Green Lentils with Bacon & Tarragon by Chef Michael Smith

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Total time: 35 Minutes

Servings: 6

This is one of my favourite side dishes because bacon and lentils are perfect together. The rich meatiness of bacon easily complements the earthy hearty flavours of lentils. Try making this dish once and it will instantly become one of your favourites too!

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Recipe by

Chef Michael Smith

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    8 slices bacon, thinly sliced

    a big splash of water

    1 large onion, minced

    2 stalks celery, chopped

    2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

    4 garlic cloves, sliced

    1 cup (250 mL) green lentils

    3 cups (750 mL) water

    ½ tsp (2 mL) salt

    1 bay leaf

    2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice or 1 teaspoon (2 mL) of any vinegar

    1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh tarragon, chopped or dried


  1. Place your favourite saucepan over medium-high heat. Toss in bacon then pour in enough water to just barely cover it. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon. As water simmers, bacon will begin to cook. Then as water evaporates, bacon will render, releasing its fat, and will crisp as fat left behind heats past boiling point of water into the flavour zone. Stir and be patient, it is worth getting every piece evenly crisped, about five or six minutes. If you like, pour off half or so of the bacon drippings.
  2. Toss in carrots, onions, and garlic and continue cooking, stirring until veggies are heated through and their flavour brightens, two to three minutes.
  3. Stir in lentils, water, salt, and bay leaf. Bring pot to a full boil then lower heat, adjusting it so liquid is barely simmering. Simmer unti lentils are tender and most of the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes or so. Stir in lemon juice and tarragon, serve and share!