Black Lentils (Recipe)

Black Lentils (Recipe)

Are you looking for a delicious and nutritious dish to add to your repertoire? Look no further than this easy and flavorful Black Lentils Recipe. Black lentils are not only quick to cook but also hold their shape, making them a versatile ingredient for a variety of dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe will surely impress your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Black lentils, also known as beluga lentils due to their resemblance to caviar, have a rich flavor and a satisfying texture. They are similar to French green lentils but cook more quickly, making them a convenient choice for busy weeknight dinners. With their ability to absorb flavors and hold their shape, black lentils are perfect for salads, curries, and side dishes.

To make this easy Black Lentils Recipe, you will need just a few simple ingredients. The lentils are simmered in water with a pinch of salt until they are tender and cooked to perfection. Meanwhile, caramelized onions add a touch of sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish. Baby spinach is then added for a pop of vibrant color and fresh taste. Finally, creamy labneh or burrata cheese is added as a garnish, providing a creamy and tangy element that complements the earthiness of the lentils.

Ready to give this Black Lentils Recipe a try? Follow the step-by-step instructions below to create a delicious and satisfying dish that will tantalize your taste buds and impress your family and friends.

Key Takeaways:

  • Black lentils cook quickly and have a nice texture and flavor.
  • This recipe combines black lentils with caramelized onions and spinach.
  • Garnish with creamy labneh or Greek yogurt sauce and pair with burrata or other creamy cheeses.
  • Customize the dish by using different cheeses and serving with various greens and vegetables.
  • Black lentils are a healthy option, packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

Ingredients and Cooking Instructions

Looking to create a healthy black lentil dish? This recipe is perfect for you! Packed with flavor and nutrients, it’s a vegetarian black lentil recipe that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you feeling satisfied. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Labneh or burrata, for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s dive into the cooking instructions:

1. Rinse the black lentils under cold water and drain.

2. In a medium-sized pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and a pinch of salt, then reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, around 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté until caramelized, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the cooked black lentils to the skillet with the caramelized onions. Stir in the white balsamic vinegar and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

5. Add the baby spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve the black lentil dish hot, topped with labneh or burrata cheese.

This vegetarian black lentil dish is not only delicious but also packed with protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. It’s the perfect dish for a healthy lunch or dinner option. Enjoy!

Variations and Serving Suggestions

This flavorful black lentil recipe can be easily customized to suit your personal preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are some variations and serving suggestions to inspire your culinary creativity:

1. Cheesy Delights

Instead of using labneh or burrata, you can experiment with other creamy cheeses to enhance the flavor of your black lentil dish. Consider using fresh ricotta or whipped goat cheese as delicious alternatives.

2. Lemony Greek Yogurt Sauce

Create a tangy and refreshing accompaniment to the black lentils by serving them with a zesty lemony Greek yogurt sauce. Simply combine Greek yogurt with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of salt for a creamy and citrusy twist.

3. Greens Galore

Black lentils go well with a variety of greens and vegetables. Add some vibrant Swiss chard, nutrient-packed turnip greens, or peppery mustard greens to your dish for extra freshness and texture.

4. Versatile Side Dish

In addition to being a delicious main course, black lentils can also be served as a versatile side dish to complement other recipes. They pair well with roasted meats, grilled vegetables, or even as a filling for stuffed bell peppers.

5. Curries and Salads

Take your black lentils to the next level by incorporating them into mouthwatering curries or salads. The rich, earthy flavor of black lentils adds depth to curry dishes, while their firm texture makes them an excellent addition to hearty salads.

Variation Description
Cheesy Delights Use creamy cheeses like fresh ricotta or whipped goat cheese instead of labneh or burrata.
Lemony Greek Yogurt Sauce Serve the lentils with a tangy lemony Greek yogurt sauce made with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and salt.
Greens Galore Pair the lentils with various greens and vegetables such as Swiss chard, turnip greens, or mustard greens.
Versatile Side Dish Enjoy the lentils as a delicious and versatile side dish to complement other recipes.
Curries and Salads Incorporate the lentils into curries or salads to elevate their flavor and texture.

With these variations and serving suggestions, you can explore different flavor profiles and elevate your black lentil recipe to new heights. Get creative and enjoy the deliciousness of this versatile legume!

Benefits of Black Lentils

Black lentils are not only delicious but also offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. Incorporating them into your diet can provide you with essential nutrients, making them a must-try addition to your healthy recipe repertoire.

1. Excellent Source of Plant-based Protein and Fiber

Black lentils are rich in plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice for vegetarian and vegan diets. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, and consuming black lentils can help you meet your daily protein needs.

In addition to protein, black lentils are also packed with fiber. Fiber aids in digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and promotes a feeling of fullness, making it a valuable nutrient for maintaining a healthy weight.

2. Low in Fat and Calories

If you’re watching your fat and calorie intake, black lentils are a great option. They are naturally low in fat and calories, allowing you to enjoy a flavorful and satisfying meal without the guilt.

3. Rich in Polyphenols

Black lentils, like other lentils, contain polyphenols, which are micronutrients with antioxidant properties. These compounds help protect your cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals and may have potential benefits in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. Packed with Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants found in black lentils that give them their dark color. These antioxidants have been linked to various health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving blood vessel function, and enhancing cognitive function.

By including black lentils in your diet, you can take advantage of these beneficial antioxidants and support your overall well-being.

Nutrient Amount per 1 cup (198g) Cooked Black Lentils
Protein 18g
Fiber 15g
Fat 1g
Calories 230

Table: Nutritional Information of Cooked Black Lentils

Black lentils are a nutritious ingredient that can enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your meals. Whether you’re following a vegetarian diet or simply looking for a healthy and delicious option, don’t miss out on trying a healthy black lentil recipe that incorporates the benefits of these versatile legumes.

Other Black Lentil Recipe Ideas

In addition to the recipe mentioned above, there are numerous other ways to enjoy black lentils. Here are a few flavorful and easy black lentil recipe ideas that will satisfy your taste buds:

Lentil Salad

Mix cooked black lentils with crunchy veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Add some crumbled feta cheese for a tangy twist. Dress the salad with a simple vinaigrette made from olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs.

Black Lentil Tacos

Swap out traditional fillings and fill your tacos with seasoned black lentils instead. Top them with fresh salsa, guacamole, and a sprinkle of cheese for a delicious and nutritious twist on taco night.

Black Lentil Burrito Bowls

Add cooked black lentils to your favorite burrito bowl ingredients, such as rice, beans, grilled veggies, and salsa. The black lentils will provide a hearty texture and a boost of protein to your bowl.

Black Lentils in Indian Cuisine

Try incorporating black lentils into traditional Indian dishes like Dal Makhani. This rich and creamy lentil dish is made with black lentils, tomatoes, onions, and a blend of aromatic spices. Serve it with basmati rice or naan bread for a satisfying meal.

Black Lentils Over Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Roast sweet potatoes until tender and top them with a generous serving of cooked black lentils. Finish it off with crumbled goat cheese for a delightful combination of flavors and textures.

Remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to black lentil recipes. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different ingredients and flavors. Enjoy the versatility and nutritional benefits that black lentils have to offer!

Comparison of Black Lentil Recipe Ideas

Recipe Description Difficulty Preparation Time Flavor Profile
Lentil Salad Mixed with crunchy veggies and feta cheese Easy 30 minutes Refreshing and tangy
Black Lentil Tacos Swap traditional fillings with seasoned lentils Easy 45 minutes Spicy and savory
Black Lentil Burrito Bowls Added to rice, beans, veggies, and salsa Easy 40 minutes Hearty and flavorful
Black Lentils in Indian Cuisine Incorporated into Dal Makhani Medium 2 hours Rich and aromatic
Black Lentils Over Roasted Sweet Potatoes Served over roasted sweet potatoes with goat cheese Easy 50 minutes Sweet and savory


Black lentils are a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can elevate any dish with their unique taste and texture. Whether you’re following the simple and flavorful recipe mentioned earlier or exploring other variations, these lentils are sure to satisfy your taste buds. Thanks to their quick cooking time and ability to hold their shape, black lentils are the perfect choice for both busy weeknight dinners and special occasions.

By incorporating black lentils into your meals, you’ll not only enjoy their rich flavors, but also benefit from their nutritional value. These lentils are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and fiber, making them an excellent option for vegetarian meals. Additionally, they contain polyphenols, which help protect against cardiovascular disease, and anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that combat cellular damage.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting your culinary journey, black lentils are a must-try ingredient. Experiment with different recipes and let your creativity shine. From salads and curries to tacos and burrito bowls, the possibilities are endless. Give black lentils a chance and discover a world of delicious flavors and healthy benefits.


Are black lentils the same as French green lentils?

Black lentils behave very similarly to French green lentils but cook more quickly. They hold their shape well and have a nice texture and flavor.

How do I cook black lentils?

To cook black lentils, simmer them in water with salt until they are cooked to your desired tenderness. It usually takes about 20-25 minutes. Drain any excess liquid before using them in a recipe.

What can I serve black lentils with?

Black lentils can be served with various greens and vegetables. They go well with creamy cheeses like labneh or burrata. They are also great in salads or curries.

Can I customize this black lentil recipe?

Absolutely! You can substitute labneh or burrata with other creamy cheeses like fresh ricotta or whipped goat cheese. You can also serve the lentils with a lemony Greek yogurt sauce or pair them with different greens and vegetables.

What are the health benefits of black lentils?

Black lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. They are low in fat and calories and rich in polyphenols, which protect against cardiovascular disease. They also contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that prevent cellular damage.

What other black lentil recipes can I try?

Black lentils can be used in a variety of recipes. You can make a lentil salad, use them in tacos or burrito bowls, or incorporate them into Indian dishes like Dal Makhani. They are also delicious when served over roasted sweet potatoes with goat cheese.

How versatile are black lentils?

Black lentils are incredibly versatile. They cook quickly, hold their shape, and can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes. Their mild flavor pairs well with various ingredients, making them a great addition to any meal.

Can black lentils be prepared ahead of time?

Yes, you can cook black lentils ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to a few days. This makes them a convenient option for meal prepping or saving time on busy weeknights.

Are black lentils suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets?

Yes, black lentils are a fantastic option for vegetarian and vegan diets. They provide a good amount of plant-based protein and can be used as a nutritious alternative to meat in various dishes.

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