This Classic Italian Style Lentil recipe (New Year Tradition) is one you don't want to miss! Italians eat lentils for New Year for good luck. Make this easy nutritious vegetarian recipe all year long!
If you want prosperity and good luck in the coming year- you must eat these lentils on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day!
Classic Italian Style Lentils for New Years' Eve
It's tradition to eat lentils for New Years' Eve. Although, we make this recipe all seasons of the year.
The little coin-shaped legumes bring good fortune, namely in the form of money. They are served on the last day of the year to bring good luck for the upcoming year. They are sometimes served with cotechino, a kind of boiled sausage, common in northern Italy.
In our home, we make it with and without the cotechino (sausage). This is a vegetarian version of the recipe without meat. You can always add the sausage on top if desired.
How to Make Classic Italian Style Lentils
Simple Italian Lentils start with a "Soffritto"
This humble lentil dish starts with a soffritto- the Italian term for a mixture of chopped vegetables sautéed gently in oil. The mixture of vegetables generally includes onions, carrots, and celery.
The word means “under fried”. This method creates a tasty base for any soup. The added benefit is adding extra veggies to the dish!
Trust me, friends, you will want to make this filling and satisfying lentil recipe. Once you do, it will be a recipe go-to!
Brown lentils are typically used to make this stew, as brown and green lentils are firm and retain their shape when cooking.
Red or yellow lentils are softer and cook faster. For this soup they tend to fall apart and sort of dissolve into the soup. You can still use the orange variety, but it will change the consistency.
I remember in 7th grade when I went to my friends' house to spend my first New Year away from my family.
I brought my little box of lentils ready to eat to keep the tradition.
My friends made fun of me and asked what "in the heck" I was eating. I didn't let their mocking get in the way of eating my lentils.
I knew in my heart it was worth keeping the tradition and in the end, I would be blessed with good fortune :).
It never hurts to stick out like a sore thumb to keep your core values! You will never regret making the decision that makes your heart most happy.
Eat Lentils all Year for Good Health...
Don't let New Year be the only time you make these classic Italian lentils. Keep up the good luck all year!
Health Benefits of Lentils
Lentils are considered a superfood.
They are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. Try adding them to your diet.
Another way I enjoy lentils is over a thick slice of hearty bread and a fried egg. You can make this a breakfast/ brunch item OR a tasty dinner!
Try this recipe Lentils Toast with Fried Egg Tasty lentil stew scooped over hearty bread and topped with a perfectly cooked egg are your brunch and dinner dreams! Simple, nutritious, and delicious. Don’t wait to make it.
How to Store Cooked Lentils
Lentils are a great make-ahead meal! After lentils are cooked: cover and refrigerate within two hours of cooking.
Dried lentils that have been cooked can be kept covered in the fridge for 5-7 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
Label with the date and store in an air-tight container made for freezing food. Having lentils in the freezer makes them easy to add to any meal.
The bay leaf and herbs add that extra savory flavor that makes this dish hearty and delicious!
From my Cucina (kitchen) to your table!
Made with Amore, Elena
More Delicious Recipes for YOUPrint
- 1 ½ cups (250 grams) dried brown lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 5 cups water
- 1 pinch salt
- handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Place the onion, carrot, and celery in a large saucepan or soup pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté gently on low heat until the vegetables are very soft and the onion is somewhat translucent, but not colored. Add the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, dry lentils, and 5 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but retain their shape (this can take as little as 20 minutes to upwards of 35 minutes, depending on the lentils. I know that seems like a big time difference but all dried beans cook a little differently).
- Keep checking them and add more water if necessary. Add salt to taste only once the lentils are tender, otherwise, they will remain tough. Stir through the chopped parsley and serve as you like (see notes for ideas).
Lentils are delicious topped with eggs, eaten as a vegetarian ragu, served on top of crusty bread, served on top of a green salad and more! Don't let New Years be the only time you make these classic Italian lentils. Keep up the good luck all year around!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 35 min
- Category: Savory
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian