We were looking to make something simple and cheap that would last a couple nights and we decided to look in our recipe binder of things collected from our moms and library books over the years. I came across this recipe that we had everything except the cheese for, and we decided to make it. It’s been years since I’ve had this casserole, so I had no memory of what it would turn out like, but we figured, hey it’s only going to cost us less than $2 for dinner for a couple nights. Usually we’re not casserole people and prefer to cook on the stovetop, but something about throwing everything in a pan and sticking in the oven for a little over an hour, was just too tempting this week. While this may not be the heartiest meal (it is only 222 calories per serving according to the recipe, and there are supposedly six servings), some bread and salad would probably fill out the meal a little more. I’m actually going to have some of the leftovers in a burrito wrap tonight for my dinner to help make it a little more filling.
Anyways, if you have lentils and rice on hand, plus some spices and broth (or Better than Bouillon, which is something you just mix with water to make broth–it’s worth the investment, trust us!), you can throw this meal together easily. The hardest part about it is the long baking time, but that’s livable, right? Just enjoy a brewsky or a glass of wine while you wait!
Also, this recipe is originally based off one of The Tightwad Gazette books-did anyone else’s mom have those when they were a kid?!?!?! I feel like I would appreciate those books now that I’m a fake-adult/still-student hybrid person who doesn’t have a ton of income (oh the life of a musician). When we made it, I grabbed it from our recipe book, but for the blog I looked up the recipe and found it on Food.com, so the original link is included below. I also discovered other similar recipes and really like the looks of this variation, especially because we were thinking of adding oregano to our herb garden: Herbed Lentil Casserole.
Cooking Notes: Will used fresh rosemary and thyme in the casserole, as well as some chicken broth he had frozen from when we made our Slow Cooker Chicken and Homemade Chicken Broth. We added green onions and Parmesan to the top when we served it, for a little extra flavor and to use up the green onions we had for our Sweet Potato Corn Cakes earlier this week.
Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole (from our personal recipe book)
3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
3/4 cup lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or a blend)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix all the ingredients except the cheese in a baking dish (we used 9 x 12, but you could use whatever you have). Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove foil, add cheese, and bake for another 20 minutes.