Using just one pot and ready in under 20 minutes, this easy vegan red lentil dal is a flavorful, plant-powered meal! Serve with quinoa or rice, and save the leftovers for meal prep!
There's almost nothing I love more than being away for a weekend and coming back to a fully stocked freezer. Whenever I travel, I try to clean out my fridge before I leave and yet when I get home, I just can't seem to bring myself to go to the grocery store. No matter how early my arrival.
So when there's nothing to eat for dinner and I don't want to order takeout (because let's be real, takeout isn't that healthy and I rarely eat as healthy while I'm away), my freezer comes to my rescue.
I know a ton of you are in the same boat; either you work full time, are a full-time student, or just have those days when life just gets in the way. Having a fully stocked freezer, with meals at the ready, can be a game-changer.
Today's vegan red lentil dahl is one of the best options for this. Not only is it quick – only takes about 15 minutes – but it's also inexpensive and freezes beautifully.
It's one of those recipes that I'll double just so I can be sure my freezer is totally full of goodness.
Dals actually has two meanings. It's the term in India used for dried, split pulses (i.e. lentils, peas and beans), but it also refers to a variety of soups or stews made with these pulses.
These ingredients are a staple in Indian cuisine (as well as other countries like Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) because they are inexpensive and packed with nutrition. They're high in protein and are rich in vitamins and minerals like B, iron, and zinc.
And guess what? They're also crazy easy to make. Especially red lentils!
I actually rarely use red lentils in my house, but now that I have this vegan red lentil dal recipe in my arsenal, they're definitely going to become a pantry staple.
For this recipe, you'll need less than 10 ingredients, 15 minutes and one pot. I'm not sure dinner gets easier than that!
We're using the lentils are as our base, then simmering it in a blend of coconut milk and water to make it extra flavorful and creamy, then spicing it up with a simple spice blend. Dal is best served with either quinoa, rice, cauliflower rice (which I used here) or a flatbread.
If you go the cauliflower rice route, check your supermarket because I've been seeing frozen cauliflower rice pop up more and more (and it will save you a TON of time). And if you're going to the flatbread route, might I suggest making my quinoa pizza crust and using coconut milk instead of water and curry powder? Oh my that sounds delicious!
And did I mention this also works as a meal prep meal?
You can organize your container with the rice and dal, add in some greens and then pop it in your fridge for 3 – 4 days. You'll have lunches (or dinners) ready to go and that, my friends, is where a big batch of this will really come in handy. Stock your freezer, stock your fridge and have dinner on the table in under 15 minutes.
Yep, sounds pretty idyllic to me!
More Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas:
- Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce
- Rainbow Vegetable Quinoa Stir Fry
- Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Boats
- One-Pot Lentils + Quinoa with Spinach
- Black Bean Quinoa Fajita Bowls
- One-Pot Mediterranean Quinoa with Spinach + Chickpeas
Easy Vegan Red Lentil Dal
- Bring water to a boil, then add lentils and coconut milk. Return mixture to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, until the lentils have softened, then stir in spices and cook another 5.!
- Serve with quinoa, cauliflower rice, white/brown rice or flatbreads!
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