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Lentil Rice

2016 is The International Year of Pulses, and this week we’re celebrating with this savory coconut lentil rice. For those of you who aren’t sure what pulses are, we’ve got you covered! Pulses are a family of legumes that includes lentils, beans, dry peas and chickpeas. They are a rich source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the world, and can be incorporated into meals in so many fun and creative ways. Along with protein, pulses are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and potassium. Just one cup of cooked pulses gives you over half of the fiber you need for an entire day! They are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which offer endless health benefits ranging from weight management to improved digestion.

The pulse featured in this recipe is lentils. Lentils are an excellent source of protein, iron, folate, and potassium. This powerful pulse is rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, and low in fat and calories. Lentils are so flexible in the kitchen, and can be incorporated in a myriad of ways. 

Pulses are easily accessible to communities in different parts of the world because of their affordability. They are also amazing for our environment- pulses use a fraction of the water other protein sources use! They enrich our soil, which results in crops with improved nutrient profiles.

So now that we all know how amazing lentils and other pulses are, let’s get to this recipe! It’s incredibly easy and straight forward. First you’ll cook your lentils and brown rice separately, until tender. Everyone has their own tricks for cooking brown rice- I usually boil under low-medium heat for 30-40 minutes with the right water ratio (see below) and that works perfectly every time. If you have another way, make sure to go for it! After the lentils and rice are cooked, you’ll sauté them in coconut oil, tomato paste, onions, and garlic. Throw some fresh cilantro in there, and you’re all set!

Make sure to let us know in the comments below how this recipe turned out for you! Are you a pulse fan? Let us know in the comments below what your favorite pulses are. 

Lentil Rice
Total Time
45 mins
Servings: 4
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup lentils
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  1. In a pot, bring the 2 ½ cups of water and salt to a boil

  2. Add the uncooked brown rice and cook over low-medium heat for 35 minutes, with the lid on. Cook with the lid off for the last 5 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated and the rice is tender

  3. While that’s happening, cook ¼ cup of lentils in another pot filled with water for 35 minutes as well or until the lentils are tender. Drain and set aside.

  4. Once the rice and lentils are cooked, heat your coconut oil and tomato paste on a pan. Add the chopped onions, and sliced garlic cloves and sauté together for 2 minutes

  5. Then add the cooked rice and lentils, and using a large spoon, mix all the ingredients well together

  6. Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes

  7. Remove from the stove, and season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste

  8. Throw in the fresh cilantro, and mix in well with the rice

This post was created in collaboration with USAPulses & PulseCanada

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15 Comments on Lentil Rice

  1. Avatar
    Kristi Linebaugh
    June 15, 2016 at 2:47 pm (5 years ago)

    This looks so fantastic. I love lentils. Do you ever use French Lentils? They have a nice pop to them and are nice and firm for salads and other goodies. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  2. Avatar
    Elizabeth Phillips
    June 27, 2016 at 4:34 pm (5 years ago)

    I’ve never seen a recipe for Coconut Lentil Rice, it looks delicious! We’ll be trying this soon, thanks for the post!

  3. Avatar
    August 28, 2016 at 1:30 am (5 years ago)

    I just made these for dinner and my husband almost licked the pan clean! The only tweak I made was adding a little curry powder. So delicious…thanks for sharing and for all the work you do!

    • Avatar
      August 28, 2016 at 1:33 am (5 years ago)

      This, not these…sorry I’m a grammar freak and I couldn’t let that slide 🙂

    • Wendy
      August 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm (5 years ago)

      yayyy so happy ya’ll liked!

  4. Avatar
    September 13, 2016 at 11:51 pm (5 years ago)

    Woohoo! Another #pulsepledge -er here. Always glad to see recipes with pulses in them!

    • Wendy
      September 14, 2016 at 4:45 pm (5 years ago)


  5. Avatar
    November 23, 2016 at 8:12 pm (4 years ago)

    What type of lentils do you use for this recipe?

    • Wendy
      November 23, 2016 at 8:24 pm (4 years ago)

      Hey! Just regular brown lentils!

  6. Avatar
    May 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm (4 years ago)

    Great & Fast Recipe! Only change, I added Chili Lime seasoning. So good!

    • Wendy
      May 8, 2017 at 8:54 pm (4 years ago)

      Yumm! So happy you enjoyed!

  7. Avatar
    February 28, 2018 at 4:41 am (3 years ago)

    Made this tonight! I added a bit of coconut milk to moisten the mixture. It was so filling and delicious – adding it to my regular rotation <3

    • Wendy
      February 28, 2018 at 2:08 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s a great add on! So happy to hear you enjoyed!

  8. Avatar
    July 19, 2018 at 11:53 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m trying to figure out the calories. You said it serves 3.. is that 3 cups?

    • Wendy
      July 21, 2018 at 7:29 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey! The serving size is a little over a cup

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