When a home-cooked, hearty meal looks this good, one might assume it took hours to prepare. However, Mexican Spiced Lentils takes less than 30 minutes to get to the table. With a warm, spicy flavour, and consisting of heart healthy lentils and tomatoes, this dish is sure to be a new family favourite!
From time to time, I crave lentils. Is that weird? There’s something rather comforting about a big bowl of lentil anything that really makes me feel all warm and cozy. I’ve made several lentil dishes to share with you, but this one is new. It combines canned lentils, which helps cut down on prep time, and a combination of spices, along with store-bought canned diced tomatoes. It doesn’t seem like much, but the taste is so worth it!
Curried Coconut Lentils was recently posted to my blog, but you can also check out my Dijon Spiced Creamy Lentils and Caramelized Onions recipe, or even this Shepherd’s Vegetarian Skillet Pie.
Weeknight dinner prep for me is all about cutting corners. As much as I love to cook and bake, it’s not what I want to spend my nights doing after I get home from work. I will often buy canned tomatoes, or canned beans, etc., to cut down on the time needed to prep and cook. In most cases, you will find my pantry filled with canned goods. I usually watch for sales and buy them to stock up. Canned goods are frowned upon by many food enthusiasts, but if you take the time, and through a little trial and error, you will find a brand that works well for you.
For this particular dish, not to outshine the lentils and the tomatoes, but the spices really do elevate this rustic bowl of deliciousness to a whole new level. With the addition of chili powder, cumin, and paprika, the dish comes to life. Mexican Spiced Lentils are a great meal on its own – just top with a little plain yogurt or sour cream. Or, you can use it as a side dish. It would pair lovely with grilled chicken with a spritz of lime, or a seared fish of choice.
One last thing, lentils hold up really well to storage. Once cooked, you can safely store this dish in the fridge for a day or two, or freeze it for a later time. The lentils will keep their shape and consistency.
Mexican Spiced Lentils
- 2 cups canned lentils, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute the onions in olive oil until slightly browned.
- Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute or two.
- Add in all of the spices and stir into the onion and garlic mixture. Cook for two more minutes.
- Next, add the canned tomatoes and lentils. Stir to incorporate.
- Place a lid on the skillet and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve hot with sour cream or plain yogurt.