I first encountered this lentil rice casserole recipe years ago when I was homeschooling my kids. Baking one’s own bread and cooking healthy, low-cost recipes were very much a part of the homeschooling community. One popular source of recipes were the Sue Gregg cookbooks. These were offered for sale in virtually every homeschool resource catalog and I bought the whole set which I still have.
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Lentil Rice Casserole
The beauty of this recipe is that it is not only versatile but it’s made from ingredients which are easy to always have on hand.
You can use a chopped fresh onion or dried minced onion in this recipe. The nice thing about using dried is that you can mix up all the ingredients and store them in pre-measured packets. You then just add broth and cook. Or you can substitute powdered bouillon in mix and only have to add water. I use this organic chicken flavored broth powder from Azure Standard:
It’s so handy to have this pre-mixed but even if you have to measure out everything it only takes a few minutes to throw this together and put it in the oven. It takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours to bake in a 300 degree oven so be sure to start it in plenty of time. I actually like that aspect of the recipe because I can get it in the oven early and then know that dinner is well underway. And it smells wonderful as it bakes!
The original recipe calls for basil, oregano, thyme and garlic powder and is quite delicious. Serve it topped with additional grated cheese if desired, along with a tossed green salad and a cooked vegetable. Leftovers can be used in flour tortillas to make quick and tasty burritos – great for a quick lunch!
Lentil Rice Casserole
Easy and versatile!
- 3/4 cup uncooked lentils
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup minced dried onion or one small onion, diced
- 3 cups hot water + chicken or vegetable bouillon or chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in 2 to 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. I use a 9 inch square baking dish.
Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until lentils are tender and rice is cooked.
During last 20 minutes of baking, top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional).
Stir in cheese just prior to serving.
Another option is to make lentil rice tacos with a simple switch of seasonings.
For taco flavor
Instead of the basil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder combination:
- 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (or pinch of cayenne and salt to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder/granules
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
Fry up some corn tortillas, fill with the cooked lentil rice casserole and top with cheese, green onions, lettuce, tomato, hot sauce and sour cream (or your favorite taco toppings). These are a HUGE hit at my house.
It’s also easy to make this recipe vegan. Substitute vegan broth (the “chicken” flavored powder I use is vegan and gluten free) and either skip the cheese or use a vegan cheese. This is a perfect dish to make when serving a group of people with different dietary needs. It is already vegetarian and gluten-free. And trust me – when served as tacos even avowed meat eaters will love it. We aren’t vegetarian (at least not right now – we have been in the past) but we like tacos made with this just as well as the usual ground beef tacos. And it’s a LOT less expensive.
Give this recipe a try for “Taco Tuesday”!
Original recipe adapted from Sue Gregg‘s Main Dishes cookbook.
This recipe is linked up at Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday. Check out the link of lots of great recipes!