I love lentils because they’re a great source of protein and fiber, affordable, and cook quickly.
Red lentils are especially popular in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, where they’re often used to make dal, a lentil soup. I love making this soup because it’s so hearty and filling, and it always hits the spot.
If you don’t have red lentils on hand or are looking for a different flavor profile, there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well.
Below are my top 10 substitutes for red lentils:
Substitutes for Red Lentils
- Green Lentils
- Yellow Lentils
- Nuts and Seeds
Green lentils are a great alternative to red lentils. You can use them in any recipe that calls for red lentils, and they have a 1-to-1 ratio.
Green lentils are higher in fiber and protein than red lentils, and they have a nutty flavor that pairs well with many different dishes.
When cooked, green lentils hold their shape better than red lentils, making them a great option for salads and soups. Green lentils are also a good source of iron, potassium, and zinc.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, green lentils are a great choice.
These lentils are also similar to red lentils in terms of nutrition and can be used as a 1-to-1 replacement.
Yellow lentils have a milder flavor than green or red lentils, so they may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a lentil with more flavor.
However, they’re a good option if you want a softer lentil that will break down and thicken a soup or stew.
Yellow lentils are also a good source of iron, potassium, and zinc.
I know what you’re thinking…peanuts are not lentils!
But they are a great alternative in many recipes.
Peanuts have a similar flavor profile to lentils and can be used in a lentil soup or stew. They’re also a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
To use peanuts as a red lentil substitute, simply add them to your recipe when you would add the lentils. You can also grind them up into a powder and use them to thicken a soup or stew.
Use a ratio of 1-to-1 when substituting peanuts for red lentils. Many different types of peanuts can be used as a lentil substitute, including raw peanuts, roasted peanuts, and peanut butter.
This may seem like an odd choice, but cauliflower is a great red lentil substitute. You can use a 1-to-1 ratio when substituting it in any recipe.
Cauliflower is less starchy than red lentils has a more neutral flavor, making it a good substitute in dishes where you want the other flavors to shine through. Cauliflower also absorbs flavors well, so it works well in curries and other flavorful dishes.
When cooked, cauliflower becomes very soft and creamy, similar to red lentils. This effect makes it a great replacement in any recipe that calls for red lentils.
Cauliflower is a nutritious vegetable that is high in fiber and vitamins C, K, and B6. It is also a good source of potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
Peas are a great alternative to red lentils. You can use them as a 1-to-1 ratio replacement in any recipe. TIn addition, they hold their shape well when cooked, so they’re a good choice in salads and soups.
Peas are high in fiber and protein, and they’re also a good source of vitamins C, K, and B vitamins.
When substituting peas for lentils, keep in mind that they have a slightly sweeter flavor than lentils. Again, this can be a good or bad thing, depending on the dish you’re making.
Therefore, consider adding other savory flavors to balance out the sweetness when using peas to cook.
Tofu is a great lentil substitute for those who are looking for a meatless option. You can use it in any recipe that calls for red lentils, and it works just as well.
Tofu is also a good source of protein, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a healthy option. Plus, it’s low in calories and fat, so it’s perfect if you’re trying to lose weight.
Another advantage of tofu is that it’s easy to cook. You can simply add it to your favorite recipe and cook it like you would any other ingredient.
So if you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious option, tofu is a great choice.
Nuts & Seed
If you’re looking for a red lentil substitute that is high in protein and fiber, nuts and seeds are a great choice. You can use them in any recipe that calls for lentils, and they work just as well.
Nuts and seeds are also a good source of healthy fats, so they’re perfect if you’re trying to lose weight. Plus, they’re easy to cook and can be added to any dish.
Examples of seeds you can use are chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds. And examples of nuts you can use are almonds, walnuts, and cashews.
So if you’re looking for a healthy and nutritious red lentil substitute, nuts and seeds are a great choice.
Yes, you read that right. Soy can be used as a lentil substitute, and it works just as well. Use a ratio of one cup of lentils to one cup of soy when substituting.
Soy works as a great alternative to red lentils because it is high in protein and fiber. It is also a good source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Soy is easy to cook and can be added to any dish. If you’re looking for a healthy and nutritious lentil substitute, soy is another great choice.
When cooking soy, it has a mild and creamy flavor, so it works best in dishes where you want the other flavors to shine through.
Certain grains such as quinoa or rice can be a great alternative to red lentils in any recipe. The substitution ratio is 1 to 1, so if the recipe calls for 1 cup of red lentils, you will use 1 cup of grains.
Grains work well in recipes such as soups, stews, burgers, and even meatloaves. They provide the same hearty texture and flavor as red lentils, but they also add a nutritional boost.
They are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthier choice.
Use grains such as quinoa, and rice, in your next recipe and see for yourself how well they work as a substitute.
Beans are a great alternative to red lentils because they have a similar texture and flavor. You can use them in any recipe that calls for lentils on a 1-to-1 ratio.
Beans are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking for a healthy option. Plus, they’re easy to cook and can be added to any dish.
Another plus is that beans and lentils cook at about the same rate, so you do not need to worry about extended cooking time.
What is a good substitute for red lentils?
There are many substitutes for red lentils, but some of the most popular choices are peas, tofu, nuts and seeds, soy, grains, and beans.
What can I use instead of brown lentils?
Some good substitutes for brown lentils are black lentils, green lentils, or even chickpeas.
By now you should’ve realized that there are many substitutes for red lentils. And, each one of these substitutes brings its own set of benefits to the table.
So, the next time you’re looking for a lentil substitute, remember to consider all of your options. And, choose the one that best fits your needs.