Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake is cheesey, delicious comfort food even a carnivore will love!
Heads up oh beautiful, wonderful readers! This is an update to the original post dated January 1, 2015. The following information is dated June 8, 2016.
First of all, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for making this one of my most popular, most pinned, most replicated recipes. Love you all and thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.
Seems like forever that my hubby and I have been making this dish, however, some of you had problems achieving a fully-cooked dish in the amount of time specified in the recipe.
I felt your pain. Few things are worse than waiting on a dish that simply will not cook when you’re hungry and all eyes are on the oven.
As recently promised in a comment, I retested this dish. I baked it in the same white baking dish as the original. I even invested in an oven thermometer to see if my oven was running super hot. The oven temperature specified in the recipe is 375 degrees, however, my oven thermometer actually registered 350 degrees during the retest.
Overall it turned out as I stated in the recipe. However, I have updated the recipe to be more specific with times, materials and process.
- Use a glass or ceramic baking dish as they conduct heat better than metal.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil as a loose-fitting lid allows too much liquid to evaporate.
- Only stir once during the baking process as lifting the lid halts the cooking process.
- At 1 hour 30 minutes (90 minutes), remove the lid, stir in half the cheese, place the other half on the top and continue baking uncovered another 20 minutes or so for the cheese to melt and brown slightly.
- Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
As much as I would like, I can’t account for every variable and ovens and products vary in performance. Hoping that these tweaks will make this delicious dish work better for you!!!!
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming………
Oh, the lentil joy!
This Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake is meatless comfort food that even a carnivore will love. My husband and I began making this casserole back in my vegetarian days, which we’ll just say was a long, long time ago so as not to date myself.
The recipe we originally followed is “Lively Lentil Bake” from Hot, Spicy and Meatless, Over 150 Delicious, Fiery and Healthful Recipes by Dave DeWitt, et. al., the folks behind Chile Pepper Magazine. This collection of spicy vegetarian fare was published in 1994.
Our recipe is significantly different from the original, however, the procedure remains the same–combine all the ingredients in the baking dish and let it bake away! About all you make dirty in the process is your knife and a measuring cup.
It’s one of our favorites when we’re both busy and don’t have a lot of time to prep and cook. Most of the time, we already have the ingredients on hand or we make minor substitutions as this is a versatile and forgiving recipe. The authors of the original recipe suggest stuffing bell peppers with the finished product. Brilliant!
When working with dry lentils, always be sure to look them over carefully for anything foreign such as stones. Place a small handful at a time on a white paper plate. A white paper plate works well because you can easily pour the lentils directly into whatever you’re making after inspecting them.
Serve with warm corn tortillas and a crisp, fresh salad.
Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake for the win!
Thank you, hope you enjoy and please share this From A Chef’s Kitchen reader favorite!
Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake is comfort food even a carnivore will love!
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3/4 cup brown lentils
- 3/4 cup long-grain brown rice
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can (15-ounce) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (4-ounce) diced green chilies
- 1 tablespoon taco or other Southwestern seasoning blend
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Pepperjack or white Cheddar), divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all ingredients, except the cheese, in a deep 8 x 8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and mix well. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1 1/2 hours, stirring once while the mixture is baking.
Remove the foil, stir in half the cheese and place the remaining cheese over the top.
Return to oven (uncovered) and bake until cheese has melted, approximately 20 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.