Red Lentil Granola (No Grains, No Nuts) - This sweet and crunchy granola is a modern, grain-free take on the classic oat-based recipe. It's also higher in protein, thanks to ingredients like pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
When I was a kid, I used to eat a bowl of cold cereal every night!
Some of my favorites were Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Rice Krispies, and Just Right.
I could often be found siphoning out the dried fruit from any box that contained it, and I always added extra raisins to the cereals that didn't.
My goal for this recipe was to use red lentils in place of oats. I wanted to employ something that was relatively high in protein, so that it would make a more suitable breakfast or snack.
The crunch from the lentils reminds me a bit of Grape Nuts, only better!
If you really want to enjoy it Oatmeal-with-a-Fork-style, be sure to throw some raisins in that bad boy!
Ingredients and substitutions
Red lentils - These lentils, in particular, are smaller and softer than green or brown, and can't be substituted. I buy them in bulk at Sprouts.
Pumpkin seeds - I love pumpkin seeds, but they could be substituted for sunflower seeds or even a nut you enjoy/tolerate.
Sesame seeds - You could leave these out, if you like, or substitute something like chia seeds instead.
Maple syrup - This is my preferred sweetener for most granola recipes, as it mixes well.
Oil - I've used olive, coconut, and walnut oils, all with good success!
Vanilla extract, cinnamon, sea salt - These are all for flavor. I love cinnamon and vanilla in just about everything, but they can be left out too.
Recipe steps and tips
The first step is to briefly boil the lentils. This softens them and makes them a bit larger and easier to chew when made into granola.
Drain and cool the lentils. If you find they're still dripping with water, you can pat them dry a bit with a paper towel. They can be a little damp upon mixing.
Mix the remaining ingredients with the lentils, then spread the mixture onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden.
The perimeter of the pan will become golden faster than the middle, so stir the mixture a few times throughout the baking process.
What does lentil granola taste like?
It's deliciously crunchy!
If you're an 80s kid, think Grape Nuts.
It goes great atop yogurt or even in a bowl with some cold milk. There is a hint of lentil taste, but when combined with the maple syrup, it translates well, and it's a delicious grain-free alternative.
Looking for more red lentil recipes?
I love red lentils and have used them frequently in unconventional ways.
Red Lentil Granola
- ¾ cup red lentils
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons oil olive, coconut, or walnut are all good choices
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon + 1/8 t. sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon optional
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Add the lentils into a saucepan and cover them with water.
- Bring the mix to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let the lentils cook for five minutes.
- Drain the lentils and let them cool a bit.
- Pat them dry a bit with a paper towel, if need be. They should be fairly dry when you begin mixing.
- In a bowl, mix the lentils with the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the mix onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, and let them bake for 45-60 minutes (stir the mix 2-3 times during the process).
- Cool and enjoy!
If you have a chance to try this recipe, please leave a star rating and a comment below letting me know how you liked it!