French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette- Vegan, Easy to prepare, & Perfect for a side dish or main course

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

Every time I try a new kind of lentil, I fall in love all over again.  These delicious little legumes come in a rainbow of colors and flavors, and are used in dishes all over the world.  Your local grocery store should carry a few kinds of lentils– at the very least they’ll probably have green or brown lentils.  If, however, you want to branch out into the vast and exciting world of lentil-ness, (yes, that’s a technical term… okay no, no it’s not), try buying a bag of red lentils, beluga lentils, or the fancy-schmancy French green lentils.  And yes, before you ask, the reason French green lentils are different from regular green lentils, is that they come with alluring accents and little tiny berets.  Really.  (No, not really.  Of course not).  This recipe for French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette is vegan, simple to prepare, and bursting with flavor.

In a hurry? Jump to the recipe! 

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

Gathering Ingredients

Vegan Ratatouille Tian- The perfect way to use summer veggies

Ratatouille Tian

The real way you tell the difference between French lentils and regular green lentils, sadly, has nothing to do with accents or berets. (I had you fooled though, right?!)  When you’re shopping for French lentils, the biggest difference you’ll see is size.  French lentils are much smaller than regular green lentils, and are also a little darker.  Sometimes you’ll see them labeled “Lentilles du Puy”– these are from Le Puy, France, and ONLY Le Puy, France.  In theory, these are the best of the best, the Champagne to your sparkling wine.  However, this also means that Lentilles du Puy are harder to find and more expensive.  If you can find them, and want to try the difference, go for it.  Otherwise, look for regular French green lentils.  Your regular grocery store may, or may not, have these tiny legumes.  If you can’t find them on your normal shopping route, try Whole Foods, anywhere that sells Bob’s Red Mill products, or anywhere with a large bulk bean section (I got mine at Jungle Jim’s).  If you’re reading this and thinking, “I’m not sure I want to go on a lentil hunt,” that’s okay.  This recipe works with plain green lentils too!  The flavor is slightly different, and it takes 15-20 minutes longer to cook, but it’s still delicious.

Making French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

To make French Lentils with Dijon sauce, start by sautéing leeks, carrots, and celery in a little bit of olive oil.  Add garlic, and then increase the heat and add white wine, stirring 1-2 minutes.  Reduce your heat again, and add the lentils, bay leaves, salt, and water.  Bring everything to a boil, and simmer about 20 minutes.  While your lentils cook, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together.  Once the lentils finish cooking, add the vinaigrette and stir it all up.  Serve while everything is still warm with a hunk of crusty bread or as a side dish to another meal.  While your guests are eating, you can regale them with lentil hunting tales.  They’ll love it.

Just can’t get enough lentils?  Try these:

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette
5 from 3 votes

French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

Serves 4 as main dish, 8 as side dish
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 269 kcal
Author Champagne Tastes


  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and sorted (if substituting regular green lentils, increase cook time by 20 minutes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tsp salt, to taste

Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB sherry vinegar (or substitute red wine vinegar)
  • pinch salt + pepper, to taste


  1. In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil on medium until it begins to shimmer. Add leek, carrots, and celery, and sauté 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to medium high, and add wine. Allow wine to cook down for 1-2 minutes, then lower heat to medium. Add lentils, bay leaves, 2 tsp salt, and 2 cups water. Bring mixture to a boil, and simmer about 20 minutes until most of the water has cooked down.
  2. While lentils are cooking, mix vinaigrette ingredients together (mustard, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper). When lentils are finished cooking, remove bay leaves and stir in vinaigrette.
  3. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.  Calorie calculations are based on this serving 4 people, and do not include optional bread or rice.

Recipe adapted from: Food Network

30 thoughts on “French Lentils with Dijon Vinaigrette

  1. Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says:

    I completely know what you mean about every time you try a new lentil you fall in love all over again! It’s one of those things that I have, I love, forget about and when I have again I’m like ‘why did I wait this long to have again?!”
    I’m all over this recipe, Sarah! Love everything about it and the vinaigrette sounds delish with the Dijon. Can’t wait to try 🙂 !!

  2. Corina says:

    What an unusual idea to add a vinaigrette to warm lentils but we love vinegar here and I think it’s such a tasty idea! I also love all kinds of lentils although I didn’t as a child so avoided them for years. I feel like I’m catching up with them now and love to use them in all sorts of dishes.

  3. Just Jo says:

    I haven’t had Puy lentils in so long. Hungry Hubby isn’t a fan – he prefers the types which soften completely on cooking as in Indian dahls – but I really like them. And anything with mustard is a good thing for me! Looks like I’ve found my next home alone meal 😉

  4. Sarah says:

    Ah Sarah, it’s like you prepared this dish with me in mind – it has all my favourite flavours in one dish! Adding this one to my menu this week for sure. p.s. nice name 😉

  5. Laura | Wandercooks says:

    Hahaha, bring on the lentil hunting tales! I had no idea there was such a thing as French green lentils but I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes out for them now. This sounds like such a wholesome, yummy dish, bonus points that it’s vegan friendly too. Definitely keeping this one handy for future fancy dinners. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Lol.. There’s a whole world of lentils out there! I hadn’t heard of these until recent either, but they’re AMAZING!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I do love lentils and this recipe sounds fantastic! Have pinned to a vegan board I’ve set up as I’m going vegan for the month of August, and I really want to try this!

Leave a Reply

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