You’ll start saving money effortlessly if you start eating more lentil-based meals. Here’s a hearty, flavorful lentil soup recipe that costs less than 50 cents per serving.

Lentil and chicken sausage soup

Lentils are one of the cheapest foods out there. This particular recipe – lentil and chicken sausage soup – was truly the dish that kept on giving. Here’s the math:

  • Amount: 1 16-ounce bag of brown lentils ($1.19)
  • Yield: 8 huge (HUGE!) servings
  • Number of meals: 2 meals for me, 2 meals for my boyfriend, 1 meal for my roommate, and leftovers
  • Total cost: $3.79 for entire recipe, or 47 cents per serving

Lentils can be prepared a million different ways. Lentil soup is an obvious choice (see lentil sausage soup and tomato-lentil soup). But lentils are great with rice, in salads, in veggie burgers, and in other savory dishes.

If you’re looking to drastically cut your food budget this year, incorporate more lentil-based dishes into your diet. Try this recipe or this turmeric lentil soup – or get creative and make your own lentil-based soup.

Lentil and chicken sausage soup

Using Chicken Sausage Links

When I am in the mood for chicken but don’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen, I do one of two things:

  • Buy rotisserie chicken from the grocery store
  • Make something using pre-cooked chicken sausage links

Fully cooked chicken sausages are so convenient. I use them as a pizza topping, in pasta dishes, in hotdishes, and in other savory dishes.

Trader Joe’s sells packs of five for $3.99, and they have several flavors to choose from. I used apple-flavored sausage for this recipe, but feel free to use whatever flavor you have on hand.

What Kind Of Lentils Should I Use?

The three most common types of lentils in many American grocery stores are green lentils, brown lentils, and red or yellow lentils.

For this recipe, any of these lentils would work. I used brown lentils, and if you use a different variety the color and taste may vary.

Learn how to prepare a perfect batch of lentils.

Lentil and chicken sausage soup

Lentil and Chicken Sausage Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1 16-ounce bag brown or French lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chicken sausage links, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Rinse and sort lentils. Place lentils and water in a large saucepan and turn on heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if necessary. Add bouillon and lemon juice and stir.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, or until onions and carrots have softened. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.
  3. Using an immersion blender, blend the lentil mixture until pureed. (Alternatively, let the mixture cool slightly, transfer to a blender, and pulse until smooth). Add onion mixture to lentil mixture, as well as chicken sausage. Add garlic powder and salt to taste. Serve with croutons.

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