Fast Slow Cooker Lentils

Fast Slow Cooker Lentils

Legumes get a bad name; some worse than others, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how simple, versatile, and tasty Fast Slow Cooker Lentils are! What began as lack of being able to purchase other dried beans during the earlier days of Covid-19 striking the U.S., lentils were my only option. I had only used them in soups before and wasn’t a super fan. However, necessity is the true mother of invention, so I got to work on figuring out to cooks lentils that warmed the soul. They are definitely comfort food and actually are more advantageous than other legumes. For example, there’s no need to soak them, they cook extremely fast even in slow cooker, they take on flavor really well as the tiny legumes swell, and a whole bag costs about $1. No joke. I hope you’ll try this super simple, very few ingredients, no fuss, no muss, no mess Fast Slow Cooker Lentils. Stayed tuned after the recipe for tips on other ways to use your pot full of goodness.


Fast Slow Cooker Lentils

Inexpensive, hearty, flavorful, and fast cooking meal or side that is packed with nutrients and can easily be made vegan. The end product yields multiple ways to use fast slow cooker lentils.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword inexpensivemeals, onepotmeals, slowcookerrecipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Cost $6


  • 5 or 6 quart slow cooker
  • Knife for slicing vegetables
  • Small cutting board
  • Can opener


  • 2 cups dried lentils rinsed well and stones, if any, removed
  • 3 cups reduced sodium beef broth or beef bone broth sub vegetable broth if you want
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced can substitute frozen, sliced, thawed carrots if necessary
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can reduced sodium petite diced tomatoes WITH liquid
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp course black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or more, if desired
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 slices smoked bacon, chopped optional


  • Add all ingredients - up to dried basil - into a slow cooker.
  • Add the four dried herbs, rubbing them through your fingers as you do to release the oils and flavors.
  • Add cayenne, bay leaves, and bacon (id desired).
  • Gently stir all ingredients.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for 3.5 hours. Do not remove the lid until done.
  • That's it! Enjoy!


For vegetarian version use vegetable stock and omit bacon. 
This recipe is very flavorful without bacon; however, if you want to kick it up a notch add two slices, chopped. Reduce salt by half. 
reduced sodium
Rinse lentils well in a colander.

Fast Slow Cooker Lentils

Give it all a quick stir.
Fast Slow Cooker Lentils
After three and a half hours on high.

And it’s that simple! Lentils cook very quickly on the stovetop; however, I really love this slow cooker method because the temperature is constant and there’s no need to stir periodically. Just really toss it all in and allow the appliance to do all the work. One and done and clean up is a breeze!

These Fast Slow Cooker Lentils make a great main course. They are loaded with iron, potassium, ands fiber. They are also high in protein, which makes them a substitute for meat. They are wonderful served in flour tortillas as tacos, makes a great vegetarian chili (add 4 tbsp chili powder to the ingredients), and are great as a simple, healthy side. However you decide to serve Fast Slow Cooker Lentils, I really hope you enjoy them. Please feel free to leave comments and remember to always have fun in the kitchen. Cheers! 

My favorite new kitchen addition! I upgraded to a Cuisinart 4-in1 7 Quart Multi-Cooker. I LOVE IT! It sears, steams, and simmers. SHOP HERE.*

Other one pot meals:
Southern Style Mixed Greens
No Soak Black Eyed Peas
Vegan Tofu Chili
Slow Cooker Everything Chicken

*I am an Amazon Associate and receive commission when products are purchased through my vanity URL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating