Cheezy Rice & Lentil Bake

I’ve made this a few times and the kids always love it. There are so many different variations of this dish so get creative! You can make this with or without the spinach and tomato addition. A few people said they used the leftovers as dip! I used it (in my next post) for Leftovers Lasagna! Enjoy!

Cheezy Rice & Lentil Bake

Cheezy Rice & Lentil Bake

Cheezy Rice & Lentil Bake (with Spinach/Tomato/Quinoa option!)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups low sodium veggie broth or water
  • 3/4 cup lentils – I used green lentils
  • 1/2 cup brown rice or quinoa
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • * 10oz package frozen spinach (optional)
  • * 1-15oz can diced tomatoes, drained OR 1 box Pomi chopped tomatoes, drained (optional – you could use 1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes here too!)

** Cheeze recipe below

Possible additions – artichoke hearts (add to the spinach version!), 1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, soaked for 30 minutes (instead of Pomi or canned), green chiles, red pepper flakes, use leftovers from Spinach Artichoke Dip instead of the LowFat Nacho Cheese…

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients except the tomatoes and cheese in a baking dish (I use an 11 x 7 for the original recipe – used a 9 x 13 with the spinach and tomato addition).
  3. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes – (the quinoa/lentil/spinach took about an hour in my oven but all ovens vary so check on it)
  4. Make the cheese sauce before the time is up – takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil, add the cheese (recipe below), stir well and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
  6. If using tomatoes, add them in and stir 5 minutes before it’s done.

Vegan Nacho Cheeze

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup raw cashews – for nut-free try subbing white beans, butternut or acorn squash
  • ⅔ cup non-dairy milk – I used unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp yellow miso paste
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • ¼ cup roasted red bell peppers – I use a whole one from the jar
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • a dash of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix type blender and process until smooth and creamy.
Cheezy Quinoa & Lentil Bake made with spinach and tomatoes - stir all ingredients in one pan before baking!

Cheezy Quinoa & Lentil Bake made with spinach and tomatoes – stir all ingredients in one pan before baking!

Make your cheeze sauce!

Make your cheeze sauce!

Quinoa & Lentil Bake - ready for cheeze and tomatoes!

Quinoa & Lentil Bake – ready for cheeze and tomatoes!

Add in cheeze sauce and stir

Add in cheeze sauce and stir

Put back in oven, uncovered

Put back in oven, uncovered

Add in tomatoes 5 minutes before cook time is done

Add in tomatoes 5 minutes before cook time is done

Yummy!

Yummy!

Quinoa & Lentil Bake with Spinach & Tomatoes

Quinoa & Lentil Bake with Spinach & Tomatoes

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  1. OMG, I can’t wait to make this, and your avocado pudding. Thanks so much! :-)

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  3. CJ Reply

    This was fantastic! The cheese has a nice nacho flavor. I ended up blending some spinach and kale in my food processor with a little bit of the broth (since my little girl does not like the texture of greens much), then comibined it and baked like the recipe says. She gobbled it up!!! My husband ate his in sprouted taco shells and loved it. Thank you for another yummy recipe!

  4. Linda Michalek Reply

    I have only tasted the first part of the recipe and the cheeze sauce on it’s own, but it’s good enough to leave a reply already…OMG! I think it’s funny that the ad at the bottom of your blog says that “This recipe would be better with pork sausages” added in. : ) I think not. You have a big winner on your hands with this one! Thanks for everything.

    • So glad you enjoyed it! Unfortunately, I have no control over the ads. A few interesting ones pop up, that’s for sure! :-)

  5. Natalie Burke Reply

    Just a quick (stupid) question on this recipe…..you are supposed to defrost the frozen spinach first, correct?

    About to make it.

    Thanks!

    Natalie

    • Hi Natalie!
      No need to defrost the spinach. Hope you liked it! :-)

  6. Winner Winner Brown Rice and Lentil Dinner!!!! Wow, it packs the flavor!!! All three of my kids came back for seconds after slurping down the first round in five min. The arrow root I can tell is a must for this recipe I will be adding it to my pantry soon. The sauce doesn’t thicken well if you skip it…i used flour in its place…and baked a bit longer texture was lovely. I didn’t have miso paste either…so I’m going to get that as well, and I look forward to making this again…and again!!!

  7. Carol Reply

    Hi April
    When the recipe says green lentil, do you mean green French lentils? Or just regular lentils? Also, my firsts attempt came out kinda soupy (I drained off some of the liquid) , so I wanted to verify that 300 (not 325) is the correct oven temp? The taste is wonderful though and my hubby wants me to make it again. Thanks!

    • Regular green lentils but I’m sure those would work too, just check them before the time is up to make sure they don’t overcook. Yes, 300 is correct but your oven may be different? Were the rice or lentils crunchy? Maybe too much liquid? Let me know, we will figure this out!!

      • Carol Reply

        Yes, the rice, French lentils and spinach were not cooked at 1 hour 10 minutes. (Lentils and rice were crunchy.) I cooked them 10-15 minutes longer before adding the cheese sauce. After cooking with the cheese sauce for about 15 minutes, I spooned out some of the extra liquid and added the tomatoes. The taste was great, though, so I’m definitely going to make this again using regular green lentils and a bit less liquid. We live at a high elevation, where liquids boil at lower temperatures than at sea level. That might explain everything!

        • Stephalini Reply

          I had the same thing happen. At 1 hr 10 minutes the rice was not done. I put temp up to 330 and baked another 15 minutes. That did the trick. I also used petite green lentils. I added spinach and tomatoes as well. My husband took a quick taste of the cheese sauce and liked it. can’t wait for it to get out of oven so I can try! THanks

          • aprilcmast

            Interesting! So many different experiences with this recipe, I wonder if it’s the age of the rice or lentils? Hope you enjoyed it!

  8. Love the recipe! Made it tonight for not just my kids and husband but my dad too, they all loved it!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Sheri Reply

    I made this yesterday. I did add the spinach but left out the tomatoes. Omg!! Sooo delicious! I loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Melissa Reply

    Do you cook the rice and lentils before adding to the casserole, or do you put them in uncooked and then bake? If so, do you soak your lentils first?

    • No soaking or cooking needed! Just put them in, they’ll cook in the baking process! :-)

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  12. I was going to make pasta for supper tonight, but then I found this recipe! Looks absolutely delicious!

    • aprilcmast Reply

      I hope you enjoyed it!! :-)

  13. Amanda Reply

    Hello,

    I have made this recipe a couple of times now. I made it for non-vegan kids the first time and they LOVED it! I really like this recipe and I just wanted to thank you for it.

    I have also tried your lentil chilli and just cannot get enough! :-D

    • aprilcmast Reply

      Oh I’m so glad!!! Thank YOU for your support!

  14. Rachel Reply

    I have no roasted red bell peppers. Is this going to be a deal breaker? Is there something I can sub? I have this in the oven now (without the cheese sauce so far) because I somehow skimmed over that ingredient! oops!

    • aprilcmast Reply

      It should be okay! How did it turn out? It’s really easy to roast your own red peppers, do you know how? I’m just learning myself!

      • Rachel Reply

        It turned out a bit bland for my family. It also took twice as long to bake. I found that strange because I have a really good oven! I think if I make it again, I will bake it with less broth or maybe just leave it uncovered for half the time.