Some say red lentils cannot be cooked without getting mushy. However, there is a way to get them soft inside while still maintaining the outer shell. Cooking red lentils as pasta is a fun, colorful, healthy alternative to predictable noodles.

Things You'll Need

Bring your water to a boil.

Add your red lentils to the boiling water and reduce heat to medium low. Add a dash or two of salt.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Test one of your lentils. It should be soft inside, but still maintain its outer shell. If it’s still hard in the middle, cook another three to five more minutes and test again. Continue this process until your red lentils have reached the desired consistency.

Pour your red lentils into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Continue rinsing until the lentils are completely cooled off.


  • Serve your red lentils as pasta with your sauce of choice. A white sauce may be especially complimentary, for the taste and for the color.

  • Instead of serving your red lentils as pasta with a traditional pasta sauce, you may want to try something a little different. For instance, you may toss your red lentils as pasta with a little vegetable oil and sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives, garlic and your favorite herb seasoning. Serve hot or cold.

References and Resources Cooking Lentils