Have you seen a bag of red lentils in your kitchen or local grocery store, and wondered how to cook them? We have summed it all up for you, so by the end of the article, you’ll find it all about how to cook red lentils. Keep reading!

Red lentils are mini, orangish-red legumes that can quickly cook, and it’s a perfectly healthy dinner option that you can easily have without worrying about its calories. It has a pretty mild flavor and tastes so good if cooked with just a few seasonings.

Did you know that red lentils easily break down when cooked and are known to be the fastest to cook amongst other lentils? Its texture becomes quite soft and is easily used in various curries and soups.

These lentils are known to cook quickly because most of the time, the red lentils sold in the store are the split red lentils; their seed is removed and is halved.

Read further and find out more before you decide to cook red lentils!

Red lentil nutrition facts:

Let’s find out how nutritious red lentils are. Since they are a healthy plant-based protein option, they’re commonly used in a place of meat in different dishes, such as chili, bolognese, and even veggie burgers!

Who said you couldn’t enjoy all these dishes without beef? You still can, and will get more nutrients out of it too!

The concentration of protein and fiber in lentils is quite high, making it a healthy alternative for those looking to take care of their diet and move towards healthy options. It’s even rich in iron, folate, and magnesium; how amazing!

Do I need to soak lentils?

Not necessarily! From the multiple varieties of red lentils that are available in your pantry, it’s not essential to soak them before cooking them.

But it is necessary to quickly rinse them in a bowl full of water so you can get rid of any dirt and debris quickly.

How much water to cook lentils?

While cooking lentils, you must make sure everything is done correctly to get deliciously soft red lentils.

  • When cooking these legumes in an instant pot, pour at least 2 cups of water in a pot per cup of lentils. If using the stovetop, make sure you add 3 cups of water for a cup of red lentils. This water and lentil ratio is pretty helpful in balancing your red lentils.
  • This changes according to the recipe. For example, if you’re making soup, the water will increase, so it stays liquid even after it’s done. Approximately 4-7 cups of water need to be added to red lentil soups.

How to cook red lentils?

Let’s find out how these red lentils are cooked to perfection. When cooking red lentils, you have the option of cooking them in an instant pot, or you can boil them on the top of your stove.

Keep in mind that when you are cooking your red lentils on the stove, you can more easily control how your lentils and their texture turn out.

If you want to make the lentils perfectly balanced and not very soft and mushy, quickly remove them from the stove when they reach your desired texture and promptly drain all the excess water.

All those who have cooked red lentils know that they are bound to become pretty soft and mushy, which can be avoided if cooked with care and concentration.

How to cook lentils on the stove?

It’s pretty convenient to cook red lentils on the stove; you don’t have to use your instant pot. No worries because you can quickly get your red lentils cooked on your stovetop.

To cook your red lentils, you need at least a cup of red lentils and 3 cups of water. Bring your water to boil and then reduce your flame to low heat so it can simmer.

Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for at least 5 to 12 minutes, or until they reach the desired texture which you want.

With such a flexible time range for how long to cook red lentils, how do you know when to take it off of the stove? To make it easier, here’s a little time table that you can follow to get the red lentils that you will love.

How long to cook red lentils:

For all those worried about not getting the desired results, here’s a cut down of time and the impact you’ll be getting if you follow it. Keep reading!

  • For all those people looking to get the tender and firm red lentils, ideally, you need to cook your legumes for a duration of 5 to 7 minutes.
  • If you are looking to get soft red lentils, cook your red lentils for just 8 minutes.
  • For much softer and mushy lentils, you can extend your time to 9 minutes.
  • To obtain extremely soft and squashy red lentils, you can cook them for 10 minutes or more.

How to cook lentils in the instant pot?

Instant Pot saves time, making meals fast, freeing up time for other tasks. Buy this today and save up time for those tired of spending half of their day cooking in standard pots! If you’re wondering how to cook red lentils using an instant pot, then here’s what you need to do.

Use 2 cups of water per cup of red lentils. Ensure the lid is secure. You should also seal the steam release and put it into position. Now set the timer and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes.

After cooking, you should leave your instant pot and let it release all the pressure it has within for about 5 minutes.

After doing this, you can turn the steam release quickly and choose the venting option. This immediately releases the steam, and you can safely open the pot. How quick!

How long to cook lentils in the instant pot:

If you end up cooking the red lentils for a time duration of 3-5 minutes, then you’ll be getting soft, individual lentils that aren’t just the perfect balance but creamy too. These lentils break down and are easier to eat. How convenient is this!

So quickly cook your red lentils and enjoy them!

More lentil recipes:

Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Curry

Lentil Pumpkin Soup

Vegan Lentil Stew

Lentil Meatballs

Vegan Lentil Meatloaf

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