a single serving bowl of lentils with pasta with grated cheese and fresh chopped green onion,


Lentils with Pasta a satisfying meatless meal

Lentils are dried beans

Beans, beans are good for your heart 🤐…… NOPE …… not going there 🤭. Lentils are a sort of dried bean, and as such I am sure they are good for your heart. As for the rest of that familiar rhyme, I can’t say that I recall any embarrassing eruptions after a bowl of lentils with pasta, so don’t let that stop you.

Have you ever had lentils? Lentils are a dried legume and will be found at the grocery store with other dried beans like navy beans, pinto beans or kidney beans. They are small, round and usually brown in color. There are varieties in other colors. In any case they have all the nutritional benefits that legumes bring to your diet.

And talk about economical. Even with the price of groceries today, this is a budget stretching meal. Made as a pasta dish you can feed 8-10 hungry people for less than $10.

Soup or pasta meal?

Using the lentils, garlic, oil, scallions, salt and pepper you can make a delicious soup in less than an hour and it might be the easiest soup you will ever make. It’s entirely up to you if you want to add pasta to the soup. I have had it as a soup without pasta many times. The pasta is not cooked in the soup. It would add too much starch to the broth. It is cooked separately and added before serving. So you can serve it as a soup with no pasta, or add a little pasta to the soup or add a whole pound of pasta making it a pasta dish with lentils. In any case, soup or pasta dish, this lentil recipe is a savory and hearty meal that is very easy to prepare.

Here’s what YOU WILL NEED:

Lentils with pasta a 5 ingredient meal

lentils and pasta ingredients scallions garlic lentils olive oil salt and pepper
1 pound bag of dried lentils
12 fresh garlic cloves
1 bunch scallions (also called green onions)
12 cups of water
3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper
1 pound of small shell pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Ingredient tidbits: All About Garlic, About Scallions

What other pasta can you use?

You can use any pasta you like, but I like a pasta that makes it easy to have pasta and lentils in every spoonful. The small pasta shells are great for that. The lentils can snuggle right into the shell. Another larger pasta that naturally scoops up the lentils is orecchiette pasta, also referred to as elephant ear pasta because of it’s shape. When it is cooked a deep pocket forms. Or you can use elbow macaroni. That is always great in just about any soup.

a plate with three kinds of uncooked pasta

And to top it all off

Don’t underestimate our suggestion that you add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to this dish. Due to the mild flavor of the lentils, the salty creaminess you get from the cheese really transforms the dish. Use fresh cheese. While freshly grated from a wedge of parmesan cheese is always best, if you don’t want the fuss of grating it yourself buy a fresh grated parmesan cheese from the refrigerated section of your market. The canned or bottled, dried parmesan cheese with it’s gritty texture and lackluster flavor is not a satisfactory substitute for fresh in this dish.

So let’s get to it.

This is WHAT TO DO:

Prepare the Ingredients

Rinse the lentils

First rinse the lentils under running water in a colander. When dried beans are being processed and bagged they get dusty and sometimes small fragments of foreign material like a chip of a rock or a stem makes it way into the bag. A processing plant can’t possibly sift though every bean. But you are in a much better position to clean them up. By rinsing them under running water and using your hands to sift through them you can clean them up.

lentils being rinsed with running water

Prepare the scallions

Rinse the scallions under warm water and pat them dry. Chop all the dried, uneven, broken and bent ends off the top of scallion stems. Trim the “hairy” end off each scallion, then chop them in slices about a 1/4 inch thick. Save the top 3-4 inches of the stems for garnish. You will cut those up later. The picture below shows the scallions being prepared.

scallions on a cutting board whole and cut up

Chop the garlic

garlic cloves roughly chopped

Everything but the pasta goes into a large pot

It’s this easy

Put 12 cups of water in a large stockpot and add the lentils, garlic, olive oil, chopped scallions, salt and pepper. That’s all there is to it.

lentil broth before it is cooked

This is what your stockpot will look like when all the soup ingredients (except the pasta) are added to the water. The lentils sink to the bottom of the pot. The scallions are floating.

We are ready to cook

Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The soup is done when the lentils are tender. Check after 45 minutes and if the lentils aren’t tender yet simmer for another 15 minutes. They shouldn’t take any longer than that.

cooked lentils in a large cooking spoon

This is what the lentils look like when they are cooked. You can also see a clove of garlic and scallions from the cooked broth.

Getting ready to serve

If you have decided to add pasta to the soup broth, now is the time to boil it in a separate pot. You don’t need to drain the pasta when it is cooked, just scoop it into the soup with a slotted spoon. The small amount of pasta water that will come over with the pasta has starch that will add a little substance to the broth.

Cut the reserved green scallion stems into 1/4 inch pieces. The scallion isn’t just for show. It adds a fresh bite to the soup that it doesn’t otherwise have. The mild green onion flavor is a perfect complement to the flavors in the soup.

Have some grated parmesan cheese at the table for those who want to add some before eating.

Lentils with Pasta garnished with fresh scallions and topped with parmesan cheese.
a single serving bowl of lentils with pasta with grated cheese and fresh chopped green onion,

Lentils with Pasta

Lentils with pasta is a hearty, economical, meatless meal. Lentils are simmered with garlic and scallions to make a soup. Adding pasta brings it from soup to a full meal.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, meatless meal
Servings 8
Calories 395 kcal


  • 12 cups water
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 pound dried lentils
  • 12 cloves fresh garlic
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound pasta small shells recommended see notes


Prepare Ingredients

  • Rinse the lentils under running water and sift through for any small pieces of foreign matter that may be in with them.
  • Peel the garlic cloves. Chop into big pieces if the cloves are large.
  • Chop the top off the green scallion stems to get the dried ends off. Trim the "hairy" end off. Chop the white bulb and stems into 1/4 inch pieces. Leave 3 or 4 inches of the bright green stem, uncut, and put aside. You will be using them as a garnish. Prior to serving, chop the scallion stems that have been put aside into 1/4 inch pieces for a fresh scallion garnish.

Cooking Instructions

  • Add 12 cups of cold water to a large stockpot/Dutch oven
  • Add the lentils, garlic, scallions, olive oil, salt and pepper to the water. Keep 3 or 4 inches of scallion stems aside for garnish.
  • The pasta is not added until the lentils are cooked.
  • Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Check the lentils after 45 minutes. If the lentils are not tender yet simmer for another 15 minutes. The soup is done when the lentils are tender.
  • When the lentils are tender, in a separate pot boil the small shells as directed on the package. When the pasta is cooked scoop it out of the water and into the lentil soup.
  • Serve in a bowl. Add fresh scallions slices over the top for flavor and texture.
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese is a great complement to the dish.


You don’t need to add a full pound of pasta to serve as a pasta dish. You can use less pasta in the soup if you want. Or you can serve the lentils in the broth as soup without pasta.
The finishing touches really make a difference.. The chopped fresh scallion sprinkled over the top adds a crisp, flavorful bite and grated parmesan cheese adds a salty creaminess. This is a great cold weather meal, and it is very economical. You can feed 8-10 people for less then 10 dollars! 


Calories: 395kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 15gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 872mgPotassium: 725mgFiber: 18gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 300IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 5mg
Keyword homemade bean soup, lentil soup, less than 10 dollars, meatless meal, meatless soup, pasta and beans, soup in less than 1 hour, soups and stews
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts on “LENTILS WITH PASTA”

    1. Thank you Ann for your nice comment and your help. Let me know how you like the recipes if you try any. Claudia

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