Smashed Red Lentils

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When you don’t eat meat, you’re always looking for ways to get protein. Although I could eat beans just about every day, sometimes I’m at a loss for how to make them more interesting. These smashed lentils are super easy to make and do not contain any ‘crazy’ ingredients, but the simple twist of smashing them at the end, changes it up a bit. Instead of having your traditional mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes or yucca…) try smashing your beans–you get all the wonderful comfort of the smashed texture and all the protein of a legume!

Smashed Red Lentils (Printable Recipe)


1 cup red lentils–dry

1 small red onion–diced

1 anaheim pepper–diced

2 cloves garlic–minced

1 tablespoon sofrito (Goya or homemade)

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 cup vegetable broth

1/4 teaspoon fennel seed

1/8 teaspoon celery seed

salt/black pepper


*Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion, anaheim pepper, a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Sweat the onions and peppers for about 7 minutes or until barely soft. Add garlic, sofrito, fennel seeds, and celery seeds. Mix. Cook 1-2 minutes.

*Add dry lentils to saucepan, along with the coconut milk and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then drop the heat to low. Simmer 25-30 minutes. Smash mixture until it has the consistency of mashed potatoes . Serve with fresh herbs.

Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantraβ€”love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. Now this is right up my alley love the flavors looks just perfect!

  2. It looks really good, love that color πŸ™‚

  3. We love lentils around my house πŸ™‚ Such a good source of protein. Thank you for sharing your creativity with me! I hope you have a blessed Sunday

  4. Lentils make me so happy! This recipe is gorgeous. Can’t wait to try it!

  5. What a great dish! Sounds healthy and perfect alternative of meat. Regarding the custard powder, it is made of cornstarch, coloring and flavoring. The most famous brand is “Bird’s”, easily obtainable from most supermarket near you.

    • Thanks! Will have to try!

  6. I’ve just discovered I like lentils…and I also have trouble eating enough protein. These look fabulous with all the delicious flavor additions…thanks!!!

  7. Beautiful! This looks so hearty and sounds delicious!

  8. Delicious. Always looking for ways to use lentils. Love the flavors in this dish, especially the addition of coconut milk! I can’t wait to try this. My sis was making a special trip to the healthfood store b/c they have a huge selection of lentils…think I will be grabbing a few more bags. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I find lentils provide a really satisfying alternative to meat. Great flavours in this dish and a gorgeous colour. Roll on meat-free Monday!

  10. I love love lentils and this looks wonderful, Tiffany! Love this!

  11. I’ve never had RED lentils before but now I want some!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m glad you liked the Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies! ?- Katrina

  12. This looks so healthy and delicious. My fav is red lentils and with the coconut milk in there sounds fab!

  13. I passed by to say thank you for visiting my blog. And to drool looking at your smashed lentils. I didn’t eat them combined with coconut milk. Yet. Now I know how I will cook them next time.Thanks.

  14. Definitely a great way to get protein into you! I love that you used the red lentils πŸ™‚

  15. Yum, I love this idea of mashing them instead of potato. They look very flavourful. I would probably pair them with meat, but that’s just me πŸ˜‰

  16. I’ve been experimenting a lot with lentils lately, but have never tried a recipe like this. I love lentils and this looks fun and different. Cool idea! Pretty, too.

  17. They almost look like sweet potatoes what a beautiful color. Does the coconut milk add a touch of sweetness? Really great flavors.

  18. This is really a good protein substitution for people who don’t eat meat. Great colour!

  19. I love this! My favourite things are an Indian lentil dhal dip that I make and my butter bean & rosemary puree, that looks like mashed potato. This is a mixture of the two and just has to be delicious. I’m excited!

    • Ooooo I HEART butter beans! I will have to try that!

  20. I love lentil but have never mashed them. Will try!

  21. i am not a lentil fan, but i like it when smashed . My mom makes these a lot at home. hse however would make it in Indian style by adding some more spice, but what made it awsm for my taste bud what the magic ingredients tamarind ! try it sometime, if you like tangy taste

    • I do like tamarind! I will try it with my lentils! Thanks!

  22. Very nutritious, a wonderful side dish for sure!

  23. I love lentils that are smashed like this or pureed. This recipe sounds delicious! Do you have a good recipe for sofrito, by the way?

    • I will post a recipe for sofrito soon! πŸ˜€

  24. I like that celery in this recipe, it should give a very nice flavor πŸ™‚

  25. What a “smashing good” idea! Yep, this legume is extremely versatile as you have displayed here! YUM! I love making dahl with them!

  26. Beautiful dish…. I made lentils yesterday….will post it soon:)

  27. Mashed lentils with all of these wonderful spices sounds delicious! Great side dish πŸ™‚

  28. I love mashed lentils πŸ™‚ This looks really nice.

  29. So yummy, nice pictures.

  30. Mmm…..this makes me want to whip up some lentils. Looks so tasty.

  31. curry looks healthy delicious

  32. It kind of looks like sweet potato mash!! I would love to try this. Red lentils is now on my grocery list.

  33. Yum!!! Healthy and full of flavor! That’s something I would love to have for dinner tonight!!! I love both coconut and fennel seeds… never tried them together but I am sure they’d taste great! Thanks Tiffany!

  34. Smashing lentils is a great idea. I get sick of their texture so this would switch it up. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Hi there, Having just given up meat for Lent, I think I will be using Lentils a lot more than usual πŸ™‚ These smashed lentils look sooo good. Gorgeous blog too, very tasty πŸ™‚

  36. I’m always looking for fun ways to use lentils besides soup! This looks perfect. I’d even eat this in a sandwich, on crackers as a spread…or just by itself. Thank you for sharing!

  37. Thanks for the comments folks! πŸ˜€

  38. I eat lentils all the the time and have never thought to mash them. I love the color of red lentils and can’t wait to try this!