red lentil Pasta rigatoni

How to Make Red Lentil Pasta

Making red lentil pasta from scratch is easier than you think with this guide. Get your pasta fix in the healthiest way possible, with gluten free and protein packed red lentils. This red lentil pasta recipe makes a beautiful red pasta that is so delicious you won’t even miss the wheat!

Red Lentil Pasta

Everyone loves pasta, and we would all like to enjoy it as healthy as possible. This red lentil pasta recipe/ guide outlines the steps for making red lentil pasta from scratch – starting with whole red lentils. The result is a gluten free and protein packed red lentil pasta that is so delicious you won’t even miss the wheat.

Pasta Recipe

Pasta can be made with as little as two ingredients: flour and water. The goal is to form a dough that you can then form into pasta shapes. You then need to cook the pasta in water without it falling apart. And then you want to enjoy the pasta with a good texture, not hard and not mushy.

Traditional pasta recipes accomplish this using wheat flour. Semolina flour, which has a high protein content, is a popular choice, but AP flour also works well. The protein in the flour will become gluten when mixed with water, and this gluten is largely responsible for determining the texture of the pasta. Gluten gives the pasta elasticity and chew.

Red Lentil Pasta Recipe

In this recipe, we make pasta with red lentils instead of wheat. A major difference is that red lentils don’t have gluten. The result is that the resulting pasta will have a different texture than wheat pasta. Without gluten, red lentil pasta will not have the same elasticity and chew. However, we can add a few gluten free ingredients (tapioca starch, psyllium husks) to the lentil flour that help our red lentil pasta mimic the chew of wheat pasta.

Is Lentil Pasta Healthy?

Eating this red lentil pasta is the same nutritionally as eating red lentils. Red lentils have multiple health advantages compared to wheat. Compared to wheat pasta, red lentil pasta:

  • is gluten free
  • is higher in protein
  • is lower in carbs
  • is higher in fiber

How to Make Lentil Pasta

Making Red Lentil Flour

The first step in making red lentil pasta is to mill the red lentils into a fine red lentil flour, which is easy. You’ll need a blender and a fine mesh sieve. First blend the whole red lentils until they become powder. Pass the this powder through the strainer into a bowl. Shake the strainer or tap it with the side of your hand to get the powder to sift. The part that comes through the sieve into your bowl is your finished lentil flour. The part that remains in the sieve can go back in the blender and blended longer. Repeat the process until everything has sifted through the strainer. This is your home milled red lentil flour.

Note: Blending the red lentils for an extended period of time can raise their temperature and cook them. This will alter the nutrional value of your red lentil flour. If you are blending for a long time and the lentils are getting very hot, give the blending a rest for a bit to let things cool down. You can put the blender in the refrigerator to help the lentil flour cool faster.

Now you can use your red lentil flour as is, or you can mix in some ingredients to help improve the texture. This red lentil flour doesn’t have gluten, and so it will not have the same chew and elasticity as a wheat based pasta. Adding tapioca starch and psyllium husk to the lentil flour helps give the dough some elasticity, and makes the texture more similar to a wheat pasta. You don’t need to add much, so nutritionally it doesn’t make a big difference.

Making Red Lentil Pasta Dough

I use the well method to make the pasta dough, the same as I would wheat pasta. Put your red lentil flour onto a flat clean surface and form a well in the middle. Add the whole eggs to the well. Whisk the eggs with a fork, slowly bringing in the flour from the sides of the well into the middle. When the egg mixture starts to thicken substantially, pull in flour from the sides with the fork. Use a chopping motion with the side of the fork to mix the flour into the egg mixture.

Once the egg mixture is thickened similar to a dough, use your hands to knead the dough. As you knead you are picking up some of the red lentil flour on the work surface little by little. Once the dough has picked up enough flour (it’s no longer wet) and is kneaded so that it is come together, form the dough into a ball (no need to knead too much because there is no gluten). Wrap with plastic wrap and let it rest for minimum 20 minutes.

Making Red Lentil Pasta

Now that the pasta dough is finished, it’s time to shape the pasta. At this stage, you basically treat it the same as you would making normal wheat based pasta.

Lentil Pasta Without Extruder

One route is to do everything my hand. Flour the work surface and roll the red lentil dough out to a rectangular sheet at a thickness of between 1/8 inch to 1/16 inch. Note that this is slightly more difficult than using a wheat pasta dough. Since there is no gluten, the lentil flour dough is more likely to break (which you don’t want). Do not fold the sheet of lentil pasta dough or it will break. If you want to cut pasta noodles from your rectangular pasta sheet, do not fold it. Instead use a pizza cutter to cut noodles off the pasta sheet at your desired width.

The noodles are good but they will break easily because they’re long and don’t have gluten. For example, you can’t twirl them around the end of your fork like normal wheat pasta. While I like the noodle shapes, I would say a short pasta shape (like rigatoni or fusilli) is better suited to this red lentil pasta recipe.

Lentil Pasta With Extruder

To make these short pasta shapes you need an extruder. I use the kitchen aid attachment – you can get the KitchenAid Pasta Extruder attachement on Amazon. Follow the directions for whatever extruder you use. I like red lentil rigatoni and fusilli. These shapes hold the sauce well.

If not using immediatedly, dry the red lentil pasta out on trays. I use a fan to blow air over them and speed up the process. Once dry, they will store longer. However, if you plan on keeping them for awhile, I recommend freezing them. Weigh out portion sizes (eg. 0.5 lb, 1 lb) and put them in freezer bags and freeze. When you want to use, you can can cook the frozen pasta directly in boiling water.

Red Lentil Pasta at the Grocery Store

You can buy lentil pasta at the grocery store. Barilla red lentil pasta is a good one. This will certainly be much easier. The Barilla lentil pasta comes as penne rigate.

However, if you’re the kind of person that likes eating home made food versus factory made, then make it at home with this red lentil pasta recipe as a guide. You’ll have the freedom to make it anyway or shape you like. You’ll turn whole red lentils into a delicious red pasta. Pair your red lentil pasta with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and olive oil, or other flavors that go well with the taste of red lentils.


Red lentil pasta fettucine hand cut

How to Make Red Lentil Pasta

Making red lentil pasta from scratch is easier than you think using this recipe. Get your pasta fix in the healthiest way possible, with gluten free and protein packed red lentils. It makes a beautiful red pasta that is so delicious you won't even miss the wheat.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • blender
  • Fine mesh strainer

Ingredients
  

  • 450 grams red lentils this is 1 lb
  • 75 grams tapioca starch can substitute corn starch, or omit
  • 30 grams psyllium husk whole optional
  • 4 whole eggs

Instructions
 

  • Make red lentil flour. Add lentils to blender and blend until a powder. Put the powder in the fine mesh sieve and sift the powder. What comes out is the finished fine lentil flour. What doesn't pass through the sieve needs to go back in the blender and blended further. Repeat the process until all of the lentils are passed through the sieve.
    sifting red lentil flour
  • Mix the fine lentil flour with the tapioca starch and psyllium husks, if using. Whisk together to mix thoroughly.
    lentil flour with add ins
  • Put your dry mixture on a clear flat surface and form a well in the middle. Put your eggs in the well. Using a fork, whisk the eggs in the well, bringing in some of the lentil flour mixture a little at a time. Keep going until the egg mixture in the center is a thick paste. As it gets thick, you can drag the flour mixture into the well with the fork and use a chopping motion with the fork to mix it in the paste.
    red lentil flour with eggs
  • Discard the fork and knead with your hands. Allow the dough to pick up a little flour at a time as you knead.
    red lentil pasta dough
  • When the dough is no longer wet, it has picked up enough flour. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.
    lentil pasta recipe
  • Use the dough to form your pasta into whatever you shape you like. You can roll it out and cut it by hand, or use a pasta extruder.
    how to make lentil pasta
Keyword egg pasta, gluten free, gluten free pasta, healthy pasta, lentil noodles, lentil pasta, Lentils, protein, Red Lentils

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2 Comments

    • Yes I have! I made the green lentil dough the same way. I rolled out the dough with a rolling pin, cut fettucine strips with a pizza cutter, and served it with a cilantro pesto. Red is still my favorite though!

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