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The Instant Pot Chronicles: A Lentil Bit Of This, A Lentil Bit Of That!

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This post goes out to you lentil lovers out there. Honestly, I’ve just been enlightened to the lentil life. As you all know, I’m a carnivore…mostly. Some may argue I’m a pescatarian based on my constant salmon recipes. This week, I took a step outside of my comfort zone and went vegetarian and I ventured back into the Instant Pot realm. This Instant Pot Cheesy Southwestern Lentils and Brown Rice was so simple and delicious. Due to my previous failed attempts with the Instant Pot, I was hesitant to get back in the game. I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. It was hard to mess up in the Instant Pot and most of all I didn’t even miss the meat in this meal. It was cheesy and tasty and I might be open to more recipes without my usual proteins going forward!

I learned a few things about lentils. Mainly about their consistency when cooking. The recipe initially called for brown lentils. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any at my local grocery store. So, I decided to use red after some light research on the Internet. What I didn’t realize is, especially in a pressure cooker, that lentils break down in the manner in which they do. Naturally, I was a little disappointed at the consistency of this dish. I didn’t realize that they kind of turn into a mush. Maybe I should have put them in the pressure cooker for a little less time but, I think that’s all in learning to finesse my Instant Pot. I’m always trying to learn how quickly it cooks different foods.

Overall, the key to this meal with the spice. I decided to add hot green chiles and hot taco seasoning to give these grains a kick! If you want to stay on the safe side, using mild or medium should tone it down quite a bit. For my first real adventure in ‘lentil land’, I am pleasantly surprised. I suspect a few more vegetarian dishes will be appearing on this little old blog in the near future!

Instant Pot Cheesy Southwestern Lentils and Brown Rice

What You Need:

  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill brown rice
  • 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill red 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 (I used hot)
  • 4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese I prefer mozzarella and sharp cheddar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for topping

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