If you’re looking for a hands-off approach to cooking green lentils, using a slow cooker is a fantastic option. The slow and gentle cooking process allows the lentils to soak up flavors while becoming tender and delicious. In this article, I will guide you through a simple and foolproof way for cooking lentils in a slow cooker, ensuring a satisfying meal with minimal effort.

1. How To Cook Lentils in Slow Cooker


  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Rinse and Prepare the Green Lentils

Start by rinsing the green lentils under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve. Rinsing helps remove any impurities and ensures clean lentils for cooking. Drain the rinsed lentils and set them aside.

Step 2: Sauté the Onion, Garlic, Carrot, and Celery

In a skillet over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the diced onion, minced garlic, carrot, and celery for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Then transfer the sautéed vegetables to the slow cooker.

Step 3: Add the Lentils and Seasonings

Add the rinsed green lentils to the slow cooker, on top of the sautéed vegetables.

Add the bay leaf and dried thyme (if using) for added flavor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4: Pour in the Liquid and Set the Slow Cooker

Pour the vegetable broth or water into the slow cooker, ensuring that the lentils are fully covered. Stir the ingredients gently to combine them.

Step 5: Cook the Lentils

Place the lid on the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.

The cooking time may vary slightly depending on your slow cooker, so check the lentils for tenderness at the lower end of the recommended cooking time. They should be soft but still hold their shape.

Step 6: Adjust the Seasoning and Serve

Once the lentils are cooked to your desired tenderness, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt, pepper, or herbs according to your preference.

Remove the bay leaf from the cooked lentils. Serve the green lentils as a standalone side dish, as a filling for wraps or tacos, or as a base for soups and stews.

Leftover cooked lentils can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or frozen for later use.

Using a slow cooker to cook lentils is a convenient and hassle-free method that results in tender and flavorful legumes. By following the simple recipe outlined above, you can enjoy delicious lentils with minimal effort. The slow cooking process allows the lentils to absorb the flavors of the accompanying vegetables and seasonings, resulting in a satisfying and wholesome meal.

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Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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