A simple and delicious one-pot vegan pilaf dish with brown rice and lentils, mushrooms and lots of spices.
Brown Rice and Lentils
The recipe for this one-pot vegan pilaf couldn't be easier. Or healthier. A pot full of rice, lentils, and vegetable, nicely spiced and so easy to put together.
Just chop the veggies, throw them in a pot together with the rest of the ingredients, pour in some vegetable stock and there you have it: a tasty, healthy, vegan pot of food, full of vegetables, spices, and energy.
I cooked this brown rice recipe with veggies years ago for the first time and I keep cooking it regularly, always when I think we need something healthy and simple.
You can throw in just about any veggies you like or have in the fridge or freezer, it is a good way to use up the odd celery stick and carrot wilting away in your fridge or the one handful of peas or green beans in your freezer.
And as most people do have some rice, lentils, and spices in their pantries, there will probably be no need for you to go shopping at all. That is always a good incentive to cook a recipe. At least for me.
I tend to buy too much food and when I go to a supermarket and need only one or two things, I still end up wasting at least 20 euros. So, it is better not to go at all in between and just cook with pantry and freezer ingredients.
- Brown rice is best for this recipe, it needs to cook just as long as the brown lentils do, so at the end, they are both perfectly cooked, tender but not mushy.
- And the brown rice has a nutty, chewy consistency, which fits this dish perfectly.
- I've cooked this rice dish with both brown and red lentils over the years. I love both versions, but keep in mind that they are quite different in taste and consistency.
- The brown lentils will keep their shape during the cooking time and the end result will be a well defined, chewy, hearty dish.
- The red lentils will disintegrate almost completely during the long cooking time, you will not be able to properly recognize them anymore. However, the end result is still delicious: a creamier, comforting dish quite different from the brown lentil version.
- You can also try beluga lentils (black) or green lentils, I am sure that they will be fine as well.
- When it comes to vegetable choice, the sky is the limit.
- As mentioned above, you can use any kind of veggie you happen to have in the house or in the freezer.
- This time I used mushrooms, carrots, and red bell peppers.
- Other options are eggplants, zucchini, green beans, peas, cauliflower, celery sticks (not too many, they are often overpowering) and so on.
- You could also add some tomatoes and 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste for a tomato flavored rice dish.
How to serve?
- I love serving this rice with lentils with kimchi or other pickled vegetables like pickled green tomatoes, sweet and sour zucchini or gherkins.
- If you have leftovers, let them cool and place them in the refrigerator.
- The rice can be frozen in airtight containers. Defrost in the refrigerator.
- Reheat properly before serving again. When reheating add a small amount of water or vegetable stock and stir often until the brown rice pilaf is piping hot.
More rice dishes?
Chicken Pilaf - Sticky, soft and delicious Romanian pilaf or rice with chicken and vegetables.
Vegetable Rice Pilaf - Vegan vegetable pilaf, a quick, delicious and comforting dish for any time of the year.
Vegan Rice with Tomatoes - A simple recipe for vegan rice with tomatoes, zucchini, and carrots: healthy, quick, cheap and so delicious!
Creamy Asparagus Risotto - A spring asparagus risotto with two kinds of peas, Parmesan and lots of dill, what better way to celebrate fresh spring vegetables.
Sauerkraut Rolls with Rice - Comforting sweet-and-sour recipe for vegan cabbage rolls made with sauerkraut/fermented cabbage and filled with rice, walnuts, and raisins.
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One-Pot Vegan Pilaf
- 1 cup brown rice
- ½ cup brown lentils
- 1 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 medium zucchini about 200 g/ 7 oz
- 10 mushrooms about 250 g/ 8.8 oz (Note 1)
- 3 cups vegetable stock Note 2
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon curry powder See note 3
- ½ red chili flakes more to taste
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher, more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- a small bunch of chives or parsley
- Prepare: Wash and drain the rice and the lentils. Place them in a large heavy-bottomed pot or medium-sized Dutch oven.
- Chop all the vegetables and add them to the pot. Grate or finely chop the garlic and the ginger and place them in the pot as well. Add the spices and stir everything until well combined.
- Simmer: Pour enough vegetable stock into the pot to barely cover the ingredients, about ¾ of the pot (see the picture in the blog post). Stir well again, cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 40-45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Check: If the pilaf appears to be dry, you could add a small amount of extra vegetable stock, but I usually don't find it necessary. Check to see that the rice and the lentils are tender; they should not become mushy.
- Adjust the taste with salt and pepper, if necessary. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives or parsley before serving.
- You can vary the vegetables and use eggplants, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, green beans, etc for a change.
- As much as required to fill about ¾ of the pot, the ingredients should be barely covered with stock.
- If the curry powder is hot, adjust the amount of chili flakes you are using.
Mary Unger says
This pilaf is really delicious and easy to make. I changed the veggies a bit to use what I had - carrots, green peppers, cabbage, and a few tomatoes - and it turned out great.
Thanks for this easy, quick, and good recipe. Mary
Hi Mary, thank you so much for the feedback. That's the best thing about this recipe, you can use most anything you like.
1/2 red chilli flakes- I assume this is half a teaspoon?
Yes, I seem to have missed the word. However, when it comes to chili, you should always better use it to taste.