French Lentils With Garlic and Thyme Recipe (2024)



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Cooking Notes

Eric Rodgers

This is very close to how I prepare lentils, too, though I take a somewhat lazier approach. I buy pre-diced frozen mirepoix (which adds celery) at one of my local grocers. I usually slice garlic rather than finely mince. And nearly always, when I use fresh thyme, I simply toss in large sprigs that I later extract with the bay leaves. Some water often gets swapped out in favor of chicken or vegetable stock and/or a bit of white wine, and some fresh parsley and lemon finishes it off.

Bill Ahlstrom

Simmered in chicken broth until creamy. Added chopped mushrooms. Served with grilled lamb chops. Heavenly combination, accompanied with good pinot noir or cores du rhone.

Expat Steve in France

Turn cold left-overs into a salad by adding olive oil, vinegar, snipped chives and crumbled demi-sec goat cheese. Serve with cherry tomatoes.


This is the best lentils. Using food processor for aromatics is a must. Do not over cook- they should have some tooth. Great with chicken sausage. Room temperature with feta for lunch was Yummy. Very versatile. I halved the recipe and it's enough for 6

Ron Russell

This is a great and simple method, however I have to believe that the Tablespoon of salt is a typo- that much makes these lentils very salty. A teaspoon is more to our taste. Celery is a good addition.

Sue Llewellyn

Hey guys--these are NOT your usual supermkt lentils, so if you're looking for creaminess, lentil soup, or some variation on Indian dhal, save your $$! The whole point of Le Puys = that they don't break down but keep their texture & "toothsomeness," making them ideal for recipes like this.
Incidentally, many similar recipes call for about a tablespoon of Cognac or Armagnac in the cooking liquid. And they work well served at rm. temp or cold (if you must).

chef Pace, milano

I start with olive oil and pancetta, then finely chopped leeks and carrot, next fresh sage leaves, add the lentils and coat well with with the cooking fat, add boiling vegetable broth and double concentrated tomato paste, cover and simmer

Emily D

Love this easy, beautiful dish! Everyone has such great elegant ideas in the comments on NYTCooking recipes. I went a simpler route. Needed a quick no fuss (but not lightning fast) dinner. Made these lentils to the T, then for dinner I toasted some Seeduction bread (Whole Foods. Buy it! You won’t regret it!), slathered with Dijon mustard, topped with 1/4 c of the cooked lentils, then a fried egg on top with some parm/salt/pepper. Utterly divine and simple as could be.


This was delicious. It tasted like France. I served them over fresh baby spinach which wilted from the warm lentils. We also had grilled salmon. For lunch the next day the whole combination, spinach, lentils and salmon made for a great salad.
I thought it was a tiny bit salty so will reduce next time. I doubled the carrots and would do that again.

Hector Lahera

Le Puy lentils taste wonderful and hold their shape well. The leftovers, served cold and dressed with a vinaigrette make for a wonderful salad.


Oh my goodness this is delicious! I followed the recipe to the letter, almost, deglazing the pan after the onions, carrot and garlic with a splash of white wine. Served with morrocan spice courgettes and potatoes and with a green vegetable and it was extremely good.
Can't wait to make it again, it will be a great accompaniment to roast pork, grilled fish or a spicy chicken dish.


These came out well, and I served them as suggested with the cod wrapped in prosciutto. But next time, I'll scale back this recipe. Six people? I had enough lentils to feed a mid-size army on the march.


This is how I cook my lentils for a soup (more water), but I also add chopped celery together with the carrots and then some dried mint and savory instead of the bay leaves.

Elizabeth Smith

The addition of a mustard vinaigrette and some chopped parsley transforms this into a delightful first course.


Only two of us in the house, so I make half the recipe using 1 cup of lentils. I substitute chicken or vegetable broth for half the water. I also add red wine vinegar to taste (teaspoon at a time) at the end.

Helene M.

This was easy, delicious and nutritious. I did not change a thing and will make this again and again and again. Good to eat with chicken or fish or more veggies. Outstanding addition to any meal.

Auntie Mame

I bought these to serve with duck, which I believe is a classic. I will prob. soak these first in cool water. My way to prepare brown lentils so they cook evenly.


Made multiple times with some added red wine, tomato paste, and leeks instead of onions. Yum!


I found it to be very bland. Needs at least twice as much garlic, twice as much onion, and more thyme.I used a strong vegetable stock, added celery and more carrots as well. I also added a dash of balsamic vinegar and some red wine. Use half as much lentils and still serve six.


Tastes but took a lot longer.

teri jones

CAUTIONOne Tablespoon of salt is likely an error. Maybe start with a teaspoon.


This recipe is too bland and needs to be spiced up with more garlic, onions, cumin, and perhaps cinnamon, which I will add if I make it again. I used one TEASPOON of salt.


Great recipe and have made it repeatedly. Made a half batch and agree that salt should be cut back. I also add more garlic Sometimes use low sodium chicken broth instead of water. Serve as a side with tarragon chicken. Tres bien!


This is delicious. It makes a TON. Next time I would cut the recipe in half!

Dee WG

Absolutely does not disappoint. I’ll back off on the salt a bit next time, though.


Fantastic recipe and a great way to enjoy Puy lentils. I added some white wine vinegar at the end of cooking and served it with pork belly.


Slip the carrots and garlic, double the onion


Don't know what they consider a serving size, but unless you're just eating a bowl of lentils, this is more like 12 servings. Made with Chicken stock and I thought it was good if a bit flat. Next day sauteed some chopped bacon then added leftover lentils to heat up and finished with some crumbled cojita cheese. Fantastic! Used as a base for grilled shrimp.


Maybe 1-2 teaspoons?


Loved this. Reduced amount to one cup of lentils. Had roasted garlic and stock on hand and used that. Deglazed onions and carrots with white white. Did not add any salt — has plenty of flavor without it.

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French Lentils With Garlic and Thyme Recipe (2024)


Should I soak French lentils before cooking? ›

Lentils do not require it but can be soaked in order to reduce cooking time by about half. Before cooking, rinse lentils in cold water, pick over to remove debris or shrivelled lentils, then drain.

What herbs go well with lentils? ›

Woodsy herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme are natural partners to the lentil's earthy flavor, so any of them (or any combination of them) can go into the pot, too.

What makes lentils taste better? ›

Think more like you're cooking pasta- you just need significantly more water than lentils. You can also use broth instead of adding an extra layer of flavor. I like adding a bay leaf, an onion cut in half, and a clove of garlic to add flavor to the lentils.

Why should you not season lentils until the end of cooking? ›

Be sure to season with salt after cooking – if salt is added before, the lentils will become tough. Canned lentils are also another great time-saving option – just be sure to rinse them under fresh water for about one minute in order to reduce the sodium content.

What happens if you don't pre soak lentils? ›

Don't worry about soaking lentils, split peas, or black-eyed peas (or cowpeas). Lentils and peas are softer than dried beans. They'll cook within 5 to 20 minutes without any soaking time.

What happens if I don't rinse lentils? ›

You're fine to eat unrinsed lentils. The only real reason to rinse it to remove possible dirt, and perhaps a tad of starch.

What gives lentils flavor? ›

Adding half an onion (peeled), a few cloves of crushed garlic, a bundle of herbs, or a bay leaf to the cooking liquid and a pinch of salt gives lentils plenty of flavor, especially when they're the base for a salad or side dish.

What are the most flavorful lentils? ›

These are the most flavorful lentils around. Black lentils might not be quite as common as the other varieties, but buy them if you can find them. They're small, nearly spherical, and can be mistaken for brown lentils with a darker shade of brown. What sets them apart is a thicker skin.

What is the season for lentils? ›

They are typically grown following winter wheat or spring barley. Usually sown in late April or early May, lentils are most successful when soil temperatures are above 40 ° Fahrenheit (4 ° Celsius). In North America, lentils are planted in early spring and harvested in late summer.

What can I add to lentils to reduce gas? ›

Cumin seeds or ground cumin helps with digestion and is perfect in a soup, curry or dal (lentil dish). Carom seeds, fennel seeds, turmeric and peppermint are other great digestive aids. Cooking beans with a large strip of dried kombu, a Japanese dried kelp, may minimise their gas-producing properties too.

What are the best color lentils to eat? ›

Thanks to the robust flavor, these lentils pair well with meaty veggies and marinated proteins like mushrooms, tofu, and seitan. Best of all, black lentils are the most nutritious variety of lentils, boasting the highest amount of protein, plus high levels of calcium, potassium, and iron.

How do I get the most out of my lentils? ›

Boil, then simmer

Once you've got your liquid and aromatics in, bring it all to a boil. Then immediately turn down the heat and simmer the mixture, covered, for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then continue to simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender.

Do you cook lentils covered or uncovered? ›

Cook your lentils uncovered on low heat for 20-45 minutes (based on the variety) to plump them up while avoiding split skins and mushy results. Add more liquid as needed until the lentils are done. A good ratio to start with is 1 cup of lentils to 2½ cups of liquid.

Do you cook lentils with lid on or off? ›

Cook the lentils: In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 17 to 20 minutes or until tender but not mushy.

How many hours should lentils soak? ›

In that book, I advise to soak lentils from four to twenty-four hours and then drain and cook them in the usual three cups of water.

Why is it good to soak lentils? ›

Soaking lentils increase the mineral absorption rate of the body. An enzyme called phytase is activated when you soak the dal for some time. Phytase helps in breaking down phytic acid and helps in binding calcium, iron and zinc. This makes the absorption process much easier.

What is the difference between French green lentils and green lentils? ›

A variety of green lentils, French lentils are about one-third the size of regular lentils. With a slightly greenish-grey hue, they may appear more akin to gravel than a legume, and boast a peppery flavor. The thing that really makes French lentils stand apart though is their texture.

How long to soak lentils to reduce gas? ›

Aim to soak your beans or lentils for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight. Dump the soaking water (i.e. don't use it to cook the beans). Then be sure to give your beans/lentils a good rinse before cooking to wash away those gas-producing carbohydrates. Introduce them slowly.


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