How To Cook Lentils In The Microwave

Categorized as Microwave Cooking
microwave lentils

So, you’re thinking about cooking some lentils in the microwave. You might be wondering why anyone would want to do such a thing. After all, microwaves are usually reserved for heating up leftover pizza or making popcorn.

But there are actually quite a few benefits to cooking lentils in the microwave. For one thing, it’s a very quick and easy way to cook them.

There’s no need to babysit a pot on the stove, and you can have perfectly cooked lentils in just a few minutes. Additionally, microwave cooking helps to preserve the nutrients in the lentils better than other methods.

In this article, I’ll answer all your questions about cooking lentils in the microwave. I’ll tell you whether or not it’s safe to do so, how long to cook them for, and give you a step-by-step guide to doing it.

I’ll also share some ideas for what to serve with your microwave lentils, and why you should consider adding them to your diet in the first place.

So let’s get started!

Can You Cook Lentils in the Microwave?

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to cook lentils, the microwave is definitely the way to go. It is not only lentils but other types of dried beans as well that can be cooked in a microwave.

Microwaving can cut down the cooking time by half or more, and it’s a very hands-off method of cooking. You don’t have to watch a pot on the stove or worry about them boiling over.

Just pop them in, set the timer, and let the microwave do its thing. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them boiling over or making a big mess. When they’re done, just spoon them out into a bowl and enjoy.

Is It Safe to Microwave Lentils?

One of the most common questions people have about microwaving lentils is whether or not it is safe to microwave them. There are three myths about microwaving food that need to be debunked to answer this question.

The first myth is that microwaves cause cancer. There is no evidence to support this claim. According to several studies, there is no link between microwaves and cancer. The microwaves do not emit radiation that is harmful to your health.

The second myth is that microwaves cause food to lose its nutrients. This is also not true. The truth is microwaved help to preserve the nutrients in food better than other methods of cooking.

The third myth is that microwaves cause food to be toxic. This claim is also unsubstantiated. The only way that microwaving could cause food to be toxic is if the food was already spoiled or contaminated before it was put in the microwave or if you use a container that is not microwave-safe.

So, to answer the question, yes, it is safe to microwave lentils. Just be sure to use a microwave-safe container and follow the instructions below.

How Long Do You Microwave Lentils For?

The cooking time for microwave lentils will vary depending on how many lentils you are cooking and the power of your microwave.

Generally speaking, you will need to cook 2 cups of dry lentils for 10 minutes on high power. If you are cooking a larger amount, you will need to increase the cooking time accordingly.

For canned lentils, usually it takes about 3 minutes to heat them up. If you’re not sure, check the can for specific instructions.

How To Cook Lentils In The Microwave Step by Step

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking lentils in the microwave.

1. Soaking Lentils

The first step in cooking lentils in the microwave is soaking them. Soaking helps to soften the lentils and makes them cook faster.

Start by rinsing the lentils in a colander. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that may be on them.

Then place the lentils in a bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak for a few hours to overnight. Drain the water and rinse the lentils one more time before cooking.

2. Microwaving Lentils

Once the lentils have been soaked, it’s time to cook them in the microwave. Place them in a microwave-safe container and add water. The ratio of water to lentils should be 3:1.

For example, if you are cooking 1 cup of dry lentils, you will need to add 3 cups of water.

Cover the container with a lid and microwave on high power for 10 minutes. Check and stir the lentils after 5 minutes of cooking to make sure they are cooking evenly.

3. Serving Lentils

Once the lentils are cooked, drain any excess water and enjoy. You can add them to soups, salads, or rice dishes. Salt should be added at this time and not before cooking. If you add salt before cooking, it will make the lentils tough.

Can You Reheat Leftover Lentils In The Microwave?

Yes, you can reheat leftover lentils in the microwave. But, as with all food, certain safety precautions should be followed.

Before reheating the lentils, make sure they have been stored properly. Leftover lentils should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

In the fridge, they will be good for 5-7 days. In the freezer, they will be good for up to 6 months. Having lentils that are properly stored will make them easy to reheat and will help to prevent food poisoning.

When you’re ready to reheat the lentils, place them in a microwave-safe container and sprinkle them with a few drops of water. This will help to prevent them from drying out.

Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high power at 30-second intervals. Stir the lentils in between each interval until they are heated through.

Leftover lentils can also be reheated on the stovetop. To do this, preheat a pan on the stove over medium heat and melt a little bit of butter in the pan.

When the butter is melted, add the leftover lentils and heat them for 3 minutes. Stir the lentils several times during the cooking process to keep them from catching on the bottom of the pan.

Do not reheat the lentils more than once. Reheating them multiple times can increase the risk of food poisoning and ruin the texture or taste of the lentils.

How Do You Know If Your Leftover Lentils Have Gone Bad?

There are a few signs that your leftover lentils have gone bad. The first is the smell. If the lentils have an off odor, they should not be eaten.

The second sign is the texture. If the lentils are mushy or have changed in texture, they should also not be eaten.

If you notice either of these signs, it’s best to discard the lentils. Eating bad lentils can cause food poisoning, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms.

Why Should You Eat Lentils?

You may be wondering, “why should I eat lentils?” And that’s a valid question. After all, they’re small, brown, and generally unassuming.

But don’t let their humble appearance fool you – lentils are nutritional powerhouses packed with protein, fiber, and a host of vitamins and minerals.

They’re also incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from soups and stews to salads and sides.

So if you’re looking for a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet, give lentils a try. You may just be surprised by how much you enjoy them!

What To Serve With Lentils?

If you’re looking for ideas on what to serve with your lentils, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy them:

1. Lentils and rice

One of the great things about lentils is that they go well with a variety of other foods. One of my favorite combinations is lentils and rice.

The nutty flavor of the lentils pairs perfectly with the fluffy rice, and you can add whatever seasonings or toppings you like to change things up. Try adding some sautéed veggies, grilled chicken, or a dollop of yogurt for a complete meal.

2. Lentil soup

Another great way to enjoy lentils is in soup form. This hearty and comforting dish is perfect for a chilly day, and it’s easy to make ahead of time and reheat as needed.

Try adding some diced potatoes, carrots, and celery to your soup for extra flavor and nutrients. And if you’re looking for a bit of spice, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or red chili flakes.

3. Lentil salad

Lentils are also great in salads. Their hearty texture and nutty flavor make them a great addition to any salad, and they’re a good source of protein, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Try pairing lentils with some chopped veggies, like tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Add a simple vinaigrette or lemon juice and olive oil for dressing, and you’ve got a delicious and healthy salad that’s perfect for any occasion.

4. Lentil burrito bowl

Burrito bowls are all the rage these days and for good reason. They’re healthy, filling, and can be customized to suit your individual tastes.

To make a lentil burrito bowl, start by cooking some lentils. Once they’re cooked, add them to a bowl with rice, beans, grilled vegetables, salsa, and guacamole.

Top with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, and you’ve got a delicious and satisfying meal.

5. Lentil curry

If you’re looking for something a little different, try making a lentil curry. This flavorful dish is easy to make and can be tailored to your individual taste preferences.

Try adding some ginger, garlic, and cumin to your curry for extra flavor. And if you like it spicy, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red chili flakes. Serve over rice or quinoa, and you’ve got a delicious and healthy meal.


Lentils are a healthy and delicious addition to any diet. They’re packed with nutrients, and their versatile nature makes them perfect for a variety of dishes.

From cooking to reheating them, all can be done in the microwave. This is a time-saving way to have a healthy and delicious meal.

Just remember to use a microwave-safe container, add the right amount of water, and cook on high power for the recommended time.

And if you’re looking for some ideas on what to serve with your lentils try one of the suggestions above. No matter how you choose to enjoy them, you’re sure to be impressed by their flavor and nutrition!

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!