Judy Rodgers' Lentils Braised in Red Wine

November 5, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Very lightly adapted from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Nicholas Day

Makes: 4 cups


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/4 cups lentils (ideally the du puy type)
  • 1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups water, chicken stock, or a combination
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
In This Recipe


  1. In a medium-sized pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the carrots, celery, and onions, along with a few pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes.
  2. Raise the heat slightly and add the lentils, bay leaf, thyme (if using), the wine, and a cup of the water or stock. When the lentils begin to simmer, lower the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, and adding small amounts of additional water or stock as each is absorbed. After about a half-hour, the finished lentils should be nutty but tender and just slightly wet. (You may have water or stock left over.) Salt to taste. Drizzle with the final tablespoons of olive oil and cook for another minute, then serve.

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Reviews (8) Questions (1)

8 Reviews

Terri January 8, 2019
I've tried this recipe twice. Neither time did the lentils cook fully or soften. The second time I more than doubled the cooking time, but lentils still did not cook to softened. The flavor is fantastic, but something is missing in my process. Open to suggestions...
Happygoin January 8, 2019
Terri, I wonder if you bought old lentils? Like beans, if they're old, they may be stale and may not cook fully, no matter how long you cook them. Try buying French Du Puy (or at least French) green lentils from a place with good turnover. Do you have a Whole Foods in your area? That may be a good place to try looking. And don't give up! It's probably not your fault :)
Jacque January 31, 2018
Quick, easy and tasty! Definitely use the du puy lentils - so much better than the larger ones you usually find. I mixed in some canned chunk tuna when eating the leftovers.
Happygoin November 26, 2014
I enjoyed lentils prepared like this recently with a nice slice of country ham perched on top. It was a casual, but delicious dinner!
Joseph R. November 12, 2014
Can you make and freeze/reheat!
Carmencita November 9, 2014
These were fantastic! I loved that they were still a little bit crunchy at the end. I added a little leftover pesto I had lying around and some chopped walnuts to bring out the nutty, wine-y flavor. Thank you for the great idea.
Michael H. November 7, 2014
http://www.feastingathome.com/2012/11/crispy-berbere-chicken-with-ethiopian.html<br /><br />This is one of my favorite dishes that has lentils as a side. Doesn't have to be chicken with berbere, of course, but I think the crispy chicken goes quite well with lentils!
frizz November 6, 2014
I like lentils, but on their own they are a little boring. I have a partner who loves them. What would you pair this dish with that could make us both happy?