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Lentilicious Sunshine Spread

Say bye-bye to boring baloney and busted budgets with this multi-purpose spread that's positively lentil-licious! Sunshine Spread is like a low-fat homemade hummus packed with flavor that takes less time to cook and no food processor to wash. It's so good that the folks who try it gaze up at the sky with delight, so easy that you can make it even on a busy weeknight.

It's shown below on homemade toasted Good Whisk Bread with a simple slaw of grated carrots and purple cabbage. If you're not going going to be breathing on your top client or favorite sweetheart right after, make it even better with thin slices of purple onion.

vegan low-fat lentil spread with carrots and purple cabbage on homemade bread


Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 90 minutes Makes: 3 cups. Oil free, gluten free, vegan.


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle or cayenne
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest


  1. Put all ingredients except lemon in a slow cooker. Cover and cook until lentils fall apart, about 90 minutes on high or three hours on low (Slow cookers vary a lot, but it's hard to overcook this recipe.) The lentils naturally change color from orange-red to yellow.
  2. Stir lemon juice and zest into lentils. Taste and adjust seasonings. It thickens as it cools.
  3. Serve Lentilicious Sunshine Spread as you would hummus: hot on baked potatoes or roasted vegetables, at room temperature or chilled as a spread in sandwiches or wraps, and at any temperature as a dip. Keeps in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for a year.


  • Rinse lentils well. I don't usually mention cleaning or rinsing food in recipes, but so many people say they don't rinse lentils that it seems worth mentioning here.
  • If you don't have turmeric, add a squirt of prepared mustard.
  • If you don't have a fresh lemon, start with three tablespoons bottled lemon juice.

Reader Comments (4)

Oh, Linda, this spread is *wonderful*! The first thing my husband said after trying it was, "This would be perfect to take along to potlucks." I find myself craving the spread, and was inspired to cook up some lentils and collards as well. (I topped one bowl of the lentils and collards with this spread; mm!)

One note, the second sentence of this post sounds like it's calling the spread "no-fat," but I'm pretty sure the tahini does add some fat, even if not much per serving.

Nov 20, 2012 | Registered Commenteradara9

Thanks, Adara9! We had this last night on rice with collards and roasted winter squash. It was so good!
You're right about the "no-fat" -- I meant "no added fat" like extracted oils. My hummus has 1/3 cup of olive oil as well as the tahini.

Nov 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson

This was so beautiful and DELIOUS!!!!! I took it to a meeting with some friends and they all wanted the recipe. A new favorite definately. I am planning on having my high school students make it next year.

May 11, 2013 | Registered Commentermamacheese

Yaay, thanks Mamacheese! This is one of my favorites too.

May 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson
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