These Smoky BBQ Baked Lentils with Bacon are a tasty spin on a classic BBQ side dish. I am so thrilled to be partnering with Canadian Lentils for their #lovealentil campaign. We are working toward getting more lentils on your tables, and for good reason! My family eats lentils weekly, they are one of my husband’s favorite foods. As the main cook in our family, they are one of my favorites too. My kids eat them up, they are as simple to cook as rice, and they are packed with fiber, protein, and potassium. I wanted to take the lentils we love and add my own Hey Grill, Hey BBQ style spin.
So, basically that meant adding bacon! You know how I feel about bacon. These lentils are cooked with traditional BBQ Baked Beans in mind, but subbing out Lentils for beans. I actually think the lentils have become my go-to over beans from here on out. I start with some sauteed onions and garlic, and then slowly cook the lentils with the flavorful BBQ sauce so they absorb all of the saucy flavors while they cook. If you’re doing beans, they are typically pre-cooked and don’t take on any additional flavor from the sauce itself (and if you’re cooking the beans from dry then this recipe takes almost 20 HOURS!). So, yeah. We are loving the lentils in here!
I also want to talk about why I’m using 2 different types of lentils for these BBQ Baked Lentils. The green lentils are whole and take the full cook time to soften. These are heartier and hold their texture to the long cooking time. The red lentils are split lentils, so they cook faster. They will be done cooking earlier on in the cooking process, but as they continue to cook in this amazing sauce they will slowly breakdown and thicken the sauce. The red lentils add such a creamy element to the final product! These lentils are rich and sweet, with a hint of spice, and lots of huge pieces of tasty bacon!