How To Sprout Lentils

Hi Friends!

Just popping in with a quick little post today about sprouting. More specifically, how to sprout lentils!

how to sprout lentils How To Sprout Lentils

So you may be wondering what exactly is sprouting? What are the benefits besides the fact that your lentils grow little tails?  Read on!

benefits of sprouting How To Sprout Lentils

Benefits of Sprouting Lentils:

  • Lentils contain phytic acid, which can be difficult to digest. Sprouting neutralizes the phytic acid which means more vitamins and minerals can be absorbed by your body as they’re digested.
  • When you sprout lentils, you’re actually starting the germination process, which changes the composition of the lentils. Sprouting increases the amounts of vitamins and minerals in the lentils, especially B vitamins and carotene.
  • Sprouting also produces Vitamin C.
  • Sprouting also helps break down some of the sugars that create intestinal gas.

Sounds pretty good, right? What’s even better is that sprouting is super easy to do! It requires very little equipment and hardly any effort on your part. Although they make special sprouting jars, all you really need is a mason jar and some light fabric or cheese cloth to go over the top.

how to sprout lentils 1 How To Sprout Lentils

How to sprout lentils:

1. Put the dry lentils in a jar. Add water and let sit overnight. Remember that the lentils will eventually almost triple in size so be sure your container is big enough. I used about 2/3 c dry lentils in a 1 quart mason jar and added about 2 cups water and there was plenty of room. Don’t put an airtight lid on the jar. I used a piece of thin cloth (cheesecloth would be perfect) and secured it with the ring part of the jar top.
2. Drain the water out of the jar, replace the cloth and let the jar sit on the counter, out of direct sunlight. Every 12 hours, add water to the jar, give it a swirl and then drain it out again.
3. I started seeing little tails in 24-36 hours and decided they were long enough after about 2 days. Depending on the amount of lentils you’re sprouting, this process could take up to 4 days.
4. When they’re done, spread them on a paper towel to let them dry out a little bit, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.


You can eat the sprouted lentils plain for a snack, use them as a salad topping or add them to whatever dish you would add non-sprouted lentils to when you’re cooking.

If you’re feeling ambitious like I was, you can make some homemade bread and add some sprouted lentils to it! I used this recipe for Sprouted Lentil Wheat Bread except I used half white whole wheat flour and half bread flour. I ended up using 1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour and about 2 1/2 c bread flour in order to get the dough the right consistency. 

IMG 5910 How To Sprout Lentils

This might be my new favorite thing. The bread is delicious and there are crunchy lentil bites throughout, which I love! I’m going to make another loaf using a bit more whole wheat flour and see how it turns out.

So there you have it, friends!

Let’s chat:

Have you sprouted before? Are you willing to try it?


About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. I was looking forward to this post, so now I’m pretty excited to get sprouting myself! It looks a lot easier than I thought.
    And now I’m also dying to make some sprouted lentil wheat bread.
    That’s just awesome.

  2. i haven’t tried sprouting anything but i definitely will now. like i told you on IG, i sometimes soak almonds because that’s supposed to make it easier for you to digest and plus it makes the almonds swell up really big and a lot more flavorful!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..Beet, Walnut, Cucumber, & Honey Goat Cheese Spinach Salad

  3. So excited right now! I just bought a new bag of lentils and I can’t wait to sprout them! I didn’t know that there were so many nutritional benefits to sprouting. Thank you so much for this post and your clear directions :) Have a great Thursday!
    Maggie @ Sunnyside Up Smile recently posted..Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

  4. We love sprouting in our house! In fact, I just finished a batch of lentils today and can’t wait to add them to anything and everything :) Fun fact: we use a trouser sock (same material as pantyhose) to cover the jar – a clean one of course ;)

  5. Never! But I want to grow my own sprouts soon. The bread looks yummy – please perfect the recipe soon, k? xo
    elle | nutritionella recently posted..our first espresso maker

  6. I never really understood the idea behind sprouting….so….I appreciate this post. I need to test this “less gas” theory too. No beano?! Scary thought.
    The Candid RD recently posted..Mediterranean Salmon Salad on Whole Grain Crackers (Thrifty Thursday)

  7. love it! and soooooo much better for the stomach. That i know! now, i need to find a way to make this bread GF. I think i can. :-)
    lindsay recently posted..Endurance Foodies meets Iron Chef: Bok Choy Egg and Bison Bakes

  8. Wow…this is great! I’ve never tried sprouting lentils before, but I would love to try. Thanks for this great post!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted..WIAW #3

  9. Ok i’ve let them soak for a long time before and they started to sprout, but I didn’t have a cover like cheesecloth is that bad??
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..4 Steps to Discovering Your Best Diet

  10. I’ve never sprouted lentils before but you just made it seem so easy and appealing! This is definitely on the to-do-list.
    Amy recently posted..[Guest Post] Eating Gluten Free: Ginger Pear Muffins

  11. awesome!! we used to make all types of sprouted things from lentils to mung beans to garbanzo beans, which we have been thinking about trying them again. Hopefully our digestion and skin likes them.
    Purelytwins recently crepes with fresh fruit and health update

  12. I’ve never sprouted but I have sprouted some intestinal gas LOL ;)

    Thanks for sharing the how to’s!
    Kierston @candyfit recently posted..Proud, Strong & Beautiful: The Girls of Florida Fitness Aylmer

  13. This is exactly how I do my sprouted chickpeas! How did I not think to do lentils?! Duh. I’ll be starting a batch today. Thanks!
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted..Homemade Red Velvet Protein Bars

  14. I have been wanting to sprout, but I just haven’t made the time. You have definitely given me the boost I needed to do it!
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

  15. I will definitely be starting my own sprouted lentils this weekend and then making that bread- looks awesome!
    Ashley recently posted..Summer Fun: Balancing Work + Play

  16. I’ve wanted to sprout for some time now, and seeing it more and more around makes me want to do it even more!! I love the idea of making them into a bread because we always buy sprouted grain breads. That’s such a clever idea!!
    char eats greens recently baby food plan

  17. I always soak my lentils but I’ve never tried sprouting them. Looks kind of scary but I’d be willing to try it, especially in that bread, yum!
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted..Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers

  18. Can’t wait to try this. I’ve always stayed away from lentils because of the intestinal gas. Now I know how to avoid it. Thanks for sharing :)

  19. I have been wanting to try this with black beans. I LOVE them, but they do a number on my digestive system, so I researched and it looks like sprouting is the way to go. I have also read that you can sprout quinoa!
    Great post…thanks for the tutorial! :)
    Maureen recently posted..Summer Movie Preview

  20. I love sprouting! I like to do alfalfa seeds and have done lentils a few times as well. They’re nutrition powerhouses!

  21. never tried doing this before – and I eat a ton of lentils! definitely something I will be doing.
    Victoria @ Reluctantly Skinny recently posted..WIAW: favorite snacks

  22. I LOVE lentils, but I did not even know you could “sprout” them. I may have to give it a try and make that bread because it sounds SUPER tasty!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted..WIAW: June 19, 2013

  23. What a great idea- am absolutely going to try. And…that bread looks delicious. My husband is always asking me what bread I’d eat if he made it- so am going to see if he’ll try it.
    Elena recently posted..Get in the Game with Soldier of Steel™

  24. I remember doing this as a science experiment in elementary school! I have never actually cooked with them before so I’m going to have to give your bread a whirl!
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted..Currently Lovin’

  25. I’ve never sprouted anything except watercress which I LOVE. I don’t really eat lentils often but I would be interested in trying this especially since its so easy to be done.
    Kammie @ Sensual Appeal recently posted..Easy Homemade Red Velvet Protein Bars

  26. What alternatives would you recommend to sprout? Sadly I don’t like lentils :(
    Emily @ The Lasik Method recently posted..Worried About LASIK Side Effects?

  27. How long do they last after being sprouted? recently posted..My Life Aquatic

  28. Can you please send me that loaf of bread!!! I know mine would never look like that! ;)
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..THE PROCESS! #What’sBeautiful with #IamEnough!

  29. Never tried… if i put tiny green beans in a jar, can I grow my own Lean Green Bean? I think we would be the best of friends and we could go on runs together and have coffee together and chat about what we watched on TV together… we would be the three best friends that anyone could have.
    Pavement Runner recently posted..Playlist Thursday: Summer Jams

  30. Thanks for the great post! I’ve been wanting to try out lentils and am trying to start eating a more natural diet. I wasn’t aware that they had so many health benefits having been sprouted. I can’t wait to try this- and that bread- looks delicious! How many servings did the portion you made last? I’d love to do this for my boyfriend and I- but he eats a lot. so I’d want to make sure we had a lot on hand!
    Kayli Schattner recently posted..Ik Kil Cenote, Yucatán Mexico

  31. I’ve never tried sprouting before, so this is a great intro post! I started mine on Friday night, have been changing the water every 12 hours…but still no sprouts! I’m trying brown lentils…maybe they are just old?

    • did you soak them, and then drain the water out? after they soak for 12 hours then there shouldn’t be water in the jar anymore. you drain it out and then every 12 hours you just add water, drain right away and then let sit in the jar again with no water.

  32. So, has anyone tried to plant these sprouts? If so, what ‘hardiness zone’ where you in, and how long before you harvested. I’m in zone 6b…and really curious about sprouting and growing. Thanks for the post on this, fun experiment!

    • i haven’t tried planting them, sorry! No idea if they’ll actually grow or not!

    • Lentils would probably grow fine in 6B as long as you planted them early enough. I’ve used them as a cover crop, so no harvesting but I’ve heard it takes around 3 months. I sprout most things including legumes before planting when I remember, or at least soak them for 12 hours, so I’m sure the sprouting would be fine.
      Stephanie recently posted..Mushroom Risotto

  33. Great how-to post. This is one of those things I always thought about doing but never got around to it, but it is so simple :)
    Nutmeg Nanny recently posted..Raspberry Vanilla Rice Pudding

  34. Is there a specific kind if lentils you need to but? I love cooking with them but have never sprouted before. I either buy in bulk or in a bag. Thanks!

  35. Can you make lentil soup from the sprouted lentils?

  36. I didnt know how to do this exactly so I had mine soaking for 2 days in water in the fridge with a cover on it.

    Can I just remove from fridge and remove the cover and start over? Or is it to late and I just have to cook them?

    Are they still okay to use now or did I ruin them?

  37. Hi Lindsay,
    Thank you for taking the time to post this. I decided to start sprouting today and your easy to follow instructions made things easy. Much appreciated.

  38. Does anyone know if green blonde lentils are good for sprouting.

    We have temporarily run out of brown lentils in NZ, so looking for an alternative lentil to sprout.

  39. I want to use the lentils for soup. Do you think it would be okay to use them after 24 hours of sprouting? Thanks!

  40. can you use red lentils too? thanks so much!

  41. I’ve already sprouted my lentils and I am going to try making one loaf with lentils and dates, another with lentils and cranberries and see how it turns out. Thanks for the recipe.

  42. I tried red lentil and they smell horrible. Is that normal?

  43. This process worked really well for me on the first try. Trying to sprout mung beans this week! Thanks for the tips, Lindsay! :)

  44. joanne says:

    Hi.question…my lentil tails are a bit brownish. Are they ok to eat?

  45. This is great! I’ve soaked my beans and lentils for years, now on to sprouting! Thanks for the great post!

  46. Raffaele says:

    Thanks Lindsay!
    I just had these lentils sprouted by error and was wandering if they were ok to eat. I love this, especially since they are raw, fresh and alive. I guess you can do with any sort of bean?

  47. I sprout black beluga lentils and and find them delicious raw. Pretty easy to sprout too.

  48. Thanks for this! Just read through all of the comments and realize the post was over a year ago but can these be frozen once sprouted?


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