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If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to pack more plant-based protein into your life, you’re going to love these vegan red lentil recipes. Below you'll find 43 new sweet and savory ways to enjoy this budget-friendly pantry staple.

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Lentils are one of my favorite vegan pantry staples. They're extremely affordable, high in protein, and more versatile than beans in my opinion! If you're interested in more lentil recipes, make sure to check out my favorite Instant Pot Lentil Recipes.

Otherwise, get a pen and paper ready, because you're going to want to write down these red lentil recipe ideas!

What are Red Lentils?

Red lentils are usually sold in the form of red split lentils (also known as masoor dal) and are both inexpensive and easy to find. 

They are different from other types of lentils (such as green lentils, brown lentils, or black lentils) in that they are split, meaning they’re thinner. Red split lentils in particular have been split in half and had their husks removed which is why they cook more quickly than other lentils.

Red lentils are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phyto-chemicals which are thought to help protect against chronic diseases. They are also part of the legume family, making them an important component in any healthy diet.

What Are Red Split Lentils Good For?

Red split lentils are great for any quick-cooking dish, or you can use them to thicken other dishes. They’re great in soups, stews, chili, curries (such as dal) and more. 

They’re also great in pasta sauce as red lentils develop a creamy texture when cooked. But most surprisingly, red lentils work incredibly well in baked goods (arguably the best way to sneak red lentils into your picky eater's diet!).

How To Cook Red Lentils

  1. Rine well. While you do not need to soak red split lentils before cooking, it is important to rinse them under cool running water in a fine mesh strainer. This helps to remove any dust or debris (lentils are dirty!). Once well rinsed, drain any excess water and add them to a pot. 
  2. Add to a pot with 2-3 cups of cooking liquid of choice. Red lentils can be cooked with water or broth, but I usually like to cook them in water so I can use them in both sweet and savory recipes. 
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. ​Cook the lentils over medium-high heat until boiling. Once boiling, reduce to medium or medium-low heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and tender. 
  4. Serve. Drain any excess liquid from the pot, if necessary, then serve immediately or set aside to cool for meal prep. 

Notes: 

  • If you want your red lentils to remain whole and still have some texture, you’ll want to use less water (than if you want them to become more of a puree), about 2 cups of water for every cup of red lentils.
  • For more of a mash consistency, you can use 3 cups of water for every cup of lentils. Red lentil puree is a great base to load on a plate and top with roasted vegetables, grains, and more!

Vegan Red Lentil Recipes

If you’re ready to make some vegan red lentil recipes, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a ton of vegan red lentil recipes you probably haven’t tried yet. Not all of them are soup but there are definitely some great vegan lentil soup recipes here, too. Try some of these great recipes and you might just find a few new favorites to add to your meal rotation!

Closeup of baked stuffed spaghetti squash garnished with basil.

1

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

These stuffed spaghetti squash only require 10 ingredients, including making homemade vegan cashew mozzarella. They're naturally gluten free, can be made nut free and are a great, lighter weeknight dinner option!
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2

Smoky Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Smoky lentil stuffed sweet potatoes are a vegan and gluten-free main rich in protein and fiber. An easy and healthy weeknight dinner.
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Credit: dishingouthealth.com

3

Red Lentil Potato Soup

Mediterranean-inspired red lentil potato soup is rustic, warming, and lemony. This one-pot meal is a hearty and filling soup you'll want to make year-round.
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Credit: veggiessavetheday.com

4

Dal Vada – Lentil Fritters In Air Fryer

Dal vada are Indian lentil fritters. These ones are gluten-free, vegan, and can be easily made in the air fryer!
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Credit: culinaryshades.com

5

Spiced Lentil and Carrot Soup

Spiced lentil and carrot soup is a high-protein vegan soup that's perfect for cooler weather. Aromatic spices bring a lot of flavor to this simple recipe.
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Credit: livveganstrong.com

6

Red Lentil Flatbreads

You only need 4 ingredients to make these delicious gluten-free red lentil flatbreads. Serve them with a curry for a grain-free protein boost!
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Credit: veganonboard.com

7

Red Lentil Curry (Masoor Dal)

Quick and easy, this flavorful red lentil curry (masoor dal) can be made in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop. This is a budget-friendly vegan dish that is ready in under 30 minutes!
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Credit: pipingpotcurry.com

8

Vegan Rosewater Parfaits with Silken Tofu

There's a surprise ingredient in these vegan rosewater parfaits. Do you know what it is? Yes, it's red lentils! Paired with silken tofu, this is a protein-packed dessert you'll love.
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Credit: healthyslowcooking.com
Frittata on plate with arugula and dollop of vegan sour cream.

9

Vegan Frittata with Sweet Potato and Kale

This vegan frittata is ready in just about an hour and is made with chickpea flour and red lentils, giving it 12 grams of protein per serving.
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10

Sweet Red Lentil Protein Pancakes

These vegan red lentil protein pancakes contain no protein powder! This 7-ingredient fluffy gluten-free and vegan pancake recipe is delicious and easy to make.
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Credit: mypureplants.com

11

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Chili

Meal prep this delicious red lentil chili in your slow cooker for easy dinner or lunch all week. This healthy recipe is loaded with flavor and protein.
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Credit: runningonrealfood.com

12

Pasta with Red Lentils and Spinach

Looking for a quick weeknight-friendly and cozy meal? You'll love this pasta with red lentils and spinach. Use a plant based butter to keep this flavorful dish vegan.
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Credit: cookingchatfood.com

13

Masoor Daal Halwa – Red Lentils Pudding

Masoor daal halwa (red lentil pudding) is a delicious sweet dessert commonly made for Indian festivals. But this treat is easy enough to make for any occasion and is loaded with protein. Swap the ghee for vegan butter and the milk for your favorite plant-based milk to make this recipe vegan.
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Credit: jcookingodyssey.com

14

How to Make Lebanese Lentil Soup (Shorbet Adas Recipe)

Learn how to make a traditional and authentic Lebanese lentil soup (shorbet adas). This family recipe is healthy, delicious, and so cozy.
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Credit: plantbasedfolk.com

15

Easy Vegan Hotpot with Lentils

This vegan take on British hotpot (originating in Lancashire) is made with a hearty red lentil tomato ragu sauce and topped with layers of sliced potato. This filling vegan hotpot dish is perfect to serve company or family on a cold night.
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Credit: bytheforkful.com

16

Misir Wot – Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

Misir wot is an Ethiopian red lentil stew flavored with warm spices. This 45 minute stew is perfect with flatbread (even better with Ethiopian injera) or rice.
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Credit: urbanfarmie.com
Overhead of bowl of lasagna soup with garnish.

17

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

This slow cooker lasagna soup is the perfect high-protein (using red lentils!) and vegetarian and vegan soup to warm you up in the colder months. It's made with no-boil lasagna in one-pot and can be customized with your favorite vegetables. Gluten-free and Instant Pot options included!
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18

Vegan Lentil Wraps With Fresh Salad & Yogurt Garlic Sauce Recipe

These vegan lentil wraps are the perfect healthy and satisfying lunch. Place these portable wraps in a lunch box or bring them on a picnic!
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Credit: littlesunnykitchen.com

19

Red Lentil Tofu

Red lentil tofu is a great soy-free alternative to tofu. This easy soy-free tofu is made from only two ingredients!
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Credit: sixhungryfeet.com

20

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

Sweet potatoes, lentils, and coconut milk are a lovely combination in this flavorful curry. This easy recipe is ready in under 30 minutes so it's great for a weeknight meal or easy meal prep.
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Credit: livinglou.com

21

Instant Pot Moroccan Lentil Soup

This Instant Pot Moroccan lentil soup is bursting with flavor from warm, fragrant Moroccan spices. This cozy meal is made in an electric pressure cooker to save time and cleanup.
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Credit: savorysweetspoon.com

22

Mercimek Koftesi (Vegan Turkish Red Lentil and Bulgur Kofte)

Mercimek koftesi is a Turkish kofte made with red lentils and bulgur. This vegan recipe is not deep fried so it is healthy! Stuff it in a crisp lettuce leaf or your favorite wrap for a delicious lunch or dinner.
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Credit: mycookingjourney.com

23

Red Lentil Nacho Dip

Creamy and allergen-friendly, this vegan nacho dip is made with a surprising ingredient: red lentils! This dip is fantastic with tortilla chips or raw veggies.
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Credit: strengthandsunshine.com
bowl of butter chicken over rice on blue background

24

Vegan Butter Chicken with Cauliflower and Chickpeas

This Vegan Butter Chicken is a non-traditional take on a popular Indian dish but it is just as creamy, tangy and it's bursting with flavor. Comes together in just about 30 minutes making this the perfect weeknight recipe!
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25

Vegan Puttanesca

Creamy, protein-packed vegan puttanesca is the perfect busy weeknight dinner and has extra protein from red lentils! A dish that the whole family can enjoy, this vegan pasta recipe only takes 30 minutes!
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Credit: zardyplants.com

26

5-ingredient Pumpkin Lentil Soup

Cozy pumpkin lentil soup with ginger is a delicious and warming dish. This 5 ingredient recipe is ready in only 15 minutes so it's the perfect winter weeknight meal.
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Credit: mygoodnesskitchen.com

27

Red Lentil Protein Waffles

For a simple protein-packed vegan breakfast, you'll love this 7-ingredient vegan protein waffle recipe. Top these crisp waffles with fresh fruit and pure maple syrup.
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Credit: mypureplants.com

28

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry

Comforting and loaded with plant-based protein, this butternut squash and chickpea curry also has red lentils to really make it a satisfying meal. This easy curry is also loaded with veggies and spices for a well-rounded dish.
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Credit: thehiddenveggies.com

29

Lentil Bread

Did you know you can make bread with red lentils? This 4-Ingredient lentil bread is healthy, delicious, and has a great texture.
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Credit: cookingforpeanuts.com

30

Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Red Lentils

Loaded with veggies and red lentils, this chunky vegan soup is hearty and satisfying. This healthy soup is super easy to make so there's no reason not to give it a try.
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Credit: debraklein.com

31

Lentil Brownies

Fudgy brownies made from lentils? These delicious lentil brownies are high in protein but they don't taste beany. These brownies are easy to make, too.
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Credit: veganricha.com

32

5-Minute Creamy Lentil Hummus

Mix up your weekly hummus dip and try this red lentil hummus! It's every bit as creamy and only requires 6 simple ingredients.
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Credit: sweetsimplevegan.com

33

Best Savory Oatmeal

Loaded with protein from red lentils and rolled oats, this savory oatmeal is perfect for any meal of the day. Top it with your favorite fresh veggies and enjoy!
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Credit: brokebankvegan.com

34

Easy Slow Cooker Lentil Tortilla Soup

Set it and forget it with this easy slow cooker lentil tortilla soup. This creamy and hearty soup is loaded with flavor and only takes 15 minutes to prepare for the slow cooker.
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Credit: easychickpeasy.com

35

Syrian Red Lentil Skillet Bread

Bursting with flavor from spices, herbs, and roasted red pepper, this Syrian-inspired red lentil skillet bread is a delicious side for soup. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and grain-free.
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Credit: strengthandsunshine.com

36

Masoor Dal Tadka

Masoor dal tadka is a red lentil dal finished with a sizzling garlic tadka. This recipe is weeknight and beginner friendly but is loaded with flavor and protein!
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Credit: homecookingcollective.com

37

Red Lentil Pasta Sauce

Lentil pasta sauce is a protein-packed marinara that's wonderful for any pasta dish. Serve with your favorite pasta and veggies for an easy and healthy dinner. Perfect for making ahead and freezing, too!
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Credit: kitchentreaty.com

38

Vegan Congee Recipe

Vegan congee is a plant-based take on traditional congee, a type of rice porridge eaten often in Asian countries. This vegan congee recipe is loaded with red lentils for protein and tons of flavor.
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Credit: cheaplazyvegan.com

39

Turkish Lentil Soup (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)

Conveniently a vegan dump-and-go dish, this Turkish red lentil soup is loaded with flavor and protein. You can make this easy soup in the Instant Pot or slow cooker.
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Credit: earthtoveg.com

40

Spiced Tomato Red Lentils

Budget-friendly and super tasty, these spiced tomato red lentils are filling and so good! Serve with rice (and fresh herbs if you have them).
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Credit: thevietvegan.com

41

Dal Palak Recipe (Spinach Dal)

Dal palak is a simple curry made with spinach, red lentils, and spices in the Instant Pot. This one-pot recipe is great for midweek dinner.
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Credit: flavourstreat.com

42

Pumpkin Lentil Falafel

Falafel made with red lentils and pumpkin puree are a delicious fall-inspired meal but you can enjoy them any time of the year. These flavorful falafel patties are perfect in a pita with fresh vegetables and lemon tahini dressing.
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Credit: blissfulbasil.com

43

Lentil Bolognese

This epic vegan lentil bolognese is a feels-fancy meal that's easy to make with 10 pantry staple ingredients. This meaty sauce is perfect on top of pasta.
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Credit: rainbowplantlife.com

44

Red Lentil Granola Bar

Red lentils are the base for this vegan granola bar recipe but you can't taste the lentils at all. These easy sweet treats are ready in just 35 minutes and make a great portable breakfast or snack.
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Credit: fannetasticfood.com
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