Simple Braised French Lentils – nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or repurposed into breakfast or into a salad. With a Video.

This recipe for Simple Braised French Lentils is nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or turned into a salad! #lentils #Frenchlentils #lentilrecipes

Here’s a simple recipe for Braised French Lentils that comes in so handy this time of year! I don’t know about you, but this week has been all about comfort food. And as odd as it may sound to some, lentils are my comfort food.

It hasn’t always been this way, I remember growing up, vowing to never eat another lentil again, my Egyptian dad cooked them way too often- because they were inexpensive and filling.  But strangely, now I crave them, especially when times feel unsettling. They feel so grounding! (For more lentil recipes be sure to look at  Our 25 BEST Lentil Recipes!)

This lentil side dish pairs well with so many things. Serve with Roasted Salmon or Simple Baked Chicken or Baked Tofu. These Portobello Mushrooms would also pair nicely.

What I love about this recipe is that the lentils can be repurposed during the week into different meals. Leftovers can be turned into a salad with the addition of fresh veggies and a red wine vinaigrette. Or warm the lentils up for brunch, serve over a piece of sourdough bread with Sauteed Greens and a poached egg and gremolata or leek oil. Or freeze them for later use!

Simple Braised French Lentils | 60-sec video

What type of lentil to use

Here we’re using French Green Lentils (also called Le Puy Lentils), but any small lentil, like black lentils or beluga lentils will work well here too.

This recipe for Simple Braised French Lentils is nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or turned into a salad! #lentils #Frenchlentils #lentilrecipes

How to braise lentils

For this recipe, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of French green lentils ( Le Puy)  or black lentils (Beluga, caviar lentils). Large brown lentils will take much longer to cook than the recipe calls for and probably a little more liquid.

Step 1: Start with dicing the carrot, onion and celery. Roughly chop the garlic.

This recipe for Simple Braised French Lentils is nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or turned into a salad! #lentils #Frenchlentils #lentilrecipes

Step 2: Saute the onions, celery and carrots  for 7-8 minutes.

This recipe for Simple Braised French Lentils is nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or turned into a salad! #lentils #Frenchlentils #lentilrecipes

Step 3: Add the garlic and lentils and saute until the garlic is fragrant.

This recipe for Simple Braised French Lentils is nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or turned into a salad! #lentils #Frenchlentils #lentilrecipes

Step 4: Deglaze with Sherry, or wine of your choosing. Or you can leave this out and add a little red wine vinegar at the end.

Step 5: Add the stock and aromatics- bay leaves and sprigs of thyme.

This recipe for Simple Braised French Lentils is nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or turned into a salad! #lentils #Frenchlentils #lentilrecipes

Step 6: Then simmer gently, covered over low heat for 25-30 minutes.

This recipe for Simple Braised French Lentils is nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or turned into a salad! #lentils #Frenchlentils #lentilrecipes

The lentils will hold their shape beautifully, and be a flavorful companion dish to whatever else you are serving.

This recipe for Simple Braised French Lentils is nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or turned into a salad! #lentils #Frenchlentils #lentilrecipes

Other recipes you may like:

Give these braised lentils a try and let us know what you serve it with, in the comments below!

xoxo,

Sylvia

 

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Simple Braised French Lentils - nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or repurposed into breakfast or into a salad! 

Simple Braised French Lentils

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: legumes, side dish
  • Method: braised, stovetop
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Simple Braised French Lentils – nourishing and comforting and a delicious healthy side dish that pairs well with so many things! Leftovers can be frozen, or repurposed into breakfast or into a salad!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced ( or sub 1 large leek)
  • 1 cup diced celery (or fennel bulb)
  • 1 cup diced carrot ( or beet!)
  • 34 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry French Green Lentils (Le Puy, or small black lentils– beluga, caviar, etc. )
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine, red wine, white wine, marsala wine (or skip it and add 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar at the end)
  • 4 cups veggie or chicken stock ( or water and 1 bouillon cubes)
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard- whole grain or dijon (optional)
  • 45 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and stir 4-5 minutes, then turn heat down to medium. Cook 4-5 more minutes and add the garlic and lentils. Cook 2 minutes stirring.

Add the wine. Let this cook-off, about 2 minutes.

Pour in the stock, salt, and mustard and stir until combined and bring to a good simmer. Add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, cover and gently simmer on low heat  25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

When the lentils are tender, uncover and cook off any extra liquid ( or feel free to drain). Remove the thyme sprigs, taste and adjust salt.  A tiny little splash of red wine vinegar livens them up.

Leftovers can be frozen for later use, or refrigerated and made into a salad the next day- adding fresh veggies and a simple vinaigrette.  Or use for breakfast, warmed on toast, with Sauteed Greens, a poached egg and an herby green sauce like gremolata or Leek oil. YUM. 😉


Notes

Leftovers can be frozen for later use, or refrigerated and turned into a salad the next day- adding fresh veggies and a simple vinaigrette.  Or use for breakfast, warmed on toast, with a poached egg and an herby green sauce like gremolata or Leek oil. YUM. 😉

These French green lentils were quite small- which allows them to cook quickly! Larger lentils may take longer to cook- check at 25, and add more liquid if need be.

I love the flavor of Sherry wine here- yes, it is kind of “old-school” but it adds a tasty complexity and subtle sweetness. Do not confuse this up with Sherry vinegar. 😉

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¾ cup
  • Calories: 177
  • Sugar: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 613.9 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.2 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 9.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan lentils, French lentils, braised lentils, French lentil recipe, how to cook lentils, braised French lentils, lentil recipes,

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Comments

  1. Hi Sylvia, from a fellow half-Egyptian! I love your recipes! Can you let us know what kind of salt you use? I know some salts are more intense than others, might help me to calibrate 🙂

    1. Hi Savannah- I used to use kosher salt, but about 5 years ago I switched to Real Salt- it’s a high-mineral salt that is finer than kosher salt. I have linked it throughout the blog. 😉

  2. Hi Sylvia, I love your recipes! Can you let us know what kind of salt you use? I know some salts are more concentrated than others, so might help me calibrate 😉

    1. I used to use kosher salt, but about 5 years ago I switched to Real Salt- it’s a high-mineral salt that is finer than kosher salt. I have linked it throughout the blog. 😉

  3. I read somewhere that adding salt to lentils while cooking would prevent the lentils from ever softening. Have you heard this or experienced this?

    1. I have heard this a lot too, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. I always salt my lentils, but do as you like Claudia!

  4. Delicious and versatile. I love it with a dollop of hummus and a slab of buttered sourdough bread. I wanted more, so I increased to 2 cups of French green lentils and used the recipe to estimate proportions of water and other ingredients.

  5. I just returned from Le Puy, France and fell in love with the lentils that are everywhere. So, in trying to recreate them at home, I found your recipe. It’s delicious! I love it – and will remember France when I make these. thanks!

  6. Delicious! I followed directions exactly. There ended up being too much liquid but I drained, as suggested and saved the extra liquid as soup/broth….what flavor! Thank you for this amazing recipe.

  7. I have made this a few times and absolutely love it. Like one other reviewer, I found I need to reduce the liquid, and I use the French green lentils. I typically make it with fennel and red wine, but am trying it with celery since I have a large bag. It is hard to stop eating this…even though I should sometimes : )

  8. Have made this recipe many times. It is a favourite. Serve it with marinated deboned leg of lamb.

  9. This recipe was almost obnoxiously perfect (and found the salt amount perfect as written, although that can depend on the stock you’re using and is definitely a matter of taste; always easier to add than to remove, but a trick for the salt-averse who overdid it: pop a potato in there, and that will sponge some of that salt out).

    I admit to being unfairly prejudiced against lentils and tend to go into cooking with them with low expectations, but have found a few recipes now starring them that have proven me wrong and become favorites; this is another one (with your gremolata recipe as suggested, and going to try your sautéed greens recipe with the leftovers next). Thank you!

      1. Yes, just raw and peeled! Discovered that tip when I overdid salting a soup; using a little osmosis made it salvageable (and not a chore to eat).

  10. These were delicious. I questioned the conversion for the 4 cup stock (1L in UK). Thought it would be way too much so I simmered without covering for the whole time and still has to cook for half an hour over the suggested time. Next time
    I’ll reduce the stock by 50% but otherwise a great recipe! Thanks!

  11. I make this recipe often and crave it. One of my very favorites. I really love this as a side, especially with Salmon or chicken, and like it for breakfast as you mentioned as well.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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