BROOMFIELD, COLO. — Lentils are the star ingredient in a new brand of microwavable meals.

Lentiful offers single-serve cups of instant lentils featuring savory or sweet flavors, including Thai coconut, Mexican green chile, French mirepoix and cinnamon apple. Founder Ben Bacon believes “our whole industry is sleeping on lentils,” which he described as a “gateway drug” to plant-based eating.

“Lentils have been nourishing humans for 11,000 years, they’re beloved across the world and are one of the most climate-friendly sources of food on Earth,” Mr. Bacon said. “Nutritionists love them. Celebrities love them. Michelin Star chefs love them. But ask the average American consumer how they feel about lentils, and you’ll often get a quizzical or lackluster look. I believe lentils are the most overlooked and underappreciated food here in America. And as more Americans seek out new plant-based proteins and trendy alt-meats, I believe the best answer is literally right at our feet.”

A longtime marketing executive, Mr. Bacon and his family began eating lentils in the early days of the pandemic and developed a profound love for the legume, a “flavor chameleon” that pairs well with a variety of cuisines. Still, he noted, “with four kids, demanding work schedules and after-school activities, we rarely have time in our day to stop and make lentils.”

The instant lentils are packaged in single-serve paper cups and may be prepared by adding water, heating and stirring. Each serving provides 8 to 12 grams of protein and 6 to 7 grams of fiber, with potassium, iron and folate. The products are gluten-free and vegan.

“For me, lentils were a gateway drug to plant-based eating, and I think I’ve created a product that can do the same for millions of consumers out there who are trying to eat more plant-based but are disappointed or afraid of the current options and flavors,” Mr. Bacon said.

Lentiful products are available to purchase online at