$0.15 And 60 Minute Lentils – A Meal Prepper’s Dream

$0.15 And 60 Minute Lentils – A Meal Prepper’s Dream

Not many people are indifferent about lentils – either you love them or you avoid them. This straightforward recipe aims to create more lentil lovers by showing you how to make delicious, $0.15 per serving lentils in less than an hour with minimal touch time! All these factors make $0.15 and 60 minute lentils the perfect dish to have cooking away in the background while you meal prep!

60 Minute Lentils Recipe

60 minute lentils recipe
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5 from 1 vote

$0.15 and 60 Minute Lentils

Lentils are really good for you. Use this straightforward recipe to make them more often!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Cooling Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lentils
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 70kcal
Author: apartmentchefnick
Cost: $1.50


  • 2.5-3 quart sauce pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Water heater (optional)


  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (~10 turns of a grinder)
  • 2 tsp spice of choice (cumin works great) (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)


  • If using, turn on the water heater.
  • Sort the lentils on a plate and discard anything that doesn’t look like a lentil.
  • Add lentils, water and spices to sauce-pan and bring to boil. Do not add any salt yet.
  • Reduce heat to simmer (2-3 out of 10 on a stovetop burner) and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes and check that the water is still simmering. Adjust the heat as needed. Add more water as needed to keep the lentils covered.
  • Mix in salt and then turn off the burner.
  • Allow 10 minutes for lentils to cool and then enjoy!


Step 1 – To sort lentils, first spread them out on a plate, like so:

Lentils - Pre Sort
A fresh batch of lentils, ready to be sorted.

Next, move them around with your hands and discard any that don’t look quite right. Here’s a sample discard pile:

sorted lentils
Glad I didn’t eat these…

Step 1 – Using the water heater is a helpful time saver. By first heating the water in a water heater you shave at least 5 minutes off your cook time.

Step 3 – An ideal simmer for lentils is a couple bubbles floating to the surface constantly. Whenever you check them, increase or decrease the heat as necessary to achieve this. Don’t worry if you over or under shoot this target, they will still turn out great. Aim for the gentle simmer to be your average.

Step 4 – In my experience, adding the salt at the end leads to a less mushy, more flavorful product. Whether you add salt at the beginning of the end of cooking lentils is one of the weird controversies in the cooking world.


  • 2 cups of dry lentils ~ $1.50
  • Spices – negligible

Total Cost per sauce pan ~ $1.50

Cost per serving (~10 servings) ~ $0.15


Lentils can be used for just about anything. I often have them with a couple $2 and 7 Minute Creamy Scrambled Eggs in the morning or with an afternoon snack of chicken, peas, and/or spinach. They can just as easily be turned into dinner – especially if you mix them with sausage and/or combine them with an idea based on the $2 and 45 Minute Vegetable Stir Fry Template. Since lentils are high in protein and fiber and you now are a pro at making them, seek out creative ways to mix them into your diet as a delicious way to help achieve your health goals.

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!

60 minute lentils
The end result!

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