When it comes to cooking lentils, there are a few different methods that you can use. You can boil them, fry them, or even bake them. But one of the most popular methods is to cook them in a slow cooker. But what do you do if you don’t eat all of your lentils? Is it possible to freeze cooked lentils?

Can you freeze cooked lentils?

Yes, you can freeze cooked lentils, but there are a few things that you should know before you do. First of all, cooked lentils will change texture once they are frozen. They will become mushy and soft, so they may not be as enjoyable to eat if you are used to the firm surface.

Additionally, the taste of frozen lentils can also be slightly different. They may not have the same flavor as fresh lentils, so you may want to add some spices or seasoning before freezing them.

Overall, freezing cooked lentils is perfectly fine and will not ruin them. However, keep in mind that their texture and taste will change slightly. If you want to maintain the same taste and texture, you may want to cook the amount you can finish.

If you can finish it another day, refrigerating the lentils is excellent.

What are lentils?

Lentils are a legume often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are small, round, and typically brown or green. Lentils are high in protein and fiber, making them a great addition to any diet. Additionally, they are relatively cheap and easy to cook. You can find them in most grocery stores, usually in the dried beans or international aisle.

The biggest producers of lentils are India, Canada, and Turkey.

How to freeze cooked lentils?

There are a few different ways that you can freeze cooked lentils. The first method is to portion them out into small freezer bags. Make sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it.

Another way is to place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze them until they are solid. Once they are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag.

Whichever method you choose, make sure to label the bag with the date so you know how long they have been frozen.

How to reheat frozen lentils?

On the stove

The best way to reheat frozen lentils is in a pot on the stove. Add the desired amount of lentils to a pot with some water or broth and heat them over medium heat until they are warmed. You can also add additional seasonings or spices at this time.

In microwave

If you are short on time, you can also reheat them in the microwave. Place the desired amount of lentils in a microwave-safe dish with some water or broth and heat on high for two to three minutes. You can heat more depending upon the microwave.

In refrigerator

You can thaw the lentils overnight and heat them the next day. However, consume the lentils the same day of thawing and don’t keep them stored.

How do we improve the taste of defrosted lentils?

As you know, the taste of defrosted lentils is always different from fresh lentils. However, you can do a few things to improve the taste of lentils.

  • Add some spices like cumin powder or coriander powder to lentils while heating.
  • Heat a little butter, crack some cumin seeds in butter, and add to lentils. You can also saute some chopped onions and add cooked lentils.
  • Add lentils to soup or stew. You will not notice that much change in texture and flavor.
  • I love to add spinach leaves to cooked red lentils. It makes lentils more colorful. You can add any small pieces of sauteed veggies to counteract the changed texture.

There are many ways to spice up and enjoy defrosted lentils.

Do frozen lentils go bad?

Frozen lentils will last for six to eight months in the freezer before they go bad. However, they will lose their flavor and texture the longer they are stored. So, it’s best to use them within the first few months for the best taste and texture.

When it comes to cooked lentils, freezing them is perfectly fine. However, keep in mind that their texture and taste will change slightly. So if you are looking to maintain the same taste and texture, you may want to cook the amount you can finish.

If you can finish it another day, refrigerating the lentils is excellent.

How to Cook Lentils?

There are a few different methods that you can use to cook lentils. The most popular way is to simmer them in water until soft. Cooking time for lentils depends upon the variety you are cooking and the cooking method.

Red lentils are the easiest, and black lentils take more time to cook; however, soaking the lentils before cooking reduces the cooking time.

I cook lentils in a pressure cooker and what I have experienced is that red lentils can cook with just one whistle. Sometimes I switch off the flame even before the first whistle.

Green lentils or moong beans take some time, that is 4-5 whistles, to cook after soaking them for at least 4-6 hours.

Black lentils are the hardest to cook. I use black lentils to make dal makhani. I cook it in an open pan for many hours on low flame, or a slow cooker is best to cook hard lentils. You can cook in a pressure cooker, but slow cooking gives the best results for dal Makhani.

Can you freeze cooked lentils?

To summarise

you can freeze lentils, but the taste and texture will change. Red and yellow lentils become very soft, but green and black lentils retain their grain texture.

It is better to freeze and eat the lentils the next day. Only feeze the lentils when you know that you cannot finish them soon.

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