Lentils and rice is a quick and easy dish you can make that is delicious and comforting, but also healthy and nutritious. Kids love it and it fits many dietary needs!
Do you remember my cucina povera post, where I described the type of old-style Italian cooking that uses very simple and basic ingredients?
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Well, this lentils and rice dish fits into the cucina povera category because it just three basic ingredients: lentils, rice and good quality extra virgin olive oil for fabulous results.
There’s a few ways you can serve this dish, but I’m going to show you two of them. Although you can simply use cooked lentils, you can also do as my family does, and stretch your lentil soup for another meal. This is my easy and delicious lentil soup recipe. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend that you make this soon!
The other way you can make lentils and rice is by mixing them together, keeping it dry or making it soupy. If you have lentil soup, you can simply add a little (or a lot) of cooked rice.
You can use any type of rice you like, but Arborio is what we use. Brown rice would be another good choice, but I think you get the idea: mix and match however you like it. Hopefully, you have all these ingredients in a well-stocked pantry so it’s something to make when there’s nothing to eat in your refrigerator. Similar to this pastina soup recipe, which is also a cucina povera style recipe.
Not only is this dish super tasty, but it’s very budget-friendly. It costs only a few pennies a bowl and is chock full of protein and beneficial nutrients. Lentils and rice is truly a winner of a meal no matter how you make it.
Lentils and Rice (Italian-Style)
family recipe handed down from my Nonna Chiarina serves 4
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
The Prettier Lentils and Rice Serving Method
Put the cooked rice in bowls and make an indentation in the middle where the lentils will go. Add a quarter of your cooked lentils or lentil soup.
Drizzle some olive oil over the lentils and rice.
Serve immediately while hot.
The Not so Pretty Lentils and Rice Serving Method 🤣
Add the cooked lentils directly into the cooked rice (to cook Arborio rice, just put double the amount of water as rice in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to the minimum and cook with the lid on until cooked–about 25 minutes; do not stir).
Mix together then add some olive oil.
Next add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese, and stir again.
Serve immediately with extra cheese to sprinkle on top, if desired.
It’s truly another simple yet delicious dish when you use good quality ingredients (the extra virgin olive oil is especially important in this recipe).
Lentils and Rice (Italian-Style)
A simple Italian dish that happens to very nuritious, healthy and vegan.
- 1 ⅓ cups (300 g) cooked brown/green lentils, salted
- 4 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups (500 g) cooked Arborio rice, lightly salted
- (optional: ½ cup (2 oz) Parmigiano Reggiano, or Pecorino cheese, grated)
Pretty serving method
- Put the cooked rice in bowls and make an indentation in the middle where the lentils will go. Add a quarter of your cooked lentils or lentil soup.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the lentils and rice. Serve immediately while hot.
The Not so Pretty Serving Method 🤣
- Add the cooked lentils directly into the cooked rice (to cook Arborio rice, just put double the amount of water as rice in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to the minimum and cook with the lid on until cooked--about 25 minutes; do not stir). Mix together then add some olive oil.
- Next add some grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese, and stir again. Serve immediately with extra cheese to sprinkle on top, if desired.
Make more or less dry as desired, or even make it like a soup. No rules.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 391Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
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[…] Monday – Lentils and Rice […]
I love lentils but forget about them! This combination is so good and easy! Thank you for the reminder!!
I think you know, Christina, that I LOVE lentils. With pasta, with rice, in soups, with sausage… you name it. So this looks incredibly satisfying to me. Especially the not-so-pretty version, although I actually looks plenty pretty to me.
Of course, but you know what it tastes like and that makes a big difference! Yes, we are both lentil-lovers! haha!
Read this post at lunch today while eating a bowl of lentils that my hubby made! We love lentils in my house. Truth be told I did not know about the nutritional value of eating lentils WITH rice until I recently saw a French documentary on Indian food. The 2 together are a powerhouse of nutrition. I don’t eat much rice these days myself with my low carb diet, but I do have it from time to time and we generally always have some lentils that we’ve made and froze – the next time I decide to do rice I am going to do this combo!
I’m fascinated by the use of lentils in Italy, as I’ve never seen them when I’m in Italy. Both you and Frank talk about them and it is perhaps because they come from the Cucina Povera style of cooking that we don’t see them. I just made his lentil ragù, and now I plan to make your lentils and rice. Thanks for opening my eyes to a slice of Italy I didn’t know.
Yes, I do believe that’s the reason why, David. I don’t see any ristorante serving this, but it would absolutely be feasible at an agriturismo especially in the south of Italy. They’re so good!
I love lentils even on their own
Yes, they’re so tasty!