A quick and easy spiced lentil bowl that uses a flavorful dressing made with smoked paprika, cumin, oregano and lime. Tossed together with sunflower seeds for crunch and served with greens, rice and avocado to make the perfect filling dinner meal.
Spice Up Your Life with this Spiced Lentil Bowl
I love blending different spices together and it’s probably one of the reasons that this bowl is extra epic for me. Born from one of my previous Marinated Chickpea Lentil recipes I shared. And following the same method, we are spicing it up with a little smoked paprika, cumin and oregano and adding some extra zing with some heat and citrus.
And as an extra reminder, use spice to keep lending flavor to your meals. It turns the boring into the extraordinary very quick. If you aren’t excited by beans right out of the can, combining them with simple ingredients and spices can help level up a meal like this Quinoa Black Bean Bowl.
Why You’ll Love this Nourish Bowl
- No Cooking Involved. Perfect for those warmer days where you don’t want to heat up the kitchen or especially perfect for those of you that need something quick to throw together in just one bowl.
- Easy to adjust. If there are flavors you love more than others, feel free to adjust the spice level. Add more smoked paprika for smoky flavors, more oregano if you want it herby or feel free to add more cumin if you are a cumin lover.
- Loaded with antioxidants. Herbs and spices are some of the most concentrated sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants help combat oxidative damage that naturally happens within our body and helps reduce the risk of chronic disease. Dry herbs and spices in particular are especially potent.  Some people don’t realize how much power herbs have like dry oregano especially since most of the focus is placed on spices like turmeric.
- Perfect marrying of textures. You get the soft chew of the lentils and nice bites of crunch from the cucumber and sunflower seeds.
- Canned Lentils: To help keep this fast, I recommend using canned lentils. Rinse and drain them really well before using.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Use a good quality oil to help add a nice robust taste to the dressing.
- Spices: Smoke paprika, oregano, coriander, garlic powder, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Nutritional Yeast: Adds an extra depth of umami flavor. If you don’t have this, you can also sub out for equal amount of soy sauce.
- Sunflower Seeds: For a lovely chew and crunch to your bowl.
- Vegetables: Cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes, and red onion.
- Lime Juice: Provides a lovely tang to the salad and helps balance out the smoky flavors.
How to Make Your Spiced Lentil Bowl
To a large mixing bowl, add your rinsed and drained lentils and then top with your chopped vegetables of choice along with your sunflower seeds.
In a small bowl or jar, combine your oil, spices, nutritional yeast and lime juice. Pour your dressing over your lentils and give a good mix and then allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Assembling the Perfect Lentil Nourish Bowl
To make this bowl especially filling, I like to pair my lentil mixture with some of the following:
- Rice: A nice starch base for energy.
- Fire Roasted Corn: Adds more smoky flavor to the bowl.
- Avocado: Always love a little extra healthy fat mixed in with my bowls for extra satisfaction.
- Herbs: Cilantro and chives are especially good sprinkled over top.
- Hot Sauce: I like spicy, but you can always omit.
You can also skip the bowl and try some of these other ways to enjoy these lentils:
- Make it into a wrap
- Enjoy them loaded into taco shells with some guacamole
- Try with some greens and quinoa for the ultimate salad bowl
- Make to use as a side with other plant based proteins like grilled tofu
Tips for Some Tasty Lentils
- Note how your lentils are prepared. If you are using canned lentils, check to see if they are salted or unsalted. You may need an extra pinch of salt at the end to help carry your lentils through and emphasize all the tasty spices on them.
- If cooking your lentils from scratch, cook them in vegetable broth for some extra flavor.
- Marinade your spiced lentils for at least 30 minutes for a boost in flavor. Allowing the lentils to marinade in your dressing is going to allow the spices to better penetrate the lentils.
More Tasty Lentil Recipes to Try
Quick and Easy Spiced Lentil Bowl
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Marinating Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 3–4 servings 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: One Bowl
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
A quick and easy spiced lentil bowl that uses a flavorful dressing made with smoked paprika, cumin, oregano and lime.
- 1, 15 oz can of lentils, rinsed and drained well
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 medium English cucumber, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine lentils, onions, cucumber, pepper, tomatoes and sunflower seeds with a pinch of salt.
- To a separate small bowl or jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients and give a good mix to combine.
- Pour this over the lentil mix and toss to combine to fully coat and then place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
- To assemble your bowl, add some rice then top with greens, your lentils, avocado and herbs as desired. Then add any additional salt and pepper to taste.
Note how your lentils are prepared. If you are using canned lentils, check to see if they are salted or unsalted. You may need an extra pinch of salt at the end to help carry your lentils through and emphasize all the tasty spices on them.
If cooking your lentils from scratch, cook them in vegetable broth for some extra flavor.
Marinade your spiced lentils for at least 30 minutes for a boost in flavor. Allowing the lentils to marinade in your dressing is going to allow the spices to better penetrate the lentils.
Keywords: lentil recipe, spiced lentil bowl, lentil bowl, vegan nourish bowl
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- Paur I, Carlsen MH, Halvorsen BL, et al. Antioxidants in Herbs and Spices: Roles in Oxidative Stress and Redox Signaling. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 2. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92763/
Perfect lunch! That dressing is so yummy. I amped it up by using some fresh chopped garlic, too. Put it all in a hearty tortilla and took it to work. Healthy and filling!