A healthy, vegetarian dish these one-pot lentils and quinoa couldn't be easier. With spinach, mushrooms, and lots of herbs, they're flavorful and delicious!
There's nothing more comforting than a bowl meal. I find that they nourish me from the inside out. Fill my belly, make me happy, and taste amazing.
And today's is no different. It's a cozy bowl of beans with hearty vegetables and quinoa. They’re warm and comforting like a bowl just wraps you up in a big food hug.
Not to mention it’s filled with nutrients. It really is one of those meals that you eat and feel completely satisfied.
The Benefits of Lentils
The star of today’s show: LENTILS
Now I just have to say, lentils have not always been my favorite thing. They were certainly not on the top of my list when it came to beans (gimme all the chickpeas and black beans), BUT now that I’m eating more plant-centric, lentils have become a go-to protein source for me. I always have some in my fridge ready to be tossed in a salad, wrap or just eating with a bit of salt and pepper. They’re just easy. And SO good!
Here are 10 reasons why I love lentils:
- fabulous source of plant-based protein, with one serving containing 11g
- packed with fiber and have 19g per serving
- really high in iron and one serving contains 20% of your daily value
- full of other macronutrients like folate (disease-preventing), thiamin, and phosphorus
- quick-cooking unlike most beans and can be made in under 20 minutes
- one of the oldest legumes ever – they’ve been dated back to 7,000BC (say whaaat!)
- a great meat substitute – just try them in burgers!
- come in lots of different varieties
- used all over the world from Ethiopia to France to Iran (and NYC!)
And bonus: you can make an easy, one-pot vegan meal in 30 minutes!
How to Make Easy One Pot Lentils
Okay back to the topic at hand: these gorgeous one-pot lentils.
As the title suggests, this recipe is a cinch to make. You basically start by sauteeing some of your aromatics together, then adding in some of the veggies. From there, you'll stir in the rest of your ingredients, let it simmer and once it's all cooked, you're ready to serve!
Here are some highlights of the ingredients we're using:
- Aromatics: to kick start the flavor building process of this recipe, we're using shallots and garlic. Sauteeing them both together is a perfect way to being this dish.
- Vegetables: with our aromatics cooking, we'll add mushrooms and carrots. I love using these two together as they both have a kind of “meaty” texture and help give some heft to the overall texture.
- Spices: spice is the variety of life as they say and we're using some classics in this one: rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper flakes. Plus salt and pepper of course!
- Lentils: we've also got our lentils of course! This recipe calls for brown or green lentils – not red!! – and they need to be uncooked.
- Quinoa: you can use any variety of quinoa you'd like in this recipe – white, red, tri-color or even black!
- Veggie broth: the liquid we'll be using is veggie broth to keep it vegan, but you could certainly use chicken if that's what you have on hand.
- Spinach: and one of the final ingredients that we're stirring in at the end is spinach! 4 – 5 cups for this recipe which is amazing – such an easy way to sneak in a TON of greens!
Can I cook Quinoa and Lentils in One Pot?
Clearly from the title of this post, the short answer is: YES! You can absolutely cook lentils and quinoa in one pot. I actually think is an awesome way to cook both ingredients – you get to double up on protein and fiber in one pot!
How Long to Cook Lentils and Quinoa Together
The only tricky thing is that lentils and quinoa don't cook at the same time. So what I tend to do is cook the lentils first and then add a splash of liquid and the quinoa towards the end. My general rule of thumb is 30 minutes – 15 for just the lentils, 15 more for the lentils and quinoa.
You can also cook them all together, but the quinoa might be slightly mushy. If that's fine for you, just throw everything together for 30(ish) minutes!
What to Serve with One-Pot Lentils and Quinoa
Once you’re ready to serve the lentils, might I suggest you drizzle with a generous helping of olive oil, so fresh herbs (I used chives), and some freshly grated parmesan cheese? You won’t be sorry.
But wait…cheese? On a vegan recipe?
Gotcha! That fluffy white stuff on top of these bowls? That’s not cheese!
It’s freshly grated cashews, which a) totally looks like cheese and b) is freaking amazing! I’m doing this on all my pasta dishes from now until forever.
I'd also recommend serving this with a slice of toast or (if you're not GF) a baguette. Anything is better with a slice of bread.
Hope you're ready to dig in – these one-pot lentils and quinoa are calling your name!
More Healthy Lentil Recipes to try:
- One Pot Moroccan Lentils + Quinoa
- Detox Moroccan Lentil Soup
- Vegan Lentil Meatloaf with Quinoa
- Detox Turmeric Lentil Soup
- Instant Pot Lentil Chili
One-Pot Lentils + Quinoa with Spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 2 - 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup green/brown lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 1/2 cups water divided
- 1 teaspoon miso paste optional*
- 1/2 cup red quinoa or variety of choice, uncooked
- 4 - 5 cups fresh spinach
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Olive oil fresh herbs and grated cashews* to garnish
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or cast iron pot. Add shallots and carrots and cook until the carrots have started to soften, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are juicy and tender, another 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs. Stir around until the whole mixture becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour in lentils, broth, 2 cups of water and miso (if using). Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and add quinoa and remaining water. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture back to a boil, recover and reduce to simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Remove pot from the heat, uncover and add spinach, stirring gently to combine. Taste (carefully!) and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs and grated cashews.