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You might think that lentils in spaghetti sounds a little weird, but just trust me on this! Lentils are filling, tasty, and so healthy. They’re full of fiber and plant-based protein, along with lots of vitamins and minerals. Lentil Spaghetti is an inexpensive and filling option for dinner when you’re on a budget. The lentils add extra volume and protein to the meal without adding much cost. You can grab a pound of lentils from the grocery store for just around a dollar.
Ingredients for Lentil Spaghetti
This recipe is extremely budget-friendly. I can make this meal for around $5. If you’re running low on your grocery budget but need to feed your hungry family for cheap, this is a great meal to make. Here’s what you need to make Lentil Spaghetti:
- dry lentils
- bay leaf
- minced garlic
- pasta sauce
- spaghetti noodles (you can decrease the amount of spaghetti that you cook if you want it saucier)
How to Make Lentil Spaghetti
If you’ve never cooked with lentils before, don’t be intimidated. It’s really not that different from cooking dried beans or even rice.
Step 1: Clean lentils (scroll down for a how-to)
Step 2: Cook the lentils with the seasonings in a big pot or Dutch Oven with some boiling water for about 25 minutes. You might need to test a lentil or two every few minutes to check for doneness.
Step 3: Pour out any extra water and add the pasta sauce. Let that all heat up together.
Step 4: Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. If you like really saucy spaghetti, cook only 12 ounces instead of the full box.
Step 5: Combine the spaghetti and pasta sauce and serve!
How to Clean Lentils
The most important thing to know about lentils is that you have to sort and clean them before cooking. To do this, place the lentils in a mesh strainer and rinse under cold water. There might be a little bit of dirt on them and that’s okay. Just rinse it off and they’ll be fine. While rinsing, look through the lentils and pick out any small rocks or weird-looking lentils you might find. There are often small rocks in pre-packaged lentils because of the way they are harvested. You definitely want to sort those out to save your teeth from an unwelcome crunch.
Easy Budget Recipes
If you are looking for easy budget-friendly recipes, you’ve come to the right place!