I like to do most of my cooking on the weekend so I can put meals together during the week without too much effort. This recipe is perfect for that since it really cooks itself and I can be preparing other things while it simmers away filling the house with it’s delicious aroma. Another plus is that it’s one of the most versatile recipes I have. With a change in seasoning and vegetables it can become a whole different dish. It’s also budget friendly because what’s more economical than lentils and rice? By combining legumes and grains you get a complete protein so this can be a main dish or as a side dish with another protein if you prefer.



  • 1 cup uncooked brown long grain rice
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped or frozen, but thaw and drain first
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 package (8 ounces) non dairy cheese (optional)


  1. Place the rice and lentils in a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight or at least 6 hours.
  2. Drain and place in the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients except the cheese if using.
  3. Cover and cook on high 5-6 hours or low 8 hours depending on your specific slow cooker. It’s done when the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been cooked down.
  4. If using the cheese add it individually to each serving.

Nutritional Info:

Makes 8 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving (without cheese):  Calories: 180, Cal. from Fat: 6, Total Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 38g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: 9.5g, Sodium: 343mg, Chol: 0mg


To change the flavor of this dish substitute the oregano and basil for cumin and chili powder and add some frozen corn (thaw and drain first). To make an Indian inspired dish substitute the oregano and basil for curry powder, cumin and garam masala and add carrots and cauliflower.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You may want to add a little broth when warming up.

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  1. This sounds delicious! I have my rice and lentils soaking now. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Kristy says:

      Aimee, I certainly hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. The great thing about it is you can customize it to your own taste by adding any spices, seasonings or vegetables you chose. You can even add in some non dairy cheese just before serving. Enjoy, Kristy

  2. Stacy says:

    This looks great! I don’t have a slow cooker though, could I cook it in a dutch oven on the stove? How long would you recommend? Thank you!

    • Kristy says:

      I’m sure this would work great on the stove Stacy. I would probably cook it the amount of time you would normally cook the rice or slightly longer until the liquid has reduced. I might even cut back on the amount of broth to 3-4 cups rather than 5, maybe start with 3 and add more if it starts looking too dry before the lentils and rice are tender. I also don’t think you would have to soak the lentils and rice first when cooking on the stove top. Good luck.

  3. Julie says:

    Are those red lentils you are using? Also, if I use regular dairy cheese on each serving, do you have a recommendation of what kind?

    • Kristy says:

      Julie, I have used both crimson and yellow lentils and both work equally well. I guess the type of cheese to use would depend on what way you would be going with the seasonings. If you are going with the basil and oregano I would use asiago, parmesan, fontina, mozzarella or a combination of 1 or more. If you went with the cumin and chili powder I would go with cheddar, monterey jack, manchego, queso fresco or a combination. I don’t think I would use cheese with the Indian spices though. Let us know how you like it.

  4. Gloria says:

    I was looking for “how to prepare whole wheat english muffins” and found your site! I’m a fan of everything you cook with the crock-pot! I’m not vegetarian though, but I’m trying the “Meat-less Monday” tradition which is going to be so much easier with the nice recipes in this site! Thanks for posting!

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Gloria, We’re glad you are finding lots of recipes to enjoy. We have many “meat” recipes either from when we ate meat or when we entertain our friends and family who do. The meatless Monday is a great tradition and we certainly can help provide many options for you there.


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