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Breakfast Lentils with Poached Eggs

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.

Bowl of red lentils for breakfast with poached egg on top.More savory breakfast ideas with eggs: Tortilla Breakfast Pizzas with 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!

Bowl of split red lentils with poached egg.

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. 

More high protein breakfast recipes: Protein Pancakes for One

Ingredients

  • 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

Optional ingredients: If you want to make spiced lentils, add about ½ teaspoon each ground coriander and ground cumin, and a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.

Related recipe: Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

Ingredient notes:

→ 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

Instructions:

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.

Cooking tips:

  • 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! 

Bowl of breakfast red lentils.

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!

Bowls of lentils and poached eggs for breakfast.

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.

Related recipe: Shakshuka with Feta and White Beans

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:

More savory breakfast recipes: Air Fryer Sweet Potato Home Fries

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!

Red Lentils with Poached Eggs
Print Recipe
4.82 from 53 votes

Breakfast Lentils with Poached Eggs

Enjoy a bowl of flavorful, rustic, hearty Red Lentils cooked in a tasty tomato sauce with a perfect Poached Egg on top - all ready in under 20 minutes. I will show you how to make fool-proof poached eggs in the microwave - you'll never go back to stove-top poached eggs.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 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

Special equipment

Instructions

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. 

Notes

  • 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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal (13%) | Carbohydrates: 35g (12%) | Protein: 16g (32%) | Fat: 6g (9%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Cholesterol: 82mg (27%) | Sodium: 424mg (18%) | Potassium: 721mg (21%) | Fiber: 15g (60%) | Sugar: 5g (6%) | Vitamin A: 702IU (14%) | Vitamin C: 19mg (23%) | Calcium: 82mg (8%) | Iron: 5mg (28%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

Comments or questions about the recipe?
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Kristy

Sunday 19th of May 2024

This is so good! I like to make it ahead and reheat it and make eggs fresh each time as needed (usually over easy). I also added smoked paprika to mine!

Chris

Tuesday 30th of January 2024

Lovely! I used water rather than stock and added 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, coriander and turmeric and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. Delicious mix of spice complimented by the creamy poached egg. Kept me full all morning.

Bea

Friday 22nd of December 2023

Absolute delicious! My red lentils were probably old so it took a lot longer to cook and I had to ballpark reduced all the other ingredients as I only had a heaping 1/2 cup lentils. I still used a whole red onion and also sautéed 4 minced cloves of garlic after the onions browned. I used 3/4 teaspoon Better Than Bouillion with 2/3 cups water. I served it with 3 runny eggs and it was the most sublime! I will get cravings for this! Thank you for the recipe!

Ian

Sunday 3rd of December 2023

I had some lentils which I left in water overnight so I used this recipe as a base. Cooked the lentils with olive oil, onions and added garlic and Ras El Hanout spice to give it a Moroccan touch but used Passata tomatoes as I was in a hurry.

Rather than poaching the eggs, I first pored the lentils in containers, split open the eggs on top and grilled for a few minutes, once ready drizzled olive oil and used some chilli flakes on top. Amazing result. ❤️

Anne

Thursday 10th of August 2023

I'm always looking for a new healthy breakfast and this was a winner as a base recipe. I added spinach and some indian spices and some heat with red pepper flakes. Thought it was too bland as is. Will be a go-to base recipe and I will experiment with more veg and spice options. Thank you!

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