Lentil Walnut Dip

When I was pregnant with Kenya, my husband and I took birthing classes right next door to one of my husband's favorite restaurants, Real Food Daily. My husband, who I often refer to as a pretend vegan, was endlessly happy about this fact because it meant he could eat at RFD once a week. My hubby says that every time he leaves there, he instantly feels more healthy.

Don't get me wrong, I live for vegetables, but I'm also a big time carnivore. Yet somehow, even though I was the one eating for two, each week I found myself indulging my husband's pregnancy cravings.

One appetizer on the menu at RFD that everyone who has had it adores is their Lentil Pate. They serve it with wheat-free rice sesame crackers and it's absolutely addictive.

This is my version which I tweaked a bit so it would work using ingredients you likely have in your kitchen already. I admit that it's not the most pleasing dish to the eye, but after just one bite of this creamy spread you won't be concerned about looks. Packed with tons of umami flavor from the miso and a rich nutty finish, this is one of those protein-packed dips you'll want to keep stocked in your fridge all the time…especially in case my husband ever knocks on your door.

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Lentil Walnut Dip (2 1/2 cups)

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 30 mins

egg free

dairy free

gluten free


  • 3/4 cup dried green or brown lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts halves or pieces, toasted*
  • 3 tablespoons yellow miso
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • *To toast the walnuts, spread out on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes -- or in a sauté pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, shaking continuously.


1. Combine the lentils and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils are very tender. Drain, and set lentils aside to cool.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown.
3. Place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds, or until a paste forms.
4. Add all of the ingredients into the food processor and puree until smooth, adding more water if mixture is too thick.
5. Serve cold or at room temperature with pita chips, rice crackers, french bread or credit vegetables for dipping.**

** Dip can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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  • Jessica

    So excited since I found your website. Can't wait to start cooking.

    leave a comment

  • Gina

    I made this recipe a few weeks ago for a friend's birthday party. I was planning on making it for a friend's baby shower this weekend, and when I went searching for it, couldn't find it. I didn't remember the site, I didn't remember the exact search terms, but I remembered your story. So I finally found it by searching \"my husband loves the lentil walnut pate\". Google for the win! Printing it out this time :)

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  • french_fries

    Can I use red miso in this recipe? Maybe just using less of it?

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    • Catherine

      That should be fine, but I would play around with the amounts to see how you like the flavor!

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  • Sarah

    I have been making this for over a year now, in fact my grocery store started carrying miso just for me! I love it Catherine and I love your site

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