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How to Cook Perfect, Non-Mushy Lentils

Lentils are one of our favorite pantry staples because they’re versatile, healthy, and add an earthiness to salads and soups. They come in a variety of colors like orange, red, and yellow (which are better for soups & stews), but green lentils are the best for salads because they hold their shape. Here’s how to make perfectly cooked lentils:

  1. Rinse the lentils under cold water and pick out any stones or discolored bits.

  2. Add the lentils to a pot with a ratio of 2 parts cold water to 1 part lentils. Wait to add salt until the end.

  3. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, and cook 20-30 minutes uncovered until the lentils are cooked through but not falling apart. You may need to add hot water to keep them slightly submerged.

  4. Strain, return to the pot, then salt and season.

Salting the lentils while they cook may prevent the shells from softening so we like to season them while still hot right after you drain them. If you’re using them in a salad recipe, add the dressing while the lentils are warm so they soak it up. Now, your perfectly cooked lentils are ready to use so let your creativity run wild.

  • Sam

    I”ve tried all these things, although it made some difference the lentils were still mushy. so i switched to cooking in pure clay…these are 100% non-toxic unglazed pots. It cooks naturally with less oil and water on medium heat, i cook lentils without pre-soaking and it really turns out great. My family loves the way it cooks. i i purchased one online.