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Tomato Braised Lentils


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Tomato Braised Lentils are a nourishing and healthy side dish, or vegetarian meal. These tiny legumes are slowly simmered in an herb-infused, tomatoey broth. Once cooked, the lentils are tender and creamy, yet hold their shape. Lentils are a perfect pairing with your favorite protein. Leftovers are even better the next day!

Tomato Braised Lentils on a white plate with colorful roasted carrots in the background


Although not new, lentils are quickly surpassing chickpeas as the go-to superfood in pastas, chips and even pet food.

Lentils are a a tiny, round-shaped legume that has long been a staple in Indian cuisine (daal). In addition, these protein-packed lentils play a huge role in vegan cooking as a plant-based source of protein. They are grown in pods and come in a variety of sizes and colors (green, brown, black, red, yellow and green). Also, lentils are gluten-free!

Health benefits of eating lentils

Lentils are a superfood, packed full of nutritious goodness. These powerful legumes contain 18 grams of protein in one cup. They are full of fiber and are generous in polyphenols. Polyphenols fight off harmful agents in the body.


Braising is a cooking technique that begins with browning and ends with steaming. In the case of this recipe for Tomato Braised Lentils, the mirepoix is sautéed with the legumes, then combined with liquid and covered to steam. Stewing and braising are similar techniques. However, stewing calls for the use of more liquid.


  • LENTILS – French green lentils work really well in this braised lentil recipe. Green lentils or black lentils are great substitutes.
  • MIREPOIX – feel free to add or substitute with leeks and/or fennel.
  • SHERRY WINE – this is NOT cooking sherry. White wine, red wine or marsala wine are suitable for substituting.
  • VEGETABLE STOCK – substitute with chicken stock
  • TOMATO PASSATA – crushed, diced or tomato sauce can be used as substitutes
  • FRESH HERBS – use whatever is in your pantry (rosemary, thyme, bay leaves)


As mentioned earlier, these creamy, Tomato Braised Lentils can be enjoyed as a vegetarian side dish, or meal with roasted vegetables. Alternatively, these braised lentils make for a perfect pairing with:

Pan seared salmon with crispy skin sitting on top of tomato braised lentils with roasted carrots on the side. All on a white plate.

Tomato Braised Lentils can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days, or frozen for up to three months. Reheat on stovetop or microwave. Leftovers can also be repurposed into:

  • salad
  • as the base for fried or poached eggs
  • mixed with wilted greens
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Tomato Braised Lentils on a white plate with colorful roasted carrots in the background

Tomato Braised Lentils


Tomato Braised Lentils are a nourishing and healthy side dish, or vegetarian meal. These tiny legumes are slowly simmered in an herb-infused, tomatoey broth. Once cooked, the lentils are tender and creamy, yet hold their shape. Leftovers are even better the next day!


  • 1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 1 large celery stalk, minced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces tomato passata (purée)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • fresh thyme and/or rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Rinse and drain the lentils.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan.
  3. Add in the onion, celery and carrot. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sauté for a few minutes to soften the vegetables.
  5. Add in the lentils, garlic and white wine.
  6. Allow the wine to cook off for a few minutes.
  7. Add in the tomato purée. Season again with salt and pepper.
  8. Pour in the stock along with the fresh herbs and bay leaves.
  9. Cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  10. Remove and discard the bay leaves and any woody stems of the herbs.
  11. Stir in fresh parsley.
  12. Serve alone as a vegetarian dish, or side dish. 
  13. ENJOY!



  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Keywords: how to make braised lentils, how to make tomato braised lentils, easy lentil recipes, easy vegetarian side dish recipes, what are lentils, are lentils good for you, healthy vegetarian side dish recipes, easy bean recipes, braised bean recipe ideas,


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