Onion & Lentils


Onion & Lentils

Onion & Lentils

In Egypt one of the tastiest dishes I ate was this interesting combo of lentils, rice, onions and pasta.

There was something so comforting in that strange complicated mix.

This is my much simpler, and more waistline-friendly version.

enough for: 2
takes: 40 minutes

3 onions, peeled & sliced
200g (7oz) dried French-style lentils
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
4 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Heat a medium pot on a medium heat. Cook onions in a little oil until they are soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Add 2 cups water and bring to the boil. Simmer lentils uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are no longer crunchy and the water has reduced. If the lentils start to dry out before they’re cooked, add more water.

3. Meanwhile combine tahini, lemon juice and 3-4 tablespoons water in a small bowl.

4. When the lentils are cooked season generously with salt and pepper. Toss in the parsley and serve with the tahini sauce drizzled over.


pantry-friendly – parsley = pesto or frozen spinach.

short on time? – replace dried lentils with 2 drained cans of lentils or other legumes. Don’t add the water and just cook until warm. OR Cook onions and lentils in separate saucepans at the same time. Red lentils will cook in 10-12 minutes.

carnivore – brown some crumbled spicy sausages, ground beef, bacon or chorizo in with the onions and serve with baby spinach.

different lentils – I prefer French-style or ‘puy’ lentils for this but any lentil can be used. Larger lentils may take up to 30 minutes to simmer and will need a bit more water.

different seasoning – you might like to try using soy sauce and a splash of sherry or wine vinegar to season the lentils instead of the oil.

no tahini – serve with a creamy cheese instead of the sauce like ricotta, goats cheese, persian feta or regular feta.

more substantial (carb lovers) – toss in cooked pasta or steamed rice (or both). Or serve with flat bread or roast sweet potato.

more substantial (low carb) – serve with some walnuts or almonds.

pescetarian – I love this served with canned fish such as sardines, tuna or salmon. Also great with smoked fish.

low carb / paleo – replace the lentils with ground beef browned (brown in a little oil instead of boiling like lentils) + serve with Almond Hummus.

more breakfasty – serve with a poached or fried egg.

different herbs – use mint, basil or coriander. Or salad leaves or baby spinach.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

onion – will keep in the pantry for months. Best if in a dark corner in a brown paper bag.

lentils / tahini – keep in the pantry.

flat leaf parsley
– tends to be the most long lasting of the leafy herbs. Should keep for a few weeks in the fridge if wrapped in a plastic bag. For longer periods pop it in the freezer – it will wilt but will still be useable in this dish.

– whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the parsley and tahini sauce separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, warm lentils and onion with a little oil in a frying pan. Top with sauce and parsley.

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