How To Make Red Lentil Pasta (+ Egg-Free Option)

4.94 from 15 votes
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Simple homemade red lentil pasta with just 3 ingredients and a simple process – a delicious, high-protein, high fiber, gluten-free pasta. Plus, this recipe can be made egg-free, for delicious vegan lentil pasta!

Red lentil pasta tagliatelle

I feel like I’ve said this on every single past post that I’ve written, but – you wouldn’t believe how simple it is to make homemade pasta! Having already posted All-Natural Homemade Rainbow Pasta and Vegan Pasta (among other pasta recipes), I thought I’d try my hand at this gluten-free pasta alternative: red lentil pasta. 

This red lentil pasta comprises just three ingredients: gluten-free lentil flour, eggs (or flax eggs), and olive oil. Homemade red lentil flour is ridiculously easy (and cost-effective) to make at home, making this pasta just as cost-effective and a delicious way to enjoy a lunch or dinner. 

Legume pasta has increased in popularity a lot over the last decade or so, and with good reason. Not only is it a great option for this with issues with gluten, but they are also usually superior in nutrients and health benefits in comparison to a standard, traditional pasta. 

A pasta sheet made from red lentil flour

Red lentils are not only chock full of protein, but they’re also high in fiber, several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and even rich in healthful plant compounds and antioxidants (read more of the benefits in my lentil flour post). The flour, while nutty and lentil-y in flavor, blends well into a flavorful pasta and pairs well with any sauce. 

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Top Tips To Dealing With Gluten-Free Pasta

While it’s true that gluten-free pasta doesn’t necessarily behave the same way as traditional pasta when cooked, it doesn’t mean that it’s not enjoyable. It’s just about learning to deal with the pasta in a slightly different way than you’re used to. 

One of the common complaints about gluten-free pasta is that it can easily overcook and become mushy or even break apart, and it’s true. This is easily remedied, though, by learning the cooking times of the pasta you’re dealing with. It’s true that, without gluten, this red lentil pasta is more fragile and will break down if overcooked – so make sure not to overcook it. 

A jar with red lentil flour over some red lentils on a wooden board

In fact, there are a few tips that I can provide for dealing with gluten-free pasta, like this lentil pasta, to get the best results you can!

The Tips

  • Don’t overcook the pasta: Okay, I know I just said this, but it needs to be reiterated. Without the gluten, this pasta can and will get mushy and/or fall apart if overcooked. Remove the pasta from the heat once it’s just reached al dente texture, with a slight bite but not too firm or soft. It will continue to cook slightly after drained. 
  • Stir the pasta: gluten-free pasta can clump together if not stirred frequently during the beginning of the cooking process. Stir the pasta for the first 20-30 seconds it’s in the pan. Then give it a gentle stir every 30-40 seconds for the first 3-4 minutes of the cooking process. 
  • Don’t go light on the salt: Okay, this is really a tip for all pasta making, but definitely worth mentioning. Be liberal when salting the cooking water. Your pasta won’t absorb all the salt, so a lot is needed to permeate it properly.
  • Deal with the cooked pasta quickly: once the pasta is cooked, you’ll then need to drain it and add it to whatever sauce you’re using. Do this quickly as the pasta will stick if you rest it in the colander for any amount of time. Add the pasta back into the pan and stir through the sauce to make sure it doesn’t stick together. 
  • Use extra water for cooking: as gluten-free pasta is more starchy than traditional pasta, it can be a good idea to use more water than you usually would. That way, the starchiness is watered down to help avoid the issues with the sticking. 
  • Save some of the pasta water: following on from the above tip, it’s a good idea to save some of the pasta water to add to your pasta sauce. You may be surprised at how absorbent that gluten-free pasta is. Having extra liquid at hand to increase the amount of sauce is super handy. 

    Extra note: You can also save the leftover pasta water and freeze it to add to broths and soups. Unfortunately, it’s not good for watering plants as it’s salted, but there’s no use in throwing it all away unnecessarily. If it’s unsalted, then it’s perfect for watering plants!

How To Make Lentil Pasta

The Ingredients

Ingredients for red lentil pasta

Optional: Add a tsp of xanthan gum for a slightly more pliable dough – to make up for the lack of gluten.

The Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the red lentil pasta dough

First, pour the lentil flour out onto a clean, dry surface. Create a well in the center and add the eggs (or flax eggs) and olive oil.

Mix/knead until you achieve a homogeneous dough. Be careful when dealing with the dough as it will be more fragile than pasta containing gluten.

Steps for making lentil pasta

Form the dough into a ball and set it aside for 10-15 minutes. This will make it easier to manage and cut.

If you find that the dough is a little too crumbly, then you can add some water. Add one tablespoon at a time until it forms a dough.

Step 2: Shape/Chop your homemade pasta

Once rested, divide the dough into smaller, more manageable pieces. I usually cut it into 5-6 pieces.

Roll each piece of dough into thin sheets and cut into your desired shape. I.e., pappardelle or thinner noodles, bows, etc. You can also use a pasta machine/press to create noodles, macaroni, penne, etc.

Steps for rolling out lentil pasta

Note: You can also use the pasta machine to roll out the dough. Begin by rolling it out with a rolling pin to fit through the pasta machine’s widest setting. Then feed it through the machine a few times, making it thinner until you achieve the correct thickness.

To cut into tagliatelle/pappardelle by hand, take your rolled out dough (the length that you’d like your pasta noodles to be). Liberally flour it, and then roll it up. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into noodles as thin/wide as you’d like.

Red lentil pasta tagliatelle

Step 3: Store or cook the lentil pasta

Once you’ve cut the pasta shapes, make sure to sprinkle them with more flour (I use lentil flour) so they don’t stick together.

You can then cook the pasta immediately, store it in the fridge or freezer, or even dry the pasta (more on this in the storage section below).

To cook the pasta, place it in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring every 20-30 seconds to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick together. Then serve with your choice of sauce.

How To Serve

This lentil pasta goes well with any of the usual sauces you use for pasta. Here are some of my favorite serving options.

Red lentil tagliatelle in a bowl

How To Make-Ahead & Store

Homemade pasta is great for storing fresh or dried. Store the fresh pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days, or freeze it for between 2-3 months.

The pasta can also be dried – either at room temperature or with a dehydrator. There is debate around the shelf life of dried egg pasta due to the risk of salmonella. To err on the side of caution, I keep my dried pasta in an airtight container in a cool location and use it within a month. You can also freeze the dried pasta for up to six months.

To dry the pasta: You can use pasta drying racks, a dehydrator, or lay the pasta out on a large tray in a well-ventilated area.

If you’re making any type of noodle, then you can begin to dry them flat for 1-2 hours. Then, while the pasta is firm but still pliable, form it into loose nests of around one portion each.

Depending on the climate and humidity, the drying time will vary. If you live in a very humid area, I probably wouldn’t attempt to dry the pasta.

If you try this red lentil pasta recipe, then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.

How To Make Red Lentil Pasta

4.94 from 15 votes
By: Samira
Simple homemade red lentil pasta with just 3 ingredients and a simple process – a delicious, high-protein, high fiber, gluten-free pasta. Plus, this recipe can be made egg-free, for delicious vegan lentil pasta!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 7 oz red lentil flour more for dusting
  • 2 eggs or flax eggs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions 

Step 1: Prepare the red lentil pasta dough

  • Pour the lentil flour out onto a clean, dry surface. Create a well in the center and add the eggs (or flax eggs) and olive oil.
  • Mix/knead until you achieve a homogeneous dough. Be careful when dealing with the dough as it will be more fragile than pasta containing gluten.
  • Form the dough into a ball and set aside for 10-15 minutes. This will make it easier to manage and cut.
    If you find that the dough is a little too crumbly then you can add some water. Add one tablespoon at a time, until it forms a dough.

Step 2: Shape/Chop your homemade pasta

  • Once rested, divide the dough into smaller more manageable pieces. I usually cut it into 4-5 pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough into thin sheets and cut into your desired shape. I.e., pappardelle or thinner noodles, bows, etc. You can also use a pasta machine to create noodles, or a pasta press for shapes such as macaroni or penne, etc.
    Note: You can also use the pasta machine to roll out the dough. Begin by rolling it out with a rolling pin to fit through the widest setting of the pasta machine. Then feed it through the machine a few times, making it thinner until you achieve the correct thickness.
  • To cut into tagliatelle/pappardelle by hand, simply take your rolled out dough (the length that you'd like your pasta noodles to be). Liberally flour it, and then roll it up. Use a sharp knife to then cut the dough into noodles as thin/wide as you'd like.

Step 3: Store or cook the lentil pasta

  • Once you've cut the pasta shapes, make sure to sprinkle them with more flour (I use lentil flour) so they don't stick together.
    You can then cook the pasta immediately, store it in the fridge or freezer, or even dry the pasta (more on this in the storage section below).
    To cook the pasta, place it in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring every 20-30 seconds to make sure the pasta doesn't stick together. Then serve with your choice of sauce.

How To Make Ahead & Store

  • Store the fresh pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days, or freeze it for between 2-3 months.
    The pasta can also be dried – either at room temperature or with a dehydrator. There is debate around the shelf life of dried egg pasta, due to the risk of salmonella. To err on the side of caution, I keep my dried pasta in an airtight container in a cool location and use it within a month. You can also freeze the dried pasta for between 5-6 months.
  • To dry the pasta: You can use pasta drying racks, a dehumidifier, or lay the pasta out on a large tray in a well-ventilated area.
    If you're making any type of noodle, then you can begin to dry them flat for 1-2 hours. Then, while the pasta is firm but still pliable, form it into loose nests of around a portion each.
    Depending on the climate and humidity, the drying time will vary. If you live in a very humid area, I probably wouldn't attempt to dry the pasta.

Notes

Read the blog post for some top tips on cooking gluten-free pasta!
 
Course: Appetizer, Main, Side
Cuisine: Italian
Freezer friendly: 3 Months (fresh), 6 Months (dried)
Shelf life: 2 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 475kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 164mg, Sodium: 69mg, Potassium: 1008mg, Fiber: 30g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 276IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. Richard says:

    4 stars
    Hello

    I haven’t tried this yet but will as soon my red lentil flour is delivered.

    If you are going to dry your pasta then you should not use eggs!!! This is the same as durum wheat.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thanks for the tip, Richard. Much appreciated!

  2. Karen says:

    How many grams is one serving?

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Karen,
      Individual serving would be around 150-160 grams – 100 grams of red lentil flour, the weight of the egg can vary depending on its size (45-65 grams each), and the olive oil would be around 7 grams. I hope this helps.

  3. Dana says:

    Is there a particular reason yoy use red lentils? I want to try this but know my kids won’t eat red pasta, so I’m wondering if brown would work? I know they’re willing to eat that color pasta. Kids…

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Dana,
      It is possible to substitute brown lentils for red lentils. However, keep in mind that the texture of the pasta will be slightly different, as brown lentils hold their shape better than red lentils. It may also be a bit chewier. You can use a 1:1 ratio of brown lentils to red lentils. You might need to add a little more water to the dough if it’s too dry. And cook the brown lentils pasta a couple of minutes longer until they are tender. I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try.

  4. Roz says:

    Would you need to cook this pasta ahead if you were using it for a lasagne?

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Roz,
      No, you will have to either use it raw or dry. Just be careful as it may become mushy while baking the lasagne.

  5. Ben says:

    Hi! How much xantham gum would you use in this recipe? I’ve bought some to use but never used it before?

    Thanks!

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Ben,
      You could add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum for a slightly more pliable dough. I hope this helps.