How to reheat lentils?

Lentils are a legume which is increasingly becoming popular as a highly nutritious source for plant-protein that is packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

There are different types of lentils ranging from brown, green to yellow and red which can suit particular recipes such as dals, soups and stews which is why these are commonly purchased in bulk.

In fact, lentils is an incredibly budget-friendly ingredient which can be great value because they are very healthy and are very versatile. 

The bottom line is that if you are looking for a meat replacement ingredient, lentils would be one of the best choices because you can use these to make a vegan bolognese, vegan burger, vegan shepherds pie and even vegan flour tortillas.

They are straightforward to cook but they do take time and you need to follow the correct method for the best results.

Can You Reheat Lentils?

You can reheat lentils and it is a fantastic ingredient for batch cooking and meal prep because they freeze well and taste great when reheated.

Majority of the lentil recipes are variations of soups, stews or currys which means it is usually combined with stock, herb and spices.

Not only do these recipes keep well in the fridge but they taste better when reheated due to the time allowed for these ingredients to set.

This post just focuses on common lentil recipes and for the best results, it will be down to how the lentils were cooked and prepared which is why it is important to follow the right method.

How to reheat lentils

There are two main ways to reheat lentils which are in the microwave or on the stove.

As the majority of lentil recipes are variations of dals, stews, soups or currys, this post will be focusing on reheating these types of lentil recipes. 

To begin with, you will need to ensure you store your lentils properly which can be done by using an air-tight glass container or plastic BPA-free container which will keep it sealed for refrigeration.

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You can store the majority of lentil recipes up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator or 3-6 months in the freezer which will keep well.

If you are planning to reheat lentils from frozen, you will need to allow it to thaw overnight or you can allow it to sit at room temperature in warm water if you are at home.

You can reheat the lentils in the container or you can transfer it to your plate or saucepan for reheating.

How to reheat lentils in the microwave

  1. Ensure you cover your microwave-safe container, plate or bowl with a splatter guard. This is very important because it will prevent the lentils popping in the microwave.
  2. Heat your lentils for 1 minute and stir your lentils with a spoon. Heat again for 1 minute and stir again. This will be at the right temperature, however add 30 seconds each time once you reach your desired heat. 

How to reheat lentils on the stove

  1. Preheat your saucepan on medium-low heat and add your lentil dish.
  2. Keep on low simmer and cover for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove cover, turn on medium-high heat and stir for 2 minutes.

Can You Reheat Lentils Twice?

Lentils should not be reheated twice because it would be very risky due to bacteria growth, just like with most food recipes.

Although you could take the risk, it is not worth it because the dish would not taste as fresh either which is because the lentils will turn mushy.

How long do cooked lentils last in the fridge or freezer?

Majority of the cooked lentil recipes will last between 3–5 days in the refrigerator and 3-6 months in the freezer which is why they are perfect for batch cooking and meal prep.

You can theoretically prepare your lentil recipes on Sunday which will last you for the upcoming weekdays that will only take minutes to reheat and will still taste fresh.

Not only does this help you save time but it can help you save money because lentils can be purchased in bulk for a very low cost price. 

Most lentil recipes use spices, onions, garlic and tomatoes which are also common ingredients already stored at home which means you do not need a constant supermarket trip.

The key to keeping the lentils fresh is all done to how it is stored which is best practised by following the 2-hour rule and using air-tight containers.

Verdict

With the rise of plant-based recipes and awareness, it is no surprise that this coincides with lentils because it is one of the best ingredients around. Even if you are a meat eater, lentils can complement chicken dishes or help add protein to your salads.

As lentils are fine to reheat and will last longer that most ingredients, they will become more popular with meal prep recipes because of convenience, the nutritional value, low cost appeal and versatility.

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