Five Reasons to Love the Littlest Legume

Mighty lentils are superstars of the sustainable kitchen.

  • One of the few beans that qualify as quick cooking, lentils don’t need to be soaked overnight and can be ready in as little as 20 minutes.

  • Whether you go subtle with a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, and a little chopped thyme or blast them a brain-jolting curry, lentils bring their A-game no matter what you throw at them.

  • They don’t require chemical fertilizers, instead replenishing the soil they grow in with nitrogen.

  • Farmers love the fact that lentils are drought resistant and stage their growth to fit with the available water resources.

  • Lentils also go big in the good-for-you department. They’re an excellent source of folate, fiber, iron, and lean protein.


Here are some of our favorite varieties. 

Red—Sweet and nutty red lentils become quite soft when cooked. They’re the basis of the spiced Indian porridge, daal. These lentils also make a delicious soup, thickening it as they cook.

Green—These have a robust, almost peppery flavor and take the longest to cook, upwards of 45 minutes, but they stay firm when cooked, which makes them ideal for salads.

Black—Their rich, earthy flavor and soft texture is perfect in salads and soups or featured with pasta, rice, or sautéed vegetables. Not only does their deep black color present a dramatic, striking contrast when cooked with a variety of colorful green and red vegetables, but it also indicates they are high in the antioxidant anthocyanin. Taste for yourself in our Lettuce-wrapped Lentil Burgers with Avocado and Brussels Sprout Salad.