The Ultimate Guide to High Protein Lentils: Ranking Them in Order

High Protein Lentils: Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking

Looking for a nutritious, protein-packed alternative to meat? Look no further than lentils! These legumes are not only delicious, but also offer a wide range of health benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the world of high-protein lentils, ranking them by protein content and providing valuable information on their flavor, cooking methods, and more. Let’s dive in!

Why lentils are a fantastic source of protein

Lentils are often hailed as a “superfood” for their exceptional nutritional profile. They are rich in plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their meat consumption. Lentils are easy to incorporate into various diets and offer numerous health benefits. By adding lentils to your meals, you can enjoy their flavor while promoting a balanced and sustainable diet.

The benefits of lentils

In addition to being a protein powerhouse, lentils are packed with essential nutrients. Here are some of the benefits they provide:

  • Fiber: Lentils are a great source of fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes gut health.
  • Low Fat: Lentils are low in fat, especially saturated fat, making them a heart-healthy choice.
  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Lentils contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Low glycemic index: Lentils have a low glycemic index, which means they have a minimal effect on blood sugar levels.

High Protein Lentils

Now let’s explore the protein content of different types of lentils. Here are some of the top contenders:

  1. Puy lentils (protein: 35g per cup): Puy lentils are at the top of the protein-rich lentil heap, offering an impressive 35 grams of protein per cup. These lentils have a distinct peppery taste that adds a unique flavor to dishes.
  2. French Green Lentils (34 grams of protein per cup): French green lentils are closely related to Puy lentils, providing about 34 grams of protein per cup. They have a delicious nutty flavor and are versatile in a variety of recipes.
  3. Yellow Lentils (Protein: 19g per cup): Popular in Asian cuisine, yellow lentils still offer a substantial 19 grams of protein per cup. They have a tender texture and balanced flavor, making them a favorite choice for many dishes.
  4. Brown Lentils (Protein: 18g per cup): A go-to option for many lentil lovers, brown lentils provide about 18 grams of protein per cup. They have a slightly earthy flavor and hold their shape well when cooked.
  5. Red lentils (protein: 18g per cup): Red lentils offer a similar protein content to brown lentils, with about 18 grams of protein per cup. They have a mild flavor and cook faster than other types of lentils.
  6. Black Lentils (Protein: 13g per cup): Black lentils may be lower in protein, at about 13 grams per cup, but they make up for it with a rich, earthy, nutty flavor. They are often paired with tamarind or other sour ingredients.

When choosing high-protein lentils, consider both protein content and flavor preference. Each variety offers a unique flavor profile, so experiment to find the perfect lentil for your dishes.

Cooking lentils for maximum nutrition

Cooking lentils properly is critical to maintaining their nutritional value. Follow these steps to cook lentils to perfection:

Cooking without an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

  1. Rinse lentils under cold water and soak for 1-2 hours to hydrate and loosen their tough exterior.
  2. Rinse the soaked lentils again and place them in a large saucepan. Add 1.5-2 teaspoons of salt for each cup of lentils.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. While the lentils are cooking, skim off any foam or scum that forms on the surface.
  4. Cook the lentils for 18-25 minutes or until they are tender but still hold their shape. Test for doneness by tasting a few lentils.
  5. Once cooked, drain any excess water and use the lentils in your favorite recipes.

Cooking with an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

  1. Rinse and drain lentils under cold water.
  2. Add the lentils to the Instant Pot or pressure cooker along with 1.5-2 cups of water or broth for each cup of lentils.
  3. Close the lid and turn the pressure cooker on high.
  4. Cook the lentils for 6-8 minutes, depending on the type of lentils and desired texture.
  5. Once cooked, allow the pressure to release naturally for a few minutes before opening the lid.
  6. Drain the excess liquid and use the perfectly cooked lentils in your favorite recipes.

Remember, lentils can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, salads, and curries. Get creative and explore different flavor combinations to make your meals exciting and nutritious.


Lentils are a fantastic source of high-quality plant-based protein with a wide range of health benefits. Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, lentils are a versatile and nutritious option. By choosing the right variety of lentils and cooking them properly, you can enjoy delicious, protein-packed meals while promoting a balanced lifestyle. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t forget to grab a bag of lentils and embark on a culinary adventure!


Lentils are an excellent source of vegetable protein. They contain a significant amount of protein, making them an ideal choice for people looking to reduce their meat intake. Lentils are also low in fat and rich in essential nutrients, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.

Which lentils contain the most protein?

Puy lentils and French green lentils are the top contenders when it comes to protein-rich lentils. They can provide up to 35g of protein per cup. However, other varieties such as yellow, red and black lentils also offer a substantial protein content, albeit in varying amounts.

Can lentils form part of a balanced diet?

Absolutely! Lentils can be an important part of a balanced and healthy diet. They provide not only protein, but also fibre, vitamins and minerals. By incorporating lentils into your meals, you can enjoy their nutritional benefits while promoting a well-rounded eating plan.

How do I cook lentils to preserve their nutritional value?

To cook lentils while retaining their nutritional value, follow these steps Clean the lentils thoroughly, soak for 1-2 hours, rinse again and cook in boiling water for 18-25 minutes until tender but still firm. Avoid overcooking as this can lead to a loss of nutrients.

What are some tasty ways to incorporate lentils into my meals?

Lentils are incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes. You can add cooked lentils to soups, stews, salads and curries. They can also be used to make lentil burgers, vegetarian meatballs or as a protein-rich filling for wraps or stuffed vegetables. Get creative and explore different flavour combinations to make your meals exciting and delicious.

Can lentils help with weight management?

Yes, lentils can help with weight management. They are low in fat, high in fibre and provide a good amount of protein, which can help to increase satiety and reduce overall calorie intake. Incorporating lentils into your meals can support healthy weight loss or maintenance goals when combined with a balanced diet and regular physical activity.