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French Style: Lentils With Bacon (Lentilles Braisées aux Lardons)

French Style: Lentils With Bacon (Lentilles Braisées aux Lardons)

The best lentils grown in France come from Le Puy, in the Auvergne. They are very small and the colour of dark slate — look for them in delicatessens and large .
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Side Dishes, Vegetarian
Cuisine French
Servings 6


  • 450 g/1 lb/2½ cups brown or green lentils, well rinsed and picked over
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp olive oil
  • 225 g/½ lb bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • About 350 ml/12 fl oz/1½ cups beef or chicken stock
  • 30—45 ml/2—3 tbsp double cream (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15-30 ml/1-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to garnish


  • Put the lentils in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and boil gently for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a heavy frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5-7 minutes until crisp, then transfer the bacon to a plate.
  • Stir the onion into the fat in the pan and cook for 2—3 minutes until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper, bay leaf and lentils.
  • Add the stock and cover the pan. Cook over a medium-low heat for 25-45 minutes, until the lentils are just tender, stirring occasionally. Add a little moire stock or water to the pan, if needed.
  • Uncover the pan and allow any excess liquid to evaporate. Add the reserved bacon, and cream, if using, and heat through for 1—2 minutes. Serve hot, with a scattering of chopped parsley on top.
    French-Style-Lentils-With-Bacon-Lentilles-Braisees-aux-Lardons-vegetarian-diet food
    French-Style-Lentils-With-Bacon-Lentilles-Braisees-aux-Lardons-vegetarian-diet food
Keyword Vegetarian