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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. With a Video.
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.
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.
Step 2: Saute the onions, celery and carrots for 7-8 minutes.
Step 3: Add the garlic and lentils and saute until the garlic is fragrant.
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.
Step 6: Then simmer gently, covered over low heat for 25-30 minutes.
The lentils will hold their shape beautifully, and be a flavorful companion dish to whatever else you are serving.
Other recipes you may like:
- 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Side Dishes
- Moroccan Lentil Salad
- Our 25 BEST Lentil Recipes!
- Moroccan Lentil Quinoa Soup
- Healing Lentil Beet Soup
- Vegan Lentil Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
Give these braised lentils a try and let us know what you serve it with, in the comments below!
Simple Braised French Lentils
- 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
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!
- 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!)
- 3–4 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)
- 4–5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 bay leaves
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. 😉
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. 😉
- 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,
Excellent! I didn’t have any French lentils, but used split red ones. It was delicious! They don’t maintain their shape so this might be an issue for some with texture, otherwise very flavourful. I didn’t have red wine vinegar to add at the end, but used balsamic vinegar instead. Delicious!
Great to hear Stephanie!
This has become my go-to lentil recipe; it is amazingly easy and delicious. My only modification is to omit the garlic for a more delicate taste.
We generally serve it over rice and add a bit of dried mint on top.
Awesome! So happy you like this one Stacy!
Just made this for the first time, I put it on rice and it was freaking delicious. I am wondering how well it freezes?
Yum! Love it Jasper! Should Freeze just fine!
Delicious. My lentils were a little old so they took longer to soften than the recipe calls for. I also used white wine vinegar since that was in my cupboard. The vinegar is a must as it brightens up the lentils perfectly! I also added a pat of butter at the end. I served these with a baked sweet potato as a main dish.
Sounds perfect Kristy- thanks!
We love this recipe. I made as stated except just a little olive oil spray in pan. Timing turned out just right at shy of 30 minutes. Had soft boiled eggs and roasted asparagus and tiny sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and roasted delicata. So good. I think it would be great at Thanksgiving actually with turkey if people would not miss the more “traditional” dishes. Great for vegetarians too which we have in our family, and we are leaning more and more that way all the time. Thank you, a “keeper” Like that it can be frozen and may experiment with that to see how it goes.
Glad you enjoyed this Frances! Love how you served it- yes lots of options here and different ways to serve it!
First words out of my carnivorous brother’s mouth: mmm, this is good!
Fabulous recipe. Thank you!
Love it James!
This was my first time cooking Le Puy lentils at home. They make a huge difference with respect to texture and appearance. Great recipe! I used balsamic vinegar to finish.
Glad you liked them!
So quick and easy!
My little boys intolerant to nightshades so I’m having to reevaluate most of our dinners. This is one recipe that the whole family is more than happy to switch potatoes out for!
Oh interesting-that can make thing challenging. I suppose you can always adapt recipes, subbing out other veggies?
Good, but I would cut the salt in half next time.
Ok yes, I think you are right.- I lowered it a bit here from 2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 teaspoons.
Added a few dashes of Bragg’s Amino Acid (like soy sauce) and it was delish!
Hi! I’m going to try this recipe, and it’s my first time cooking lentils. Maybe I missed it, but the recipe mentions to add a stock and spices but didn’t mention what kind of stock and spices? Is it chicken stock/broth? And obviously salt/pepper but what other spices would be good? Thank you, can’t wait to try it!
Scroll down to the recipe card. 🙂
Excellent recipe for basic lentils! Thanks so much for posting this! My first experience cooking lentils and I will be sure to cook more in the future. This was great, thank you!
My favorite lintel recipe!
We enjoyed it and served over rice. But the meal ended up seeming a bit dry. I would like a version that created some of it’s own sauce. I saw another of your recipes which called for a drizzle of tahini. Perhaps we’ll try that in the future!
I think a sauce like tahini would be good here if serving this over rice. You could also add a little more broth, to loosen them up a bit.
This recipe is so delicious and heart warming! I didn’t have any Marsala, so I used dry Madeira wine and it was excellent! My husband, who can be picky and rarely eats legumes, really enjoyed this dish! I think it was the vibrant color of the carrots and the wonderful smell that won him over! Thank you so much Sylvia for all your great recipes!
This may be my favorite lentil recipe. The taste is perfect, and they hold up quite well.
Easy and delicious!
This was simple to make and very tasty. I will certainly add it to the rotation. Thanks for sharing your culinary gifts with the world!
I don’t cook lentils much but decided to try this recipe tonight. Really nice flavours and quite easy to make! I didn’t have celery on hand so I just doubled the carrots, and I skipped the wine but added the splash of red wine vinegar at the end as suggested which really added a nice depth to the lentils. Thank you!
This looks so lovely! I would really like to make it. Sorry – I didn’t understand (I am not a confident cook) can you tell me if the lentils are dried, or pre-soaked, or I could use the type from a can? Thank you!
They are dried, uncooked lentils.
I’m always looking for a good lentils recipe. This one is delicious! I used French green lentils and love the texture – not mushy.
Thanks so much and happy this worked for you!
This was so good! I don’t always like lentils but this recipe is a keeper.
This is clearly a winner in our household. I used the Marsala and it really added a layer of flavor.
These lentils look so inviting! beautiful recipe.. thank you!