How To Cook Split Red Lentils

Written By: Sofia Layarda, MPH

Title: Master of Public Health

Alumni: University of California, Berkeley

Last Updated on:

Fed Lentils Whole Grains

Wanting something a little lighter to give your tummy and wallet a break from all the meat-heavy barbecues? Check out red lentils. Red lentils are typically available dehulled and split, so they are one of the quickest-cooking forms of lentils out there. They are popular as an ingredient in soups or the thick, flavorful sauce called dhal in South Asian cuisines. Beans and lentils are indeed staples in many cultures around the world!

How to Cook Lentils

How To Cook Red Lentils

Starting Amount: 1/2 cup raw


You will need triple the amount of liquid for the amount of lentil you have. So if you are starting with 0.5 cup dry red lentils, you will need 1.5 cups of water to cook.

1. Rinse lentils under running water and pick through them to remove any bits of stone that may have gotten mixed in.

2. Put the rinsed lentils into a heavy-bottomed pot, add in the water, and bring to a boil on the stove. Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to simmer (with the lid slightly ajar) until tender. This should take approximately 10 minutes. If you prefer a softer texture for your lentils, you can take the pot off the stove but keep the lid on for another 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Lentils can double or triple in volume once cooked, so the 0.5 cup raw lentils should yield about 1 to 1.5 cups of cooked lentils.

Resulting Yield: about 1 to 1.5 cups

​Nutritional Information (0.5 cup cooked red lentils):

  • Calories: 115  kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 19.9  g
  • Protein: 8.9 g
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • ​Fiber: 7.8 g
  • ​Glycemic Index (GI): ​Low
  • Gluten-free: Yes

How to Add More Red Lentils to Your Diet


gluten free, home cooking, how to cook, lentils, vegetarian, whole grains


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