Difference Between Green Lentils and Red Lentils

Lentils are a major source of protein for our bodies, also containing a good amount of iron and zinc in it to nourish our insides. There are a variety of ways you can consume lentils, in salads, in stew, soups, dips etc.

Lentils come in different shapes, sizes and colors. Primarily, they can be differentiated into Green Lentils and Red Lentils.

Green Lentils vs Red Lentils

The difference between Green lentils and Red lentils are in their texture, shape and size, method of cooking and cost. Where green lentils have only two varieties to them, red lentils have four. In the table provided below, you will understand some significant differences between the two lentils.

Green lentils vs Red lentils

The green lentils are generally deep green in colour and have a glossy touch on their surface. Their earthy flavour is somewhat stronger than the brown lentils.

They are costlier compared to other varieties of lentils. Green lentils have two sub-categories: The French Green Variety and Lentilles du Puy.

The red lentils are sometimes also called brown or orange lentils, due to the variation in colour depending upon the soil they grow in. The red lentils are rare to find, they are only found growing in the Middle East region and India. In India, they are commonly known as “masoor dal”.

The red lentils come with a good range of colours, such as Crimson, Red Chief, Petite Golden and Canary gold. Although both lentils (green and red) are rich in protein and have similarities in terms of their origin, there are certainly some major differences which separate them.


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGreen LentilsRed Lentils
Shape and TextureGreen lentils are whole non-split lentils with one covering. The covering is glossy in appearance.Red Lentils are split in two and do not have any covering. They have matte-like powdery outer texture.
VarietiesGreen lentils come with two sub-categories: The French Green Variety and Lentilles du Puy.Red lentils come with four notable varieties: Crimson, Red Chief, Petite Golden and Canary gold.
Cooking timeGreen lentils take a good time to cook properly.Red lentils, on the other hand, take comparatively less time to cook.
FlavourGreen lentils usually have a peppery flavour to them post-cooking. They tend to retain their shape even after being cooked.Red lentils have a nutty flavour to them and generally dissolve completely or partially after cooking.
CostGreen lentils are usually costlier than red lentils.Red lentils are cheaper than green lentils.


What is Green Lentils?

Green lentils are similar in size to red lentils. They come in one complete non-split form, unlike red lentils.

They have one outer covering which is generally glossy in appearance. After cooking, these lentils are known to retain their shapes and not deform or dissolve like red lentils.

Due to their compactness and earthly texture, these lentils take time to cook (approximately 45 minutes), making them a good option for salads. Green lentils provide for vitamins, minerals, fibres and protein to your diet.

But primarily it is a rich source of protein. For vegan people, green lentils can be a good supplement for meat.

It reduces the risk of heart diseases and provides good amount of protein to the body if taken in right quantity. Studies have discovered that the presence of magnesium, calcium and potassium in lentils can prevent the body from high blood pressure too.

So lentils do not only function for high quality protein, but it also saves the body from the risks of blood pressure. Lentils are also known to be full of polyphenol.

A substance which helps the body to fight against germs entering our body on but a daily basis, through ultraviolet rays. Lentils are also a good source of iron.

One average cup of lentils can provide up to 6.6 milligrams of iron. As we already know, iron is a basic substitute of our body.

Helping in the process of respiration and keeping the heart and other organs healthy by providing ample amount of blood for their function. Green lentils form a staple diet in many parts of the Middle East and India.

People in India consume all kinds of lentils in good quantity. It is available all year round.

Green Lentils

What is Red Lentils?

Red Lentils are generally found with two seeds in a pod. These are annual growing plants ranging up 40 cm in height.

The seeds are often lens-shaped and the outer texture is matte-like of dry. Most of red lentils are grown in Canada and India, a combine total of 58% of world production.

Red lentils are highly nutritious for pregnant women. It provides strength to the growing baby and prevents any kind deficiency in the process of birth.

You can have red lentils in veggies, casseroles, burgers, sauces and curry dishes. Red lentils come with four sub-categories: Crimson, Red Chief, Petite Golden and Canary gold.

Like other lentils, red lentils too provide for high-quality protein and fiber to our body. They are also low in fat production, as opposed to the consumption of meat.

After cooking, the lentils dissolve completely or partially, unlike green lentils which retain their shape even after being cooked.

red lentils

Main Differences Between Green Lentils and Red Lentils

  1. Green lentils come in one compact shape. On the other hand, Red Lentils are lens-shaped and two in one pod.
  2. Red lentils have four or more kinds of variety, whereas, green lentils only have two of its kind.
  3. Green lentils are costlier compared to red lentils.
  4. Green lentils take more time to cook than red lentils.
  5. Red lentils are available throughout the year in areas like the Middle East and India while green lentils are not as common as the red ones.
Difference Between Green Lentils and Red Lentils


  1. https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ijfs.13649
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/8/1853
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