Packed with plant-based protein and simple pantry ingredients, this easy one-pot Rice and Lentils boasts subtle Moroccan flavors and sweetness from dried fruit. It’s an easy and kid-friendly way to introduce your family to lentils!

kids-bowl-lentils-and-rice

Easy Lentils and Rice

I do my best to serve family dinners that have a lot of protein, but I actually try to not to serve meat every night to keep our food budget in check. So a few times I week, I turn to vegetarian meals like this lentils and rice recipe. I love that it cooks up in one pot and the kids like it since the dried fruit adds a nice hint of sweetness.

Ingredients in Brown Rice and Lentils

Short grain brown rice and brown or green lentils cook in about the same amount of time, with the same liquid needs, so I love to cook them together in the same pot. To make this recipe, you’ll also need an onion, garlic (or garlic powder), butter or olive oil, spices including cumin and cinnamon, and dried fruit such as golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, or dried cherries. You also have the option to top with slivered nuts and/or plain yogurt.

TIP: You can stir in shredded spinach or kale for additional nutrition in this easy meal.

How to Make Lentils and Rice Step-by-Step

Here’s a look at the easy process involved in making this recipe.

  1. Saute an onion in butter or olive oil.
  2. Add the rice and lentils.
  3. Add the broth and spices. Stir.
  4. Cover and cook until softened all the way through. Stir in the dried fruit and greens, if using.

TIP: The combination of cumin and cinnamon makes this a vegetarian dinner with a lot of flavor, but not too much for the kids.

vegetarian-lentils-and-rice in white bowl

Can I make this with rice other than short grain brown rice?

Sure! I use short grain brown rice since it cooks in about the same time as lentils, but if you use another kind of rice such as long grain brown rice, you just may have rice that’s a little softer than the lentils. (White rice usually cooks faster than lentils so if you want to use white rice, cook it separately then stir it into the cooked lentils and onion.)

What should I do if my lentils and rice aren’t soft at the end of the cooking time?

Simply add 1/2-1 cup additional water, stir, and cover to continue cooking. Rice can vary from brand to brand, but it’s easy to continue cooking if needed.

Tips for Making the Best Lentils and Rice

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Warm to serve.
  • You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Use dried fruit such as golden raisins, regular raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, or apricots. If using apricots, cut into smaller pieces with a knife or kitchen shears.
  • Top with salted cashews, roasted sunflower seeds, crumbled goat cheese, or shredded cheese, if desired.
  • Top with plain yogurt or sour cream if desired.
  • Adults may want to add hot sauce.

Please leave a comment if you try this recipe—I’d love to know what your family thought of it!

kids-bowl-lentils-and-rice

One-Pot Lentils and Rice

Serve this easy family meal with optional toppings according to what everyone likes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Course Dinner
Calories 367kcal
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced; about 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or ½ teaspoon dried garlic powder)
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cherries, cranberries, apricots, or raisins
  • 2 cups shredded kale or spinach (optional)
  • chopped cashews, roasted sunflower seeds, crumbled goat cheese, shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and garlic. Stir and cook until the onion is just softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the rice and lentils. Add the broth. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the broth is absorbed, about 40 minutes.
  • Stir in the cumin, cinnamon, salt, and dried fruit. Add greens if using. Cover for 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Warm to serve.
  • You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • White rice usually cooks faster than lentils so if you want to use white rice, cook it in a separate pot, then stir it into the cooked lentils and onion.
  • Use dried fruit such as golden raisins, regular raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, or apricots. If using apricots, cut into smaller pieces with a knife or kitchen shears.
  • Top with salted cashews, roasted sunflower seeds, crumbled goat cheese, or shredded cheese, if desired.
  • Top with plain yogurt or sour cream if desired.
  • Adults may want to add hot sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 282mg, Potassium: 568mg, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 852IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

Related Posts

Related Products

Share it with the world

Pin

Filed Under

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




Comments

  1. This sounds close to where I’m going but I need almost a course on Insta Pot and Vegetarian.
    I want to cook cranberry beans, lentils, spit, carrots, a little garlic and ginger to have as an “add-in” to red quinoa, farro, brown rice and salmon. Ultimate goal- super packed, nutritiously and protein dense meal.
    Can I cook the first 1/2 as your recipe to add to my 1/2?
    I don’t eat rich or spicy food (GERD) and prefer eating the same thing on a regular baso.
    Thanks for your help!
    Wishing you wellness and good health ?
    Cindy

    1. I would think so but I’m not 100% sure if cranberry beans and lentils cook in exactly the same amount of time. Sounds yummy though!

  2. This is quite helpful. Being in self isolation quite a distance from home, I inevitably needed a culinary companion. This site has been the guide I so much needed. Cooking rice is the combination of art and science. I sometimes see chefs sprinkling salt and olive oil when preparing rice, what’s your take on this?
    And would you get the same results if you used short or medium grain variety?

    1. You can use either grain size, though the cooking time may vary a bit and the final texture may too. Both can be delicious though.

  3. 5 stars
    This turned out super tasty. I am new to lentils but the now 2 recipes I have tried turned out really good. My (almost) 2 year old ate at-least 1/2 of what I gave her along with cherry tomatoes and blueberries on the side. I did substitute beef broth for the chicken as I had half an open box in the fridge and was still really good! I had some leftover sausage and peppers and it complimented well.

  4. Sounds delicious. What a tasty meal for toddlers and it is great to have them exposed to things like lentils early.