Lentils Puttanesca

Lentils Puttanesca

4.2 of 5 (56)
member ratings
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 227.6
  • Total Fat: 6.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 524.8 mg
  • Total Carbs: 35.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8.9 g
  • Protein: 10.5 g

View full nutritional breakdown of Lentils Puttanesca calories by ingredient


Puttanesca is one of my favorite Italian sauces. This version turns ordinary dried brown lentils into real comfort food. Puttanesca is one of my favorite Italian sauces. This version turns ordinary dried brown lentils into real comfort food.
Number of Servings: 4


    1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
    1 cup pearled farro

    1 T olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    1/2 t red pepper flakes
    2 T tomato paste
    1/2 cup dried mushrooms
    1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
    16 black olives, pitted and chopped
    2 T capers, chopped
    1/2 lemon (optional)
    chopped parsley or basil for garnish

    salt and pepper to taste


Like this recipe? It's part of our first official e-book, "Easy Vegan Meals by SparkPeople: The No-Stress, No-Guilt Way to Reap The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet". Click here to learn more, then download or preview a copy!

Use dried lentils in this recipe. If you only have canned, rinse them and skip the soaking steps. You would also omit the 2 cups of water if you use canned lentils.

Farro, also called emmer wheat, is a whole grain that resembles in appearance and taste a cross between barley and wheatberries. It is available in the whole grains aisle, and I buy it in bulk at Costco. No farro? Sub barley, wheat berries or save time and serve this over whole-wheat pasta.

If you're watching your sodium levels, you can cut down on the capers and olives, but that's what gives this dish its unique flavor.


Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

Place the lentils in heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water over them, covering by one inch. Place a dinner plate over the bowl to cover and set aside. (You can do this in the morning to save time.)

Heat the oil over medium-high in a large sautepan. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for five minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato paste and stir well to combine. Cook for two minutes, until tomato paste is fragrant and has darkened in color.

Drain and rinse the lentils, then add them to the pan, along with the mushrooms. Cook for one minute, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, plus two cups of water.
Lower heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Add additional water if needed.
While the lentils are simmering, prepare the farro according to package directions.
Once the lentils are tender, remove from heat, season with black pepper and stir in the olives and capers, then squeeze in the lemon juice.
Serve immediately, over the cooked farro, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or basil.

Serving Size: Makes four servings; 3/4 cup of cooked farro and 1 cup of lentils per serving

Member Ratings For This Recipe

  • no profile photo

    Very Good
    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
    I totally enjoyed this, my suggestion would be to use a very large skillet with high sides. I used my average large skillet and it was tight to say the least. It also took longer than 20 minutes to cook. Well worth it - had it Friday night and just ate some for lunch today - reheats nicely. - 3/19/12

  • no profile photo

    Very Good
    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
    The first time I made this, I subbed barley for the farro. It tasted fine, but the texture was weird and slimy. Second time, I used brown rice, and that version was delicious and not slimy at all. I'll definitely make it again that way. (Also, it makes amazing dip for tortilla chips.) - 4/22/12

  • no profile photo

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
    I had it with millet and it was absolutely wonderful and very filling - i could barely finish the whole serving! I may have doubled or even tripled the mushrooms though... knowing myself, i didn't bother to measure, just dumped the whole pack in... you can never have too many mushrooms! - 4/2/12

  • no profile photo

    Very Good
    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
    This was very good; I used fresh mushrooms and threw in 2 handfuls of fresh spinach near the end, other than that made it exactly. I had never eaten farro, it's chewy and good. Next time I'll try it over pasta, I think that'll be a good combo too. - 3/21/12

  • no profile photo

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
    i lke the recipe, but i used canned tomatoes (diced) rather than tomato paste to give it more of a saucy taste... - 7/8/12