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Lentils Mexicanas

Monday, August 8th 2022 6:22 pm

Lentils Mexicanas

Lentils don’t need to be soaked in water to rehydrate them like other legumes so they are quick to prepare. Consider cooking extra lentils when you make this recipe and freezing the rest in a freezer bag. They are quick to thaw in a sink of hot water and you'll have a last-minute meal or appetizer in a hurry.

1 Cup dried lentils (any variety)
2 Cups water
1/2 Cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbs olive or vegetable oil
Pinch salt
One 2.5 oz can green olives, sliced OR one 4 oz can diced green chilies
One 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 Cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tbs chopped parsley OR cilantro
3 Cups tortilla chips, tortillas or cooked rice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash and sort lentils in a strainer, removing dirt and any stones you may find. Simmer lentils in water, covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Sauté onions in oil until translucent. Add a pinch of salt and spices. Stir in garlic and sauté for a minute. Reserve 2 Tbs olives. Stir in remaining olives, tomatoes and chilies.
  4. Add lentils and spread mixture in a 9” X 9” dish or casserole. Top with cheese. Sprinkle with parsley.
  5. Bake uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped olives and parsley. Serve with chips, rolled in a tortilla, or over cooked rice.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle cheese over mixture and serve right from the pan with extra cheese at the table!  Discover your own way to enjoy this dish!

Lentils Greccio: For a Greek variation, use Green or Kalamata olives; change spices to 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp ground coriander, add a pinch of chili flakes. Change cheese to 1/2 to 1 Cup crumbled feta.

Lentils Italiano: For an Italian version, use green, black, or Kalamata olives; change spices to 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp basil and add a pinch of chili flakes. Change cheese to 2 cups grated Mozzarella.

This is one of the first recipes Vicki sent for this swap, and she's not the only one to recommend it to me so it must be good! This is a main dish that can be eaten with rice or tortilla chips, and as you can see it is very versatile. Today's picture comes from The Spruce Eats. I didn't know much about lentils, but their website is very informative!

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