Lentils have a mild earthy to nutty flavor, depending on the variety. Lentils are legumes rich in protein and fiber.
Lentils have a place in Indian, African and Middle Eastern cuisine as a hearty addition to soups, stews and salads. These high protein, low-fat legumes even make up an essential part of the vegetarian diet. Plus, the slightly chewy texture makes them a helpful replacement for meat in veggie burgers and other meals.
There are many varieties of lentils, but three main types are most popular. The brown lentil, which happens to be the most widely available, is soft, chewy and earthy in flavor. This type is best used in soups and stews. French lentils, or green lentils, are firm and have a slightly nutty, peppery flavor. These are great in salads. Lastly, the red lentil turns to mush when cooked and has a mild, almost sweet flavor. These lentils are best features in thick soups, spreads and Indian dals.
Some other varieties to consider searching for include beluga, black, white and yellow lentils. Beluga resembles caviar when cooked, black lentils are very strongly flavored, white are mild and yellow have a similar taste and texture to the red lentil.