rice with lentils and caramelized onions

anchorice

Rice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions

Rice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions

Arroz con Lentejas

Recipe Yield

6 to 8 servings

Cooking time

1 hour

Rate this recipe

3.6 from 5 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils rinsed and drained
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 large white onions coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups Mahatma® Rice jasmine white rice or extra long white rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt or to taste
  • 5 cups chicken broth vegetable broth or water

To Prepare

  • In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water with the bay leaves to a boil. Add the lentils, reduce the heat to medium, cover partially with a lid and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are just cooked and tender but not mushy or falling apart. Drain, remove the bay leaves and set aside.
  • In a large wide casserole or heavy sauté pan that has a tight fitting lid, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. The onions will first soften and become translucent and then they will brown, which is what you want. Stir and make room in the middle, add the remaining olive oil, and add the rice. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, gently stirring with the browned onions. The rice will quickly change from a grayish white to a bright white color and feel heavier in the spoon. Don’t let it brown. Make room in the middle once again, and add the cooked lentils, cumin, oregano, ground ancho chile, turmeric, coriander and salt, and stir well. Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting, cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until most or all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove the lid and check to see that the rice is cooked. If it is, fluff with a fork, and serve. If it is still a bit al dente, add a couple of more tablespoons of water, cook for a few more minutes, and test.
  • Taste and adjust salt, and serve.

Comments

111comments inRice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions

  1. Aydee Avalos

    Jun 27

    This was delicious!! My husband loved it! I will make this forever! Gracias Pati esta super bueno!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 28

      Que alegria que les haya gustado Aydee, abrazos!

  2. Debby

    May 24

    Oh my this was so delicious!!! Our whole family loved it (5 & 2 year old included). Definitely on our regular rotation now!! Thanks Pati!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 10

      My pleasure Debby, so happy the littles approved 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    May 23

    Absolutely fantastic! Have not been able to find a really good lentil recipe.. I have now. The caramelized onions make this dish. Thanks Patti!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 10

      Happy you liked it, yay!

  4. Kathleen N. Carey

    May 23

    Knew I had a stockpile (not sure how/why) of lentils in my pantry and came across the show with this recipe on it on PBS (of course) this week. I’m not a fan of lentils but my husband is always happy when I make anything with them in it so I gave it a try. I didn’t have jasmine rice but I had some half basmati and half regular mahatma in the pantry and it worked out just fine. Husband LOVED IT though he added hot sauce, as usual, to it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 23

      So glad you decided to give this recipe a try and that your husband approved Kathleen, thank you!

  5. Marylee

    May 13

    This was absolutely delicious – I cut the rice & spice measures in half, but left the lentils and onions alone.
    It smelled so good while cooking – did not disappoint.
    This is a keeper – thanks for sharing with us.
    (Secret – I served it with Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Chicken – wow! I rarely serve prepared foods, but….It was perfect together – but don’t tell anyone!)

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 23

      So glad you liked the rice Marylee, and I am not surprised about the Trader Joe’s Chicken, I love that store!

  6. Dr. Warren

    Apr 26

    This is all kinds of excellent and I will make it again. You called for the onions to have a coarse chop. I made mine a bit finer, but this turned out to be an error. I found that there is much better caramelized flavor from the onions when they are cut in a more coarse manner as you suggest. Thanks for every bit of effort you put in your recipes, I have been enjoying them often.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 30

      Thanks so much Dr. Warren for the feedback and your super kind words, so glad you liked this recipe 😉

  7. Carmela x

    Mar 31

    Haven’t grocery shopped so low on food…and can’t go out due to sudden COVID lockdown. Only ingredients I have on hand: a large onion, rice and lentils. Not very exciting.

    Then I come across THIS recipe(!!)…in to the style I grew up with (made by italian parents)…AND it’s from THE fabulous Pati! (sending you love & hugs from Australia 🙋🏻‍♀️🇦🇺). THIS is what I’ll be making tonight…and tomorrow, by the sound of it! (having just read other’s comments 🤭).

    Thanks Pati! 😁🧅🍚🍪

    Carmela

    PS they really need to add a lentils emoji. I think the choc chip cookie kind of resembles a bowl of rice and lentils though 😬

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 11

      Yay! So glad you found this recipe when you needed it Carmela! Hope you liked the rice, un abrazo to Australia!

  8. Terry Patterson

    Mar 27

    I can not wait to try this!
    I love your show and your love for life and good food!
    You have such a beautiful family!

    Thank you for sharing all things wonderful!

    Love from Colorado!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 11

      Thanks so much for your kindness Terry, hugs all the way to Colorado 🙂

  9. Sandra Adams

    Mar 21

    Pati, estoy fascinada contigo programa en PBS!! I made the arroz con lentejas last night and it was a huge hit!! Super easy but so much flavor. Miles gracias y bendiciones para Sami con sus estudios!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 25

      Que amable Sandra, mil gracias! Un abrazo grande 😉

  10. John S. Manley

    Mar 12

    I made this for a family gathering, and all my family fell in love with it. I had to pass on the recipe. Thank you very much.
    p.s. I love watching your program on my local PBS Station here in Arkansas.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 20

      So glad the rice was a success John, yay!!! Thanks so much for tuning in, greetings to Arkansas 🙂

  11. Pam C

    Feb 26

    Really liked the rice! For leftovers the next day, I added dried cranberries. I’m a fan of sweet/savory so this really fit the bill. Granted, definitely gives off more of a Mediterranean vibe. Loved it even more.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      Mediterranean sounds good to me Pam! So glad you liked this recipe 😉

  12. Thelma pedersen

    Feb 21

    Hi I just can’t wait to taste that delicious recipe.
    I would like to buy your book with all the recipes that are shown on PBS what can I get that book? Thank you

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      Hi Thelma, thanks so much for your interest in getting the cookbooks, yay! You can read more about them, buy Pati’s Mexican Table or Mexican Today or pre order the new one coming out on October 26 in this link: https://patijinich.com/cookbook/

  13. Frances

    Feb 14

    Patti
    I really enjoy your recipes. Thank you teaching this abuelita that there is so much more variety to our dishes. I’m making this (but making half recipe)along with carne con chile right now. Gracias por compartir con nosotros

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 15

      Thanks to your Frances! Hope you liked the rice and the carne con chile. Un abrazo grande 😉

  14. Paul

    Feb 06

    What color lentils did you use?

    thanks..

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      For this recipe I used brown lentils Paul, enjoy!

  15. Margie Schoemehl

    Feb 06

    Could I use green lentils? That’s all I have

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      Sure Margie, go for it and enjoy!

  16. Cindy Salcedo

    Feb 01

    Hola Pati !! I made this for my husband along side oven roasted Cornish hens stuffed with herbs !! Delicious 😋.

    Muchas Gracias 🙏🏻

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      Oh! It sounds yummy Cindy, thanks for sharing your delicious menu 😉

  17. Kathy

    Feb 01

    Hi Pati, I’d like to know what other rice could I use? I have not made it yet but would like to tonight. I have alboreo rice and white rice, could I use one of those? I love your show, thanks for your kindness.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 01

      White rice will be OK Kathy, good luck 🙂

  18. Stewart

    Jan 30

    Pati,

    What. Huge pot of deliciousness this dish is. Earthy and rich. Very satisfying. I served in with the Chicken in Ancho Salsa and they were great together. The weather is going to be not so great fir a couple of days. My family is really going to enjoy the leftovers.

    Thanks for your show and recipes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Awesome pairing Stewart, so glad the family enjoyed these recipes. Thanks to you for giving them a try 😉

  19. Lorena

    Jan 29

    Miss Paty te acabo de ver en kcet canal y me encanto felicidades en los tacos de cabeza de el señor Johnny quiero aprender a cosinar los tacos y el arroz con lentejas gracias !!!!😃😃

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Que bueno que estas disfrutando la nueva temporada del programa Lorena, un abrazo grande!

  20. Terry Duff

    Jan 26

    Hi Pati! I made this Rice with Lentils and it was so wonderful! My Sweetie and I enjoyed the leftovers – they tasted even better the next day! I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume – it almost did not fit in my cast iron skillet! Will you tell me what kind of large skillet you are using – I love the color and size!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Hey Terry, this particular one is a Le Creuset and I believe it is 6 3/4 Qt.

      1. Terry Duff

        Feb 01

        Thank you Pati – I’ve been searching for that pot – but good to know it is the 6 3/4 size!! You made my day!

  21. Carla

    Jan 24

    Yummy! I just made this. I was out of brown lentils and had to use black but it turned out great. This was my first time tasting Jasmine rice and I’ve been missing out. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 01

      Yay Carla, so glad you enjoyed this recipe 😉

  22. Kelly

    Jan 24

    Hola Pati!
    Son las 10 pm aquí en Los Angeles y no pude resistir hacer esta receta! Deliciosa y muy fácil! Gracias!!!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 25

      Que alegria que se te haya antojado tanto Kelly, haha, un abrazo!

  23. Kim

    Jan 23

    What type of lentils do you use for this?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      I used brown lentils for this recipe Kim 😉

  24. tania

    Jan 17

    how much broth did you add at the end

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 21

      5 cups Tania 😉

  25. Michele

    Jan 16

    Could we use brown rice?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 16

      Of course Michele, just maybe add an additional 1/3 cup of liquid as brown rice takes longer to cook 😉 Enjoy.

  26. Liz B

    Jan 16

    I’m going to make this tomorrow for our Sunday evening meal with the Chimichangas. I love your show, your passion about the food, your respect for it and the respect for the people you visit. Your food takes Mexican to the next level and then some. I actually had tears when I watched your relationship your son. Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 17

      Aw, you are so sweet Liz, thanks so much. Un abrazo!

  27. Elena Vega....EL PASO,TX.

    Jan 16

    I’ve watched you chef since first episode and still to this day…your favorite words,i’m in AWE when I watch you cook and Mmm Mmm MMMmm. Stay safe CHEF and Oh you have a beautiful family,you’re BOY’S are AWE’SOME….

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 16

      Muchas gracias Elena for sticking with me for such a long time, un abrazo!

  28. Morgan

    Jan 15

    Would it be OK to sub in canned lentils?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 16

      I am not sure Morgan, canned lentils tend to be super soft and probably they will disappear by the time the rice is cooked 😉

  29. Faith Kaltenbach

    Jan 14

    I followed the recipe except for the chile because I have a fierce allergy to anything in the pepper/tomato family. It is just delicious my way, although I think it tastes kind of Middle Eastern instead of Mexican. The whole house smells wonderful. I will definitely make it again.
    About the lentils, I’m glad you don’t cook them, Pati. I followed the recipe, cooked red lentils until just tender, added as directed. By the time the rice was done, the lentils had disappeared entirely although their taste was there. I will put them in uncooked the next time.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 16

      Great feedback, thanks so much Faith, so glad you liked this rice 😉

  30. Beryl B from Brooklyn

    Jan 10

    I watched your Sonora special this weekend. I made this dish. Of course, I had to add a few things to make it my own. I added a couple of cloves, substituted oregano with herbs du provence. It was delicious. Love your show.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 17

      Sounds yummy Beryl, so glad you liked this rice recipe!

  31. Pati Jinich

    Jan 10

    Great idea for a full meal Patricia 😉 Thanks for the kind words!

  32. Angie

    Jan 09

    Heavenly and Simple!
    Thanks Pati, my family loves me more because of you! 🙂

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 10

      Yay Angie! So glad they love this rice 😉

  33. Getsemani Nava

    Jan 04

    Made this a second time. The “Crazy Torta” is one of my favorite Pati recipes. So what I did was marinate the chicken, and adding it after I browned the onion, then the rice, then the spices lentils. I also fried plantains and bananas on the side. Wow!! We all loved it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 06

      Yummy, what a great idea! You made a full meal out of this recipe, bravo 😉

  34. Dana

    Dec 29

    So good! I halved the recipe and it still made a TON! This would even be good all on it’s own for a meal. Really, really good. We also think it would go good with almost anything as a side dish.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 06

      Thanks for the feedback Dana, delighted you enjoyed this recipe 🙂

  35. Tanya

    Dec 26

    Pati, I made this last week. I often eat vegan and am always looking for great recipes with whole foods (not weird processed things made to look or taste like meat). I made exactly as written, and it was amazing. Such awesome flavor. This recipe is such a keeper. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 06

      Delighted that you liked it Tanya, thanks to you for giving it a chance 🙂

  36. Lori M.

    Dec 24

    Our rice is almost done. Just waiting for liquid to get absorbed. Had a sneak taste and it is delicious. Just telling my husband how I don’t understand a few simple ingredients could produce a great flavorful dish. This was so simple that I watched the episode yesterday. Didn’t write anything down and was able to remember the recipe. Patti, love your show, the foods you produce and your great family. Thank you.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 06

      You are way too kind Lori, thanks so much. Love that you loved this recipe 🙂

  37. Jazz

    Dec 22

    If we don’t have ground ancho chili, what can we use as a substitute? Also, if I do find the ancho chili will it make this dish spicy or is it more for color? Thanks Patti!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 24

      You could use some Cayenne or Paprika Jazz, but if your find the Ancho chili go for it, it will not be spicy because Anchos tend to be more sweet than hot. Enjoy!

  38. Ron Forman

    Dec 10

    This is a fabulous recipe. I just made it, following it exactly, except for using Lundberg Basmati rice. The result is simply killer! We’re going to mix some chicken (cooked) when we serve it. Thanks! Love your show also.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 11

      Thanks for tuning in Ron! Great idea to serve this rice with chicken, yum!

  39. Getsemani

    Dec 05

    Pati we’ve been teaching teenagers in Chicago to cook vía zoom since the summer. This week is lentil challenge. I’m making this, of course!!! Loved the Sonora season. Cuando gustes nos visitas virtualmente.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 06

      Muchisimas gracias Getsemani, hope your students will love this recipe 😉

  40. Yolanda

    Nov 28

    Hola Pati! Love your show! I watch with my hubby and kids all the time! I want to make this rice in my 7qt pot. Do you think it’s ok…or should it be a wider skillet type pot?? Gracias!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 02

      You can go ahead and use your 7 qt, good luck!

  41. Shirley

    Nov 23

    I made it Sunday. Delicious and so flavorful! It tastes so good that it is a meal in itself!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 02

      So glad you liked this rice Shirley 😉

  42. Crystal

    Nov 23

    My mama is from Sonora and I’m very Much Enjoying the season! I love that I can relate to everything! I’m going to try this recipe but what could I use in place of the Chile ancho? I don’t have any handy. Also, when I was a kid a told people who didn’t know what coyotas were that they were Mexican pop tarts… 🙂

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 02

      You can just skip it Crystal, no problem 🙂 Mexican pop tarts, haha, that’s a good one!

  43. Lauren

    Nov 21

    I made this last night and it was yummy! Since we had leftovers I decided to fry and egg and add it to a bowl this morning with some hot sauce. Que sabroso!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 22

      Wow, great idea Lauren, que rico!

    2. Cyndi

      Jan 31

      That sounds good!

  44. Roy Marquez

    Nov 17

    Good Morning Pati,
    I watch your program every weekend. I just saw your “Rice with Lentils and Caramelized Onions” recipe and gave it a try. It is delicious! The aromas are wonderful! I will continue to make this. Thank you. Have a good day.
    Roy

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 22

      Thanks so much for the feedback Roy, so happy you approved! 🙂

  45. Maggie Brown

    Nov 14

    I can’t wait to try this amazing rice, onion and lentils.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 22

      Let me know how the rice came out Maggie 😉

  46. Carlita Favero

    Nov 14

    I’m excited to try this recipe! I always love flavorful vegetarian dishes and the lentils should be good protein so you don’t feel hungry. Thanks!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 22

      Thanks so much Carlita, hope you like it!

  47. Christina Ronstadt

    Nov 13

    Fantastic dish. We loved it. Love your show! My husband is from Tucson. We bring dozens of the Sonoran tortillas back home to LA every year. They are the best!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 22

      So glad you liked the rice Christina! Lucky you have access to Sonoran Tortillas often, yum!

  48. Laura Valdez

    Nov 11

    Was excited to make this when I saw it, husband and kids enjoyed it! Easy to make as well.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 11

      So glad the whole family liked it Laura 😉

  49. Laura Mod

    Nov 10

    Good Morning Pati,
    On the show, weren’t the lentils cooked in water first? Or were they soaking? If so, for how long?
    Love your show!!! Every time my husband and i watch, we get so hungry. Thank You Laura Mod, Whittier CA

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 11

      I don’t soak or pre cook the lentils Laura, they were just washed and drained 😉

      1. Anonymous

        Nov 15

        The instructions in the recipe and in the program direct us to cook the lentils 20 minutes with bay leaves for brim tender

  50. Anonymous

    Nov 09

    What a great side! Perfect for any meal: chicken, meat or fish. You can serve it with so many things. The caramelized onions and spices made for such a delicious, savory and different flavor profile. I did need a tad more salt which I never say but that’s better than there being too much salt. Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 11

      So glad you liked it!

  51. Connie Torres

    Nov 09

    Hoy preparé tu receta y me gustó mucho. Me hacía falta tener una receta diferente para preparar lentejas y tu receta está muy buena. Muchas gracias. La siguiente será el guisado para las chimichangas y el caldito de queso. Dios te bendiga Pati.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 11

      Que alegria que te gusto Connie! Suerte con el Chile con carne y la sopa 😉

  52. Jennifer H.

    Nov 07

    Do you have a preferred type of lentils for this recipe? I’ve seen many different kinds at the store and am never sure which one(s) to buy. Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 11

      For this particular recipe, I use brown lentils Jennifer 😉

      1. Jennifer H.

        Nov 29

        Thank you!! I look forward to trying this.

  53. Sandra D

    Nov 07

    I am anxious to try the Rice with Lentils recipe.
    Which lentils should I use?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 11

      Any Sandra, just find your favorite brand, enjoy!

  54. Jeanne

    Oct 06

    I don’t know why it took so long for me to make this. Both my husband and myself couldn’t stop eating it. We Love It!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 07

      So glad you like this recipe from the new season Jeanne 🙂

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