Roasted lentils? Don't knock it len-til you've tried it. Crispy, tasty, and high in protein, these things make for a delicious vegan snack that's also naturally gluten-free.
Allow to cool slightly after roasting before diving straight in, or store in an airtight container for up to several days. They're also great for sprinkling over your next soup or salad dish.
If one oven-cooked pulse recipe just isn't enough for you, allow me to also point you in the direction of these smoky roasted chickpeas and crispy roasted black beans.
I create new content every single week. Subscribe to keep in touch and get a free download of The Vegan Kitchen – My Top 10 Tips.
Are roasted lentils healthy?
Lentils are an affordable and incredibly healthy source of food. Packed full of nutrients including fibre and plant-based protein, these little legumes have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic disease when eaten regularly as part of a balanced diet.
Which lentils are best for roasting?
You can use pretty much any lentil variety you like except red lentils. This is because red lentils turn mushy when cooked, making them much better for lentil soup, stews such as vegan stovies, a smoky mushroom pâte, or lentil dal.
When it comes to roasting, you could go for green lentils (as I've done), brown lentils, black lentils, or Puy lentils. You'll just need to make sure that these are canned or pre-cooked (see below).
Pre-cooking the lentils
To make this recipe, you'll need lentils that have been pre-cooked. If using tinned lentils, the good news is that these have already been cooked as part of the canning process.
If using dried lentils, rinse these and then cover with plenty of water in a pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until tender but not so soft that they're falling apart (typically 15-30 minutes depending on the variety).
If you want to find out more about the wonderful world of legumes, see my Beginner's Guide to Pulses.
What you'll need
Roasted lentils are nice and easy to make – you can even omit the additional flavours if you really want to simplify things. For this recipe, you'll need:
- Pre-cooked lentils (I've used green lentils straight out of the can)
- Cooking oil to crisp them up and prevent sticking
- Salt to help draw out moisture and add flavour
- Seasoning such as chilli powder and garlic powder
How to make roasted lentils
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Once the lentils have been drained and rinsed, spread these out on a paper towel and gently pat dry to remove excess water.
Drizzle the oil over a baking sheet then add the lentils. Sprinkle with salt and shake around to create an even layer.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, giving the pan a shake every now and then. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle over the chilli powder and garlic powder.
Shake to coat the lentils evenly and then return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are slightly crispy but not overcooked.
Once crispy, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Roasted lentils make for a delicious snack on their own, or a nice topping to add extra texture and protein to soups or salads (see this recipe for vegan Waldorf salad).
Yes, lentils are naturally gluten-free.
If roasting the lentils without oil, I'd recommend lining the baking sheet with a non-stick layer such as greaseproof paper or a baking mat.
Once they've cooled down, you can store the lentils in an airtight container at room temperature for several days and even up to a week.
Variations and tips for roasted lentils
- Amount: This recipe is based on one tin of lentils, but you can easily scale it up and use larger/additional baking sheets.
- Keep it simple: For an ultra-simple take on roasted lentils, skip the extra seasoning and just use oil and salt.
- Oven temperature: If the lentils are taking a while to crisp up, increase the oven temperature slightly but be careful not to overcook.
- Other flavours: You could also use spices such as ground cumin, coriander, or smoked paprika.
Keep in touch
Subscribe below to receive a weekly newsletter with my latest recipes. Nice and simple. No pesky pestering. No spam (which wouldn’t be very vegan anyway).
More vegan recipe ideas
If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:
Crispy Roasted Lentils
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1x 14 oz (400 g) tin lentils, drained and rinsed (most varieties will do, see notes for dried)
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or ½ teaspoon for a stronger flavour)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
- Once the lentils have been drained and rinsed, spread these out on a paper towel and gently pat dry to remove excess water.
- Drizzle the oil over a baking sheet then add the lentils. Sprinkle with salt and shake around to create an even layer. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, giving the pan a shake every now and then.
- After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle over the chilli powder and garlic powder. Shake to coat the lentils evenly and then return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are slightly crispy but not overcooked.
- Once crispy, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Smoky Roasted Chickpeas
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Roasted Green Peas
- Homemade Hummus
- Crispy Baked Falafel
- Vegan Waldorf Salad
- Vegan Pancetta
- Easy Roasted Cauliflower
🌱 Follow along @thepeskyvegan on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
📩 Fancy keeping in touch? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter.
📖 Find out more about my story.
🍽️ Want to get straight to the food? Hop aboard the recipe train.
🌿 Got a question about veganism? You might find the answer in these vegan FAQs.
Liza M. Jurey
Came across these in Publix. Became instantly addicted and decided to search to see if I can make them at home! And voila I found you! I made two batches today one would just pink Himalayan salt and the other with pink Himalayan salt and smoked paprika. Absolutely amazing! I did have to leave in a little longer and I believe that was because I I misread about drying them. I kind of did it backwards but the extra minutes and the oven made them turn out very crisp and delicious! Thank you for an awesome recipe and I will definitely be trying them for the chickpeas as well because those are my favorites!
The Pesky Vegan
Yeh it does help to pat them dry but sounds like you still got great results in the end – thanks for the review!
Delicious! I used the rest of some jerk seasoning and garlic granules. Planned to save some for a salad toppling, but the kids have polished them 🙂
The Pesky Vegan
Glad you enjoyed - yep it can be difficult to keep them around long enough to use for something else!