Legumes I Actually Want to Eat Everyday on the Slow Carb Diet – Spiced Bacon Lentils

Legumes I Actually Want to Eat Everyday on the Slow Carb Diet – Spiced Bacon LentilsGetting on board with eating legumes 2-3 times a day has been the hardest part of the Slow Carb Diet for me so far.  It’s not that I don’t like legumes, I actually love black beans.  I  just don’t have the time to cook them from scratch normally, and they aren’t available in the can in Australia so due to the inconvenience factor, I’ve been forced to branch out.

I created this recipe for lentils that is just so damn good, I make a huge batch and use it for a few days, just reheating in the microwave to go with my meals.  The lentils have a bit of an Indian twist on them because of the spices, but I find they go quite well with the bacon.  You can vary the spice and garlic levels to suit your own preferences.

Spiced Bacon Lentils

Makes 4-8 servings depending on how much you like to eat with your meal.

Legumes I Actually Want to Eat Everyday on the Slow Carb Diet – Spiced Bacon Lentils
  • 2-3  cans lentils
  • 1 cup of bacon, diced
  • 1 Tbs ghee or macadamia oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ t ground turmeric
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • ½ t ground ginger (or use fresh ginger if you have it on hand)
  • ¼ t cayenne (This will give the dish some heat.  Add less if you’re a bit of a wuss when it comes to spicy foods.  1/8 t is good for a bit of spice.  If you hate things spicy, just add a bit of paprika instead.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 c water or chicken stock (make sure there is no sugar added if you’re using a store bought stock!) Note : I highly recommend using stock because it produces extra creamy and flavorful lentils.  If you use water, you'll need to add salt to the dish.  I use a vegetable seasoning salt intended for stews to give the lentils some extra depth.
  1. Add ghee or macadamia nut oil to the pot.  About 1Tbs should be fine, but you can add more as needed at any point during the cooking process.  Add chopped onion to pot.  Cook on medium until onion is translucent.  About 6-10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and reduce heat a bit so as to not burn the garlic.  Stir until garlic becomes fragrant.  About 1-2 minutes.  ** I use about 6 cloves because I love garlic, but that may be bit intense for some people.  If you aren’t so keen on the dragon breath, 2 or 3 cloves should do.
  3. Add chopped bacon or bacon crumbles.
  4. Once the bacon is cooked through, add all the spices and heat until they become fragrant.  About 1-2 minutes.
  5. Rinse the canned lentils and add to the pot.  Stir.
  6. Add 1 cup or chicken stock or water.
  7. Simmer over low-medium for about 15 minutes or until liquid reduces.
  8. If you used water instead of chicken stock or you didn't include bacon, you’ll probably want to add salt.
  9. Once most of the liquid has reduced, remove the bay leaf and enjoy.

Tip-  I keep a big batch of these in the fridge to have with breakfast.  They mix quite well with frozen spinach thawed in the microwave.

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  1. I have a love hate relationship with lentils and this recipe just plain rocks. I used a full pound of bacon and figured that 3 cans was about 5.5 cups of cooked lentils. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Thanks for reading, Ashley. I’m glad you liked the recipe. The bacon is great, and I’ve even discovered that the lentils are still pretty good even without the bacon and just the seasonings… last night I somehow forgot the ginger, and they still tasted great.

  2. I am a slow-carber too! Stateside! I cannot wait to try this bacon variation of lentils! I am so glad I stumbled onto your site. Thanks!

  3. Wow, this is definitely what I needed. I just made up a batch it’s good. I’ll be trying some your other recipes just for something different but this one is definitely going to be a staple in my kitchen.

    Thanks again for posting this.

    • Glad you liked the lentils, Jim. If you get bored of these and you like foreign flavors, give the mustard spiked lentils a try.

  4. Great recipe. I will try it! I love black beans too and usually make up a huge pot in the slow cooker on Sat or Sun and use them the entire week for me, my husband and kids. I included the recipe I use below. It also works well with pinto beans. Supposedly you can freeze them once prepared but I have never tried it.

    I also love to mash up red lentils and use them as a base for saucy foods. Like you would use mashed potatoes, rice or polenta pre slowcarb. Currently I am experimenting with making red lentil cakes. Still working out the kinks…

    Slow Cooker Black Beans
    I use a teaspoon for all measurements to make it faster when pulling this together quickly in the morning.
    – 4 cups of dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
    – 12 cups of water
    – 4 tsp kosher salt
    – 2 1/2 – 3 tsp oregano
    – 4 tsp cumin
    – 5 tsp dried minced onions (can also use a diced medium onion)
    – 2 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic (can also use 8-9 cloves minced)
    – fresh black pepper
    – chipotle in adobo or dried chipotle powder (1-2 chipotles chopped up with or without seeds and some sauce)
    – chopped cilantro

    Add all ingredients through chipotle to slow cooker. Cover and cook for 9 hours on high. Two options for finishing. Drain completely or mostly drain and mash or blend with emersion blender. In either case, once beans are drained add cilantro and adjust seasoning to taste. I also add some lime juice once in a while. I know it is not slow carb but I find it needs juice from 1/2 lime to brighten it up sometimes. You can make this in a smaller batch just remember to put 3 cups or water and 1 tsp of salt per cup of beans. Adjust spices accordingly.

  5. FatchkchkBoom says

    Love your recipe,

    Hey I’m another Aussie here and I love black beans and lament the lack of black beans or I used to until I found that every Asian grocer in Oz sells them dried, and soo very cheap ($2 for about a kg) so if you have any asian grocers nearby hit them up they also sell adzuki, red beans and frozen edamame cheaply as well

    • Thanks for the recommendation. I bought myself some black beans, I just can’t seem to find a sure-fire way to cook them well. Any tips?

  6. Very tasty! Don’t know if I would have stuck to my first week on SC without this recipe. I’ve even had them at breakfast, because… you know, the bacon!


    • Glad you made it through the first week, David. It gets easier from here, and it makes a difference finding a few recipes you like. I found the only way I can choke down a serving of frozen spinach in the morning is to mix it into these lentils. The bacon does wonders to hide the spinach.

  7. Sounds like a great recipe! Does it work just as well with uncooked lentils? If so, I assume you have to cook them separately before including them in the recipe. I ask because I have a difficult time finding pre-cooked, canned lentils but the bags of uncooked lentils are all over the place.

    • Yes, you can definitely cook your own lentils for this recipe. I find it works better to cook and drain the lentils and follow the recipe as written. I know others like to just add the spices and other ingredients to a simmering pot of lentils.

    • I have made some similar recipes with dried lentils that work out great. I would put in the lentils at the same step, but before you add the water/stock stir the lentils for a minute or two to toast them a bit. This gives them a nice flavor and helps them keep their shape a bit better. You’ll need to cook them for considerably longer and you’ll need more water. How much depends on your personal preference. Just add water in small amounts as you’re cooking until they are done and they are the consistency you want.

      If you’re in the US, the only place I’ve ever seen canned lentils is Whole Foods, but that will run you MANY times higher than dry lentils.

      • Hi Jimmy – thanks for the tip. I’m sure lots of readers in the US will appreciate it as I guess canned lentils are harder to come by there. They’re easily bought where I’m at for less than $1 so I often use canned here. You can purchase packs of them from Amazon. I have a link at the bottom of the website, and you can also get pre-cooked, refrigerated lentils in bags at Trader Joes.

  8. I love lentils (and legumes) too. FYI, you can pre-cook and preserve beans at the same time by pressure canning them. (A pressure canner is just a very large pressure cooker with a rack on the bottom- the Presto 21.5 quart is what I have and it does the job very well) No soaking required. Simply put 1/2 cup of dry beans in a pint sized glass jar, add water to within 1/2″ off the top, put on the lid and ring and process in the pressure canner for 75 minutes at 10 lbs pressure. Do quarts with 1 cup of dry beans and 90 minutes processing. I use my pressure canner all the time for this and for canning my own chicken, ground beef, and stew meat.

  9. Yummy recipe! Instead of serving meat on the side, I had a can of cooked chicken breast (Costco’s Kirkland Signature, but I suppose any brand would do), shredded up the chicken, and stirred it into the cooked lentils. It’s like a thick chicken & lentil stew. It’s really good and very filling!

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