Lentils are a staple in our house – not only are they an inexpensive pantry staple, they are very good for you too!
We keep Green, Brown and Red Lentils in the pantry ALL the time – we store them in jars, so it’s easy pour. They work super for last minute dinners and you can literally make them with anything.
For this recipe, you can use a mix of green and red lentils – OR… just red. Or, a mix of red lentils and yellow split peas. Today we used a mix of green and red lentils because that is what we had.
Not only is the recipe easy to remember (especially easy after making it once!), it’s inexpensive – it’s budget friendly (common CSA items like Tomatoes, Onions and Garlic..) and your spices, which really infuse the dish and give it flavor.
Lentils have 14 grams of protein per serving.. so not only is it an easy source of protein for those who are looking to reduce the meat in their diet, it has plenty of veggies and inflammatory foods. We have been working very hard to reduce inflammation in my husband’s diet, and the turmeric, cumin, coriander and cayenne all do that very well.
This dish has everything to love – but that’s even better because we were able to use our Instant Pot to put it together. I love this appliance – we have posted many of our creations made in this pot and it truly makes “making” lentils a breeze.
No soaking is required – this pot makes it a breeze to cook lentils. If you use red lentils you can get away with 10 minutes in the Instant Pot. Since we used green (which are a bit heartier) then you will need to add a few minutes – this took us just 14.
Start by combining the onion and garlic with 2 Tbsp olive oil in the Instant Pot using the saute function. Once the onions are translucent, then stir in the spices, then add the lentils.
Add 3 Cups of water, and then place the sliced tomatoes on the top of the mixture in the Instant Pot. Close the lid and seal, then use Manual (High) for 14 minutes (a little less — 10 minutes, if you are using red lentils).
Once the pot beeps, release the pressure manually and throw in a few handfuls of spinach and 2 Tbsp of butter (real butter!)
The spinach will wilt with the heat of the lentils, and the butter makes for a very rich, thick dish. Use salt (to taste) – we used 1 tsp of salt but you can adjust based on your preference.
You can use your Immersion Blender if you wish.. or just leave the lentils as is – your preference. Be generous with cilantro on the top, and a dollop of greek yogurt to top it off.
Serve up alongside some good old Naan Bread (find our recipe HERE) and you have a very rich, fulfilling meal.
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion, Red or Yellow, chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
- 1/4 tsp Dried Cayenne Pepper
- 3 C. Water
- 1 1/2 C. Dried Red Lentils
- (Or, half Dried Red and Dried Green or a combination of Yellow Split Peas)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 large Tomato, cut into 6-8 wedges
- 4 C. Spinach
- 1/4 c. fresh Cilantro, chopped (or, just toss in like we did!)
- Optional: 2 Tbsp Butter
- Greek Yogurt
- Fresh Cilantro
- Naan Flatbread
- Add the Olive Oil, Garlic and Onions to the Instant Pot and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onions are clear.
- Turn off the Instant Pot, and then add the spices - stir until well combined.
- Add the Lentils and salt, and then place the tomato wedges on top - cover with 3 C. of water.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the pot is sealed.
- Push Manual (high) for 10 - 14 minutes (ten if you are using red lentils, 14 if you are using a combination).
- Once the pot beeps, push OFF and let out the steam manually.
- Whisk the Lentils (use an immersion blender if you wish or, not required), and add the Spinach, along with the butter. The heat makes the Spinach wilt naturally.
- Serve over brown rice. OR, serve in bowls topped with fresh Cilantro and fresh Naan bread.