Lentil Crisps

Another entry in the sneaky-bean saga, these lentil crackers came to me whilst chatting with a friend. Yep, my friend and I talk about lentils. Constantly. I’m thinking I’ll also try some sneaky-bean lentil croquettes as well, so stay tuned. Who can say no to croquettes, especially when they’re crispy and crunchy and not terrible for you? But back to today’s recipe – it’s simple and relatively quick, so get crackerin’ (I’m sorry – I had to)!

Great crumbled into soup or dunked into any savoury dip, these homemade crackers will add that extra pizzazz to any Super Bowl party. Yup, you read it right: I used pizzazz and Super Bowl in the same sentence.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red lentils (they cook the fastest)
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp smoked roasted garlic (or smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, all of the above… You get the idea – build your own signature cracker by simply substituting your own spice. Be sure to post your favourite mix!)
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil

Combine the lentils, veggie broth and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the lentils are soft (about 10-15 minutes). Drain most of the liquid off and transfer to a bowl. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Add the rice flour (or you can use regular unbleached flour), smoked roasted garlic, sea salt and olive oil. Stir to combine.  If you have a Silpat (or some other silicone mat for your pan), use it. Otherwise, grease your baking sheet up so that the crackers don’t stick. The mixture will be quite wet. If you want to use a pasta press, I’d add another cup or so of flour, but we’re doing it the quick and easy way here, so wet mixture it is! Pour it onto the baking sheet and spread it as thinly as possible, unless you want a chunky cracker. You can either do one big cracker and break it into bits later (easy) or you can try to make little round crackers by carefully spooning the mixture onto the sheet one-by-one (harder but likely prettier).

Toss it into the oven for about 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on it since the timing really is variable depending on the thickness of the cracker and whether you’ve opted for lil’ bitty crackers or the cracker-sheet. Once you start seeing a golden-brown edging, take the baking sheet out and let it rest. Only start breaking the sheet-‘o-cracker into cracker-sized bits once it’s cool. And then, you’re done!

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27 Comments Add yours

  1. Helena says:

    sounds delicious! Must try…

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Let me know how they turn out. I was just thinking that ground-up chickpeas would also likely work quite well, and would cut down the cooking time if you were really in a hurry. All you’d have to do is toss them in the food processor with a bit of veggie broth and then add the flour, spices and oil. Hey presto, canned chickpeas to the rescue once again!

  2. This is incredible! I’ve never seen a recipe like this for lentils! It’s amazing how versatile they are.

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Thanks! Hope you give it a try 🙂

  3. Audrey says:

    Hi!
    This recipe sounds amazing! But I do have one question… How would this turn out if I didn’t use the oil? I’m a vegan, but I don’t eat salt, oil, or sugar (because of a health condition).. Do you think the lentils would still stick together?
    Thanks so much! I’m dying to try this out!!
    -Audrey

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Hi Audrey,

      Good question! I really don’t know – I haven’t tried it. You could always try to substitute in water (start with about the half the amount and add a little at a time until you hit the right consistency). Please let me know if you try it. I’ll post results if I succeed in finding a suitable substitute!

    2. R. A. Yaniv says:

      Most fat is added to flour mixtures to shorten the crumb, but since there is no wheat flour in this, the fat most likely serves to carry flavour and aid in browning, but not necessarily to lubricate, since the residual moisture from the lentils will do that. If you are wanting something to add cohesion to the batter/dough, try flax seed (maybe chia seed would also work) and add enough of the drained liquid from the lentils. A possibility that you could try would be to add pureed vegetables in with the flax to give some additional flavour that you may miss with no salt. Try carrots and/or mushrooms as they contain good amounts of natural (non-headache causing–although some people may be sensitive to the natural variety also) MSG*.

      *(I can eat piles of carrots or mushrooms but put added non-naturally occurring MSG on my food and I wind up with a headache.)

      1. lil' vegan says:

        Wonderful, thank you for the suggestions!

  4. Tim & Jesse says:

    Really great recipe! Made it today and love it. We used thyme, rosemary, and basil with cracked pepper and this is our new favorite snack and dip scoop. Thank you so much. Our cook time was almost 45 minutes though because we went pretty thick.

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Amazing! So glad you like it. I’m due for a batch too I think 🙂

  5. Frank says:

    We’d like to try this recipe, but I hate draining off liquid from my lentils because I think I’m draining off nutrition and flavor (especially if I’m using broth). So I’m always trying to figure out the minimum amount of water necessary to cook the lentils. Any advice?

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Hi Frank,

      It really depends on the lentils. First and foremost, it’s always important to rinse them well (regardless of whether they’re canned or dried). I rarely measure when I cook lentils. I just add enough water/broth to cover them, plus a little bit extra. Then I check on them every 10 minutes or so, adding water/broth as necessary until they’re the texture I want. I can’t give you a firm rule because different lentils take differing amounts of time to cook, and so they require either more or less liquid. My advice, err on using less liquid but be prepared to baby-sit your lentils (i.e. add more liquid) until they’re cooked to your taste. Happy lentilling!

  6. Amy says:

    I have to ask, how do these compare to the calbee brand lentil crisps? I am in love with the tomato basil ones and at $1.50 per small bag, I really need to find a way to make them.

    1. lil' vegan says:

      I’m not familiar with that brand so I couldn’t tell you unfortunately. It would be easy to add some tomato paste and basil to the recipe though (and likely a lot of salt). Cut back a little on the liquid, give it a try and let me know how it works out!

  7. b says:

    thank you
    ı am from turkey

  8. Iva says:

    Have u tried using less rice flour?
    The broth was enough for me extra water was not needed

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Hi Iva, thanks for your message. I haven’t, but I will now! I haven’t made these crisps for ages. I’m due 😉

      1. Iva says:

        Was also thinking about switching different types of flour from oats flour cause ive got oats at home and too forgetful to buying the rice flour.

      2. lil' vegan says:

        Sure, I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Good luck!

  9. pankyness@yahoo.com says:

    My daughter and I tried this recipe but 2 cups of dried (rinsed) lentils to 3 cups of liquid didn’t work. All of the water soaked into the lentils within a few minutes and they started to stick to the pan and the lentils were still al-dente. So I had to add a lot more liquid and cook it longer. Any thoughts?
    Also it would be really helpful if you described the consistency of the mixture being poured on to the baking sheet, how thick the mixture on the baking sheet should be and how big the baking sheet should be.

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Hi! Sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. It’s been a while since I’ve made these crisps, but from what I remember, I used a standard cookie sheet, and the consistency of the mixture was on the thick side. Some of the lentils still held their shape, but not all, so it was a mix of smushed and somewhat whole lentils. I hope this helps – I’ll try to make some tonight: I’ll amend the recipe if I come across a variation that improves the original. Happy cooking!

  10. Donna says:

    I can’t wait to make these – I have organic canned lentils and I love them so I will be using them – I will let you know what I did as I love trying new things

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Great! I hope it works out.

  11. Samantha says:

    What is a good substitute for rice flour in this recipe. I can only eat non-grains..and gluten-free…so my choices would be flours from almonds, mung beans, wild rice/forbidden rice, lentil varieties, buckwheat. I also must be dairy free.

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Hi Samantha, I’m not sure. Almond or buckwheat flour could be quite nice. I think the only thing to do is experiment and see what works! I switch out flours all the time and it always seems to work out. Good luck 🙂

  12. Nicole says:

    Do you think this would work with chickpea flour instead of brown rice flour?

    1. lil' vegan says:

      Sure, though chickpea flour has a bit more of a tangy taste than rice flour.

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