Cooking Lentils in a Rice Steamer

Lentils are a healthy, versatile food rich in vitamins, fiber and minerals. Cooked lentils can be served as a side dish to a variety of different meals including roasted or baked meats, fish or vegetarian options like tofu, and they can also be used to spruce up salads, soups and rice dishes. Cooked lentils can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours and then used either cold or warmed on the stove in a small saucepan as desired.

Always rinse bulk lentils before cooking them. (Image: olgakr/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Place the lentils in a colander in the sink and rinse them with cold water. When the lentils are clean, the water dripping from the bottom of the colander will be clear.

Step 2

Pour 2 cups of cold clean water in the bottom of a rice steamer. Add the lentils and stir the mixture to combine them with the water.

Step 3

Season the lentils by adding 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Stir the contents of the rice steamer to fully combine all of the ingredients.

Step 4

Cover the rice steamer and cook the lentils until the rice steamer stops automatically. Allow the lentils to rest in the rice steamer for five minutes after they have stopped cooking.

Step 5

Stir the lentils with a wooden spoon. Transfer the lentils to a serving bowl and serve them while hot or use them as desired.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup lentils

  • Colander

  • 2 cups cold clean water

  • Rice steamer

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Wooden spoon

  • Serving bowl, optional

  • 1 clove garlic, minced, optional

  • Small sauté pan, if necessary

  • 1/2 teaspoon or 1/4 teaspoon freshly chopped herbs, optional


For more flavor, sauté a clove of garlic in a small sauté pan with a little bit of butter or extra virgin olive oil. Add the sautéed garlic to the rice steamer along with the extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter.

You can add fresh herbs to your lentils along with the salt and pepper if desired. Thyme, rosemary and tarragon can all be used to season cooked lentils. Use 1/2 tsp. of freshly chopped herbs per cup of lentils or 1/4 tsp. of dried herbs.

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