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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Red Lentil

Finding the perfect red lentil substitute isn’t just about getting dinner on the table.

It’s about keeping your recipes exciting and your pantry versatile.

Sometimes, you run out of red lentils, or maybe you’re aiming for a different texture or flavor in your dish.

We’re here to help you keep your meals interesting without breaking a sweat.

Chill, because we’ve got the scoop on the top 5 substitutes that’ll save your dishes.

No more last-minute grocery runs or bland alternatives.

Our picks aren’t just stand-ins; they’ll bring their unique flair to your cooking.

Each option packs a nutritional punch, ensuring you don’t miss out on those essential benefits.

Trust us, after trying these, you might reconsider reaching for red lentils every time.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Red Lentils

If you’re looking for a substitute to use instead of red lentils, you have several options.

Here are the five best substitutes for red lentils:

1 – Yellow Lentils

The yellow lentil is a variety of the Lens culinaris plant that is high in protein and fiber.

They have an earthy, nutty flavor and a tender but slightly chewy texture when cooked.

For those looking to switch up their usual recipe that calls for red lentils, yellow lentils make an excellent substitution.

Unlike the red variety, which can become soft once cooked, yellow lentils will hold their shape better and can also stand up to longer cooking times.

When substituting yellow lentils for red ones, you’ll likely want to add another cup of liquid as they require more liquid and cooking time than the red variety.

2 – Green Lentils

Green lentils are a nutritious, protein-packed legume that offers a vibrant flavor and an al dente texture.

These green treasures are larger than red lentils and have a slightly earthier flavor profile.

Makes them great in curries and soups, but they also work well in salads as they can hold their shape while still absorbing seasonings and marinades.

To substitute green lentils for red lentils, simply add more liquid to the dish to make up for the differences in cooking time between the two varieties.

Green lentils also tend to work better with strong flavors like garlic, curry powder, and cumin—all of which will help to enhance their earthy notes.

3 – Split Peas

Split peas are probably one of the most underrated pulses out there.

Although they can sometimes be seen as boring, their earthy and slightly sweet flavor combined with their creamy yet firm texture can really bring a dish together.

If you’re looking for a substitute for red lentils, split peas are definitely it.

They require less cooking time – about an hour to become soft – making them ideal for adding to soups and stews or even turning into tasty dips.

Best of all, they benefit from the addition of lots of herbs and spices, making every meal you prepare more enjoyable and flavourful.

4 – Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a versatile, delicious vegetable with a unique taste and texture.

The mild flavor is accentuated when it is roasted or fried, allowing for a wide range of meal options.

Cauliflower is also very nutritious; it has high levels of vitamins, minerals, and even protein.

In addition to providing this nutrition to your plate, it can also be used as an alternative to red lentils.

By grating the cauliflower into small pieces, you can create an enjoyable ‘grain-like’ texture that makes it perfect for a variety of dishes.

With the right seasoning and flavors, cauliflower can make any dish – like salads or pilafs – come alive.

5 – Peanuts

Peanuts are an incredibly popular snack, known for their distinctive taste and crunchy texture.

While usually eaten raw or roasted with salt, peanuts are also commonly used in a variety of dishes.

Their flavor profile is earthy and nutty, while their texture is slightly salty and crunchy when roasted.

Peanuts can be a great substitute for red lentils in any dal dish.

You’ll get the same protein punch without the expensive price tag of buying traditional red lentils.

Simply cook or fry them beforehand before adding them to your recipe – it’s easy, delicious, and budget-friendly.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Red Lentils

In need of substitutes for red lentils? Explore our collection of the 5 best alternatives that offer similar nutritional benefits and culinary versatility for your favorite dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Yellow Lentils
  • Green Lentils
  • Split Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Peanuts


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Red Lentils
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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