This versatile recipe uses a slow cooker to make tender Moroccan Lentils. Serve the lentils over rice, or puree it into a soup. The choice is yours!
Oh, lentils. Let me count the ways I love you.
First: you are cheap. I mean this with no disrespect.
Second: you are easy. Again… no disrespect.
Third: you are tasty.
Most weeks I don’t have time to make elaborate lunches for myself, so I eat a variety of yogi bowls and a million different takes on beans-and-rice.
You’d be surprised how many tasty dishes are really just fancy versions of beans and rice. I love making big pots of madras lentils, saucy Puerto Rican beans and potatoes, and Mejadra to get me through the week.
Lately I’ve been on a big lentil kick, so I’ve been whipping up big batches of lentils in the slow cooker. As I said, lentils are easy, but slow cooker lentils are even easier!
Lentils are perfectly suited to slow cooking for a few different reasons.
First, they don’t need to be pre-soaked. I love this because I suck at remember to soak beans. On days when I wake up and realize I have nothing to eat for dinner (or for the week!), I can just toss some lentils in the crock pot and let them cook while I work. If you need a crock pot, here is one I recommend.
Second, lentils become super tender and creamy when they’re slow cooked. Trust me on this one.
Now, you could really make this recipe about a hundred different ways by just switching up the spices and greens.
I wanted a Moroccan flavor for this version, so I used ras el hanout. For an Ethiopian-style dish, I use berbere. Feel like Indian food tonight? Go with garam masala. You can get the organic brands I use from the Amazon links below.
Of course, you can always keep it simple by just using salt, pepper, bay leaves, and maybe some red pepper flakes.
I love sneaking leafy greens into my recipes, so I threw in some chopped red chard. Spinach, collards, and kale would also be great choices.
I like to cook the lentils until they are tender but still intact so I can use them in recipes throughout the week. You could also turn the heat up and cook them a bit longer until they are falling apart — this makes a tasty soup!
Here’s the Recipe!
Slow Cooker Moroccan Lentils Recipe
- 1 pound brown lentils - rinsed and sorted for debris
- 2 quarts vegetable broth - 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 2 medium carrots - diced
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp Ras El Hanout
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 cups chopped chard leaves
- 1 lemon - sliced into 8 wedges
- Toppings: yogurt - mint, fresh cilantro
- Place the lentils, broth, onion, carrot, garlic, Ras El Hanout, and 2 teaspoons salt in the crock of a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the lentils are tender.
- Stir in the chard leaves and allow them to warm for half an hour.
- Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing and optional toppings like fresh cilantro or fresh parsley.