Go Back
+ servings
Close-up lentils with onions and pistachios in red serving dish.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

French lentils with caramelized onions and pistachios

My favorite way to cook delicate French lentils du Puy is with caramelized onions and toasted pistachios on a bed of sautéed kale. The sweetness of the onions and salty richness of the nuts combines beautifully with the tinny lentils. On top of garlicky sautéed kale, it becomes a filling and simple meal that is loaded with good-for-you things like fiber, iron, and protein.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: gluten free, lentil recipe
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Cadry Nelson


For the lentils


  • In a small soup pot, bring lentils, water, half of a bouillon cube (or ½ teaspoon Better Than Bouillon no chicken base), and a generous pinch of salt to a boil.
    Once boiling, turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Continue cooking for 25 to 30 minutes.
    Taste the lentils. The texture should still have a little bite to it without being hard. Once the lentils are ready, most of the water should be absorbed, but if necessary, drain the lentils with a fine mesh sieve.
  • While the lentils are cooking, bring a separate medium-sized skillet to a medium high heat. Add oil to the skillet. Once the oil is glistening, add the onion and a pinch of salt.
    Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until the onion gets some nice brown color. Then turn the heat to low and continue cooking the onions for 20 minutes, until they are very soft.
  • Near the end of their cooking time, add a drizzle of agave or maple syrup to the onions and combine. Add the chopped pistachios to the warm skillet and warm them for a minute or two with the onions.
  • Add the drained lentils and mustard to the skillet and combine. Add salt to taste.
    Serve lentils on a bed of sautéed kale or with salad.


Before using French lentils, rinse them in a fine mesh sieve and remove any debris.
French lentils can be replaced with green or brown lentils instead. You may need to adjust the cooking time. The lentils are ready when they're just al dente.
Do NOT use red lentils instead of French. Red lentils turn to mush and won't work in this recipe.


Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 33IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 4mg