This Instant Pot recipe for Cheesy Southwestern Lentils & Brown Rice is the perfect quick vegetarian weeknight dinner that’s perfect for Meatless Monday!
I recently discovered one of my favorite recipes ever! I was browsing around my friend Carol’s drool-worthy blog, From a Chef’s Kitchen, and discovered this recipe for her Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake. I became instantly obsessed. I made it once a week, every week for an entire month… I loved that it was so easy to assemble and virtually hands off as it baked away – Leaving me with about an hour to hop on the treadmill as it bubbled away in the oven. I love it on its own, but Rick prefers to stuff the mixture into some warmed tortillas and eat it like a taco. I’ve gotta say, a dollop of sour cream on top pretty much takes it over the edge that it’s already toeing at!
Then, I tied my two obsessions together – This Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake recipe and my new Instant Pot. I figured that as great as it is that I can hop on the treadmill while dinner bakes away, sometimes I’m just feeling lazy, and I want to eat… quick!
This recipe is quite similar to Carol’s recipe, with just a few tweaks here and there… With the Instant Pot, there’s no evaporation, so you don’t need quite as much liquid. Also, I swapped out the green peppers for red peppers, omitted the thyme and added oregano instead, and sprinkled on some fresh cilantro at the end. As you can see, Carol gets all the credit, I just adapted her recipe to work for me in the Instant Pot.
Of course, I’m using lentils and brown rice from my favorite company, Bob’s Red Mill. I love that their products are produced right here in Oregon. When I was younger, my dad would always drive us from Eugene to Portland (2 hours for a kid = ugh) just to stock up on Bob’s Red Mill products – Cornmeal, flour, beans. Nowadays, you can just buy their products right in your local grocery store and there’s such a huge selection!!!
Those lentils and brown rice cook up perfectly with just 15 minutes of high pressure and, by using the Instant Pot, you shave about an hour off the cooking time… So, unfortunately, there’s not enough time to hop on the treadmill. But, there’s plenty of time to enjoy a glass of wine!
After the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes and then, if there’s any remaining pressure left in the Instant Pot, do a quick release. Take off the lid, sprinkle on all that yummy cheese, and cover it back up for about 5 minutes to let it get nice and melty. Then, spoon the cheesy southwestern lentils and brown rice into bowls, or serve them taco-style in tortillas with your favorite toppings. Enjoy with aforementioned glass of wine…
Instant Pot Lentils Recipe
Instant Pot Cheesy Southwestern Lentils & Brown Rice
- 1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill brown rice
- 3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill brown lentils
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
- 1 can diced green chiles (4 oz.)
- 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I prefer mozzarella and sharp cheddar)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for topping)
- Add all ingredients, except cheese and cilantro, to your Instant Pot. Set to manual and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then release remaining pressure.
- Remove cover and stir in half of the cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and replace the cover. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and serve. Enjoy!
Wine Pairings for Lentils & Brown Rice:
- Medium-bodied, rustic wines like Chianti, Cotes du Rhone, and Sangiovese have earthy, spicy flavors that echo those in this dish.