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Kung Pao Lentils


Spicy Kung Pao Lentils with a delicious kung pao sauce, veggies and cooked lentils. Easy 30 minute weeknight dinner. Gluten-free Vegan Recipe. Note: If you find lentils too earthy, double the sauce, or use other legumes like chickpeas.

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Rate this recipe 3.6/5 (8 Votes)


  • 1/2 cup dry brown lentils washed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • A generous pinch of salt
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry or rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce or use more soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons raw sugar or use 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup or other sweetener
  • A generous dash of lime zest 1/4 teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup white or red onion, chopped
  • 4 dried red chilies like arbol or red chinese broken into halfs (or use red pepper flakes to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons cashews or peanuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch knob ginger, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • Lemon juice and black pepper for garnish


Servings 2
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 60mins


Step 1

Cook the Lentils: Combine the lentils water and salt in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender to preference. Let the lentils sit for 5 minutes before using. Drain excess water if needed and keep aside. Or use 1 1/4 cup cooked lentils or beans.

Make the sauce: combine all the ingredients under sauce into a bowl. Mix well to combine and keep aside.

Cook the veggies: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add onion and chilies and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cashews and mix for a few seconds. Add garlic and ginger and mix in. Add the peppers and celery and mix well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add in the sauce and cooked lentils and mix well. Add a few more tbsp water if you like extra sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens and some is absorbed by the lentils. Taste and adjust spice and sweet. Add red pepper flakes to taste, if needed and mix in. Garnish with a dash of lemon juice and black pepper. Serve with cooked rice or grains of choice. .


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