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There are several reasons to utilize lentils in cooking, ranging from their variety to their high protein and iron content for vegetarians.

But what if you’re attempting to cut down on lentils? What if you wish to branch out? Maybe your local grocery shop is out of stock and you need to locate a substitute as soon as possible.

You may substitute many other ingredients for lentils! Consider the following foods: tofu, rice, beans, chickpeas, and split peas. Here are some of the best lentil substitutions you can use when your recipe asks for lentil but you don’t have any on hand.

What are Lentils?

Lentils are classified as a legume. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, much like beans and peas. Green, brown, yellow, and red are the most prevalent.

Lentils have a moderate, earthy taste and may be cooked in a variety of ways. They are widely used in soups and stews. You may also create salads, dips, and even desserts with them.

Lentils may be prepared in a variety of ways, although they are most often boiled into soups or stews. This is due to lentils’ moderate, strong taste, which can stand up to the other components in the recipe.

Lentils may also be used to replace meat in vegetarian recipes such as chili or tacos. For example, instead of ground beef, you might use lentils to create vegetarian chili. Lentils give protein while also providing fiber and other nutrients to your diet.

Best Lentil Substitutes

1. Beans

While they are both legumes, beans and lentils are not the same. They have a slightly distinct taste and texture, but they may be used interchangeably in many recipes.

Nevertheless, lentils are less costly than beans, so bring extra cash if you intend on purchasing beans.

Bean varieties include green beans, red beans, lima beans, and chickpeas. Lentils come in a variety of hues and types.

As a result, you may pair your lentil with beans. Beans may be used in a variety of dishes, whether you’re creating a soup, a salad, or something completely different. They’re also wonderful, as long as they’re properly cooked and seasoned.

Also see: Lentils vs. Beans

2. Peas

When the lentil is out of reach, you may substitute peas. Lentils and peas are members of the legume family. They are generally tiny, spherical, and green in color.

They do, however, vary somewhat in terms of nutrition. Both are low in fat and cholesterol and rich in fiber.

They both contain B vitamins, potassium and magnesium, as well as iron, zinc, and calcium. Lentils provide somewhat more protein than peas, but only slightly. Lentil protein is a complete protein, which means it includes all nine necessary amino acids.

Peas do not have this distinction, however if eaten with grains, they may be called full protein. Moreover, they may be used in soup, dal, curries, salads, and burgers; the choices are limitless!

3. Tofu

Protein is abundant in both tofu and lentils. They’re similarly comparable in terms of calorie, fat, and salt content.

Thus, if you run out of lentils, you may substitute tofu. While lentils include less protein than tofu, they have less calories and fat, but more salt and carbs.

Both have a moderate taste that complements a variety of foods.

Lentils, in general, function well as a meat substitute since they keep their shape better when cooked. Use lentils instead of tofu to substitute meat in your meal.

4. Kamut

Kamut is a variety of wheat that has been around since ancient Egypt. It has a buttery taste and a chewy texture similar to lentils.

It may be used in lieu of lentils, but the taste and texture will differ since kamut is a grain while lentils are legumes.

Yet we like Kamut for a variety of reasons:

It has a nutty taste and is gluten-free, as well as high in protein, magnesium, zinc, and other vitamins and minerals.

5. Peanuts

Peanuts aren’t a great lentil alternative, although they can be utilized. The texture of peanuts is buttery. They are often roasted and maybe salted.

Lentils, on the other hand, are often cooked with vegetables in a stew or soup. The stew will most likely be made with a tomato sauce, and the veggies may include onions, carrots, and celery.

Some recipes call for peanuts instead of lentils, but not all. This is due to the fact that lentils absorb moisture from whatever they are cooked with.

But, since peanuts do not absorb as much water as lentils, you will need to add more water to your recipe if you use them instead of lentils!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Lentils Taste Like Meat?

If you’re wondering whether lentils can actually taste like meat, the answer is no, they can’t. Lentils are so adaptable that they may be prepared to taste just like meat.

They also go well with potatoes, offering a terrific vegan alternative to the traditional meat-and-potatoes lunch. Yet lentils are more than simply a meat substitute. They are also high in nutrients (like protein and fiber).

Does Lentil Taste Like Beans?

Sure, lentils taste similar to beans when cooked correctly. Moreover, lentil is a legume. Beans, on the other hand, are significantly sweeter than lentils. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), for example, have a sweet, buttery taste, but lentils are considerably more earthy and savory.

Are Lentils Vegetables?

Lentils are, in fact, vegetables. A lentil is a kind of legume in the Fabaceae family.

Legumes contain edible seeds and pods that may be eaten by people and cattle. Peas, beans, alfalfa, clover, soybeans, peanuts, lupines, mesquite, carob, and tamarind are examples of legumes.

What is The Meaning of Legume Family?

The legume family includes plants that produce seeds in pods, such as peas and beans. The legume family, usually known as the pea or bean family, is a subfamily of the Fabaceae. Legumes are derived from the Latin word legumes, which meaning pod or fruit.

Every plant in the Leguminosae family produces edible fruits or seeds, which are referred to as legume. Additionally, the legume family is one of the biggest flowering plant groups, with over 18,000 species divided throughout 611 genera.

The legume family is mostly made up of annual herbs, with a few woody shrubs and trees thrown in for good measure. This plant family’s members all produce fruit in the shape of a leguminous pod, thus the name legume family.


The seven lentil alternatives described above can come in handy when you’re in a need. They vary from one another and may be utilized in many ways.

Feel free to use our chart as a reference before heading to the grocery. They go well in soups, salads, and stir-fries.

You’ll like their texture and texture. Chickpeas are your best buddy when it comes to lentil replacements. Besides from that, you may also utilize beans. If you need to replace a considerable part of lentils in any meal, beans are the finest alternative.

Nevertheless, split peas may be used since they cook quickly and do not absorb a lot of water.


What is a good replacement for lentils?

Beans are nutritionally equivalent to lentils. According to the University of Michigan Health System, they are abundant in protein, dietary fiber, iron, folate, and antioxidants. Garbanzo or chickpeas, black, navy, pinto, lima, and fava beans are all excellent options.

What is the best red lentil substitute?

Lentils, Yellow

Yellow lentils are a good substitute for red lentils in recipes that call for them. Unlike red lentils, which may turn mushy after cooking, yellow lentils retain their form better and can withstand longer cooking durations.

What is healthier than lentils?

Manganese is the single micronutrient that chickpeas contain more of than lentils, and chickpeas have more healthful unsaturated fat than lentils.

What is the best black lentil substitute?

French (Puy) lentils are the greatest equivalent for black lentils (Beluga lentils). They are the same size, although being green, and will retain their form after cooking. Cook them in the same manner as black lentils, using the same times and fluids in the Instant Pot and on the stovetop.

What is a low carb lentil alternative?

Leafy greens, mushrooms, broccoli, walnuts, and even edamame have less carbohydrates than lentils and offer important nutrients for a well-balanced keto diet.

What is a low Fodmap substitute for lentils?

Quinoa with rice. Rice is a great low FODMAP substitute for lentils. Monash University evaluated white, brown, basmati, and red rice and found that they are all low FODMAP in 1 cup or 190 grams of cooked rice.

What is most similar lentil to brown?

Green lentils have a powerful and somewhat peppery flavor that is comparable to brown lentils in taste, texture, and cooking time. They may be light green, pale, or speckled with blue and black flecks, and they keep their form till overcooked.

Which lentils are most like meat?

Brown and green lentils also keep their form better when cooked, so they have a texture similar to crumbled cooked ground beef and are more versatile, while red lentils get mushy rapidly. Therefore, go on and celebrate Veganuary without giving up any of your favorite minced meat recipes!

Which type of lentil is easiest to digest?

Split yellow mung daal, chilka mung daal (split but with the green skins left on), and split red lentils are the easiest to digest. You may consume them on a regular basis, particularly yellow mung daal. French puy lentils, toor daal, whole mung beans, and adzuki beans are relatively simple to digest.

What beans are the healthiest?

5 Heart-Healthy Beans and How to Eat Them
Black Beans: An Antioxidant-Rich Home Staple…
Chickpeas: A Delicious Legume That May Help You Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level.
Navy beans are a high-fiber food that lowers the risk of heart disease.
Pinto Beans are inexpensive and simple to prepare.
Jul 26, 2022: Soybeans: ‘Meat Without Bones’

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