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Wild Rice with French Green Lentils

Wild Rice with French Green Lentils

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  • 4 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup wild rice (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, halved crosswise
  • 1 celery stalk, halved crosswise
  • 4 ounces 1/4-inch-thick pancetta (Italian bacon), cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup dried French green lentils
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring 2 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan. Add rice and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain. Return rice to pan.

  • Meanwhile, insert cloves into onion. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; sauté until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add lentils; stir 1 minute. Add 1 3/4 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat (some liquid may remain in pan). Discard onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf. Stir rice into lentil mixture. DO AHEAD:Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

  • Simmer rice-lentil mixture uncovered over medium heat until heated through and liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes. Stir in parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe by Maria Helm Sinskey,Photos by Pornchai MittongtareReviews Section

Smoky Instant Pot Lentils and Rice

Meet our new favorite: this Instant Pot lentils and rice recipe! It came about as an accident, actually! I wanted to make a bowl meal with both lentils and rice, and needed to cook both of them. Alex and I knew you could cook rice in an Instant Pot, but wondered whether both lentils and rice could cook together our the Instant Pot (pressure cooker)! We tried it out using brown rice and lentils of the French variety, and added some spices to make them taste smoky and meaty. And guess what…

It worked! The Instant Pot lentils and rice cooked perfectly together, and the brown rice cooked much faster than on the stovetop! These lentils and rice are incredibly versatile: you can use them as a taco filling, as a bowl meal, in nachos, or as a side dish. And, we’re so smitten that we made you a video! Watch below.

Related: Use this recipe as a filling for our Instant Pot Tacos with Smoky Lentils!

Wild Rice with French Green Lentils - Recipes

In a small saucepan add the lentils to about 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to med-low and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes or to taste, but don't cook so long they lose their shape. Drain and cool.

In the same pan (no need to wash it), add the rice to about 2 cups of water. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to med-low and cover. Cook for about 35 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the rice rest in the pot, on the stove for about another 5 minutes. At this stage I usually find that some, but not all the grains have split open. I like the soft crunch at this stage, but if you prefer all the grains open, by all means let it rest for an additional 5-15 minutes. Drain and cool. (I suggest cooking the rice and lentils in the morning, or even the day before if you like, and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to proceed).

Put the rice and lentils into a large bowl. Chop the celery, pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers into smallish chunks (bigger than 1/4" but less 1/2" works for me), add to the cooled rice and lentils. Add the green onions, herbs, feta, and lemon juice and give the salad a good toss. Add the freshly grated carrots, the olive oil, sugar and a good grinding of black pepper. Taste before you add salt as the feta often does the job! Chill for however long you have, or up to a few days.

Skinny on Savory Slow Cooker Brown Rice and Lentils

In the recipe’s headnotes, Betty says that “This savory slow cooker brown rice and lentils is a great starter recipe if you are new to whole grains. Using a slow cooker is a terrific way to prepare them because some grains take a while to cook.”

Hearty, flavorful, and satisfying, this recipe for slow cooker brown rice and lentils makes 8 cups, enough for 6 generous 1-1/3 cup main dish servings, with 330 calories and:

8 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
6 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
2 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
8 *PointsPlus (Old plan)

We’ve been enjoying it as a side dish. Last night it was perfect served with broiled salmon and a simple Asian slaw.

Next time I’ll probably make a half batch in my 2-Quart slow cooker to cut down on the leftovers. Or plan to freeze some of it in individual ZipLock bags for quick and easy lunches. Enjoy!

Curious about Weight Watchers new myWW Green , Blue and Purple plans? Watch this short video to learn more:

If you’ve made this Slow Cooked Lentils with Brown Rice, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup French Green lentils
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small yam or sweet potato, diced (about two cups)
  • 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 can (14.5-ounce) diced, salt-free tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried green herbs (like a French or Italian blend)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 4 cups greens cut into bite-size pieces (like kale, chard, spinach, collards, beet greens)

  1. In a soup pot on high, bring the water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes (a low boil).
  2. Add the onion, yam/sweet potato, cauliflower, celery, tomatoes (including juice), and the four herbs and spices. Cook for 10 minutes at the same heat. Add greens, and cook for 5-10 more minutes (spinach, chard and beet greens won’t take as long to cook as kale or collard greens), until potatoes and greens are tender. Serve as is or over cooked brown rice.

Soup, stew or filling: As written, this recipe is more of a stew than a soup (especially upon reheating the next day), so I like to serve it over brown or wild rice, or in a corn tortilla with a little avocado on top. But you can easily make it into a soup by adding 1-2 cups of water in step two.

Lentils: A variety of lentils exist, and can be used in this recipe by adjusting the cooking time slightly (mainly for red lentils, which take only 25-30 minutes to cook).

Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes can also be used, especially when they are in season (about 1-½ cups diced).

Meatless Monday – Kale Salad with Lentils and Wild Rice

This one is for you, Margie! My sister, Margaret, asked me to come up with a new lentil salad recipe, so here you go! Thank you for the inspiration – this one is a keeper! Lentils and rice are one of my favorite food combinations but they can be heavy which makes them a perfect belly warming winter meal but luckily those cold winter months are behind us. I decided to lighten them up for summer by tossing French green lentils in a salad with chewy wild rice, toasted pine nuts, tomatoes and kale. Top with scallions, fresh herbs, crumbled feta and a drizzle of lemony vinaigrette for a really delicious and satisfying salad.

Lentils come in a rainbow of colors, each with their own characteristics. In general, the darker the lentil, the firmer the texture. Lighter colored lentils, like yellow and red, are quite mushy when cooked and best for soups. Brown lentils have a nice flavor but can get mushy if cooked too long. French green lentils (pictured above) are my favorite but closely followed by Black Beluga lentils which I often use with colorful squashes because of the striking color contrast. If you don’t normally eat lentils, here are Five Reasons why you should start:

  2. PROTECT YOUR HEART – significant amount of folate and magnesium
  3. STABILIZE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR – full of complex carbohydrates
  4. HIGH IN PROTEIN- the vegetable with the highest level of protein other than soybeans
  5. IMPORTANT MINERALS AND ANTIOXIDANTS – good source of iron, magnesium and zinc

Wild rice is actually not really rice. It’s the seed of the water grass, Zizania. It has a wonderful chewy texture and nutty flavor that is really good in this salad, however it packs it’s own nutritional whollop. Wild rice is also a good source of protein, fiber, iron and copper as well as other minerals and vitamins including B complex. Together, they make this meal hearty enough to be a main course.

Should we even talk about kale? We all know it’s the reigning queen of leafy greens for it’s nutritional benefits, and rightly so. I used a bunch of red kale from my CSA box but lacinato (dino) or curly kale will work well too. Since kale is so fibrous, I removed the center rib and sliced the leafy green leaves into thin julienne strips. This preparation makes it easier to eat and allows the flavors to blend more easily since all the other ingredients are so small. I learned one unexpected benefit of using kale in salads instead of more traditional lettuces. I had some leftover salad which I stored in the refrigerator. Well you know what happens to salads that have already been dressed that sit in the refrigerator overnight… Two days later, I remembered the salad and went to throw it away but it still looked okay. I ate it for lunch and it was still surprisingly good. The kale held up really well. Who knew?

TIPS: I used two Roma tomatoes for this salad because they are easier to dice and have fewer juices and seeds than the larger Beefsteak or Celbrity types, however, any ripe tomato will work. If you aren’t a fan of wild rice, you can use a wild rice mix or substitute any kind of rice you like. A long grain rice cooked al dente will give better results than the stickier shorter grains.

Kale Salad with Lentils and Wild Rice

1/2 cup dry wild rice
1/2 cup dry lentils (green, black or brown)
1 large or 2 smaller tomatoes, finely diced
2 cups kale, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional)

¼ cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsn lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

  • Cook the wild rice according to package instructions (about 45 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool, uncovered.

  • Cook the lentils according to package instructions but make sure they don’t get too soft. They should be firm enough to maintain their shape. Remove from heat and let cool, uncovered.

  • Toast pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat until golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool

  • Wash kale and remove the thick center rib. Stack kale and slice thinly crosswise. Place in a large serving bowl
  • .
  • Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

  • Transfer wild rice, lentils, pine nuts and cilantro to bowl with kale. (Wild rice and lentils can be slightly warm but not hot)

Kale Salad with Lentils and Wild Rice

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy

1/2 cup dry wild rice
1/2 cup dry lentils (green, black or brown)
1 large or 2 smaller tomatoes, finely diced
2 cups kale, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional)

¼ cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsn lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Marinated Mushroom Bowls with Lentils and Wild Rice

  • Author: Mushroom Council
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1 x
  • Category: Apps & Sides, Main, Vegetarian


This meal-in-a-bowl is full of bright flavors and delicious textures. A mix of crimini mushrooms are marinated in an Asian-inspired dressing and paired with hearty grains and lentils alongside crunchy vegetables. You can swap the French lentils with another type of lentil and cooked chickpeas are also a delicious option. Any grain such as brown rice or quinoa can be substituted for the wild rice.

Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash With Wild Rice, Lentils, Cherries and Walnuts

Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice and lentils make for an elegant vegan dinner! It’s easy enough for a weeknight, yet would make a lovely addition to a Thanksgiving menu. (Photo source: Dená Brummer)

| Yield: 4 servings | Time: 1 hour |


½ cup chopped dried cherries

1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme

½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley


Pre-soak the wild rice and French green lentils together for 30 minutes, adding enough cold water to cover by one inch.

Halve the acorn squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, brush or spray with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper roast for 30-45 minutes, or until tender and golden on the cut edges.

While the squash is cooking, add the wild rice, lentils and two cups of vegetable stock to a small pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Drain off any excess stock and stir in the dried cherries, green onions, walnuts, and thyme . Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine everything well.

Remove the squash from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes before filling.

Divide the filling into the 4 squash halves. Place them on a serving dish and garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Salad of warm greens, french lentils and wild rice

And here’s Big Daddy Kane with Warm it Up, Kane to sing to yourself while you warm up your kale.

1/2 a bunch of kale, stems removed
1 cup spinach
1 cup french lentils, prepared like this With plenty of sage, thyme, and rosemary. Peel 2 or 3 carrots and cut them in thick batons. Add them when you add the uncooked lentils.
1 cup wild rice (1/2 cup uncooked)
3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 t. basil
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic
salt and plenty of pepper.
1/3 cup slivered or flaked almonds, slightly crushed

Put a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the kale and cook for about 7 minutes, till it’s soft but still bright green. Strain and cool till you can handle it, then chop roughly. If you’re using baby spinach, you can leave it uncooked. If you’re using regular spinach, toss it in with the kale for the last minute of cooking.

Put the cooked greens in a bowl or on a plate. Toss in the lentils and rice.

In a small frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, red pepper and basil. Cook till the garlic starts to brown. Add the tomatoes and the balsamic, and cook till the tomatoes get just a bit mushy. You can add a spoonful of water if you want it a bit thinner.

Spoon the tomatoes over the greens. Sprinkle the almonds on top, and any cheese you’d like to use.

Vegan Crock Pot Curried Rice and Lentils

Inspired by more traditional Indian recipes, this quick and easy curried rice, and lentils is a full vegetarian and vegan meal right out of your crock pot or slow cooker. Made with nothing more than rice, lentils, and some seasonings, it takes just a couple minutes to toss everything in the slow cooker, and it really couldn't be simpler.

It's got a starch (rice) to fill it out, a protein with plenty of fiber, which means all you need to do is toss in whatever veggies you have on hand, or thaw out some frozen veggies or whip up a quick green salad as a side dish, and you've got yourself a complete one-dish meal in your crockpot.

This is a high-protein meal with more than 14 grams of protein per serving, and, as a completely egg-free and dairy-free dish, it's completely cholesterol-free and very low in fat. With no added oil, the only fat comes from what's in the lentils naturally.

This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan, but if you need it to be gluten-free, you'll have to omit or check the ingredients on your vegetable broth and bouillon cubes, which are very likely to contain hidden gluten.