Healthy, tasty and cheap: Three easy recipes with canned lentils

Save yourself time and effort with these no-fuss, flavorsome dishes

Spiced lentils with sweet potato and yogurt.
Spiced lentils with sweet potato and yogurt.Mikel López Iturriaga (MIKEL LÓPEZ ITURRIAGA)

Cooking lentils from scratch can be very time-consuming. To save yourself the time and hassle, here are three easy and healthy recipes that use canned lentils.

Spiced lentils with sweet potato and yogurt


2 medium sweet potatoes

14 ounces of cooked beluga lentils

½ onion

1 clove garlic

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 Greek yogurt

Zest of ½ lemon

Extra virgin olive oil



1. Chop the garlic and the onion. Put a dash of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic with the cumin.

2. When the garlic begins to brown, lower the heat a little, add the onion, salt lightly, cover and let it cook for five to ten minutes, until it softens.

3. Add the rest of the spices: paprika, black pepper, cinnamon and turmeric. Stir and allow to stand for one minute.

4. Add a teaspoon of tomato paste diluted in a little hot water and the lentils. Cover and fry for about five minutes.

5. Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise without cutting them all the way down and splitting them in two. Make some small cuts on the sides and put them in a container with a microwave-safe lid.

6. Cook them for seven minutes at the highest setting and check that they are tender. If they are not, repeat for a few more minutes.

7. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, mix the Greek yogurt with the lemon zest, salt, pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a bowl.

8. Open the sweet potatoes up and season them with salt and pepper. Spread the spiced lentils on top of each one.

9. Top with a spoonful of yogurt, chopped fresh coriander and more lemon zest if desired.

Lentil bolognese

Lentil bolognese.
Lentil bolognese.


9 oz cooked lentils

18 oz crushed tomato

14 oz long pasta (e.g. linguine, spaghetti)

½ onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 small carrot

1 celery stalk (15 cm)

1 bay leaf

Grated cheese

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper


1. Finely chop the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Sauté them in a frying pan with olive oil over medium heat until soft.

2. Add the crushed tomato and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook the sauce over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

3. Add the lentils and cook for about five more minutes, until the tomato begins to thicken.

4. Cook the pasta in salted water.

5. When ready, mix the pasta with the lentil sauce or serve the bolognese on top.

6. Top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and grated cheese.

Express stewed lentils

Express stewed lentils.
Express stewed lentils.


14 oz cooked lentils

2 medium potatoes

7 oz of spinach or fresh chard leaves

1 leek

1 carrot

1 clove of garlic

50 ml white wine

800 ml vegetable or chicken stock

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper


1. In a saucepan, sauté the chopped garlic, carrot and leek with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat for five to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the drained lentils and white wine and cook for two minutes.

3. Pour in vegetable or chicken stock. Peel the potatoes, cut them into cubes around one tenth of an inch in size, and add them to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the potato is tender.

4. Add the spinach or chopped chard leaves, cover the pot, remove from the heat and let stand a couple of minutes more. Stir and serve hot.


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