Lentils Mexicanos and Pea-Stuffed Peppers


Lentils...Easy To Cook Easy To Eat


Lentils can go with vegetables, pasta, fish, meat, fowl and more. They can go into soups, salads, side dishes, main dishes, casseroles, sandwiches and snacks.

Puree cooked lentils to create pates, spreads or dips, or to add to quick breads, muffins or carrot or zucchini cake for extra moistness and fiber.

Lentils are easy to sprout, for superb snacks or to toss into salads, soups or sandwiches.

Lentil chili, lentil taco salad, lentil spaghetti sauce, lentil burgers, lentil and chicken salad, lentils and pasta, lentil salad in pita bread-the possibilities are endless.

Quick To Cook

To cook lentils, just rinse and pick over, then simmer on top of the range, or covered in the microwave on high, in water (twice the amount of water as lentils), or as the recipe directs. Drain, if needed, and they're ready. If you wish, add seasonings or flavorful ingredients to the cooking water, since lentils absorb flavors well. Do not add acid ingredients, such as tomatoes or lemon juice, until later, since they will slow cooking. Salt should be added at the end of the cooking time for the same reason.

Lentils DO NOT need to be pre-soaked before cooking. Just 20 minutes simmering, or less, makes them tender and ready to eat or use in recipes.

Red Chief Lentils, bright and coral-colored, have been decorticated (skinned) and cook in even less time-6 to 8 minutes maximum. These pretty lentils are especially nice for salads and side dishes.


Lentils Mexicanos


Yield: 24 (1-1/2- cups) serving


  • Chopped onions—2 lb.4oz. / 6 cups
  • Minced garlic—1/4 cup
  • Chicken broth—8 oz. / 1 cup
  • Cooked Red Chief or Crimson Lentils*—7 lb. 8 oz. / 15 cups
  • Canned diced tomatoes, drained—10 lb. / 1-1/2 (#10) cans
  • Canned diced chilies—1 lb. 4 oz. / 5 cups
  • Sliced black olives—1 lb. / 4 cups
  • Chopped cilantro—2 oz. / 1-1/4 cups
  • Ground cumin—1/3 cup
  • Crushed red pepper flakes—2 tablespoons
  • Salt—1 tablespoon
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese—1 lb. 8 oz. / 6 cups
  • Tortilla chips—As needed


In steam-jacketed kettle or stockpot, cook onions and garlic in broth over medium heat until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in lentils, tomatoes, chilies, olives, cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook over low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes

Portion 1-1/2 cups mixture into individual 2-cup coated casserole dishes.

Top each dish with 1 oz. (1/4 cup) cheese.

Insert tortilla chips around edges of casserole, as needed. Bake at 350 degrees F until heated through and cheese melts, about 15 minutes.

*Cook lentils according to package directions until slightly firm.

Nutrients Per Serving: 349 Calories, 29g Protein, 42g Carbohydrate, 12.4g Fat, 25mg Cholesterol, 10.5g Dietary Fiber, 1.2g Sodium.


Pea-Stuffed Peppers

stuffed pepper
  • 6 medium green peppers
  • 1 cup cooked yellow split peas
  • 1/2 lbs. hamburger
  • 1 package of dry onion soup
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 cans tomato-cheese sauce

Remove tops and membranes from peppers. Pre-cook In salted water for 5 minutes. Remove from water and place in glass baking dish, open side up. Combine soup mix with hamburger and brown in cooking oil. Remove from heat and add the peas, egg, and one can of the sauce. Mix. Stuff peppers and top with the other can of sauce. Bake for 45 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Serves 6.

Tip: Split peas require no soaking.


Lentils & Dry Peas


Provided by USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified February 2007

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