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Exactly How To Reheat Lentils – I Test 3 Methods [Pics]

Lentils are perfect for cooking in bulk.

But what’s the best way to reheat them so they keep their bite and don’t turn mushy?

In this article, I reveal the results of my experiment reheating lentils using three different methods.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

The best way to reheat lentils is in the microwave. Pour your lentils into a microwave-safe bowl or plate. Sprinkle a few drops of water or stock over the lentils and cover the dish with a damp paper towel. Microwave the lentils in 30-second intervals. Stir during the intervals until they are hot.

A note on my experiment

3 lentil portions after being reheated in the microwave, pan, and skillet

The reheating methods I tested were:

  • In the microwave (my favorite method)
  • In a skillet (great for bigger quantities and for adding extra flavors)
  • In warm water (not ideal for sauced or seasoned lentils)

I would recommend using the microwave to reheat your lentils because it’s so quick and convenient. 

Just be careful that you don’t overdo it.

Note: these reheating methods work for all types of lentils, red, green, brown, sauced, and unsauced.

Other ways you could use I didn’t test include steaming and the oven. Make sure to cover the lentils in foil if you use the oven.

Reheating lentils in the microwave

To reheat lentils in the microwave, pour your lentils into a microwave-safe bowl or plate. Sprinkle a few drops of water or stock over the lentils and cover the dish with a damp paper towel. Microwave the lentils in 30-second intervals. Stir during the breaks until they are hot.

How to reheat lentils in the microwave:

  1. Transfer your lentils to a microwave-safe bowl or plate.
  2. Sprinkle the lentils with a few drops of water.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel or a lid to keep the moisture in.
  4. Microwave your lentils in 30-second intervals.
  5. Stir the lentils during each break to help them heat evenly.
  6. When they have warmed through, remove the lentils from the microwave and serve.

The microwave dehydrates food as it heats up, so adding water helps to keep the lentils moist.

You can also use stock for more flavor or even some melted butter. 

If all you have is water, try adding a drop or two of Worcester sauce to liven it up. 

My verdict

This was my favorite method for heating lentils.

It’s super quick, and the lentils ended up tasting delicious.

The microwave is a convenient way to reheat your lentils, especially if you’re in a rush.

Reheating lentils in a skillet

To reheat your lentils on the stove, melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add your lentils and heat them for 3-5 minutes. To avoid the lentils catching on the bottom of the pan, keep stirring until they’re ready to serve.

How to reheat lentils in a skillet:

  1. Melt some butter in a skillet on your stove, using medium heat. Oil will also work.
  2. Add your lentils to the hot pan and stir continually for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Serve the lentil when they’re piping hot.

If you have sauced lentils, you can skip the butter and pour them straight into the pan.

Stir the lentils frequently to stop the bottom ones from overcooking. But be gentle, or you risk the lentils falling apart and turning into mush.

Use high heat if you want to add a bit of crunch to your lentils.

My verdict

This method was pretty quick. It works for bigger portions, and you can customize it too.

Try frying some bacon in the pan before adding the lentils – YUM!

Reheating lentils in warm water

To lentils in warm water, boil some water or stock on your stove over high heat. Take the water off the heat and submerge the lentils in it for 1 minute. Drain the lentils using a colander or sieve and give them a shake to remove any excess water.

How to reheat lentils in warm water:

  1. Heat a pot of water or broth over high heat on your stove.
  2. Once it is boiling, add your lentils.
  3. Let the lentils sit in the water for 1 minute.
  4. Once the lentils warm through, drain and serve them.

Submerging the lentils for a minute is not long enough to cook the lentils further. It will just warm them.

Using stock rather than plain water helps to add an extra flavor boost to your lentils.

If you don’t have stock, try adding some herbs or spices to your water.

If you’re on the go or at work, you can boil the water in a kettle instead of heating it on the stove. 

My verdict

This method worked well but is limited to plain lentils without any seasoning or sauce. 

The lentils heated through perfectly, but make sure you have the colander to hand, or you might end up leaving the lentils in the water a tad too long!

3 lentil reheating methods compared

How to store lentils

To store leftover lentils, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If your lentils are in a sauce or mixed with other ingredients, I’d try and use them within 3-4 days. You may also freeze your cooked lentils for up to 6 months. 

Always refrigerate cooked lentils within 2 hours of cooking them.

If they’re left at room temperature for too long, they can start harboring harmful bacteria. 

If you have a massive batch of lentils, I recommend separating them into smaller containers so they will cool quicker. 

This also ensures the middle lentils don’t overcook from the residual heat.

To store leftover canned lentils, rinse them before placing them in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last up to 4 days.

Can you freeze lentils?

Lentils freeze best when you cook them al dente. This helps to maintain their structure so that they don’t become mushy when thawed. Green lentils are the sturdiest and hold their shape best. Frozen lentils will last up to 2 months when packaged in an airtight freezer bag. 

How to freeze lentils:

  1. Separate the cooked lentils into portions.
  2. Allow them to reach room temperature.
  3. Spoon the lentils into freezer bags and remove all the air.
  4. Label and date the bags before storing them in your freezer for up to 2 months.

Only freeze the lentils once they reach room temperature. 

Hot lentils will cause condensation to form inside the freezer bags. This moisture will ruin your lentils and turn them mushy.

Removing the air from the freezer bags helps to prevent freezer burn.

The best way to remove the air is with a vacuum sealer. But if you don’t have one of those, you can suck the air out with a straw or dunk the open bag in a pot of water before sealing it. 

How to thaw and reheat frozen lentils

You can thaw frozen lentils in the fridge overnight, or you can use a cold water bath.

You can also reheat lentils straight from frozen using a microwave or by submerging the lentils in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

3 lentil portions after being reheated in the microwave, pan, and skillet

Exactly How To Reheat Lentils

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover lentils.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: All
Keyword: lentils, reheat lentils
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 116kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion lentils

Instructions

  • Transfer your lentils to a microwave-safe bowl or plate.
  • Sprinkle the lentils with a few drops of water.
  • Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel or a lid to keep the moisture in.
  • Microwave your lentils in 30-second intervals.
  • Stir the lentils during each break to help them heat evenly.
  • When they have warmed through, remove the lentils from the microwave and serve.

Notes

The microwave dehydrates food as it heats up, so adding water helps to keep the lentils moist.
You can also use stock for more flavor or even some melted butter.
If all you have is water, try adding a drop or two of Worcester sauce to liven it up.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 116kcal

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Recipe Rating