Can You Microwave Lentils?

Lentils are a popular source of protein and fiber, making them a great addition to salads, soups, and stews.

Lentils are a staple ingredient in many of my favorite dishes, but I’ve always been unsure whether they can be microwaved.

So, can you microwave lentils?

After trying it out, I’ve discovered some tips for microwaving lentils that I am excited to share.

Kitchen novice, read on to learn more about how to microwave lentils to perfection.

Is It Safe to Microwave Lentils?

The answer is yes – you can microwave lentils! As long as they are cooked properly, and the appropriate precautions are taken. 

Lentils should be rinsed, and then cooked in water or broth until fully cooked before microwaving.

Additionally, when microwaving lentils, it is recommended to cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid to promote even cooking.

Things to Know Before Microwaving Lentils

Microwaving lentils can be a quick way to cook them, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure they cook properly and safely:

  • Rinse and soak the lentils

Before microwaving them, rinse them thoroughly, then soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. 

This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from drying out in the microwave.

  • Use a microwave-safe dish

Choose a microwave-safe dish that is large enough to accommodate the lentil.

It should have a lid to prevent moisture from escaping. 

  • Add enough water

Add enough water to the dish to cover the lentils completely. 

The water will help the lentils cook evenly and prevent them from drying out. 

You can also add some vegetable or chicken stock for extra flavor.

  • Season the lentils

Before microwaving, add some salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you like to the lentils. 

This will enhance the flavor of the lentils.

  • Stir occasionally

While microwaving, stir the lentils to ensure they cook evenly. 

If you notice that the lentils are drying out, you can add a little more water.

  • Check for doneness

Lentils can take 10-20 minutes to cook in the microwave, depending on the quantity and type of lentils.

Check them regularly and adjust the cooking time as needed.

  • Let the lentils rest

Once the lentils are cooked, let them rest for a few minutes before serving. 

This will allow the lentils to absorb any remaining liquid and become more tender.

How to Microwave Lentils (Step-By-Step)

Here are the steps to microwave lentils:

  1. Rinse the lentils in a colander. Remove any debris or stones.
  2. Place the lentils in a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Add enough water to cover the lentils by about an inch.
  4. Cover the bowl loosely with a microwave-safe lid.
  5. Microwave on high for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Check the lentils for doneness. They should be tender but not mushy.
  7. If the lentils are not cooked to your liking, microwave for another minute or two, checking every 30 seconds until they are done.
  8. Once the lentils are cooked, drain any excess water and serve.

Before microwaving, you can add spices or herbs to the lentils for extra flavor.

How Long Should I Microwave Lentils?

The amount of time it takes to microwave lentils can vary depending on the quantity, type of lentils, and wattage of your microwave. 

However, as a general guideline, you can microwave 1 cup of lentils with 2 cups of water for 10-12 minutes on high power or until the lentils are fully cooked.

Be sure to use a microwave-safe dish with a lid to prevent the lentils from drying out or spilling over.

Stir the lentils occasionally during cooking to ensure even heating. 

After cooking, let the lentils stand for a few minutes before serving or using them in a recipe.

Can You Reheat Leftover Lentils in the Microwave?

Yes, you can reheat leftover lentils in the microwave. Here’s how:

  1. Place the leftover lentils in a microwave-safe container with a lid.
  2. Add a tablespoon or two of water to the lentils to prevent them from drying out while they are being reheated.
  3. Cover the container with the lid or use microwave-safe plastic wrap.
  4. Microwave the lentils on high power for 1-2 minutes, depending on the quantity of lentils and the wattage of your microwave.
  5. Stop and stir the lentils every 30 seconds to ensure they are heated evenly.
  6. Check the lentils for any hot spots or areas that are still cold.
  7. If needed, microwave for additional 30-second increments until they are heated through.
  8. Once the lentils are hot, remove them from the microwave and let them cool for a minute or two before serving.

Make sure to only reheat lentils stored properly in the refrigerator.

How Do You Soften Dried Lentils Quickly?

There are a few methods you can use to soften dried lentils quickly:

  • Soak the lentils

Place the dried lentils in a large bowl and cover them with water. 

Let them soak for at least 1 hour. 

This will help to soften them and reduce their cooking time.

  • Boil the lentils

Bring a pot of water and add the dried lentils. 

Boil them for 2-3 minutes, then remove them from the heat.

Let them soak in hot water for about an hour. 

Drain the lentils and rinse them with cold water.

  • Use a pressure cooker

If you have a pressure cooker, you can use it for cooking dried lentils.

Add the lentils and enough water to cover them to the pressure cooker. 

Cook on high pressure for about 10 minutes, then release the pressure. Check the lentils for tenderness.

  • Cook in a slow cooker

Cover the dried lentils in a slow cooker with enough water or broth.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to rinse the lentils well before cooking them to remove any dirt or debris.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Red Lentils Be Microwaved?

Yes, red lentils can be microwaved. 

They should be placed in a microwave-safe dish with enough water or broth to cover them, then microwaved on high until tender.

Can You Eat Microwave Lentils Cold?

Yes, you can eat microwave lentils cold. 

Cooked lentils can be enjoyed hot or cold. 

They can be added to salads, and sandwiches or eaten as a snack.

Store them properly in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth, and consume them within a few days for best quality.

Do you have to boil lentils before cooking?

Yes, lentils should be boiled before cooking. 

Boiling helps to soften the lentils and remove any impurities. 

It also helps to reduce cooking time and make the lentils more digestible. 

Rinse the lentils, then boil them in water for about 20-30 minutes or until tender.

Can you Microwave Canned Lentils?

Yes, you can microwave canned lentils. 

Simply open the can, transfer the lentils to a microwave-safe container, cover with a lid, then heat on high for 1-2 minutes. 

Be sure to stir the lentils halfway through to ensure even heating.

Can you Microwave Lentil Soup?

Yes, you can microwave lentil soup. 

Simply pour the soup into a microwave-safe bowl, and cover it with a microwave-safe lid.

Heat on high for 1-2 minutes, until hot. 

Stir the soup occasionally to ensure even heating. 

Be careful when removing the bowl from the microwave, as it may be hot.

Can you Microwave Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk?

The short answer is yes. 

However, it is important to stir the soup well before heating and to use a microwave-safe container.

Additionally, be cautious of overheating, as coconut milk can curdle or separate when heated too much.

Can you Microwave Lentil Curry?

Yes, it’s safe to microwave lentil curry. 

Simply place the curry in a microwave-safe container, and heat it on high for 1-2 minutes, or until it’s heated through. 

Stir the curry occasionally to ensure even heating. 

Be careful not to overheat it, as this can cause the lentils to become tough and the sauce watery. 


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