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This simple vegetarian lentil recipe is paired with blistered cherry tomatoes and wilted kale. Seasoned with Middle Eastern spices, it’s full of great flavor, while being healthy and filling!
Growing up with a frugal Egyptian father, lentils were one of the mainstays of our diet. He would season them deliciously, but it seemed like we had them every day…. and of course, as a kid, I grew tired of them and wanted to eat “normal” food like pizza and spaghetti like all my friends.
As you get older you begin to realize that all those things that made your family seem different or weird, are the same things that made them interesting and unique. As a grown-up, I look back at those lentils with such fondness, I actually yearn for them. Somehow they bring such comfort. As a child, I never thought I would ever miss them… but life is funny that way.
In this simple recipe for vegetarian Lentils with Blistered Tomatoes and Kale, Middle Eastern spices give the lentils a burst of delicious flavor. To make this recipe even faster, purchase pre-cooked lentils, now available at many grocery stores (like Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods, etc), or pre-cook a big batch of lentils on Sunday for the workweek, to use in this recipe and in Buddha Bowls! You can also freeze cooked lentils in smaller portions for later.
If going vegan, skip the feta and add a drizzle of olive oil or even tahini sauce. Kale adds extra nutrients and can be substituted with spinach or any other braising green.
Hope you give this simple meal a try- it is surprisingly tasty! Serve this with goat cheese, yogurt, tzatziki or even tahini. sauce!
More lentil recipes you may like:
- Our 25 BEST Lentil Recipes!
- Simple Braised French Lentils
- Warm Lentils with Roasted Beets, Wilted Chard & Goat Cheese
- Lentil Tabouli Salad
- Moroccan Lentil Quinoa Soup
Lentils with Blistered Tomatoes and Kale
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Vegan Main
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 2 cups cooked lentils (Beluga lentils, black caviar or french green. Do not use split lentils.)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- splash water
- 2–3 large handfuls baby kale, or chopped chard, or other greens
Optional additions- tahini sauce, crumbled feta or goat cheese, or a drizzle of olive oil.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and salt and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender, and blistered, but not losing their shape. Carefully spoon tomatoes out of the pan and set them aside.
- In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and add the shallot and garlic, stirring often, until tender and golden, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked lentils, balsamic, salt and spices and stir, warming them up. If dry, add a splash of water to loosen them just a bit. Once warm, add the kale a handful at a time, stirring, tossing and wilting. Taste and adjust salt.
- Divide the lentil and kale among two bowls. Surround with the blistered tomatoes, and top with optional crumbled feta or goat cheese, tahini sauce, or a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
Small black or green lentils work best here. Use whole lentils- Split lentils will turn to mush, so be warned. 😉 Brown lentils will work just fine, and taste great, but have less visual appeal.
- Serving Size: 1 large bowl
- Calories: 424
- Sugar: 6.8 g
- Sodium: 599.1 mg
- Fat: 19.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 46.6 g
- Fiber: 16.8 g
- Protein: 19.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: lentils with tomatoes, sautéed lentils, easy lentil recipe, blistered tomatoes
Oh my goodness! So delicious, so flavorful, so simple and so filling! Thank you Sylvia for these yummy, vegetarian and vegan-friendly recipes—keep them coming!
Love hearing this Gabriella!
This is amazing! Thank you for the new recipe! I’ll be making this one time and again!
Awesome Donna- glad you liked this!
Can you make this recipe ahead of time and eat it cold?
I dont see why not? But havent tried this so not positive on how I would adjust?
I went ahead and made this ahead of time (in the morning) and kept it at room temperature on the stove. When it was time to try it a few hours later, it tasted delicious. And when I had leftovers the next day, I did not bother to heat it up from the refrigerator. It probably tastes best warm, but it was delicious at any temperature. And I added the tahini sauce, which was quite tasty!
Good to know Kate! thanks!
“As you get older you begin to realize that all those things that made your family seem different or weird, are the same things that made them interesting and unique.” Ain’t that the truth! Thanks for another fabulous recipe!
Really simple, warming, and delicious! Used french green lentils and spinach because we always have both on hand, and served with warm pita. We eat alot of lentils and hubby has declared this his current favorite. 🙂
Easy to make, healthful, and delicious! This will be a go-to meal for me. Thank you!
Exceeded my expectations, so good and such simple ingredients! I love making this to use up the abundance of cherry tomatoes and kale from my garden this time of year. And Montana grown lovely organic Black Beluga lentils. Especially love it with your tahini sauce mentioned in the post above the recipe for a perfect vegan dinner. Thank you!
Thanks Bailey- glad you liked this!
Perfect to go with oven baked salmon and easy to make on a weeknight too! You just need to plan enough time to cook the lentil.
Easy and delicious!
why is this recipe so high in sodium?
There was an error. All good now!
Absolutely delicious! This was my first time cooking with Coriander and I loved it. Thank you!
Great to hear Pricila!
Made the vegan version for dinner last night. Happened to have some steamed kale on hand so subbed that in. Delicious, quick, clean food!
Tomorrow I shall be making it for the second time. There is something magical when coriander and cumin get toasted and marry each other, yummy beyond words. Thanks for another great recipe!
This recipe is fantastic! I’m making it for a 2nd time this week. We added 2 poached eggs but it would be delicious with or without.
LLoved this recipe….so good. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy everything I cook from your blog. Now my friends are enjoying your recipes also.
thanks Christi! Glad you enjoyed and appreciate you sharing!!!
This is delicious! Took the leftovers for lunch the next day and it was even better. The spices just lift the lentils past that sometimes boring flavour and the tomatoes give it a bit of sweetness.
Oh Good! Yes, lentils can be kind of somber without a little love. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!