Lentil Almond Stir-Fry Recipe

A good cold-weather stir-fry recipe. Tiny potatoes, brussels sprout wedges, toasted almonds and lentils are served with a drizzle of mint and a bit of thinned-out, salted plain yogurt, and a sprinkling of chopped dates.

Lentil Almond Stir-Fry

A warm, hearty, fill-you-up stir-fry for a cold night. There's nothing too fancy going on here, just tiny potatoes, golden brussels sprout wedges, toasted almonds and lentils tossed together in a olive oil-slicked skillet. I served it with a drizzle of mint and a bit of thinned-out, salted plain yogurt, and a sprinkling of chopped dates.

Lentil Almond Stir-Fry Recipe

Making the mint drizzle take a bit of extra effort that you could skip if you don't have the inclination to make an extra component. Personally, I love the way the mint plays off the creamy potatoes and yogurt, but you could take the building blocks of this recipe and go in plenty of other directions that take varying degrees of effort. You might do a handful of grated Parmesan and a bit of lemon zest in place of the mint sauce and yogurt. I love the combination of lentils and goat cheese, so you could go that route (to which a handful of snipped chives would be a good finish). You could do a simple curry sauce along with the lentils, brussels sprouts, and potatoes. Lots of places to take this.

Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you for all your thoughtful comments on the last post.

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Lentil Almond Stir-Fry Recipe

I used some fun marble-sized purple potatoes in this version, but you can use whatever smaller, new potatoes you come across. Just try to avoid big, starchy potatoes here. Also, Wayne brought home packets of cooked black lentils from Trader Joe's the other day. They're great if you are in a time crunch and don't have time to cook up a fresh pot of lentils.

Mint sauce (optional)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 serrano chile pepper, de-veined and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
a touch of sugar, or honey, or agave nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

extra-virgin olive oil
6 to 8 very small new potatoes, cut into 1/2 pieces
2 cups cooked brown or black lentils
12 brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, thinned out with a bit of water, and salted with a pinch of salt

2 dates, pitted and chopped

Start by making the mint sauce. Combine the mint leaves, serrano, olive oil, salt, sugar, and lemon juice in a food processor (or blender). Give it a few pulses, just enough for the mint to break down a bit. Taste, adjust for your tastes (more serrano? salt?) - set aside.

Now cook the potatoes along with a generous splash of olive oil and pinch of salt in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover the skillet and let the potatoes cook through, this will take five minutes or so. The water in the potatoes will help steam and soften them. When the potatoes are just cooked through (not mushy or falling apart) remove the lid and give them a good toss. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir every minute or so (a spatula helps) until the potatoes look a bit golden. Stir in the lentils, and cook until heated through. Turn the potatoes and lentils out onto a large plate and set aside.

Now cook the brussels sprouts using the same pan. Heat another splash of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Don't overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the sprouts in the pan (single-layer), sprinkle with a pinch of salt, cover, and cook for a few minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they're tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for another minute or two. Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized.

Add the lentils and potatoes back to the skillet and add most of the sliced almonds. Turn out onto a large platter and drizzle with some of the yogurt and mint sauce*. Top with the remaining almonds and the chopped dates.

Serves 2-3.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Yyyyummm! Just made this. SO good! Forgot to put the yogurt in but it's great without it too. Didn't put any peppers in because I couldn't find any at the store I went to, but next time I'll try the chili pepper flakes as someone suggested.


it actually tastes fantastic!


This recipe looked so yummy, I had to try it! I'm a vegetarian on a low glycemic index diet due to health reasons, so I'm having to change my diet around a bit, and am trying new recipes and experimenting with replacing high GI foods for low GI foods. I couldn't eat the potatoes or the dates, so I ended up using extra brussels sprouts and prunes instead! It was a delicious, easy way to enjoy lentils---I would never have thought to team them up with b-sprouts. And, of course, I absolutely LOVE the mint. I look forward to experimenting with your recipes in the New Year :)


I did not have mint, yogurt, or brussel sprouts so I did this with cabbage and topped with a citrus dressing of fresh squeezed OJ, rice vinegar, and a splash of Bragg. soooo good. I can't wait to try again when I have mint too!

Jennifer Chaky

This came out fantastic! I topped with crunchy bred crumbs + goat cheese. Delicious.

jen maiser

I made this using the butternut squash croutons from another of your recipes in place of the potatoes and the goat cheese as recommended above. I also used green lentils (it was all I had.) The result was delicious! This is a new winter staple for me!!


I made this recipe and it turned out very well. I did not use the mint sauce, since I don't have a blender or food processor. Instead I bought some Indian-style Cilantro sauce from the local grocer and added it with the yoguert. It has pretty much the same ingredients as the mint sauce except cilantro instead of mint. My roommate and friend enjoyed my little experiment with this recipe. HS: Glad you liked it JR.


I've never tried lentils in a stir fry before so I can't wait to try this one out.


i am allergic to dates, but i love the thought of the "sweet" playing off the other flavours in this dish. what do you think i should use as a substitute? raisins maybe? or dried currants?


Looks tasty :)

Jonh Belo

THANK YOU! Oh yum! So tasty. I used a small yam and sweet potato instead, and sauteed some onions, garlic, broccoli rabe and watercress before re-adding the potatoes again. Also, didn't have any mint, so I made an almond butter-based sauce. Delicious. So versatile.


hey heidi, just thought you should know i found super natural cooking at the north melbourne library here in australia. it looks well-used and well-loved. HS: That's fantastic Ariel, thanks for reporting back. Glad to hear it is getting some Aussie love.


hi heidi! longtime reader & fan here (i gave your cookbook as a present to several people this season to at least partially reciprocate for how much my recipes depend on your blog). ive never commented but i think this recipe is brilliant! i made it last nite -- unfortunately had no mint on hand but i made mine extra spicy & it was fabulous! next time ill throw in a little bacon -- with the brussel sprouts & dates i think it would be fantastic. thanks for sharing this, i will definitely use it again!


This is sooo nice to have after all the hollery & ivy! Everytime I stir fry brussels with nuts or bacon or both, sprout haters become fans! Great blog!


What a brilliant recipe! Dashing! I doubled it to accommodate our family of 6. I think I quadrupled the dates (I just love them so much) and I added the zest of one lemon and a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Magnificent! Oh, I also chopped some whole roasted almonds that I had on hand and they worked like a charm. My advice... DO NOT skip the mint sauce. It's to die for! The yogurt plays splendidly off the whole dish as well. Thanks again, Heidi! You are a culinary master! We love you!!! HS: Glad you liked it Nikki :) I love the dates too! And you and I are totally on the same page because I allllmost added some lemon zest, but held back at the last minute for simplicity sake.


God, those potatoes look so good, I want to grow them! I love that you give a 'basis' or foundation for a recipe, with other suggestions! That's what it's all about!


Made it, loved it and will make it again. The only thing I subbed was some cooked Kashi 7 Grain Pilaf for the lentils, since it was pre-cooked...my cousin that hates brussel sprouts even loved it!


This is a fantastic recipe. It sounds so disjunct--mint, brussels sprouts, yogurt, dates--but the outcome is magnificent. My spouse devoured every last bite. Outstanding. Thank you!! I love your site!


I just made it for dinner. FANTASTIC combination of ingredients. Loved it.

Ronnie from Around the Table

Mmm!!! Thanks for a new way to cook Brussels sprouts, easily the most under appreciated vegetable. I tried this yesterday. I did not have dates, but everything else turned out wonderfully. I undercooked the lentils a little so they still had some texture to them. The mint sauce was heavenly. My boyfriend ate it and he said it was so tasty that it made the Brussels sprouts taste good. Thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe.


I made this last night, and it was insanely delicious...don't forgo the mint sauce, it is mind blowing! I would perhaps add another date or two, those were definitely my favorite bites!


Heads-up to anyone who doesn't want to make the mint sauce -- just buy a jar of Saad brand mint chutney at your Indian grocer, and keep it on hand. you can thin it out, mix it with a little oil to make a simple dressing or drizzle, etc. perks up just about anything, imho.


This looks fabulous! I think I will try this with goat milk kefir instead of yogurt (always looking for new ways to use my endless supply of kefir) - goat cheese is always a welcome addition.. brussel sprouts and purple potatoes... mmm its only 9 am and I am already thinking about dinner


It looks beautiful and delicious. I like the tip about the TJ's lentils. I would cook lentils more often if they didn't require some planning. Finding them ready-made really is a time-saver. Thanks, Heidi!


I love lentils and this recipe looks so delicious!


Omigosh! This was so good. I'm home from grad school and made it for my parents. p.s. Just looking at this website is making me want to go vegetarian...


one tiny tip in case colors matter very much to you: while doing the mint dip, if you add 2-3 leaves of spinach (duly washed and all that), your sauce is a lovely green and with the yoghurt, looks gorgeous. just an old indian trick :)


Just made it - a lovely dish! Don't underestimate the importance of the dates! I used a cast iron skillet - next time I won't - the lentils caked a little. I'm not a huge potato person - but I think they belong in this dish. thanks


I love your recipes and photos... I wish there were a few more that were dairy free. I know I can just omit the goats cheese and yougrt but i aim for depth and complexity with out the lactose. Thanks and Happy New Year!

catherine White

I made this lovely looking dish for the family tonight and it was a real hit! I doused my 10 year old's with some extra honey and balsamic vinegar to insure success, but the 7 year old loved it as is. Although loaded with simple ingredients, it is not to be confused with a fast dish. I will still keep it around.


I'm not a fan of brussel sprouts. Anyone have a suggestion for a substitute? Thanks.


This looks and sounds delicious! I've been looking for new ways to use lentils. Thanks


Thank you for a year's worth of yummy healthy recipes! You always manage to combine the expected with the unexpected and I love your creativity!

Donna from Stuff Cooks Want

I gave this a whirl yesterday at lunch, with a few subs for what I had on hand: sweet potatoes instead of purple potatoes, some Chiogga beets, and scattered mint leaves instead of making a mint drizzle (my plant isn't very big yet--needs time before it's sauce-ready). Also tossed in some leftover quinoa to use that up. In any case, you were right on: the mint, almond, date, goat cheese, Brussels sprouts, lentil combo was just really, really nice. Earthy, sweet, round, rich, but not overdone. Fantastic. Thanks again!

Laurel from Simple Spoonful

purple potatoes-some types change colorour when cooked-others don't. I usually buy All Blues or Purple Peruvians which retain their colour as here in my nicoise salad http://www.ifood.tv/recipe/salade_nicoise


I cannot wait to make this. This website is a cherished resource that inspires me every time I visit. One of the best vegetarian recruitment tools!


This looks absolutely delicious! I love brussel sprouts since discovering your earlier recipe with olive oil and garlic. This looks and sounds amazing. Can't wait to give it a go. Thank you, Heidi!


Hi Heidi! Ilove lentils, even plain with a bit of butter and salt. They're such a comforting food. It made me smile that you bought the lentils from Trader Joes, I bought them myself and they are delicious. I gently pan sauteed some button mushrooms in butter, and stirred them into the hot lentils with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It was a simple, hearty and soul filling lunch! Thanks for all of your great ideas and Happy New Year!


Oh my goodness... This looks majorly yummy!! I will have to try this soon.


Thanks Heidi for all the great recepes. I retired a year ago and spend a lot of time playing in the kitchen. That is when I'm mot running or fixing my antique cars. Made a killer lentil soup last week and can't wait to try this lentil stirfry.

John Govoni

Simply wow! I don't think I can easily get the purple potatoes, but I will do my darnedest! I'd like to do a take on this with sweet potatoes and yellow lentils. I can't wait to try this, though.


I have been enjoying your inspirational site for a year or more and I wanted to thank you for all the great ideas. I live in the desert of Israel and find that your recipes fit both what we have on hand here and our taste more than most! Happy New Year


I'm always inspired by the new flavor combinations you think up. Thanks for another great recipe.


No food comment this time, but my eyes popped when i noticed the serving spoon! I think it is the same "antique" pattern that my mother had at least 70 or so years ago--not fine sterling but a very serviceable Community silverplate teaspoon that i have now. probably the last remaining couple of spoons from long ago. and that's not a bad connection to make here.


What type of curry sauce would you recommend? Thanks for all the awesome recipes throughout the years!


This has me quite interested ... I've never cooked lentils other than soup..I'm trying to introduce some new dishes in 2009 ... this will be the first of the new year ... thanks


I make plenty of lentils, never this way though. I will definetly make it, maybe with some fetta. Have to give the TJ's cooked lentils a second try, wasn't crazy about it.


A very unique stir fry filled with healthy and tasty ingredients!


Heidi, you are my hero. Every time I make a recipe from here I'm so proud to say it's from you, as if you were a little bit my friend. You give new fuel to this tired mom. I love the accesibility of your recipes: everyone can get a hold of them and make them their own. A warm greeting in cold times...,

The Blacksmith

I love the pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joes. I have used them in several recipes including the lentil soup recipe I got here -- which is what I brought for lunch today.


I just made this last night - fantastic! My brussels sprouts-phobic, meat-eating husband even loved it. I know Heidi said the mint sauce was optional, but I think it really pulled the dish together. I added a little bit of pomegranate syrup to the mint sauce and it gave it a nice tang. Next time I would add a few more dates ... I brought leftovers to work for lunch today and I'm thinking about throwing in a few golden raisins. As always, thank you, Heidi!


I love how you make simple look so beautiful. I am hungry just looking at this.


Oooh...I LOVE mint with lentils. One of those beautiful combinations. Have you tried Claudia Roden's recipe for red lentil soup with mint out of her Slow Mediterranean Kitchen book? Onions, red lentils, dried mint and aleppo pepper...simply delicious!


Mmmm.... packets of cooked lentils from Trader Joe's, you say? Sounds like a good idea for someone who doesn't like going the usual grocery-store-cans route, but doesn't always have time to cook everything from scratch, and this recipe definately has me wanting to check it out! Lentils and Greek yoghurt, yay!

Kellie Hill

Dear Heidi, How did you know exactly what we bought at the farmer's market in Oakland this weekend?! We weren't sure how to combine our varied produce and you provided a delicious solution. We ended up adding Parmesan, sea salt, and lemon as a sauce, and cooking the Brussels sprouts with garlic. We used what we had around and it turned out yummy. Thanks so much, Sarah and Arthur

Sarah and Arthur

The potato color increased the interestingness to two more levels. Do they taste any different from regular small new potatoes?


This looks incredible! I just used purple potatoes in some soup recently and they were delicious. I wouldn't have ever thought about adding mint to my lentils, but since I'm all about experimenting in 09, I'll definitely give it a go! Another fabulous dish w/lovely pictures, Heidi. You're my inspiration!

Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

I'm sorta new to the blogging world and just found your site and have enjoyed reading your posts very much! Your recipes look amazing!


"Just"? There's nothing just about this recipe. I do believe I have my dinner inspiration. Now that I have a functioning stove again, I am planning on working my way through many of your recipes (the coconut milk chocolate pudding is high on that list).


Looks perfect to take the chill off of a day like this! Heidi, thanks always for these recipes, it is great that you take the time to make healthy dishes accessible. One question, do you think cilantro would be too "aggressive" in this? All out of mint and currently boycotting Whole Foods since they stopped carrying my favorite cottage cheese.


What a wonderful recipe, so fresh and so satisfying for winter.

Anne @ Pink Galoshes

"nothing too fancy," ha! this looks amazing, it contains pretty much all of my fave ingredients, especially brussels sprouts, which i've been cooking obsessively for the past few weeks. even though i've made and love the shredded style you've used in recipes all over your site, i can't get enough of the golden, crispy pan-fried version, so it's great to see a new way to use them. if only i weren't mid-apartment search and had a kitchen to use... :-( but this is something to look forward to. cheers, heidi.


This looks great, those purple potatoes are so pretty!


Excellent. Lentils have been silent in my food repertoire for awhile, and this was a perfect reminder to bring them back. I'm thinking perhaps of tahini/lemon sauce rather than the mint.


This looks great! I love lentils, especially in the winter, and I get to so many new ideas of how prepare them from your website. So thank you :) And I just happen to have purple potatoes that I have been hoarding since the farmers market closed in October.


Sounds like a perfect winter salad with a lot of flavors, depth and crunch. Love the idea of the crunch with the almonds!


Looks like a perfect way to bounce back from all that holiday eating. The mint sauce looks awesome!


I just made this tonight and it was DEEE-licious! Except instead of drizzling the mint sauce on top, I mixed it in with everything...the mint sauce really ties everything together. You suggest making it optional but I think the dish would suffer without it. The little flecks of chili pepper (I couldn't find Serrano at the grocery store) were like little red jewels twinkling amongst all the other green and earthy-coloured ingredients. Yummmmmm!


I just made this dish for my family tonight- it was a hit! Thanks so much for the recipe, the only change I made was using brown rice instead of potato, adding some cumin and coriander. Made some anise seed Moroccan bread to go with and it was delicious!


Oh my, this looks gReAt : )! What a lovely blog. Hope you feel better and your new Year is happy and bright.

Life with Kaishon

Thanks for the recipe - I have been wanting more lentil recipes lately! Happy New year and I hope you are feeling 100% better now.

Lauren Denneson

What's up with this? Sarah over at postmodern feeding just posted about lentils, as did I. It must be The Post-Holiday Food Of Choice. -JJ

Mama JJ

Those purple potatoes are beautiful! I need to get my hands on some new ingredients like Nick and this recipe looks like a great opportunity.


PS- is a serrano chile packed in a can? I'm never sure where precisely to look. I have a big variety of home-grown and dried hot peppers... I'm hoping one of those will work instead! Also, I might have to sub the almonds with some raw pumpkin seeds this time...


I'm making this tonight!! I stopped by in hopes of finding something new and exciting without any really strong flavors (post-holiday sugar/salt/fat aversions and cooking with wayyy too much garlic lately). This looks PERFECT! Warm and vegetably without being too heavy... thanks Heidi!


Those purple potatoes are gorgeous, I'll have to keep my eye out for those. Love the post, I'm on a brussels sprouts thing right now.


This sounds like one of those simple, quick, yet fabulous recipes that you'd make over and over. A great way to get legumes into the diet, too. I think I must try this one. :)


This dish looks yummy as does so much of what you make. Just wanted to let you know that I made your Macaroon Cherry Tart for New Year's Eve and it was loved by all. I used pears and dried cherries as the fruit and the gluten-free subsitiutions for the crust. My newly gluten-free friends were absolutely delighted. That's a keeper, and so exciting becasue once we have that crust, there are many of other possibilities. I'm thinking about using it to concoct some lemon bars. . .. Thanks for a wonderful blog. lisa

lisa oram

I LOVE lentils. This recipe looks sooo delicious and perfect for a wintry day!

Fit Bottomed Girls

this looks devinely delicious. here's to a new year of recipes and experimenting with cooking.


That mint drizzle sounds incredible - count me in!


great idea for dinner! I've just bought your book and I absolutly loved it!

Larissa Pastrana Cárdenas

great idea for dinner! I've just bought your book and I absolutly loved it!

Larissa Pastrana Cárdenas

Love lentils - would have never thought of adding mint, very nice!

tabitha (From Single to Married)

The almond and sprouts combination is something I have tried, as is the mint plus new potatoes, and putting all of that together sounds great. I'd imagine that puy lentils would be particularly nice in there too. As always, it all sounds wonderfully fresh, tasty and healthy - love your site (though I have a feeling that this has been my first time to comment, but I'm sure it won't be my last!)

Daily Spud

This recipe looks great! It looks like it would make for a good next day left-over lunch too.. which I am always looking for. I still have a brown bag full of baby purple potatoes from the harvest that I have ran out of ideas for...until now! Thanks! Happy New Year, -Christie w\ Organic Goodness

Organic Goodness

I resolved to cook with new ingredients this year, new ones that I've never used before and lentils is one of them. Plus, I've never used purple potatoes or brussels sprouts either, this would be quite a new experience! Thanks for all the great recipes you've had over the past year (since I've been following), I must admit that I didn't realize until a few months ago that your site was vegetarian, the recipes looked so good that I never missed the meat. Happy New Year!


What a wonderful-looking dish! I have to admit, I was disappointed when I tried purple potatoes before. The Unicyclist and I added them to a soup, and all the gorgeous purple boiled out, leaving them dishwater grey. Based on the picture, it looks like your way keeps that color intact! Huzzah! Anyway...mint and yogurt and goat cheese together? Plus lentils and almonds and dates? This sounds fantastic, especially since my mint plant is taking off in the garden and we still have a good harvest of dates here in Phoenix from the fall. I love the deep, sweet, salty flavor combination here. Thanks, Heidi!

Laurel from Simple Spoonful

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