I love roasted chickpeas, and I thought that was enough. Why would I want anything else? Crispy chickpeas are amazing. Then my wife asked me to look at this recipe for Roasted Radishes, Potatoes and Crispy Lentils in the Washington Post , and the heavens opened up. Crispy…lentils? Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?
Turns out, I missed the crunchy lentils snack idea when it spread across the internet a few years back. Of course, I had to try it. My only real problem was overcooked lentils. This recipe needs lentils that are still solid, just barely cooked, so they can stand up to roasting in the oven. My typical 10 minute pressure cooking time gives me fall-apart lentils - great for soups and stews, not so good for crunchy roasting. I had to cut back to 3 minutes under pressure with a quick release to get lentils that held their structural integrity through the roasting process.
Try these pressure cooked and roasted lentils; the extra effort to crisp them up is worth it.
This is a simple dried bean recipe, so the ingredients list is pretty basic
- French green Lentils
- Bay Leaf
- Olive Oil
See recipe card for quantities.
Lentils Du Puy are a Protected Designation of Origin food in Europe, and must come from Le Puy, France. French Green Lentils are the same bean, just grown in different places around the world. I try to get official Du Puy lentils if I can, to support the original growing region...but they are tough to find in my local stores.
French Green Lentils are firmer than standard brown lentils, and hold up better for roasting. If you can't find them, you can substitute black beluga lentils.
The lemon dressing is optional, especially if you're using the roasted lentils in another dish, like a salad. But, if you're serving them on their own, it adds a tart touch to the recipe.
A 6-quart pressure cooker. Pressure cooker dried beans are one of the reasons I became a pressure cooker convert, and love my Instant Pot. Try them - you’ll never go back to canned beans. (OK, maybe you will, for convenience - but see the Storage section for tips on make ahead freezer beans.)
A half sheet pan is a 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet, and a standard size in professional kitchens. They are a kitchen essential, that I use for baking, roasting, as drip pans, for sorting beans, and for storage.
This recipe scales down easily - cut everything in half if you don’t need as many beans, or have a 3-quart pressure cooker. You can also double the recipe, and it will still fit in a 6-quart pressure cooker.
🤨 Soaking lentils?
I get the “to soak, or not to soak?” question all the the time. Don't soak lentils. They cook too quickly - if you soak them, they fall apart when pressure cooked.
💡Tips and Tricks
- We're not cooking the lentils all the way through in the pressure cooker. They should still have some bite, and will finish cooking in the oven.
- Salt your lentil water! “Salt toughens beans” is a myth. Salting before cooking helps season the beans all the way through as they cook.
- Try to buy lentils from a store with lots of bean turnover. Beans dry out as they age, which makes them a little tougher to cook.
- Quick releasing the pressure thickens the broth. The sudden pressure release shocks the water into a vigorous boil, which roughs up the lentils and releases starch into the liquid. If you don’t want the mess or noise of a quick release, cut the pressure cooking time back to 10 minutes and go with a natural pressure release, and then puree a cup of the lentils and stir them back into the pot to thicken the broth.
Instant Pot Roasted Lentils. A quick and crunchy snack, cooked in the pressure cooker and then roasted in the oven.
- 1½ cups (¾ pound) dried French green lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 4 cups water
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
- zest from 1 lemon (optional)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Lemon Dressing (optional)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Pressure Cook the lentils for 3 minutes with a Quick Release: Set the oven to 425°F to preheat. Put the sorted and rinsed lentils, 4 cups of water, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, and bay leaf in the pressure cooker pot. Lock the pressure cooker lid, and cook at high pressure for 3 minutes in an electric or stovetop pressure cooker, then quick release the pressure. (Use Manual or Pressure Cook mode for an Instant Pot).
- Roast the lentils: Unlock the lid, discard the bay leaf, and drain the lentils. Spread the lentils out in a single layer on a 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet. Pat the lentils dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the lentils with ½ teaspoon salt and the lemon zest. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast until the lentils are browned and crispy around the edges, about 20 minutes.
- Serve: Transfer the roasted lentils to a bowl, and serve as a snack or side dish. Or, mix them with the optional dressing: Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until combined, pour over the lentils, and toss to coat.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Instan Pot Roasted French Lentils, Pressure Cooker Roasted French Lentils
A 2-cup container of lentils will last in the refrigerator for a few days, and freeze for up to 6 months, though they'll lose their crunch. They're still good once they're reheated, especially with the lemon dressing.
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