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How to Cook Lentils: A Perfect Pot of Lentils in Under 30 Minutes

How to Cook Lentils | Umami GirlI get excited about lentils. That’s just a fact. You can love me or leave me for it. But I suggest you stay.

If you do, I’ll show you how to cook lentils befitting the fabulous person you are.

Here’s the thing. Legumes are wonderful. Satisfying, versatile, nutritious, comforting. And lentils? Lentils are the breezy, low-maintenance, smarter-than-they-seem friend in the legume squad. (I almost wrote posse instead of squad, but see how millennial I am?) (Not very.) 

How to Cook Lentils | Umami GirlA perfect pot of lentils — savory, lightly herbaceous, perfectly tender — can be yours in under 30 minutes. Then you can spend the week tossing them into grain bowls and onto salads or leftover sweet potatoes or really wherever your heart desires. You can make a complete meal out of all of the things all of the time (give or take) as long as there’s a great pot of lentils in your fridge.

How to Cook Lentils | Umami GirlAny variety of lentil will work with this cooking method, but I particularly like Puy lentils for salads and bowls because they hold their shape and a little bit of bite even when beautifully tender, and even after a week in the fridge. They taste great, too. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Okay, friends, that’s all for today. Have fun out there. Talk to you soon.

Carolyn xx

How to Cook a Great Pot of Lentils

Preparation 00:05 Cook Time 00:25 Total Time 0:30
Serves 4     adjust servings

A really great, flavorful pot of lentils is less than 30 minutes away. Any lentil variety will work for this recipe as long as you test for doneness, but I especially like Puy lentils for salads and bowls because they taste great and hold their shape even when nice and tender. Exact cooking time will depend on the age and variety of your lentils, but I find 25 minutes is almost always right for the Puy lentils I buy, regardless of source. These babies will keep well in the fridge for a week, and some weeks that's a lifeline. They'll turn anything from a simple green salad to a leftover sweet potato into a meal.


  • 1 cup dry Puy lentils (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


Rinse lentils well in a fine-mesh sieve. Place in a small (about 2-quart) pot and cover with water by 1 to 2 inches. Stir in herbs and salt. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until lentils are tender but still intact, about 25 minutes. Drain and serve as you like. Keeps, tightly covered, in the fridge for a week.


Recipe Notes

2 reviews
A really great pot of lentils is less than 30 minutes away. How to cook simple, savory lentils to keep in the fridge and add to salads, bowls, and more.


Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.

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