Recipe By Kristin
Published Apr 4th
Hearty Italian Lentil Soup
Prep 15m Cook 1h 30m Additional - Ready In 1h 45m
Servings 8 servings Calories 323.6

You can change the recipe to suit your tastes; use your favorite jarred sauce if you don’t have any homemade, or use your own family’s meatball recipe!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 ⅓ quarts water, divided
  • ⅓ cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 quart tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Place lentils in a pot with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. 2 Bring rice and 1 1/3 cup water to boil in a pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. 3 Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, beaten egg, garlic, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, parsley, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Form ground beef mixture into 1 inch balls. Place meatballs in skillet and cook 5 minutes or until evenly brown.
  4. 4 In a large pot, bring the tomato sauce and 4 cups water to a boil. Transfer the browned meatballs to the pot. Mix in cooked lentils and rice. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese to serve.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 323.6
  • Carbohydrate 34.1 g
  • Cholesterol 60.9 mg
  • Fat 11.9 g
  • Fiber 6.8 g
  • Protein 20.9 g
  • Saturated Fat 4.3 g
  • Sodium 786.6 mg
  • Sugar 6.2 g


  1. I just ground up the meat with garlic and seasonings as suggested and did everything else as the recipe said. To make it healthier I used lean ground turkey and brown rice instead of white rice. Seasoned with garlic a pinch of curry Italian seasoning salt and pepper and it was delicious. After cooking for - Read more ...
  2. Prepared per the recipe without changes. This soup was only okay for my family. Not sure I will make this again as it was time consuming forming the meatballs & preparing the lentils & rice separately.
  3. Make those meatballs really small otherwise they take over the flavors as you eat the soup but I thought this recipe was so satisfying and appealing to all while you get your protein from the lentils! YUMMO
  4. Delicious! I made several changes - instead of making meatballs took someone's advice and sauteed ground beef with one chopped onion and 2 garlic cloves. Also added spices from another lentil recipe - 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 tsp basil 1/4 tsp curry powder. I also used this and that for tomato sauce - Read more ...
  5. Made a couple of changes...added extra seasoning as someone else had suggested and a package of dry onion soup mix to the water and tomato sauce. Makes a lot! Pretty good...a nice hearty soup that goes well with a crusty loaf of bread.
  6. 4 stars as written 5 stars with some adjustments I made. I didn't have to let the rice cook for 20 minutes because it would have burned. I also didn't have to drain the lentils because after they simmered for 20 mins it was basically a mushy soup itself. I added a lot of dried - Read more ...
  7. Fabulous recipe absolutely scrumptious. I made it tonight for dinner and when I first made it I thought it was going to be too runny. But after I simmered it for 30 mins - PERFECT. Thanks for sharing this will be a favourite.
  8. This was a terrific recipe for using up a lot of leftovers we had hanging around. I used some homemade meat sauce instead of the separate meatballs - and it turned out beautifully. Even our kids loved it. Beware though - this makes a BIG pot!
  9. FYI - This recipe was completely overhauled from my original version. Keep in mind that this dish should be thick enough to almost hold a spoon up in it. I hope this version still does my recipe justice.