How to Grow Your Own Sprouts in a Jar

materials for sprouting lentils

Have you tried adding sprouts to your salads and smoothies yet? You should. Sprouts are the nutrition-packed shoots of seeds that have been germinated, before they grow into a viable seedling. You might be familiar with the old standby, alfalfa sprouts, but these days, all kinds of sprouts are available at your grocery or health food store: bean sprouts, broccoli sprouts, chia sprouts. But the truth is that you can sprout almost anything on your countertop at home using this simple jar technique — without spending nearly any money or time. And sprouting indoors allows you to grow yummy nutritious greens even in the middle of winter when you’re garden is otherwise dormant. Sprouting in small batches at home may also help you avoid the risk of bacterial outbreaks that are somewhat common with commercially grown sprouts.

green lentils

Here’s how to sprout at home, using easy-to-find lentils as an example. The same technique will work for any of the most popular plants for sprouting.


Step 1

 Open Gallerylentil sprouts

Start with your seeds or beans. I used green lentils that were already in my pantry. About 1/2 to 2/3 cup will do for a quart-sized jar. You’ll be surprised how quickly the seeds or beans will germinate, sprout and expand.

Step 2

 Open Gallerysprouting lentils

Add lentils to the jar, then fill with about 2 cups of water. Cover the top of the jar with a piece of mesh cut from a leftover mesh bag commonly used for lemons, limes, garlic and the like. You could also use a piece of cheesecloth. (If you are using smaller seeds, you’ll want to go the cheesecloth route so the seeds don’t slip through the mesh.) Secure on the top of the jar with the screwtop band. Let the lentils sit in the water for several hours or overnight, then drain.

Step 3

 Open Gallerysprouting lentils

Rest the jar at an angle on a dish so that the remaining water drains out. Every 6 hours or so, fill the jar with water and then drain again. You’ll start seeing sprouts after about a day.

Step 4

 Open Gallerysprouting lentils

Here’s the same jar a day later. See how the lentils have started sprouting. Keep this process up until the jar is full of sprouts.

Step 5

 Open Gallerysprouting lentils

After just a few days, your jar will be filled with nutritious lentil sprouts. (And yes, that is snow.) Use your homegrown sprouts on top of salads, on sandwiches, in smoothies or however you like!


  • Glass jar such as Ball or Mason
  • Screwtop band for jar
  • Mesh (can be recycled bags from lemons, limes, garlic, etc.) or cheesecloth
  • Beans or seeds for sprouting
About Kelly Smith Trimble 


I grow vegetables wherever I can find enough sunlight and forage roadsides and hiking trails for plants that can be used to make natural dyes. You can find both vintage ...

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2 Responses

  1. Restoration Glamour says:

    I love planets around the house in spring. I do the same thing but then add them to seed starter soil mix. I then put them in pretty glasses from the thrift store on a sunny window. It helps to brighten up office spaces as well.

  2. Keri_HGTV says:

    I had no idea you could do this! Thanks for the tips!

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