Apples ‘n Spice Breakfast Lentils


Branch out from boring oatmeal with this delicious recipe for breakfast lentils by Erin Bosdet! It is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly, but the spices, apples, maple syrup, and vanilla coconut milk alternative ensure a potent dose of flavor with just the right amount of sweetness.

Apples 'n Spice Breakfast Lentils - a popular grain-free, dairy-free recipe!

To note, these breakfast lentils use red lentils, which I highly recommend. They cook faster than green or brown lentils, have a milder taste, creamier texture, and both Tony and I find them easier on the digestive system. Yet, they are still nutrient dense. Red lentils are an amazing source of fiber (7 grams per serving in this recipe) and vegan protein (11 grams per serving in this recipe). They’re also a good source of iron, and an excellent source of folate and manganese. Top with a generous dousing of vanilla coconut milk alternative and you’ve added calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients to the mix.

Special Diet Notes: Apples ‘n Spice Breakfast Lentils

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly.

4.4 from 8 reviews
Breakfast Lentils
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This creative breakfast recipe and photo was created by Erin Bosdet of SimplyDish and shared with us by So Delicious Dairy Free.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup red lentils (soak them for about 4 hours; it makes them a little easier on the digestive system)
  • 3 cups red rooibos tea
  • 2 apples, cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Maple syrup, to taste (I buy Trader Joe's or online for the best value)
  • So Delicious® Dairy-Free Vanilla Coconut Milk, as needed
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  1. Once the lentils have been soaked and drained, place them in a pot with the brewed tea.
  2. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to low to medium.
  3. After ten minutes, stir in the diced apple and spices.
  4. Cook for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  5. Ladle about half a cup into each of 4 small serving bowls. Drizzle each with a bit of maple syrup and splash with a generous amount of coconut milk.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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  2. What lentils are you using? I’m using red lentils and they tend to cook in 10 minutes, especially after soaking. I’m puzzled by your instructions to cook for 40 minutes. Help!

    • Hi Kiki, this isn’t my personal recipe, but it is red lentils. I believe they are cooked until softer as this is a breakfast dish. You can use brown lentils if you want firmer lentils, or cook them for less if you prefer. But I would try it as is!

    • What does the tea add to this recipe? Is it for flavor or does it add nutrients? I’m just curious because I’d really like to try this recipe but I don’t have any on hand.

      • Rooibos is credited for some health benefits, so there is that, but it’s also for flavor in this recipe. Rooibos naturally has a lightly sweet flavor, that’s a little like hibiscus, but less floral and more earthy.

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  4. I’ve had this recipe in the back of my mind since you posted it ages ago – finally tried it and am kicking myself for waiting! I need protein at breakfast but it can’t always be eggs eggs eggs… Thanks! I’m thinking next I’ll make a big batch and freeze portions.

  5. Hi!
    This looks really great for someone who struggles with the taste of lentils… like myself 😉
    I was just wondering, do you think I could use Chai green tea (green tea with ginger and cinnamon) in replacement of red rooibos tea?

    Thank you for posting this recipe. Will try it soon! 🙂

  6. I love this recipe! It’s been a great way to add fibre to my diet and eat a low GI regime. I like to use Granny Smith apples and a tablespoon of thickened cream instead of coconut milk, (I’m okay eating dairy). Thank you for a delicious alternative to grains for breakfast!

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    • Greg Chevalier on

      Wow! What a Great change from the Standard American Diet…..I used mixture of Teavana teas… I liked the textures of apples and lentils….The power of the spices compliment each other. I used Vermont maple syrup….wow…fresh mint would have been nice garnish….maybe
      …squeeze lemon or lime……This dish is going in my weekly food prep….also could garnish with fresh fruit….rasberries………Awesome dish.

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    • They should be hulled and split. I don’t think I’ve ever seen whole red lentils in the stores! Cool that you found those, but that will make a bitter taste. Hulled are more neutral.

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  13. This sounds so interesting….. The tea intrigues me; however, do you have a recommendation for a flavor that would still accentuate the lentils and is also caffeine-free? Thanks:)

  14. Does it have a strong tea flavor to it? I’m not a fan of tea but maybe the spices help disguise it? It does look delicious!

    • Stephanie, you can use water if you prefer or use a milder tea. Tea comes in so many flavors and varieties and red rooibos is quite different from black or green teas.

  15. I’m a huge lentil fan, but I don’t think I’ve ever had them for breakfast. What a great idea! Good way to start the day. Thanks for the inspiration.

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