Have you ever tried putting lentils on a pizza? They're not a pizza topping you see too often, but they work so beautifully!
Not only do these tasty red lentils make your pizza extra hearty and comforting, they also add heaps of nutrition - nearly 13 grams of additional protein per pizza! Such an easy way to amp up a simple vegetarian pizza into something a bit different.
The red lentils are used as a replacement for a traditional pizza sauce. They're cooked with tomato and spices, so they have plenty of flavour, and when you add a good handful of grated cheese and your favourite pizza toppings, you'll end up with a seriously comforting dinner.
I used shop-bought pizza bases to make my lentil pizza, since these days my energy levels could barely reach my knees. But of course, you can make your own pizza base from scratch if you prefer.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's pizza. It's always going to be good.
- The red lentil mixture is seriously easy to prepare, and really adds something special to an otherwise simple recipe.
- The lentils add nearly 13 grams of protein and 4 mg of iron per individual pizza! Since we vegetarians often have to consider our protein and iron intake, this is a huge plus.
- You can add all sorts of flavours to the lentils as they cook to change the feel of your pizza - this time I went for my favourite spice, smoked paprika!
- It's always satisfying to know that your choice of comfort food is providing plenty of nutrition too.
Here's what you'll need to make this lentil-topped pizza:
- pizza bases. I used 2 shop-bought bases that each measured about 8 inches in diameter. Feel free to use homemade pizza bases, and / or combine the two smaller pizzas into one larger pizza (one 12-inch crust should be roughly equivalent).
- red lentils. You must use red lentils for this recipe, as they cook down to become really soft. Other types of lentils, like brown or green, will not give the same result, as they hold their shape when cooked.
- grated cheese. I used cheddar, as it has a lovely flavour and brings a nice saltiness to the pizza. You could use something creamier, like mozzarella, but it won't be quite as tasty.
- tomato puree and smoked paprika to add extra flavour to the cooked lentils.
- vegetable stock. I used a solid stock cube, which I dissolved in water, but you can use liquid stock instead if that's what you have.
- pizza toppings. I chose sliced tomatoes and red onion.
- fresh herbs for garnish. These are optional, but they do bring a lovely pop of colour and a fresh flavour to the finished pizza. I used parsley, but cilantro or basil would work well too.
See the printable recipe card below for detailed ingredient quantities.
🔄 Ingredient Swaps
Here are a few ways you could adapt this recipe:
- You can swap the pizza toppings for any of your other favourite toppings. Sliced mushrooms, peppers, olives, sweetcorn, etc. will all work really well.
- You can flavour the red lentils however you like. I used smoked paprika, but I have also made this recipe using Indian-style lentils flavoured with garam masala. You could even use some leftover tarka dal!
- If you don't have any pizza bases to hand, you could use naan bread, or even a flour tortilla.
👌 Top tip
If you don't have any ground spices to hand, any sort of flavour paste will also work. Perhaps try adding a dollop of pesto or curry paste to your lentils instead!
Here's how to make this lentil pizza - see below for the printable recipe with detailed ingredients and instructions.
Step 1: Cook the red lentils with your choice of additional flavourings (tomato puree, smoked paprika, etc.). You want them to end up breaking right down to give a thick paste, so don't rush them.
Step 2: Spread the lentil mixture over your pizza bases.
Step 3: Add some grated cheese and your choice of pizza toppings, then bake until crispy.
💭 Lentil Pizza FAQs
If you're in a rush, leftover slices of pizza can be reheated in about 1 minute in the microwave. However, this can make them a little soggy. A better way to reheat pizza is to place it back into the oven, and cook it at 180°C (Gas Mark 4 / 350°F) for about 5 minutes, just until it's hot. This way it will retain its crispiness!
No. Lentil flour would be used in a recipe for a lentil pizza crust. This recipe is for a lentil pizza topping, using a regular pizza crust. You must use dried red lentils for this recipe.
This recipe makes two 8-inch pizzas. If you'd prefer to make just one pizza, the best option is to use a 12-inch pizza base, which gives approximately the same amount of surface area.
📖 Printable Recipe
Easy Lentil Pizza (with Regular Crust)
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- 100 g (~ ½ cup) dried red lentils
- 500 ml (~ 2 cups) vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree / paste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 x 8 inch pizza bases
- 75 g (~ ¾ cup) grated cheddar cheese
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- ½ red onion, sliced
- Fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)
- Add the red lentils to a saucepan with the vegetable stock, smoked paprika, tomato puree, and some black pepper. I used low salt stock, so I also added a good pinch of salt - you probably won't need this if you're using regular stock.
- Bring to a gentle simmer, and allow to cook until the lentils are very soft and any excess liquid has been absorbed - around 20 minutes. You'll need to stir fairly regularly, especially towards the end of the cooking time, to prevent sticking.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- When the lentils are ready, spread the mixture over the two pizza bases. Top with the grated cheese, sliced tomato and sliced red onion.
- Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until the pizza base is crispy and the cheese is golden brown. Serve topped with fresh parsley, if desired.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.