Lentils and Brown Rice – A Healthy and Comforting One-Pot Dish

One of my favorite staples I have in the kitchen is lentils and I usually rely on a lentil dish if I’m not sure what to cook for dinner. Besides being very healthy, lentils are really versatile and can be served at any temperature, whether it’s a hot soup or a cold salad. This time I made a simple, hearty stew-like dish to ring in the fall season.

I used French green lentils which hold their shape, cook a little longer and are more delicate than the common brown lentils. I seasoned the lentils and rice with homemade garam masala – an Indian mixed spice – and for a little kick, I added some chili powder but feel free to omit. Adding to the heartiness is healthy brown rice, but note that a little goes a long way so don’t use too much. Pair with an earthy red wine.

Lentils and Brown Rice Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 cups french green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1-2 tablespoons garam masala (or a mix of curry and cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 cups vegetable stock, or water
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, tomato paste and garam masala and sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in lentils and rice.

    Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 45-60 minutes, or until lentils and rice are tender. Add salt to taste. When done, let lentils and rice sit in pot for a few minutes until soup is somewhat thick. Garnish with chopped parsley.

    Total Time: 60-70 minutes
    Yield: 6-8 servings
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      • says

        Try adding in some bacon or ham in the beginning before you sauté the onions, then top with some crispy bacon. Throwing in some shrimp or beef/ground beef could also work. If you use the lentils as a side, pairing it with some grilled fish would make a nice meal!

    1. Sandy says

      Tomatoe paste is listed as an ingredient but directions don’t include. Also, do you have nutritional information for this recipe? Thanks!

    2. says

      I love your blog. Your photos are amazing. I made this last night but substituted quinoa for the brown rice. It was delicious. I plan on putting pics of it on my blog with the link to your recipe. Thanks.

      • says

        Thanks so much, Beth! This recipe is a go-to for me. It’s really versatile…sometimes I add in some diced sweet potatoes or carrots. I love the substitution of quinoa and that you added peppers and tomatoes. Your blog is great. I could use some running motivation. 🙂 And I’ll have to try out your recipes, they sound delicious!

    3. says

      Thank you Barb! I bought my first camera and still have a long way to go with taking pics. Your photos inspire me to improve! Anytime you want any running advice, please do ask! I’ve been coaching runners for many years-adults and high school cross country girls team.

      Yum carrots and sweet potatoes do sound yummy in it as well!

    4. Sara says

      Thanks for the recipe! I made it the other day, and it was great. I only had brown lentils and used tomato sauce instead of paste, but it was still great. It will definitely become a staple in my diet. Cheers.

    5. Adam says

      Made this for dinner tonight, with roast veggies. Lentils and rice have no business being this delicious. Just amazing.

    6. Andrea says

      We had 90 million bags of lentils in our cabinet, and I finally decided we needed to get rid of them. I found this recipe, then added bacon and carrots. My family enjoyed it! But we all agreed lentils need hamburger or turkey with it. Thanks for the recipe!

      • says

        Bacon and carrots sound like a great addition. I never tried hamburger or turkey with lentils but I’m sure it’s tasty. Thanks for the comment, Andrea!

    7. Devon says

      Does it matter when you add the salt. I know it does with beans, not sure about the lentils and that is missing from your process description. Thanks!

    8. Neo says

      May I please ask what’s the size of one serving? and how many calories per serving?,this looks like the perfect meal to fill me up on my health programme

      • says

        Hi Neo – Thanks for your comment! Each serving size is different per person. For me, about a cup or less fills me up. And as I stated in one of the above comments, here’s a link to the approximate nutritional info (note this is for 6 small servings): http://bit.ly/oPVAxJ
        Hope that helps!

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