Want healthy meals your kids will love?

One Pot Lentils and Rice


Packed with whole grains and legumes this One Pot Lentils and Rice is a healthy, easy side dish that’s full of flavor! The lentils and rice cook together in one pot, and feed a crowd.

a bowl of lentils and rice topped with green onions

Why We Love Lentils

We don’t want to get all sensational here, but… lentils are a bit of a hidden secret. These humble legumes, packed with protein, fiber, iron, vitamins, and minerals, can benefit our health at every age and stage. (Even babies love lentils!) And with a little care in the preparation, they taste great, too!

We want our kids to eat All The Lentils. And with this tasty one pot lentils and rice recipe, they’ll want to eat All The Lentils, too.

You can make this savory side dish nearly as easily as you can cook rice. But here, you get something extra special. The nutrition is awesome. The texture is hearty but light. The broth and bright herbs add depth and freshness.

Pair these lentils and rice with grilled chicken or fish and a green salad for a perfectly balanced and delicious family dinner.

a closeup shot of brown lentils and rice over a pot

Are Lentils and Rice Good for You?

Here’s the lowdown as to why we love to serve this dish to our kids (and ourselves.)

Just one half cup of lentils provides 9 grams of protein (more than an egg!) a third of our daily fiber, and almost half the daily recommended amount of folate.

Brown rice, true to it’s whole grain goodness, dishes out plenty of fiber too, along with minerals like manganese and selenium, and B-vitamins.

And can we talk about fresh herbs? Parsley and scallions are as potent in nutrition as they are in flavor. These herbs are full of vitamins and antioxidants. Parsley helps support a healthy heart, liver, and immune system.

The short version: eat up! This side is super nutritious.

lentils and rice in a white serving bowl

Ingredients Needed for Brown Lentils and Rice

  • Brown Rice – short grain brown rice is best for this recipe
  • Lentils – French lentils are best. They are a variety of green lentils but they are slightly darker and smaller.
  • Chicken Broth
  • Butter – unsalted
  • Garnish – fresh parsley and green onions
ingredients for lentils and rice: chicken broth, butter, brown rice, lentils, parsley, green onion

Tips for Making the Best Lentils and Rice

We tested this recipe a lot. Except “tested” isn’t the right word. Really, we just kept making it, because it was so tasty every time and we just wanted to keep eating it. BUT in this process of making it and making it again, we learned a bunch of tips and tricks that help your lentils and rice turn out perfect. Here’s what we know:

  • French lentils work best here. Those are the small, greenish-brown marbled ones. They hold their shape better than ordinary green or brown lentils.
  • Choose a really stock or broth with a flavor your really like. Because you’ll taste it. Homemade is awesome, but your favorite store-bought brand also works fine.
  • Leave the lentils and rice alone while they cook. Stirring will release the starches into the broth and make the whole mixture kind of sticky, and less appetizing. Find a nice low simmer, cover the pot, and let it be.
  • Adjust the amount of liquid if needed. A few variables can change how much broth you’ll need to soften the lentils and rice. Add and extra splash if it seems like the pot is getting dry halfway through cooking.
  • Wait until the very end to add the herbs. You want them fresh as can be. And don’t stir too vigorously
  • If your kids are suspicious of the herbs, keep them in a dish on the side. Each person at the table can add a sprinkle of she likes, or refrain if she doesn’t.
  • Add in tasty extras. This dish pairs well with a lot of flavors. Feel free to add what you have on hand like cooked chicken, beef or roasted vegetables.
step by step for making brown lentils and rice

What Should You Serve with Lentils and Rice?

This dish is crazy versatile. The flavor of the lentils and rice itself is so flexible that you can pair it with multiple different cuisines, and nothing will seem out of place. Here are a few simple sample menu plans you might try:

  • Grilled chicken, green salad, lentils and rice.
  • Instant Pot salmon, steamed carrots, lentils and rice.
  • Indian butter chicken, roasted cauliflower, lentils and rice.
  • Lentils and rice, fresh fruit salad, and sauteed spinach.

More Healthy Sides

Print Recipe Pin Recipe
3.7 from 326 votes

One Pot Lentils and Rice

Packed with whole grains and legumes with this healthy, easy side dish that’s full of flavor! These lentils and rice cook together in one pot, and feed a crowd.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 382kcal



  • Rinse rice (we prefer long grain brown rice) and lentils thoroughly in three changes of water. Drain well.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the drained rice and lentils and toss until well-coated.
  • Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer, covered, undisturbed, for 30-40 minutes, until broth is mostly absorbed and rice and lentils are tender.
  • Remove from heat and let rest 5-10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. (Avoid stirring vigorously, as that creates too  creamy a texture. The rice and lentils are best when the grains are tender, but separate.)
  • Fold in parsley and green onions, and serve.



Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 954mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g
Keyword : One Pot Lentils and Rice


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

Leave a Comment:
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


This sounds great! I may be missing something, but why isn’t there a button to take you to the prepare app to save this recipe there? I can’t even find this recipe in there…? I LOVE the app, and often want to save the recipes you post on IG to try!

Hi Melissa, thanks for your feedback! We’re actually working on getting a button there. In the meantime, I made this recipe public in Prepear for you. You should be able to find it if you search the recipe name. I hope this helps!

Hi Kristal, that’s a great question. We haven’t tried it in the Instant Pot, but I did some research and found that 16 minutes under high pressure might be a good bet. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

Hi Jodi, if it’s brown basmati rice you can cook it for the length of time stated. White basmati rice will not work in this recipe, because it has a much different cooking time than the lentils. I hope this helps!

Thanks to the steady stream of adverts making the page rearrange itself every few seconds, the recipe is unusable.

Hi Christopher, thanks for reaching out. I know the ads can be a pain but they’re a fact of life for bloggers! There is another way you can get our recipes for free, with many fewer ads: our meal planning and grocery app, Prepear has all our recipes on it. 🙂 You can get it free here: https://www.prepear.com/

5 stars
My husband has a restricted diet so I am limited in ingredients that I can use. I followed your recipe instructions (but had to use water instead of broth) and the rice and lentils cooked up so nicely together! I am getting ready to cook this again. My husband eats it plain and I can add seasoning after cooking to mine. I like to use the lentils and rice as part of a Buddha bowl. Thanks for your clear instructions. BTW I used regular lentils (couldn’t find the French kind) and they were still very good.

If you would like it a little creamy could you add a little extra broth and stir it a little more. Also would it be good to add a little spinach?

This looks delicious! How much is in a serving? I need to count the carbs for a Type 1 diabetic in my house. Thank you 🙂

Once upon a time this link was to our favorite Sloppy Lentil recipe. Do you still have it somewhere? 😭

Hi Maggie! Here’s the Sloppy Lentil recipe:
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1 medium bell pepper, green
1 clove garlic
3/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup water
2 cup lentils
1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
8 regular whole wheat hamburger bun
1/4 cup pickle
In a large saute pan over medium high heat place chopped onion, grated carrot, chopped bell pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons ketchup.
Add teaspoon of oil and about 1 cup of water and cook until onions start to become softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add cooked lentils, oregano, 8 tablespoons more ketchup, sugar, salt to taste, Worcestershire and mix together until heated through.
Add more ketchup, sugar, salt or pepper to taste and remove from heat. If mixture is too thick, add tablespoon of water and mix in until you reach the desired consistency.
Open hamburger bun and scoop 1/3 -1/2 cup bean mixture onto bun half. Top with pickles. Serve while beans are still warm.