Autumn Recipes

Lentil-Spinach Rice Bowls w. Charred Onions & Muhammara

April 23, 2015

Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon, this recipe has a traditional start for the Lebanese staple called mujaddara, lentils and rice, that author Sara Forte tweaked a little for this bowl. It’s pretty simple and can be made in advance, making it the perfect weeknight meal and is also a real crowd-pleaser. The sauce, a delicious spicy-sweet roasted red pepper and walnut spread called muhammara, is truly what makes this bowl special. You can double the recipe to have on hand for wraps and to dip your favorite veggies in.


Muhammara (Sauce)

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 roasted tell bell peppers, jarred or fresh
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Mujaddara (Lentils)

  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach
  • 1 Tbsp butter, ghee or Earth Balance
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Greek yogurt (optional)


  1. For the sauce, in a food processor, pulse the garlic to mince. Add the red peppers, walnuts, dates, vinegar, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin and extra-virgin olive oil; run the processor until smooth. The sauce can be kept, covered, in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put lentils, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and 4 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer lentils just until cooked, about 20 minutes. Drain lentils and set aside.
  3. Add rice, the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1 1/2 cups water to the pot. Put it over medium heat and bring to a boil. When the water boils, cover, transfer to the oven, and cook for 17 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover, fluff with fork, and store in spinach to wilt. Set aside.
  4. While the rice is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil. When the butter has melted, add the onions and sauté. Cook about 15 minutes until the onions are very soft and browned. Raise heat to high and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, until the bottom layer of onions has charred; try not to overstir so they get crisp.
  5. Combine rice, lentils, baby spinach, and onions in a large serving bowl. Serve your bowls with a big scoop of the lentil, spinach and rice mixture, muhummara, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Recipe adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon

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