Got some lentils in the cupboard but no idea what to do with them? We’ve got some delicious recipes courtesy of Waitrose.com to help you cook up a lentil feast. Full of protein, versatile, cheap and delicious, here’s 5 IDEAL recipes if you’re in the mood for lentils.

MINESTRONE WITH LENTILS & QUINOA

  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 125g smoked streaky bacon, diced
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped italian tomatoes with basil
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 160 garden peas
  • 75g orzo pasta
  • 250g pack pre-cooked puy lentils & quinoa
  • 50g parmigiano reggiano, finely grated, plus extra
    to sprinkle

METHOD

  1. Heat a large saucepan and fry the bacon for 5 minutes until cooked and beginning to crisp. Add the tomatoes, sugar, garden peas and 2 emptied cans full of water. Bring to the boil then add the orzo pasta. Cover and cook gently for 12-15 minutes until tender.
  2. Stir in the lentil mix and cheese and heat through gently for 5 minutes. Season to taste and ladle into bowls. Serve with extra cheese and a green salad. 

WARM VEGETARIAN SAUSAGE & PUY LENTIL SALAD

  • Vegetarian
  • Total time: 35 minutes
  • Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 4 vegetarian sausages 
  • 2 rosemary sprigs 
  • 2 small red onions, cut into thin wedges 
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard 
  • 250g pre-cooked pouch of puy & green lentils 
  • handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped 
  • ½ x 90g pack wild rocket

METHOD

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add the sausages to the pan with the rosemary, and fry over a medium- high heat for about 10 minutes, turning frequently, until golden and piping hot. Lift the sausages out of the pan (leave the rosemary), add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, then add the onion wedges and fry on a medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until golden and soft.
  2. Add the vinegar and mustard, stir to combine, then remove the rosemary and stir in the lentils until warmed through; season. Slice the sausages and add to the lentils, along with the parsley. Serve on plates with the rocket.

Cook’s tip: Pre-cooked lentil pouches are a useful and nutritious store cupboard standby. You could also try a pack of plain puy or beluga lentils in this recipe.

HALLOUMI WITH PUY LENTILS & TOMATOES 

  • Vegetarian
  • Total time:20 minutes
  • Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS 

  • 250g pack cypriot halloumi
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • 250g pre-cooked pouch of french puy & green lentils
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved

METHOD 

  1. Drain the halloumi, pat dry on kitchen paper and cut into 5mm thick slices. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the halloumi for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  2. Add the courgettes to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes to lightly colour. Stir in the pack of lentils and the stock. Heat through for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a further 1 minute. Transfer to serving plates and top with the halloumi. 

COD WITH PARSLEY MUSTARD AND LENTILS 

  • Rich in vitamin C
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Total time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 x skinless & boneless cod fillets
  • 2 tbsp lemon infused olive oil
  • 25g pack parsley
  • 4 salad onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard 
  • 250g cooked puy lentils

METHOD 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Place the cod on a baking tray, season and drizzle over ½ tbsp oil, bake for 15-20 minutes until just cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, place the remaining oil, parsley, salad onions, garlic and mustard in a food processor with 2 tbsp water and blitz until smooth.
  3. Top the cooked lentils with the cod, spoon over the paste and serve. 

MINCED BEED WITH LENTILS AND BACON

  • Serves 4
  • Total cook time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Onion, chopped
    400g pack Minced British Beef
    4 slices Smoked Back Bacon, chopped
    400g can pre-cooked lentils, drained
    350g Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
    25g pack parsley, chopped
    800g Mashed Potato

METHOD

  • Fry the onion, mince and bacon in a large frying pan for 5 minutes until browned.
  • Add the lentils, tomato and basil sauce and 150ml water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the parsley and season
  • Serve the mince with the mash potato

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.