Difference Between Brown Lentils and Green Lentils (With Table)

Lentils are legumes which belong to the pea family. They are one of the most versatile and nutritious plant-based proteins available today. These are small lens-shaped seeds that are harvested annually from lentil pods. Brown and green lentils are two varieties of this wholesome and affordable superfood.

Brown Lentils vs Green Lentils

The main difference between brown lentils and green lentils is that brown lentils have a higher fiber content than green lentils. Moreover, brown lentils have a mild and earthy flavor while green lentils taste robustly peppery.

The two lentils also have different cooking times. Green lentils take more time to cook than brown lentils because of their harder outer layer. This hard skin also contributes to keeping the structure of green lentils intact despite the long cooking time.

Brown and green lentils can be added to soups, salads, veggie burgers, and much more. They can even be added to meals as a substitute for meat-based protein.


Comparison Table Between Brown Lentils and Green Lentils

Parameters of Comparison

Brown Lentils

Green Lentils


Ranges from khaki brown to dark brown

Varies between pale greenish-brown and green-slate color with black and blue spots and a glossy surface


A mild and earthy flavor

Robust and peppery


Higher fiber content (half cup contains 26g fiber, 24g protein)

Low fiber content (half cup contains 10g fiber, 24g protein)


All the seeds have a uniform size

Comes in a variety of sizes

Cooking Time

Shorter cooking time than green lentils

Longer cooking time than brown lentils


What are Brown Lentils?

Brown lentils are edible seeds of the legume family. They can be told apart by their khaki brown or dark brown color. These seeds have a mild and earthy taste and work particularly well with salads and soups. They can even be mashed into veggie burgers for a more savory flavor.

Brown lentils have a uniform size that is comparatively smaller than green lentils. This is one reason why it takes less time to cook them. Brown lentils are also known to hold their shape well after being cooked.

Brown lentils are available in varieties such as Spanish brown, Indian brown, German brown, or Bulga lentil. Bulga lentils are the variety that looks almost black in color. On being cooked, it looks like Bulga caviar (which is what the name is derived from).

Brown lentils are the most readily available lentils out of all. These can be found in almost every grocery store. The nutritional value makes this food appealing to consumers. Brown lentils are a great source of fiber and protein. They are also rich sources of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin B.

Brown lentils are low in fat and sodium content. This makes them the perfect food for health enthusiasts. In today’s time, these lentils are also used as substitutes for meat-based protein sources in meals.


What are Green Lentils?

Green lentils are seeds that are harvested from lentils pods. These belong to the legume family. Their color ranges from pale green to green-slate with blue and black spots all over. The seeds have a hard outer layer and a glossy exterior.

Green lentils have a robust and peppery taste. It takes longer to cook these seeds because of the hard outer covering. Due to this, these are perfect for stews and curries which have long cooking time. Green lentils can even be used as an inexpensive alternative for lentilles du Puy (French green lentils).

Green lentils have a comparatively low fiber content than brown lentils. But these seeds are a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Interestingly, 26% of the calories in green lentils are counted as proteins.

These lentils, if dried, have a shelf life of up to one year. After cooking, they can be stored for three months if frozen and for up to one week if refrigerated.

Main Differences Between Brown Lentils and Green Lentils

  1. The color of brown lentils ranges from khaki brown to dark brown while the color of green lentils ranges from pale greenish-brown to green-stale, with blue and black spots.
  2. Brown lentils have a mild and earthy taste while green lentils have a robust and peppery flavor.
  3. Brown lentils have a higher fiber content than green lentils.
  4. Brown lentils have a uniform size while green lentils have different sizes depending upon the variety of the seed.
  5. Green lentils have a harder outer covering than brown lentils.
  6. Brown lentils take 20-30 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker. On the other hand, because of its hard outer-layer, green lentils take 30-40 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker.



Lentils are legumes belonging to the pea family. These seeds are cultivated throughout Asia, Europe, and North Africa. They are harvested annually, in August and September. Lentils are a highly nutritious plant-based protein source, which is why it has gained popularity among vegans and vegetarians.

Lentils come in a wide variety from red to yellow and brown to green. They can be told apart easily by their color, taste, and cooking time.

Brown lentils generally have a khaki brown color. They have a mild taste and earthy flavor. On the other hand, green lentils tend to be greyish-green in color. They have a robust and peppery flavor that works well with stews and soups.

Both the lentils have a high protein content. However, brown lentils are richer in fiber. They are also low in fat and sodium. This makes them the perfect food for those who want to lose weight.

Green lentils are rich in protein but have a low fiber content. These seeds can be used in meals as protein sources for vegans and vegetarians.


  1. https://elibrary.asabe.org/abstract.asp?aid=3670
  2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf4022916