There are plenty of reasons to use the lentil while cooking — from its versatility to its good source of protein and iron for vegetarians.
But what if you’re trying to eat fewer lentils? What if you want to try something new? Or maybe your local grocery store is out of stock, and you need to find a replacement fast.
Well, you can use many different things in place of lentils! Think of tofu, rice, beans, chickpeas, and split peas. These are some of the most suitable lentil substitutes that you can always settle for when your recipes calls for lentil but there’s none around.
What are Lentils?
Lentils are a type of legume. They’re edible seeds, like beans and peas, come in various colors and sizes. The most common types are green, brown, yellow, and red.
Lentils have a mild, earthy flavor and can be prepared in many different ways. They’re commonly cooked into soups or stews. You can also use them to make salads, dips, and even desserts.
There are many ways to prepare lentils, but they are often cooked into soups or stews. This is because lentils have a mild, intense flavor to stand up against other ingredients in the dish.
You can also use lentils to substitute meat in vegetarian dishes like chili or tacos. For example, you could make vegetarian chili by substituting lentils instead of ground beef. The lentils would still provide protein while adding fiber and other nutrients to your meal.
Best Lentil Substitutes
Beans and lentils are not the same, although they’re both legumes. They have a slightly different flavor and texture, but you can substitute one for the other in many recipes.
However, Lentils are less expensive than beans, so if you’re planning to purchase beans, make you come with extra cash.
Green beans, red beans, lima beans, and chickpeas are examples of different types of beans. Lentils come in many different colors and varieties too.
So you can match your lentil with beans. Beans can be an ingredient in many different types of recipes, whether you’re making a soup or a salad or something else entirely. And they’re also delicious, as long as they’re cooked well and seasoned properly.
See Also: Lentils Vs Beans
You can fall back on peas whenever the lentil is out of reach. Lentils and peas both come from the legume family. They are small, round, and typically green in color.
But when it comes to nutrition, they have slight differences. Both are low in fat and cholesterol while also being high in fiber.
They both contain B vitamins, potassium and magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Lentils may have more protein than peas but only by a small amount. The protein found in lentils is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.
Peas do not have this distinction but can be considered complete protein if eaten with grains. Moreover, you can use them in soup, dal, curries, salads, and burgers — the possibilities are endless!
Tofu and lentils are both excellent sources of protein. They’re also similar in that they’re low in calories, fat, and sodium.
So whenever you’re out of lentils, you can use tofu as a backup. Although lentils are lower in protein than tofu, they contain fewer calories and less fat but have more sodium and a higher carb count.
Both have a mild flavor that works well in many dishes.
In general, lentils work best as a replacement for meat because they hold their shape better when cooked. If you want to replace meat in your dish, use lentils instead of tofu.
Kamut is a type of wheat that dates back to the days of ancient Egypt. It has a distinct buttery flavor and a chewy texture like lentils.
It can be used to replace lentils, but it will not have the same flavor or texture because Kamut is a grain and lentil is a legume.
But we love Kamut for many reasons:
It has a nutty flavor; it’s gluten-free and rich in protein, magnesium, zinc, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Peanuts aren’t much of a lentil substitute, but they can still be used. Peanuts have a buttery texture. They are usually toasted and maybe salted.
In contrast, lentils are often cooked in a stew or soup with vegetables. The stew will probably have a tomato sauce base, and the vegetables could include onions, carrots, and celery.
You can use peanuts instead of lentils in some recipes, but not in all. This is because lentils absorb liquid from whatever they’re cooked with.
But peanuts don’t do this as well, so you need to add extra water when using them instead of lentils for enough moisture in your dish!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Lentils Taste Like Meat?
If you’re skeptical about whether or not lentils can truly taste like meat, the answer is: not precisely. Lentils are so versatile that they can be cooked to taste just like meat.
They’re also paired perfectly with potatoes, making a great vegan alternative to the classic “meat-and-potatoes” meal. But wait—lentils aren’t just a healthy alternative to meat. They’re also chock full of nutrients (like protein and fiber).
Does Lentil Taste Like Beans?
Yes, when cooked properly, lentils taste similar to beans. Besides, lentil is a legume too. However, Beans tend to be much sweeter than lentils. For example, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) have a sweet, buttery flavor, while lentils are much more earthy and savory.
Are Lentils Vegetables?
Yes, lentils are vegetables. A lentil is a type of legume belonging to the family Fabaceae.
Legumes have edible seeds and pods and can be used as food for humans and livestock. Examples of legumes include peas, beans, alfalfa, clover, soybeans, peanuts, lupines, mesquite, carob, and tamarind.
What is The Meaning of Legume Family?
The legume family refers to a family of plants that produce seeds in pods, such as peas and beans. The legume family, also known as the pea or bean family, belongs to the Fabaceae family. The word legume comes from the Latin word: legumes, which means pod or fruit.
Legume refers to the edible fruits or seeds produced by any plant in the Leguminosae family. Furthermore, the legume family is one of the largest families of flowering plants, with more than 18,000 species in 611 genera distributed throughout the world.
The legume family consists mainly of annual herbs, although a few woody shrubs and trees are also included. All the members of this plant family produce fruit in the form of a leguminous pod, hence the name legume family.
The seven lentil substitutes listed above will help you in your times of need. They are different from each other and can be used in different ways.
Before you head over to the supermarket, feel free to use our chart as a reference. You can add them to soups, salads, or stir-fries.
You will enjoy their texture and texture. I’d recommend Chickpea as your best friend for lentil substitutes. But apart from this, you can also use beans. Beans are the best option if you need to substitute a large portion of lentils in any dish.
However, you can also use split peas because they get cooked pretty fast and do not absorb a lot of water.