lentil & bean recipes: quick, easy, and simple!

Jessica Penner, RDMeatless, Nutrition, Recipe RoundUp, RecipesLeave a Comment

18 quick easy and simple lentil and bean recipes

If you’re accustomed to cooking with meat, trying a meatless meal featuring beans might feel overwhelming. So start with something that’s quick, easy, or simple! I’ve grouped these pulse-based recipe into those that are 

  • quick (30 minutes or less to prepare)
  • easy (let the slow cooker do the work for you)
  • simple (need 8 ingredients or less)

Why It’s A Smart Choice

Pulses are part of the legume family. Legumes are plants whose fruit is inside a pod. Think peanuts, soybeans, peas, beans, etc. Pulses are legumes that have been dried. These are chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, and any number of other beans! 

  1. Pulses are high in fibre. Half a cup of cooked pulses will give you between 7 and 17g of fibre! Most people in North America are NOT meeting their daily fibre goals of a minimum of 25g for women and 38g for men
  2. Pulses are high in folate. This B vitamin is needed to produce healthy white and red blood cells. It’s also a key nutrient for the developing human embryo so pregnant women should take care to eat foods high in folate (and take a prenatal supplement containing folic acid, the synthetic form of folate). Some studies have shown a reduced risk of developing colon cancer in people who consume a lot of food sources of folate (not so for supplements though!). 
  3. Pulses are low on the glycemic index. This means that the carbohydrates found in pulses will not cause a sudden increase in blood sugars when consumed. Choosing foods that are low on the glycemic index is a strategy for managing blood sugars in people who have diabetes. 

Super quick (30 minutes or less)

Three Bean Veggie Chili from the Planteaters’ Manifesto

Black Bean Burrito Bowls from Eating with a Purpose

Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa from Smart Nutrition

Lentil, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Curry from Mess Makes Food

Indian Mango Dal from Eating Well

One Skillet Creamy Chipotle Mexican Rice with Black Beans from Smart Nutrition

Zucchini Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema from The Foodie Dietitian

Zucchini Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema-3-2


Super easy (slow cooker)

Slow Cooker indian tacos from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

Eggplant and Lentil Stew from Nourish, Breathe, Thrive (transfer process to slow cooker after step two)

Heirloom Bean Cassoulet with Root Vegetables from The Plant Powered Dietitian (could easily be adapted for the slow cooker)

Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Red Lentil Curry from Kitchen Treaty

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas from Delish Knowledge

Butter Chickpeas


Super simple (8 ingredients or less)

Cheesy Lentils and Rice from Sinful Nutrition

The Easiest Bean Burgers from the Planteaters’ Manifesto

Three Bean Kale and Ancho Chili from Prep Dish

Lentil Garlic Cheese Toast from Smart Nutrition

Mujadarra from A Family Feast

Berbere Spiced Red Lentils from Tasty Trix 

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