Sesame Stir-Fried Lentils and Vegetables

Lentils. You either love them or you don’t. Most people don’t. I understand. Oh no. What’s that? I think I hear footsteps walking away already. Stop right there! Give lentils a chance!

This lentil dish is one of my top favorites. In fact, it’s the inspiration behind those sesame lentil burgers I made quite a while back. It’s really such a simple meatless dish but the flavors are incredible. The combination of the garlic, ginger, and sesame bring these lentils to life. Now I know that may be hard to believe but be prepared to love lentils!

The very first time I tried this recipe, which is a recipe from my favorite cookbook, I was just as surprised myself. And then I forced everybody who walked into the kitchen to eat some. I begged, begged, and begged and shoved a forkful of lentils in each and every mouth that walked in until they ate it (OK, I might be exaggerating just a little bit). But you know what? This is one of the most requested meals now. Look who’s begging now, right?

Whaaaaat? Lentils? Requested? Yeah. No joke. That’s right. This is good. So try it. Make it. Eat it. Repeat it. Go on now.

All I’m saying is give lentils a chance!

Sesame Stir-Fried Lentils and Vegetables

Yields 4-6


  • 4 medium carrots
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 handful fresh green beans
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers (I used a mixture of green yellow and red peppers)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 pieces of fresh ginger (minced)
  • 1 cup dry lentils (or 3 cups cooked lentils)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (reduced sodium or lite)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions (or very finely sliced white onions)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted)


Adapted from:  Joy of Cooking


Step 1
Cook lentils how you normally would with water. I sort, wash, and rinse 1 cup of lentils. Throw them in 2 1/2 cups of water with a clove of garlic and a bay leaf. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer until cooked. About 35-40 minutes.
Step 2
Prepare a steamer basket with boiling water. Peel and slice carrots diagonally. Wash and dice zucchini. Wash and cut tips of green beans. Chop 2 inch pieces. Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Steam vegetables for 5 minutes or until tender. You could omit the zucchini in this step, since they will be further cooked later and require little cooking. Immediately transfer to ice water with steamer basket and all, if possible. This prevents the veggies from cooking any further and retains their color.
Step 3
In a large skillet, heat oil, and add bell peppers. Cook until softened. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, a few seconds or more. Give it a good stir. Add soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir in steamed veggies, and zucchini. Toss in the lentils. Stir in the scallions or onions. Stir to combine everthing together and simmer until heated through.
Step 4
Toast sesame seeds over the stovetop, a cast iron skillet works perfectly. Just don't burn them.
Step 5
Sprinkle a generous amount of sesame seeds over lentils and veggies. Serve over hot rice for a more complete meal... and ENJOY!


  • Liz says:

    I’m in the lentil loving column and I’ve never thought of adding them to a stir fry! This looks scrumptious!!! Hope to try this once I refill my veggie bin :)

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says:

    This looks so healthy! after the way I just ate in Boston for the past 5 days I need this in my life. P.s. love your creative photos!

  • laurasmess says:

    Hahaha… you are so right. Lentils get such a bad rep but I love them! I was really happy when I saw your beautiful, bright photos… hopefully more people will be converted after trying this recipe! Love the idea of the gorgeous sesame dressing and toasted seeds. I will defintiely make this, thanks Ruby! x

  • GourmetGetaways says:

    What a delicious and healthy recipe. The dish includes all of my favourite flavours.

  • Joanne says:

    I personally love lentils, so you won’t hear any complaints from me!! What a fabulous dish! I love that sesame/Asian flavor!

  • Kim@Treats & Trinkets says:

    I have never actually eaten lentils ever. Well, that’s a lie, there was this curry lentil stew I used to eat at school, but pretty much all you tasted was the curry, hahaha. I am more than willing to give them a chance with this dish. It’s so pretty too!

  • Juliana says:

    Such a beautiful dish Ruby, I never thought in making stir-fried with lentils…such a great idea…so healthy and tasty.
    Thanks for the recipe…enjoy your week my dear :D

  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen says:

    Ruby, I love how festive this dish looks! So colorful and healthy! I’ll give lentils a chance – I can already tell I would love them! Have a wonderful week and thanks for the great recipe!

  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen says:

    Love lentils, but I hardly ever think to cook with them. This recipe might chance that! Stir-fried lentils sounds fabulous :)

  • Consuelo @ Honey & Figs says:

    I’m a lentil lover all the way, so this gorgeous salad sounds delicious to me! The flavor combo must be awesome :)

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