Sautéed Bacon, Mushrooms, and Lentils

Sautéed bacon, mushrooms, and lentils is mostly healthy but also has an extravagant amount of bacon added. Brown lentils and mushrooms are full of nutrition and flavor, so why not indulge?

A green bowl filled with sautéed bacon, mushrooms, and lentils with a whole piece of bacon on top.

Small brown lentils work well in this recipe because they stay firm during cooking, but the big green ones called castellanas have a good flavor, too.–Editors of Tapas and Other Spanish Plates to Share

*Can I make this recipe without bacon?

While it may seem criminal to bathe the walloping nutrition of lentils and mushrooms with anything unwholesome, there’s something to be said for quality of life. So crumble all the bacon you want on top of this simple side dish. Heck, replace the olive oil with copious amounts of bacon drippings. No need to feel any remorse. (Don’t believe us? Take a cue from fat evangelist Jennifer McLagan).

Sautéed Bacon, Mushrooms, and Lentils

  • Quick Glance
  • (10)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 6
4.6/5 - 10 reviews
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Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with the water or stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently until tender, at least 35 minutes or so. (The exact timing will depend on the type and age of the lentils.) Drain well.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and sauté just until softened and pale golden, about 10 minutes. 

Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the butter, the remaining oil, and the mushrooms, and sauté until the mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lentils, the 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and heat, stirring, just until warmed through. Remove and discard the garlic. Taste and season the lentils accordingly with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, fry the bacon until crisp.

Sprinkle the lentils with extra parsley and bacon, left whole or crumbled into pieces, the more the better. Originally published March 03, 2011.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This was easy to prepare and delicious to eat. I love the crunchy bits of bacon on top of the creamy lentils and chewy mushrooms. The onions and garlic give it a tasty boost as well, and the parsley adds brightness and a little color.

Paired with a salad and cornbread sticks, this was the perfect meal for a cold winter night, after a hard day at work.

This was comforting and versatile. Anyone who loves the legume-and-smoky-pork combination would enjoy these lentils, which are wonderful by themselves or as a side. The mushrooms add an earthy tone, making the dish even more satisfying. Instead of fragile shards of regular bacon, however, the thick-cut kind would stand up better to the meaty mushrooms.

TIP: Get the lentils and bacon going on the stove, and while they cook, do everything else from chopping the onion to measuring the lemon juice—you’ll be enjoying the delicious lentils in no time at all.



  1. 5 stars
    What a great and straightforward lentil recipe! I subbed in dried porcini for the oyster mushrooms and added some of the liquid to the lentils. This upped the subtleties of the flavor. The lemon and parsley are definitely a must for added depth.

  2. 5 stars
    We’ve been making this for years, since you first posted the recipe. IT’S SO DARN GOOD. I am so glad you posted this again. We made it with black caviar lentils a few weeks ago and it was perfection.

  3. I cooked all the ingredients together longer with white wine and chicken stock and a little sugar! This came out very very good!

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