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Brown, Green, Yellow, and Red Lentils

Lentils are one of our favorite pantry staples because they’re so versatile, from making a simple salad more filling to becoming a creamy base for soups and stews. If you go to the store, you might come across a variety of different colors like brown, green, yellow, and red. So, what’s the difference between these options?

Brown and green lentils cook evenly and hold their shape making them better for adding to salads or eating on their own. Brown lentils are the most common and cook in 20-30 minutes. Green lentils may take closer to 45 minutes.

Yellow and red lentils tend to break apart when cooked, making them perfect for soups, stews, and Indian curries when you want a creamy consistency. They cook in about 30 minutes.

We recommend that you try them all and use what you like the best, but this color-coded tip will help when you want to choose the right lentil for the right occasion.