Cheesy Lentil Pasta

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email
Cheesy Lentil Pasta is the perfect, wholesome, real food dinner (made from the
http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Cheesy-Lentil-Pasta-Cover.jpg

Cheesy Lentil Pasta is the perfect, wholesome, real food dinner (made from the pantry) in less than 20 minutes and under $5. Serve with a fresh Kale Caesar Salad!

Creamy Cheesy Lentil Pasta is vibrant and delicious. This photo shows the finished product topped with cheese and dried herbs.

One of the easiest substitutions to make when you’re trying to spend less money, stretch a meal, or simply make do with what you have, is swapping lentils for ground beef.

They’re the perfect plant based protein! I’ve marinated them with sun-dried tomatoes, I’ve cooked them in the Instant Pot, and I’ve paired them with veggies in my red lentil soup!

So with 1/2lb of lentils hanging out in my pantry, I was curious how they’d do as a meat replacement in my real food rendition of a classic cheeseburger helper recipe…

Who knew that using lentils as a substitution for ground beef would work out so great!?!

My cheesy lentil pasta recipe was born. It tastes so great that we devoured it for dinner, and then again the next day for lunch!

Trust me, this cheesy lentil pasta recipe is SO perfect for a fast, frugal and TASTY weeknight meal.

I just know you will love this recipe!

Lentil Pasta ingredients in a large red stock pot. As it cooks the incredible flavors will mix for a fabulous meal!

Cheesy Lentil Pasta

Not only is this protein packed recipe a perfect frugal ‘pantry meal,’ it’s also great because it’s:

  • Customizable & versatile. Nearly any variety of lentil can be used instead of green lentils. Or use tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes. Really, this pantry recipe uses what you have on hand!
  • Gluten-free friendly! Use gluten free pasta or bean pasta for an amazing gluten free pasta dish.
  • Vegetarian & vegan friendly! This could be a perfect vegan meal. Use any vegan cheese (vegan parmesan would be great) and vegetable broth rather than chicken stock.

What are the ingredients for the best Cheesy Lentil Pasta?

  • Lentils (I used green lentils, but you can use any that you have on hand)
  • homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegan)
  • taco seasoning (I use homemade taco seasoning)
  • cumin
  • chili powder (optional)
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • diced tomatoes, with juices
  • whole wheat pasta (or gluten free pasta)
  • fresh or frozen mixed vegetables
  • shredded cheese (I’ve tested with cheddar & Monterey Jack. Parmesan cheese would be good too!)
Freshly cooked lentil pasta with a scrumptious pile of cheese on top!

How do you make hearty lentil pasta from scratch?

  • In a large pot, combine lentils, chicken stock and taco seasoning. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook lentils for 30 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients, cover, reduce heat, and cook on low for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is tender. (Stir occasionally, if needed, to ensure noodles are nearly submerged in liquid.)
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Serve immediately and sprinkle with additional cheese.

Recipe Notes:

  • This meal is very much hands-off, but if you REALLY want to cut back on time, make a big batch of lentils ahead of time. Reduce the liquid to 1 1/2 cups and start the recipe at step #2.
  • If you want it to be more like a conventional “ cheeseburger helper,” use tomato sauce in place of diced tomatoes and add another cup of shredded cheese.
  • Vegetarian / vegan: Use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock, omit cheese.
  • Gluten-free/Grain-free: Use GF pasta, or even rice in place of traditional pasta.
A bowl full of cheesy, yummy, delightful goodness! The white bowl holds a serving of my Cheesy Lentil Pasta.

Additional recipe tips for cheesy lentil pasta:

  • Having a meal stocked in the pantry will save you if scheduled dinner plans go awry. (Believe me I HAVE burned dinner on multiple occasions!)
  • Your budget will benefit from inexpensive meatless meals like this.
  • Real food meals are healthier for you and are typically less expensive than processed store-bought versions.
  • To save even more money on this meal, I use these lentils, homemade taco seasoning, homemade chicken stock, buy my cheese in a block, and if the season produces well home canned diced tomatoes.

More Amazing Meatless Meals

Hands-Free Cooking Learn the secrets to getting dinner done faster by hacking your kitchen appliances, plus 30+ recipes to fuel your family! Your email address First Name
Cheesy Lentil Pasta

★★★★★

4.6 from 5 reviews

Cheesy Lentil Pasta is the perfect, wholesome, real food dinner (made from the pantry) in less than 20 minutes and under $5. Serve with a fresh Kale Caesar Salad!

  • Author: Tiffany
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Meals
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 1 quart homemade chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cups small whole wheat pasta (i.e. macaroni or shells)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, divided (I’ve tested with cheddar and Monterey Jack)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, combine lentils, chicken stock and taco seasoning. Bring to a simmer and cook lentils for 30 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is tender. (Stir occasionally, if needed, to ensure noodles are nearly submerged in liquid.)
  3. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Serve immediately and sprinkle with additional cheese.
Notes

* This meal is very much hands-off, but if you REALLY want to cut back on time, make a big batch of lentils ahead of time. Reduce the liquid to 1 1/2 cups and start the recipe at step #2.
* If you want it to be more like a conventional “helper,” use tomato sauce in place of diced tomatoes and add another cup of shredded cheese.
* Vegetarian: Use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock, omit cheese.
* Gluten-free/Grain-free: Use GF pasta, or even rice in place of traditional pasta.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below and give it a 5-star rating!

Continue Reading…Cheesy Lentil Pasta

BakkBenchers Network

BakkBenchers Network

Kick-Ass content from the Back Benches every day ! We bring you the kind of shows that TV doesn't make ! Get ready to see the world from the back benches. We are responsible for only what we say, not what you understand ;)

Leave a Replay

About Me

Kick-Ass content from the Back Benches every day ! We bring you the kind of shows that TV doesn’t make ! Get ready to see the world from the back benches. We are responsible for only what we say, not what you understand ;)

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Weekly Dose of Fun

Sign up for our Newsletter

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit