Red Lentil Mashed “Potatoes” Recipe

I’m the type of person who would only eat side dishes if given the choice.  While trying to switch to a low carb lifestyle, I had to give up a lot of the traditional sides that I love so much, mainly because most of them revolved around potatoes.  Whenever I give something up, I try to come up with alternatives to replace it so that I do not feel like I’m depriving myself, but rather switching to a healthier alternative.  

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This recipe is a perfect low fat alternative to the high carb traditional mashed potato side dish.  Red lentils are an excellent source of protein and loaded with cholesterol-lowering fiber. What makes this recipe even better is the fact that it takes only a small fraction of the time to make, as opposed to the huge amount of time and effort it takes to peel, boil, and mash actual potatoes. 

For this specific recipe, make sure you stick to RED lentils.  They are the ones that seem to work best when trying to achieve the “mashed potato” effect.  

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Start off by mixing 1 cup of red lentils with 2 cups of water in a large pot.  Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low/simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.  You will notice that the lentils will essentially mash themselves while cooking.  After about 20 minutes, I stir the lentils to smooth them out in order to fully embrace the mashed texture.  There you have it, they’re all done! It’s that easy.  Even someone will little to no cooking experience can handle this recipe.  

red lentil mash

Once the lentils finish cooking, I personally like to add in some extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to flavor.  I’ve eaten them plain too and they’re still great!  Comment below to let me know what you tried with yours! Enjoy :)

Red Lentil Mashed "Potatoes" Recipe
This recipe is a perfect low fat alternative to the high carb traditional mashed potato side dish. Red lentils are an excellent source of protein and loaded with cholesterol-lowering fiber.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 1 cup red split lentils
  2. 2 cups water
  3. Olive oil (optional)
  4. Garlic powder (optional)
  5. Salt/pepper (optional)
  1. Mix red lentils and water together in a large pot. Cover and heat on high until it boils. Keep covered and reduce heat to low/simmer for about 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and mix the lentils to obtain the mashed effect. Season with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper if desired.
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Asian Turkey Burger Recipe | Eat Teach Laugh Craft - August 14, 2013 Reply

[…] a complete slow carb dinner, I paired my turkey burger with steamed broccoli topped with ghee, red lentil mashed “potatoes”, and used my slow carb bagels as the bun (recipe coming soon!). […]

Victoria - April 6, 2015 Reply

Just made this and had with sausages :)
Lovely! Thanks :)

Lisa - September 22, 2016 Reply

I’m not one for faked food. I HATE it when someone suggests cauliflower as rice or any other vegetable in disguise. In my book, it still tastes like cauliflower. YUCK. These lentils though…as soon as I ate red lentils for the first time, I thought they would be a good sub for potatoes. I can totally eat this and not miss potatoes (ok…just a little). Great idea! Can’t wait to doll mine up with garlic next time!

    Michele - November 12, 2016 Reply

    Thanks so much Lisa! I’m so glad you liked them. I also add garlic and some other spices at times too :)

Kris - December 15, 2021 Reply

I made red lentils for the first time the other day but I cooked them to mush by accident. I decided to put them in the blender and give them to my daughter for baby food. They got really fluffy like mashed potatoes in the blender. Anyway, I found this article while looking to see if anyone has enjoyed them in place of mashed potatoes. If you haven’t tried them in the blender, and you like your potatoes fluffy then I’d say give it a try!

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