This rustic, hearty meal of Red Lentils with Poached Eggs is ready in under 20 minutes. Red Lentils are cooked in fire-roasted diced tomatoes which give the dish so much flavor. Topped with a perfectly cooked runny poached egg, this is a great meatless lentil breakfast recipe. I will show you my trick for fool-proof microwave poached eggs.
Lentils for breakfast
Lentils are such an underrated food in the Western world, which is such a shame because lentils are so tasty and so versatile. Lentils cook fairly quickly and make an amazing for breakfast. Not only do they taste great, but they are loaded with fiber and plant protein to keep you full.
And topped with a quick poached egg?? This becomes the tastiest lentil breakfast recipe ever!
I love using red lentils because (1) they're much prettier than green lentils (sorry green lentils!) and (2) they cook super fast! Split red lentils are ready in under 10 minutes.
5 main ingredients and 10 minutes of cook time? Oh yea, I can definitely manage that for breakfast!
Give these tasty lentils in tomato sauce a try, you might just fall in love with them!
Of course, this doesn't have to be served for breakfast. This split red lentils recipe is amazing for a quick, easy, hearty vegetarian lunch or dinner.
Related recipe: Shakshuka with Feta and White Beans
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked split red lentils
- 1 cup vegetable broth (or use water)
- 15-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup parsley leaves or your favorite herbs, finely diced
- 2-4 eggs (see notes) + water for poaching
Related recipe: Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
→ Lentils: Feel free to use any lentils you like, but make sure to adjust the cooking time to the package instructions. I love red lentils for breakfast because they cook so fast!
→ Canned tomatoes: I love fire-roasted tomatoes because of the beautiful char and subtle smokiness, but feel free to use any canned tomatoes, such as tomatoes with chilies, even plain tomato puree or crushed tomatoes, if you don't want any chunky tomato pieces in your lentils.
→ Eggs: I like to cook as many eggs as I am going to eat, and if I have any leftover lentils I make fresh eggs the next day. This recipe makes about 4 small servings, or two larger servings, so just think through how many eggs you will want to eat and cook that many eggs. I'll show you how to poach eggs in the microwave!
Related recipe: Vegetable Hash with Fried Eggs
Cook the lentils: In a 2.5-3 quart sauce pan, heat the olive oil and add the diced onion. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the dry lentils, water, and diced tomatoes and stir. Cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for about 7-10 minutes, or until the lentils are fully cooked to your liking (see recipe tips below). Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, and parsley leaves.
- If you see that your lentils are fully cooked but there is too much liquid remaining, feel free to drain the water through a colander. Don't overcook your lentils just to absorb the extra water, or they will become mushy.
- If you see that the liquid has evaporated but the lentils still aren't cooked, add ¼ cup liquid at a time (water or vegetable broth), until the lentils are fully cooked.
- Check on your lentils after 7 minutes, because depending on the size/shape of your pan, they might cook fast!
Serve with a poached egg on top, or make a fried egg to serve on top of lentils.
Related recipe: Savory French Toast
Microwave poached eggs
Poaching eggs in the microwave is one of my favorite cooking hacks! All you need is a microwaveable cup or bowl, a little water, and your eggs. There's no need to wait for the water to boil, no special tricks for adding eggs to boiling hot water so they don't spread out, none of that nonsense!!
Simply place your eggs in a bowl with cold water and microwave until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
Keep reading for all my tips for poached egg success!
Related recipe: Green Shakshuka
How to poach eggs in the microwave:
Add some water to a microwave-safe container or bowl so that there is 2-3 inches of water in the container - you will need to submerge the whole egg in water. Gently crack an egg into the water. Carefully transfer the bowl to the microwave oven. Microwave the eggs for about 1 minute, then continue to microwave in 30-second increments, checking after every 30 seconds, until the egg whites feel cooked and the egg yolks are jiggly (or your preferred done-ness).
I find that for 2 eggs, I typically need 1:30 to 2 minutes. For 4 eggs, I start with 2 minutes and typically need to microwave for a total of 3 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to scoop the poached eggs out of the water and serve them on top of your breakfast lentils.
Keep in mind that everyone's microwave might be set to a different setting so it might take you a few tries to get this just right for your microwave. Microwave times will depend on:
- The size of your eggs
- The temperature of your eggs (are they right out of the fridge? Or were they sitting out while you were prepping the lentils?)
- The amount of water you use (which will depend on your container - there should be about 2-3 inches of water in the container so that the egg is completely submerged)
- The temperature of the water
- Your microwave setting
- How cooked you like your eggs
It's quite a few variables to keep track of, but I PROMISE YOU, once you get a method down, microwave-poached eggs will be your FAVORITE way to make poached eggs.
Here are some tips for poaching eggs in the microwave:
- The container you should use will depend on how many eggs you are poaching. If you're poaching several eggs at once, you will need a larger flat container (such as these dishes) instead of a bowl, because you don't want to place all the eggs on top of each other. You'll want to crack the eggs and have them completely submerged in the water and not overlapping too much.
- Use a microwave-safe lid or splatter guard to loosely cover the container with the eggs, to prevent any splatter (I've never had this happen while poaching eggs, but I've seen videos of people trying to cook eggs in the microwave!!)
Related recipe: Savory Chicken Crepes
More topping ideas for breakfast lentils:
Turn this into a full breakfast bowl with any of these additions:
- Sliced avocado
- Sauteed greens (such as in my savory oatmeal bowls recipe)
- Diced green onions
- Everything bagel seasoning
- Hot sauce or salsa
- Crumbled feta cheese or queso fresco
Other lentil recipes you will love:
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Breakfast Lentils with Poached Eggs
- Medium saucepan
- Small microwave-safe bowl
- 1 yellow onion , diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup split red lentils , uncooked (or use any lentils you like, see recipe notes)
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or water)
- 15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- Salt & pepper , to taste (about ¼ teaspoon each is a good start)
- ¼ cup parsley leaves , finely diced
- 2-4 eggs (see recipe notes) + water for poaching
Cook the red lentils:
- In a 2.5-3 quart sauce pan, heat the olive oil and add the diced onion. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the dry lentils, water, and diced tomatoes and stir. Cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for about 7-10 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked to your liking (see recipe notes). Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and parsley leaves. Serve with a poached egg on top.
Make microwave-poached eggs:
- Use a microwaveable bowl or container that is wide enough for the number of eggs you will be poaching. Add enough water to the bowl so that the water comes up a couple of inches in the bowl - you will need the eggs to be completely submerged in the water.
- Gently crack the eggs right into the water. Carefully transfer the bowl to a microwave oven. Microwave the eggs on medium or high power. You will need to play around with the timing a little. For 2 eggs, I recommend starting at 1 minute and 30 seconds, then checking the eggs and microwaving 30 seconds at a time until the eggs reach your desired level of done-ness. For 4 eggs, start with 2 minutes and then microwave 30 seconds at a time until they are cooked to your liking. Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the eggs from the water and serve over the hot lentils. Season with salt and pepper.
- You can use any kind of lentils you like. Split lentils cook much faster - in about 7-10 minutes. Whole lentils take a bit longer - 20 minutes or more. Watch the lentils and cook them to your liking - add a few minutes to the cooking time if you like them super soft and mushy.
- If cooking split red lentils, start checking on them after about 7 minutes, since they can get overcooked easily. Drain any extra water, if needed.
- Poached eggs are best eaten fresh. If you are serving this for 2 people and saving some lentils for the next day, poach as many eggs as you will eat that day.
- If you are poached several eggs, it is best to do it in a flat container than in a bowl, so they don't all sit on top of each other. These are great, and come with a lid to prevent any microwave splatter!
- Feel free to add some spice: stir in ½ teaspoon each ground coriander and ground cumin, and a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the onion when you're sautéing.