25 Ways to Turn Lentils into Dinner

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

If you’re searching for a way to add more meatless protein to your dinner roster, look no further than lentils. The affordable, quick-cooking legume packs one serious protein punch and is incredibly versatile. From soups and salads to braises and bakes, here are 25 delicious ways to bring lentils to your dinner table.


It’s hard to beat the hearty satisfaction of a big bowl of lentil soup. Lentils can bulk up just about any pot of simmering broth and turn it into an easy meal.

Warm French Lentil Salad with Bacon & Herbs(Image credit: Faith Durand)


Lentil salads come in all shapes and sizes, which means there is bound to be one that fits your current mood. If you’re craving something light, make a cool lentil salad with a simple vinaigrette; if you’re feeling like something more comforting, churn out a warm lentil salad and add bacon to the situation.

Roasted Cauliflower & Lentil Bowl with Sweet Potato Hummus(Image credit: Lauren Volo)


Whether it’s something as simple as spiced lentils topped with a fried egg or a little more dressed up like a lentil curry, lentils are bowl food at its best.

Cheesy Lentil(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Bakes and Braises

Lentils can take the place of ground meat in casseroles and pies, thanks to their hearty texture, but can also make a nice bed for actual meat if you’re more inclined.