method. Plus getting cooking times for each type of lentil.

But first, let’s get acquainted with these small but mighty seeds.

What Are Lentils?

Lentils are the small, round, dried seeds of the lentil plant, a legume. They are a staple ingredient in South Asian, West Asian, and Mediterranean cuisines.

Because they’re high in fiber, carbs, and protein, lentils are the perfect ingredient to incorporate into vegan and vegetarian diets. Color, shape, size, and taste can vary greatly among different types of lentils. Got more questions? Read our guide to lentils.

Types of Lentils

There are just about a dozen varieties of lentils, but only a few are commonly found in most grocery stores. They can vary greatly in taste and texture, so make sure you’re buying the right ones for your cooking needs.

  • Brown lentils: This is the most common variety, sometimes you’ll find them in the supermarket simply labeled as “lentils.” They have a mild flavor, making them the most versatile of all lentils.
  • Red lentils: Red lentils, also called split lentils, are more orange in color than red. Because their seed coat has been removed, they cook very fast and can become mushy, making them ideal for soups or stews.
  • Green lentils: Green lentils have a glossy surface and a slightly firmer texture. They hold their shape well making them ideal for salads.
  • Black lentils: These tiny lentils resemble caviar, and they have a rich, earthy flavor. Because they hold their shape fairly well, they’re best for use in salads.
  • Yellow lentils: A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, yellow lentils cook fairly quick and can get mushy, so save them for use in soups and stews.

How to Cook Lentils 2 Ways

Here are two easy methods for cooking lentils: the classic stovetop method and the Instant Pot method. Both ways are quick and easy, but if you have an Instant Pot using it to cook lentils keeps you from spending time bent over the stove. And because lentils are so small, they don’t require soaking like beans. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to cook lentils.

How to Cook Lentils on the Stove

This classic method doesn’t require any fancy gadgets. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Rinse. Place the lentils in a strainer and pick out any debris or shriveled lentils. Thoroughly rinse under running water.
  2. Boil. Combine 3 cups of liquid (water, broth, etc.) with 1 cup of dried lentils in a saucepan. Add any seasonings (except salt) and bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let the lentils simmer until they’re soft but not falling apart. Refer to cooking times below for how long to cook each type of lentil.
  4. Strain. Strain lentils and return them to the pan and salt to taste. And there you have it!

Stovetop Lentil Cooking Times: 

  • 15 to 20 minutes: Red lentils, yellow lentils
  • 20 to 25 minutes: Black lentils
  • 20 to 30 minutes: Brown lentils, green lentils

How Long to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot

If you’re lucky enough to have an Instant Pot, you know it makes everything easier to cook, including lentils. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Rinse. Place the lentils in a strainer and pick out any debris or shriveled lentils. Thoroughly rinse under running water.
  2. Cook. Combine 2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of dried lentils in the inner pot. Season as you like. Turn the pressure valve to the sealing position and cook on high pressure. Refer to cooking times below for how long to cook each type of lentil in the Instant Pot.
  3. Release pressure. Once the timer is up, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Then turn the pressure valve to the venting position to quickly release the remainder of the pressure.
  4. Stir. Open the lid and stir the lentils. Note there will be some extra liquid, allow the lentils to soak it up as you stir and serve.

Instant Pot Lentil Cooking Times: 

  • 1-2 minutes: Red lentils, yellow lentils
  • 6-7 minutes: Black lentils
  • 8-10 minutes: Brown lentils, green lentils

How to Store Lentils

Dried lentils can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year. Cooked lentils can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to five days.

Related: Browse our entire collection of Lentil Recipes.

There are so many reasons to love lentils. These versatile legumes are rich in fiber and protein, making them an essential part of any vegan or vegetarian diet. They’re also extremely shelf-stable, making them the perfect pantry item to stock up on.

Use them year-round for soups and stews in the winter months and cold salads in the summer months. And unlike beans, they don’t require soaking. They’re so fast and easy to cook, the hardest part is not overcooking them. Lucky for you, we have step-by-step instructions for how to cook lentils two ways: using the traditional stovetop method and the Instant Pot method. Plus getting cooking times for each type of lentil.

But first, let’s get acquainted with these small but mighty seeds.

What Are Lentils?

Lentils are the small, round, dried seeds of the lentil plant, a legume. They are a staple ingredient in South Asian, West Asian, and Mediterranean cuisines.

Because they’re high in fiber, carbs, and protein, lentils are the perfect ingredient to incorporate into vegan and vegetarian diets. Color, shape, size, and taste can vary greatly among different types of lentils. Got more questions? Read our guide to lentils.

Types of Lentils

There are just about a dozen varieties of lentils, but only a few are commonly found in most grocery stores. They can vary greatly in taste and texture, so make sure you’re buying the right ones for your cooking needs.

  • Brown lentils: This is the most common variety, sometimes you’ll find them in the supermarket simply labeled as “lentils.” They have a mild flavor, making them the most versatile of all lentils.
  • Red lentils: Red lentils, also called split lentils, are more orange in color than red. Because their seed coat has been removed, they cook very fast and can become mushy, making them ideal for soups or stews.
  • Green lentils: Green lentils have a glossy surface and a slightly firmer texture. They hold their shape well making them ideal for salads.
  • Black lentils: These tiny lentils resemble caviar, and they have a rich, earthy flavor. Because they hold their shape fairly well, they’re best for use in salads.
  • Yellow lentils: A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, yellow lentils cook fairly quick and can get mushy, so save them for use in soups and stews.

How to Cook Lentils 2 Ways

Here are two easy methods for cooking lentils: the classic stovetop method and the Instant Pot method. Both ways are quick and easy, but if you have an Instant Pot using it to cook lentils keeps you from spending time bent over the stove. And because lentils are so small, they don’t require soaking like beans. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to cook lentils.

How to Cook Lentils on the Stove

This classic method doesn’t require any fancy gadgets. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Rinse. Place the lentils in a strainer and pick out any debris or shriveled lentils. Thoroughly rinse under running water.
  2. Boil. Combine 3 cups of liquid (water, broth, etc.) with 1 cup of dried lentils in a saucepan. Add any seasonings (except salt) and bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let the lentils simmer until they’re soft but not falling apart. Refer to cooking times below for how long to cook each type of lentil.
  4. Strain. Strain lentils and return them to the pan and salt to taste. And there you have it!

Stovetop Lentil Cooking Times: 

  • 15 to 20 minutes: Red lentils, yellow lentils
  • 20 to 25 minutes: Black lentils
  • 20 to 30 minutes: Brown lentils, green lentils

How Long to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot

If you’re lucky enough to have an Instant Pot, you know it makes everything easier to cook, including lentils. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Rinse. Place the lentils in a strainer and pick out any debris or shriveled lentils. Thoroughly rinse under running water.
  2. Cook. Combine 2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of dried lentils in the inner pot. Season as you like. Turn the pressure valve to the sealing position and cook on high pressure. Refer to cooking times below for how long to cook each type of lentil in the Instant Pot.
  3. Release pressure. Once the timer is up, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Then turn the pressure valve to the venting position to quickly release the remainder of the pressure.
  4. Stir. Open the lid and stir the lentils. Note there will be some extra liquid, allow the lentils to soak it up as you stir and serve.

Instant Pot Lentil Cooking Times: 

  • 1-2 minutes: Red lentils, yellow lentils
  • 6-7 minutes: Black lentils
  • 8-10 minutes: Brown lentils, green lentils

How to Store Lentils

Dried lentils can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year. Cooked lentils can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to five days.

Related: Browse our entire collection of Lentil Recipes.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now