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Spotlight: Nella's Lentils

"This is the same lentils recipe that my mom always made. It's affordable, quick and easy to make, and yields many servings. It's also a good source of protein and iron. Best of all, it's freezer-friendly." - Nella


12 oz. dry lentils

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

2 onions (red or yellow)

1/2 green bell pepper

1/2 red bell pepper




3-4 Bay leaves

2 packs of Sazón Original


Serves 5-8

  1. Start by soaking lentils in a bowl covered in water for about 3 hours. Continue to add water to keep lentils completely submerged.

  2. Chop onions and bell peppers.

  3. In a large pot, add oil and chopped onions and peppers. Sauté on low. (Optional: this is a good time to add your choice of protein, like meat or sausage.

  4. Strain the lentils from the bowl of water but do not throw the water out.

  5. Add lentils to the large pot and mix before adding the water that lentils were soaking in.

  6. Add salt, paprika, bay leaves, and Sazón. (Season to your liking)

  7. Add can of tomato to pot. Then fill the can halfway with water and add that to the pot.

  8. Stir and let simmer for about 2 hours.

  9. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 45 minutes.

  10. Serve warm.


You can also peel potatoes and add them to the pot and let cook another 15 minutes.

Serve with rice on the side for a more filling meal.

Cost Breakdown


$1.10 - $1.75

Canned tomatoes

​$1.39 - $3.00 (28 oz.)


$0.85 - $1.39 (lb.)


$0.79 - $0.89 (each)


$4.13 - $7.03

*Prices vary by store.


- Canned tomatoes have become increasingly more expensive, however, be on the lookout for BOGO deals. (Store-brand products will always be more affordable.)

- Buying produce by the pound versus individually may save you some dimes in the long run. - To prevent produce from spoiling, consider chopping them up and freezing them.

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