lentil quinoa bowls with coriander and lemon
Get a load of these easy 30 minute vegetarian Lentil Quinoa bowls. Here’s what I love about them: the lentils are the star of the bowl, and have coriander, dill and lemon flavor balanced with the sweet onion. The crunchy cucumbers and quinoa offset the flavorful lentils. Then the bowls are topped with feta, dill and lemon.
I used canned lentils so the whole meal could be made on a busy weeknight in 30 minutes. But if you prefer to start with dried lentils that is great, you’ll just need to measure out 1 1/3 cup cooked lentils for this recipe.
Ingredients For This Recipe
This is a light meal, so feel free to double the recipe and portions for a heartier appetite.
The broth gives the quinoa more flavor, but if you don’t have it you can sub water with a pinch of salt. My favorite vegetable broth is Imagine No Chicken. It has great flavor and isn’t bitter at all.
Before cooking the quinoa, it is important to rinse it to get rid of the saponin. Some comes pre-rinsed and will say so on the package. If not, it is a good idea to rinse it. Set it in a fine mesh sieve and run cool tap water over it continuously until the bubbles subside.
I love using coconut oil for cooking when the flavor will contribute to the dish like in this pork and bok choy stir-fry or these roasted sweet potatoes with lemon. In this case the flavor of the coconut goes really well with the lemon and coriander. If you prefer to cook with olive oil, that would work well too.
To season the lentils I used regular table salt. If you prefer to cook with kosher salt, simply read these tips about substituting kosher salt.
I love using whole coriander seeds in cooking, but they need to be crushed because they are too powerfully flavored when whole. Crush them with a mortar and pestle, or place them in a resealable bag and pound them with the smooth side of a meat mallet or heavy smooth bottomed skillet.
To make this recipe fast and easy I used canned lentils. I always keep them in my pantry for an easy vegetarian protein source. They are great made into Vegan Paté too! If you can’t find canned lentils, you can cook dry lentils like I do in this recipe for Lentils with Bacon.
To Cook Dry Lentils
- Place 1 cup dry lentils in a saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer (medium-low) and cook, stirring occasionally until just tender, 15 to 22 minutes.
- Drain well before adding to the onion mixture.
To season the lentil mixture add lemon juice to them. This will add acidity which will balance the salty cheese and savory lentils.
Pick the sprigs off the stems of the dill and chop it finely.
The flavor of the cheese goes well with the citrus and coriander. If you are vegan, use your favorite vegan cheese or omit it.
The crunchy fresh cucumber is great with the intensity of the lentils. It cleanses the palate and adds great crunch to an otherwise mildly textured dish.
Lemon wedges and dill sprigs for garnish
To top off each bowl add on lemon wedges and more dill for garnish.
How To Make Lentil Quinoa Bowls
If you are doubling the recipe you can follow the instructions as stated in the recipe card below, but note that you should use a large skillet for cooking the lentils instead of a medium one.
Cook the Quinoa
Cook the quinoa with the broth. As I said, if you don’t have broth you can use water with a pinch of salt instead. Bring them to a simmer, cover and then let cook over low heat (simmering) until the quinoa is tender and the germ has burst. This takes 15 to 20 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let sit covered until you are ready to assemble the bowls.
Cook the Lentils
To give the canned lentils flavor, adding them to sauteed onion does wonders. If you are doubling the recipe (for heartier portions) use a large skillet, if doing a single batch (for smaller portions) a medium skillet works better.
- Melt the coconut oil in the skillet. Swirl it to coat the bottom of the skillet.
- Add the onion and salt and cook them, stirring often until it is softened and browned.
- Add the coriander seed and stir into the onion to bloom the flavors in the hot onions and oil.
- Once fragrant, add in the drained lentils and lemon juice and heat through.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped dill.
Assemble the Bowls
To assemble the bowls, start with the quinoa as the base. Then add the lentils. Top with cucumbers and feta. Garnish with the lemon wedges and dill sprigs.
Other Veggies To Add
If you like to add more vegetables to your Buddha Bowls, I think that Asparagus would be really lovely in this recipe.
Or jarred marinated artichoke hearts or broiled cherry tomatoes like I used in this Brunch Salad.
I also like thinly sliced radishes in a Buddha Bowl.
More Vegetarian Quinoa Recipes To Try
- This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is so healthy and delicious.
- Try my Blueberry Quinoa Tabbouleh asap! You will be so happy you did.
- This Quinoa Thanksgiving Stuffing is off the charts!
- This Quinoa Pilaf with pumpkin is another great side for Thanksgiving or as a main course any time.
- This Quinoa and Arugula Salad is a one pot vegan meal.
- If meyer lemons are in season as you read this, make sure to print out this recipe for Meyer Lemon Quinoa. It is an easy healthy side dish that pairs with so many meals.
- Make sure to check out 50 Healthy Quinoa Recipes too!
Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe for Lentil Quinoa Bowls let me know by leaving a star rating and review.
Lemon and coriander lentils with dill and sweet onion are arranged in bowls with quinoa, feta and cucumber.
- 1 ½ cup vegetable broth (or water plus a pinch salt) (see notes)
- ¾ cup rinsed quinoa
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, broken or crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 1 15 ounce can lentils, drained and rinsed (1 1/3 cups cooked lentils)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
- ½ cucumber, very thinly sliced
- lemon wedges and dill sprigs for garnish
- Bring broth or water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add quinoa and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the quinoa germ bursts and it is just tender, 18 to 22 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often until the onion is softened and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add coriander seeds, and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add lentils and lemon juice and cook, stirring often until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped dill.
- Arrange bowls by layering cooked quinoa, the lentils, and top with feta, cucumber, dill sprigs and lemon wedges.
The portions in this recipe are rather light so this recipe can be doubled for a heartier meal. If doing so, double the ingredients and use a large skillet to cook the onion and lentil mixture.
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups each
- Calories: 217
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 1 g
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 26 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 4 g