Lentils with Bacon

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Lentils with Bacon, a naturally gluten-free recipe that’s a perfect way to add healthy lentils to your diet with the indulgent flavor of bacon. I’ve added smoked paprika to add more smoky flavor without any calories. Serve as a mostly-meatless main, or with salmon.

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes

lentils with bacon


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry green french lentils, sorted, about 12 ounces
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cup finely diced celery hearts and leaves (the tender light green stalks in the center of the bunch)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Bring water and lentils to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer (medium-low) and cook, stirring occasionally until just tender, 15 to 22 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup cooking liquid (see tip*)
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until crisp but not burnt, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a towel-lined plate. Pour off the bacon fat and gently wipe out the pan with a clean paper towel. When bacon is cool enough to handle, chop.
  3. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Add onion, celery hearts and leaves, garlic, salt and thyme and cook,stirring often until the onion is softened and the celery is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils, vinegar, smoked paprika, pepper and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and cook, stirring until the mixture is hot and thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped bacon and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Serve warm.


2.6 mg cholesterol, 0 g added sugar

Tip* To reserve cooking liquid, place a large measuring cup or bowl under the strainer. The measuring cup/bowl will catch the cooking liquid.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 173
  • Sugar: 2.1 g
  • Sodium: 830 mg
  • Fat: 6.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.6 g
  • Fiber: 7.8 g
  • Protein: 9.3 g

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