Best 7 Substitutes for French Lentils (Alternatives To French Lentils)

Anyone who has tried lentils before knows just how delicious they are. They are not only delicious but also very nutritious. You can purchase brown lentils almost everywhere at a very low price. French lentils, however, are not always available and can be expensive.

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So, what can you use instead of French lentils? Are there foods that can be as sweet and nutritious as French lentils?

Well, we have conducted research and have come up with a list of alternatives for French lentils. These are foods that can work in the same manner, or maybe close to French lentils. Here we go!

Substitute for French Lentils

French Lentils

Let’s go straight to some of the most efficient substitutes;

1. Peas

Green peas

There are different varieties including green peas and yellow peas. Fortunately, any of these would be a great substitute. Using peas in place of lentils gives you almost the same taste. But that’s not all. Just like lentils, peas have high levels of protein and low levels of sodium, and they also contain some antioxidants.

You can use canned chickpeas to replace French lentils in salads, soups, as well as curries.

2. Beans

Pinto beans

Beans and lentils are from the same legume family. They are somewhat of an obvious alternative for lentils. Beans and French lentils are similar in that they have higher levels of protein, dietary fiber, folate, antioxidants, and more vitamins needed by our bodies.

What’s more, you can choose from a wide range of beans based on your recipe. To make some lentil tacos, for instance, you can choose to use refried beans to replace the lentils that would also replace taco meat.


Red beans and garbanzo beans are also great substitutes for French lentils.

3. Soy

Soy Bean

Soy can also be a great substitute for French lentils. They especially work well when you want to replace lentils that worked to replace meat in vegetarian recipes. If you wanted to prepare a recipe that needed chicken or ground beef, French lentils would work perfectly. However, if you do not have lentils, soy can be a great alternative.

But that’s not all. Soy will give your body amino acids and proteins that you would get from soy. This is an amazing protein source. They are also easy to use.

4. Peanuts


Peanuts are similar to lentils in that they are great sources of nutrients and dietary fiber. What’s more, they are filling and will work great in salads.

5. Kamut


This is also known as Pharaoh Grains or Khorasan wheat. It is a great source of protein that would work great in replacing French lentils in a wide range of dishes. Kamut is more similar to white lentils in appearance with a range of flavors. However, you can expect that they will work perfectly in replacing French lentils too.

6. Brown Rice

Brown rice

Brown rice is a great replacement for brown rice, especially for casseroles and soups. It can thicken these dishes and mimic the results of French lentils.

Additionally, it has high levels of fiber and nutrients. To make things better, it is easier to acquire compared to French lentils. So, whenever you are out of French lentils, you can find some brown rice to do the trick.

7. Tofu 


Tofu is a great alternative to French lentils for a couple of reasons. First, if you want a plant-based diet, then this will be a perfect choice. It can absorb flavors well, which means that you can use different seasonings in your recipe.

Additionally, tofu has low levels of calories and high protein levels. This versatile food has a mild flavor coupled with a firm texture.

If you choose to use tofu to replace lentils, make sure it is extra firm. It has low water levels and will maintain its texture once cooked.

8. Yellow Split Peas

Although not technically a type of lentil, yellow split peas can be an excellent alternative to French lentils in certain dishes. With their vibrant color and mild flavor, yellow split peas lend themselves well to soups, stews, and curries. They soften and break down during cooking, creating a creamy and thick consistency that adds depth to your recipes. Moreover, yellow split peas are rich in fiber, protein, and essential nutrients, making them a nutritious choice.

9. Mung Beans

Mung beans, commonly used in Asian cuisine, offer a unique substitute for French lentils. These small, green legumes have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.

Other Alternatives 

  • Textured Vegetable Protein

Textured vegetable protein is made using soy powder. We love that it is also very easy to make at home, as long as you can find some soy. This is a great nutritious choice if you want a replacement for French lentils.

  • Fish

Fish also gives you high levels of protein. This is a higher-quality protein. It also has lower levels of unsaturated fats. But what fish should you use? Well, there is a variety you can choose from these including salmon, herring, or even tuna.

One other reason why fish would be a better choice is the fact that it has omega-3 fatty acids that cannot be found in lentils. These will work perfectly to reduce the chances of heart disease.


1. Green Lentils

green lentils

Often known as Puy lentils, are an excellent substitute for French lentils. They share a similar nutty flavor and hold their shape well when cooked. With their firm texture and earthy taste, green lentils are perfect for salads, soups, and side dishes. They are also packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and iron, making them a healthy choice for your meals.

2. Red Lentils

red lentils

Are another suitable alternative to French lentils, especially when it comes to creating soups, curries, and dals. Unlike French lentils, red lentils have a mild and slightly sweet flavor that complements a wide range of spices and seasonings. They cook faster and break down easily, resulting in a creamy texture that enhances the overall consistency of your dishes. Red lentils are also rich in protein, fiber, and various vitamins, making them a nutritious choice.

3. Brown Lentils

Brown Lentils

Commonly available in grocery stores, are an accessible substitute for French lentils. With their earthy flavor and tender texture, they work well in hearty soups, stews, and casseroles. While brown lentils may not retain their shape as firmly as French lentils, they provide a delicious and nutritious base for various recipes. Packed with protein, fiber, and essential minerals, brown lentils offer a wholesome addition to your meals.

Read: Red vs. Green vs. Brown Lentils

4. Beluga Lentils

Beluga Lentils

Named after their resemblance to caviar, are small, black lentils that offer a delightful culinary experience. Their rich flavor and smooth, glossy texture make them an ideal substitute for French lentils in salads, stews, and grain bowls. Beluga lentils cook relatively quickly and retain their shape, adding visual appeal to your dishes. Additionally, they are a great source of protein, fiber, and folate, enhancing the nutritional value of your meals.

5. Black Lentils

Also known as black beluga lentils, share similarities with both French and Beluga lentils. These small, black legumes have a robust, earthy flavor and a firm texture that holds up well during cooking. Black lentils make an excellent substitute in salads, grain bowls, and side dishes. Additionally, they are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants, contributing to a well-rounded and healthy diet.

Are Green Lentils and French Lentils the Same?

We have been asked whether these two are the same. Since we are talking about French lentils, we thought it was better to clear the air.

French lentils are a type of green lentil. The difference between the two is that French lentils are smaller and have a darker huge.

Also, read:


Now you know what you can use instead of French lentils. Therefore, if you do not have some French lentils at your exposal, simply go for any of the foods we have listed above. You can choose the alternative based on taste, appearance, or even nutritional value.

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