Lentils of the Southwest (2nd Place Winner) USDA Recipe for Child Care Centers

Age Group: Ages 6-18
Serving Size: 25-50
Flavored with ground red chili, cumin, garlic, and a touch of tomatoes, these lentils have a “salsa flavor” that kids are sure to love. Even better, this tasty lentil-based recipe can be served as a side item or main dish.
¼ cup (2 fl oz ladle) provides:
Legume as meat alternate: 1 oz equivalent meat alternate.
Legume as vegetable: ¼ cup vegetable.
Legume vegetable can be counted as either a meat alternate or as a legume vegetable but not both simultaneously.
5 from 1 vote

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  • Rinse lentils and sort out any unwanted materials. Drain well.
  • Combine lentils and water in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  • Sauté onions and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in cumin, red chili pepper, and chili powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat.
  • Combine onions and garlic with cooked lentils. Add water.
    For 25 servings, add 1½ cups water.
    For 50 servings, add 3 cups water.
  • Stir in tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
    Critical Control Point: Heat to 140 °F or higher for at least 15 seconds.
  • Stir in cilantro before serving.
  • Critical Control Point: Hold for hot service at 140 °F or higher.
  • Portion with 2 fl oz ladle (¼ cup).


Nutrition Facts
Lentils of the Southwest (2nd Place Winner) USDA Recipe for Child Care Centers
Amount Per Serving 0 ¼ cup (2 fl oz ladle)
Calories 68.66 Calories from Fat 8
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.92g1%
Saturated Fat 0.11g1%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 141.83mg6%
Total Carbohydrate 10.96g4%
Dietary Fiber 4.16g17%
Protein 4.56g9%
Vitamin A 251.11IU5%
Vitamin C 2.8mg3%
Calcium 15.21mg2%
Iron 1.84mg10%
Vitamin A 10.38mcg
*Marketing Guide
25 Servings:
Dry lentils, brown or green: 15 oz
Mature onions: 6 oz
Tomatoes: 14 oz
50 Servings:
Dry lentils, brown or green: 1 lb 14 oz
Mature onions: 12 oz
Tomatoes: 1 lb 12 oz


*See Marketing Guide for purchasing information on foods that will change during preparation or when a variation of the ingredient is available.
Yield / Volume
25 Servings:
About 4 lb
About 2 qt
50 Servings:
About 9 lb
About 1 gal 1 qt