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Sweet & Sour Lentil Bites

Serve these delicious lentils “bites” on their own as an appetizer or make it a meal with rice & veggies!


  • 3 tsp (15 mL) canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups (500 mL) finely diced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely diced celery
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked, drained red lentils (a 540 mL can, drained & rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) oregano
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • Sweet & Sour Glaze

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice (about the juice from 1 lime)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish


Add 1 tsp (5 mL) oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Combine mushrooms, onion, and celery in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until veggies are softened.

Line a strainer with two sheets of paper towel and add the lentils and cooked veggies. Use the back of a wooden spoon or your hands to gently squeeze out any liquid, then place the mixture in a large bowl and discard the paper towel.

Add panko crumbs, Worcestershire, garlic powder, and oregano to the bowl. Stir until well combined.

In a separate bowl, make the glaze by whisking together hoisin sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.

Wipe out the large skillet with a paper towel, and place back on medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tsp (10 mL) oil.

Add flour to a small plate. With clean, dry hands, roll the lentil mixture into 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balls, then lightly roll each ball in flour. Add each ball to the skillet as you go.

Gently sear the lentil bites on each side until golden. Do not leave them unattended as they will burn quickly.

After all sides of the lentil bites are browned, pour sauce over all the bites and gently shake the pan to evenly coat them. Serve warm as an appetizer or as a meal alongside steamed veggies and rice. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro, if desired.


  • If using canned lentils, look for brown lentils as they are softer than canned green lentils. You can cook dry lentils using these instructions here 
  • We recommend cleaning your hands after rolling each lentil bite in the flour so the bites will continue to form a ball; then you aren’t adding any extra flour to each lentil bite you make.
  • You can also serve these bites with your favourite pasta and tomato sauce! Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) pasta sauce to the skillet instead of the glaze and gently shake the pan to evenly coat the bites with sauce. Add remaining pasta sauce to your cooked pasta and then portion on to everyone’s plate and top with desired number of lentil bites!

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