How Long To Cook Lentils (And Why)?

How Long To Cook Lentils (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Five to Twenty Minutes

Lentils can be described as edible seeds of the legume family. The legume plant has lens-shaped seeds and they are available in the market both with and without their outer husks. Lentils are a staple food item in many countries but the majority of their production comes from India and Canada.

Lentils are rich in nutrition. They contain large amounts of Vitamin B, Iron, Zinc, Potassium, Phosphorous, and Manganese. Moreover, they are also rich in fiber content which helps to support bowel movements.

Lentils are also loaded with protein and polyphenols, which are a type of phytochemicals. Lentils are available in various varieties like French, Black, Green, and Red. They are certainly a must-have dish.

How Long To Cook Lentils

How Long To Cook Lentils?

Type of LentilTime Needed to Cook
Red LentilsFive Minutes
French Green LentilsTwenty Minutes
Black LentilsFifteen Minutes
Green LentilsTen to Twelve Minutes

As described earlier, they are four prominent types of lentils used commonly. However, there are nearly more than a hundred varieties of lentils used in different parts of the globe. Each has its unique benefit and takes slightly different times to get cooked.

Red lentils are also known as pink lentils, on account of their obvious color. These lentils take comparatively less time to get cooked as their fibrous skins had already been removed which helps to turn soft and mushy quickly. Red lentils, also known as Masoor Dal in the Indian subcontinent, can be cooked within five minutes.

French Green Lentils or Lentilles du Puy, are rather brown and are smaller and rounder in shape as compared to other types of lentils. These lentils have a mineral-rich flavor and they take nearly twenty minutes to get cooked.

Black Lentils are also referred to as Beluga Lentils on account of their similar resemblance to caviar. These lentils are similar to French Green Lentils in size and shape, however, the former has a more mild flavor. They are great for salads and the time that is taken to cook these lentils is nearly fifteen minutes.

Green Lentils are more brownish-green in color. These are the most standard and commonly used lentils in the world. Since these lentils are the most sought-after, their supply is high, making them affordable and cheap. They can be cooked within ten to twelve minutes.

Why Lentils Take That Long To Cook?

Lentils are a delicious dish. However, only when they are cooked, they can be eaten and taste good. Lentils need to be cooked at appropriate times to ensure that they can be easily digested. In this context, it may be noted that since each variety of lentils has distinguishable features, this makes them take different times to be cooked.

Green lentils are the basic lentils and they have a normal shape and size. They need a cooking time of ten minutes.

The properties of red lentils enable them to be cooked quickly. Unlike other varieties of lentils which have their fibrous skins on them, red lentils have those fibers removed. In the absence of fibrous skins, this lentil turns soft and mushy faster.

In contrast to the red lentils, the French Green Lentils are tough and nutty. They need more cooking time to give rise to them being soft and easy to digest when consumed. This makes the French Green Lentils one of the longest to cook.

Black lentils or Beluga lentils take a few minutes less than the French Green Lentils to be cooked. Both these have a similar structure, shape, and size. However, black lentils are a bit less coarse than the french ones which help them take comparatively less time.


Lentils are a great source of protein which makes them a good substitute for non-vegetarian food. The most common Lentils are of four different types. These are Red lentils, French Green Lentils, Beluga lentils, and Green lentils.

Red lentils are devoid of fibrous skin and so they can be cooked within five minutes. French Green lentils are nutty so they need approximately half an hour of cooking. Black lentils and Green lentils need fifteen minutes and ten minutes of cooking time respectively.


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