Apr 19, 2016

Refried Lentils

Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 25 mins
This is the perfect recipe to make with lunch after you had bacon for breakfast. Keep the bacon fat for cooking in a glass dish or jar to add smoky fatty flavor.

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This is the perfect recipe to make with lunch after you had bacon for breakfast. Keep the bacon fat for cooking in a glass dish or jar to add smoky fatty flavor. While they aren’t the most photogenic, these lentils make the perfect side for grilled lamb and tzatziki or as a substitute for refried beans. Lentils have a quicker cooking time than beans and are low in calories but high in nutrition.

Refried Lentils

refried lentils recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Lentils – I love lentils in many different forms but my favorite way to make them is refried. My uncle taught me this method years ago, and this side makes its way into my dinner plan frequently. Lentils compliment a variety of proteins like steak, lamb or even salmon and can be made ahead of time and reheated. I use brown lentils in this recipe.
  • Bacon fat – The rendered bacon fat is used as a flavorful and rich base for the refried lentils. I like the smokiness the applewood smoked bacon adds, though it can easily be substituted with vegetable oil or schmaltz in this recipe. 
  • Yellow onion – I use yellow onion in this recipe for its mellow flavor when cooked. These onions with a brownish yellow papery skin are a great all-purpose cooking onion.  
refried lentils recipe from cooking with cocktail rings side view
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How to Cook Lentils

  1. Soak lentils. Soak lentils in water for 1 hour then drain the lentils using a fine mesh strainer. This step is optional though if skipped it can take a bit longer cooking time.
  2. Cook the lentils. In a saucepan over medium heat bring the lentils and chicken broth to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove before they become mushy.
  3. Drain lentils. The lentils do not have to absorb all of the liquid as they cook, they are more like pasta. Drain the lentils using a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
  4. Sauté onions and garlic. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the bacon fat and heat through.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Season lentils. Add the cooked lentils and season with coriander, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Refry lentils and serve. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the lentils from heat and serve in a bowl.
refried lentils recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Other Recipes to Try

Refried Lentils

Print Pin
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Instructions:

  • Soak lentils in water for 1 hour then drain the lentils using a fine mesh strainer.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat bring the lentils and chicken broth to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove before they become mushy.
  • The lentils do not have to absorb all of the liquid as they cook, they are more like pasta. Drain the lentils using a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
  • In a  medium skillet over medium heat, add the bacon fat and heat through.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked lentils and season with coriander, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the lentils from heat and serve in a bowl.

Notes:

*Note: you can skip soaking the lentils, it will just take a bit longer to cook. 

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