Spicy rice pilaf with lentils

Rice pilaf used to be one of our favorite dishes in the king household.  Granted I used to put some pretty weird things in there – hot dogs (no, not while I was pregnant) and other variety of things.

Since the baby I haven’t made a whole lot of rice pilaf and today I am fixing that.

Rice Pilaf

This rice dish has a bit of a mexican twist to it with beans, lentils, and spices.

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I love all the texture and the spices, as well as the fact that it’s a healthier version.

Which brings me to two different points.

1.  The kidney beans.  I decided to buy a bag of dry kidney beans to save dollars and avoid some canned food.  The back of the package said to soak them in hot water for 1 to 6 hours and I did just that.

Not a huge fan.  Next time I think I’ll try to soak them in water overnight to see if that makes a difference.

2.  The brown rice.  What. a. pain.  I swear it’s out to get me.  But don’t worry – I prevailed.

Back to the rice pilaf.

This recipe is especially great because it only takes you a couple of minutes to put together and then you just let it cook for a while.  Just what the doctor ordered for this mom of a super mischievous little toddler.

Spicy rice pilaf with lentils
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Healthy dinner that takes a couple of minutes to put together and cooks while you're free to do whatever you need.
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • ¼ cup lentils, uncooked
  • 1 can of kidney beans or about ½ cup of dry kidney beans, presoaked
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth), low sodium
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • a dash of chili powder
  • a dash of red pepper flakes
  • a dash of garlic powder
  • (the above depend on how spicy you like things)
  • Kielbasa goes super well in this, if you'd like to add a little meat to your dish
  1. Cook the onion in the oil for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then lower the temperature and cook for about an hour, or until rice and lentils taste like they're cooked.



  1. This looks delicious! My mom is big into using dry beans so she always soaks them over night in water to make sure they get fully soft! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Kat!

  2. Ooh this looks so good. It’s making me hungry…

  3. yummmmmmmm! sooooo pinning this & making this! looks like something gemma will eat too!

  4. Looks delicious! I’m always looking for good vegetarian dishes that I can easily add meat to for my husband!

  5. Oh, thank you for sharing your Mexican dish! Gonna spread this recipe with my sister. She loves Mexican food.

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