Red lentils make this quick to prepare compared to other legume-based dishes. Cooktime is around five minutes.

cost calories net carbs fat fiber protein sugar
~$0.651 351 24 15 16 14 5


  • microwave-safe bowl
  • 1/4 cup dry split red lentils
  • 1/2 cup water
  • curry seasoning (curry paste/powder, turmeric, cumin, chili pepper, garlic, ginger, onion, etc)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or neutral vegetable oil of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste


  • rinse lentils
  • combine all ingredients, stir
  • microwave on high until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender, about 3-5 minutes
  • salt/pepper to taste


I usually add frozen vegetables to add volume and variety: broccoli, cauliflower, and onions all work well. These heartier choices have cooktimes that match the lentils, so can be added upfront.

For an east asian flavor, swap in msg, soy sauce, and sesame or peanut oil.

  1. red lentils $1.69/lb (Trader Joe’s, Trader Joe’s), curry powder $13.40/16oz (McCormick, Amazon), onion powder $9.49/22oz (McCormick, Amazon), avocado oil $10.98/25.4oz (Chosen Foods, Walmart), tomato paste $.42/6oz (Great Value, Walmart)