Here is a simple hearty vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free breakfast recipe you can serve your family or guests. Despite the name of this recipe, you can also eat this delicious dish at any other meal of the day! It goes well as a side or main dish on the family table and can be paired with bread, couscous, rice, pasta, baked potatoes, orzo, grains, quinoa or other gluten-free alternative.

If you don’t want to add spinach (or kale) to this dish, you don’t have to, as this dish will still taste delicious without any leafy greens. This recipe works great with leftover cooked lentils sitting in the fridge, or you can prep ahead by cooking up some lentils the day before, to save time on the day of cooking. Feel free to scale up the recipe depending on the number you have at the family table.

4.37 from 11 votes
Breakfast Lentil Scramble
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
A delightful nutritious, vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free dish that can be enjoyed at breakfast or any other time of the day!
Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 159 kcal
Author: @dietitian_mom
  • 2 cups cooked red lentils, drained [356 g]
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup onion, thinly sliced [56 g]
  • 2 cups chopped Cremini mushrooms [134 g] (or white button mushrooms)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup diced tomato [140 g]
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil)
  • 2 cups chopped raw spinach (or baby spinach/kale leaves) [50 g] (optional)
Seasoning for the red lentils:
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. Cook the red lentils (If you already have leftover cooked lentils prepared, skip to step 2) following the directions here.

  2. Meanwhile, heat up the 1 teaspoon of oil in a saucepan or skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, sauté the onions in the oil for a minute, then add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. 

  3. When the lentils are cooked, drain and measure out 2 cups of cooked lentils. Add the seasonings (cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper) to this drained amount. Stir to mix in the seasonings.

  4. Using a wooden spatula, move the chopped mushrooms and onions mixture to the side of the saucepan and pour the remaining teaspoon of oil on the empty side of the saucepan. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1-2 minutes or until the garlic turns golden.

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and the dried or fresh basil to the garlic and stir quickly, cooking for 1-2 minutes until the tomato pieces soften. 

  6. Add the seasoned cooked lentils to the tomato mixture, and stir to combine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to heat up the lentils.

  7. Combine the lentil tomato mixture with the mushrooms and onions. Stir all together. Once heated through, add the chopped spinach leaves (optional). Stir and cook for another 2 minutes until the spinach leaves are just wilted. Taste and adjust seasonings (you may add a bit more salt and pepper if you desire!). Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

If you do not want to use mushrooms, you can substitute the 2 cups of chopped mushrooms in this recipe with either 2 cups of chopped colored bell peppers, or a combination of one cup of chopped bell peppers and slightly more chopped raw spinach or baby kale/spinach leaves.


For an oil-free recipe, substitute the oil used in this recipe with 2-4 tablespoons of vegetable broth (heated up well first in the saucepan) to sauté the onions and chopped mushrooms (or chopped bell peppers), then another 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth later in this recipe to sauté the garlic and diced tomato pieces. If at any point the vegetable broth gets cooked off and the saucepan contents are looking too dry, you can turn down the heat setting on the stove slightly and add in 1-2 more tablespoons of vegetable broth into the saucepan then continue the cooking process.

Nutrition Facts
Breakfast Lentil Scramble
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 169mg7%
Potassium 748mg21%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 1490IU30%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 76mg8%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

8 Replies to “Breakfast Lentil Scramble”

  1. Did this mean to say 1 cup dry lentils, cooked? Starting with 1 cup cooked lentils was not enough food…

    1. Yes, this recipe originally called for using 1 cup of cooked red lentils (to make a total of 2 servings) but those with larger families or wanting to make more can double the recipe. However, based on your feedback, I have doubled the proportion of ingredients in this recipe to make a total of 4 servings. If that is still not enough, feel free to double this recipe some more, since the leftovers keep for a few days in the fridge and this dish also freezes well. Thanks for your question!

  2. Made this again and it is so delicious! Thanks for your previous clarification. I’ve tried this as a lunch and dinner as well, both were a hit!

    1. That’s fantastic to hear that you enjoyed this dish. Yes, it can work perfectly for lunch or dinner as well – as we do in our home. Thank you for leaving your feedback!

    1. Yes! I’ve made it previously as a dinner dish using 2 medium bell peppers in the recipe, as I didn’t have any mushrooms on hand at the time. It still turned out really good, so I recommend you give that a try. Hope this helps!

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