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What to Serve with Lentils and Rice (10 Best Side Dishes)

There are a lot of things to love about lentils and rice.

The dish is affordable, healthy, and hearty.

It’s perfect for a winter meal or a meatless Monday dinner.

But what to serve with lentils and rice?

Lentils and rice go great with a variety of dishes, including curries, stews, salads, and soups. You can also add lentils and rice to wraps, burritos, or tacos. To add a bit of sweetness to the dish, you can serve lentils and rice with raisins, dried cranberries, or apricots.

In this article, I’ll go over 10 great side dishes to choose from!

What to Serve with Lentils and Rice

So let’s get started!

What to Serve with Lentils and Rice?

There are many options for what to serve with lentils and rice. You can keep it simple with just lentils and rice, or you can add in other vegetables and proteins to make it a more complete meal.

Some popular options include adding in chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spinach. You could also add in some cooked chicken or ground beef.

Lentils and Rice

Keep scrolling for more ideas!

1. Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

This is a great side dish to serve with lentils and rice.

It has a rich, sweet flavor and a lovely soft texture.

Caramelized onions are not difficult to make, but there are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • First, make sure to slice the onions fairly thinly.
  • Second, be patient – it takes a while for the onions to caramelize properly, but it’s worth the wait.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings.

A little bit of thyme or rosemary can really elevate this dish.

2. Sautéed Mushrooms

Sautéed Mushrooms

This is one of my simplest and most delicious side dishes: sautéed mushrooms.

I like to use a mix of different mushrooms for flavor and texture, but you can use whatever you like or have on hand.

The key to good sautéed mushrooms is to let them cook long enough to get nice and brown.

This brings out their flavor and gives them a great texture.

Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or they will steam instead of sauté.

3. Green Beans

Italian Green Beans

These green little beans are a powerhouse of flavor and a great addition to any meal.

They can be easily cooked to your liking, whether you prefer them soft or with a little bite.

The texture is also versatile, making them a great side for both roasted meats and grilled vegetables.

Here are a few tips for making the perfect green beans:

  • If you want them to retain their vibrant color, blanch them in boiling water for a minute before cooking.
  • To give them a little extra flavor, try sauteing them in garlic and olive oil.
  • If you’re looking for a more robust dish, try adding pancetta or bacon.

Green beans (See Also: what to do with a can of green beans) are a perfect side for any occasion, whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just making a weeknight meal.

With so many ways to prepare them, you’re sure to find a recipe that everyone will love.

4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

If you haven’t tried pairing lentils and rice with roasted Brussels sprouts, you’re missing out on a delicious and healthy side dish.

These little green veggies have a savory flavor that pairs perfectly with the earthy taste of lentils and rice.

Roasting Brussels sprouts is simple and only requires a few minutes of prep time.

Just wash and trim the sprouts, toss with a bit of olive oil and sea salt, and roast in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

For extra flavor, try adding a bit of garlic or lemon juice to the mix.

This dish is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner or as a side at your next get-together.

Give it a try and you’ll be hooked!

5. Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

Most people think of cauliflower as a bland, boring vegetable.

But when it’s roasted, it takes on a whole new flavor.

It’s slightly nutty and slightly sweet, and the texture is soft and velvety.

It’s really easy to roast cauliflower, too.

Just cut it into florets, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Then bake in a hot oven until tender and golden brown.

Roasted cauliflower is a great side dish for a variety of occasions.

Serve it with lentils and rice, grilled chicken or fish, or as a vegetarian main course.

It’s also a great addition to a potluck or buffet.

6. Baked Sweet Potato

Baked Sweet Potato

Ah, a good old-fashioned baked sweet potato.

I love this side dish because it is both sweet and savory, and it pairs well with so many different dishes.

It’s also relatively easy to make – just pop it in the oven and let it bake!

The texture of a baked sweet potato is nice and soft, making it a perfect side for a hearty meal.

And if you’re feeling fancy, you can always top it with a dollop of yogurt or some crumbled feta cheese.


7. Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus Spears

Who knew that a veggie so simple could be so delicious?

Grilled asparagus is a favorite side dish of mine because of its unique flavor.

It’s also relatively easy to make, which is a bonus.

The key to making grilled asparagus is to get the right balance of char and crispness.

I like to cook mine over medium-high heat so that they get a nice sear.

Be careful not to overcook them, though, or they’ll become mushy.

Asparagus is a great side dish for all sorts of occasions.

I especially love it during the summer when I can grill it to perfection.

Give it a try next time you’re looking for something new to try!

8. Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Peppers

Why not add some color to your plate with roasted red peppers?

They’re not only pretty to look at, but they’re also deliciously sweet and smokey.

And they’re actually quite easy to make.

Just pop them in the oven and let them roast until the skin is blackened.

Then, let them cool and peel off the skin.


You’ve got yourself some tasty roasted red peppers.

These are great as a side dish or even as a topping on a salad or pizza.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even stuff them.

So go ahead and give them a try.

You just might find that you’re a fan of roasted red peppers!

9. Sautéed Kale

Sautéed Kale

When serving your rice and lentils, why not try something new and cook up some sautéed kale as a tasty side dish?

Kale is a hearty green that is not only packed with nutrients, but also has a great flavor that will complement your meal.

While it may take a little bit of time to prep the kale, the actual cooking process is quite simple.

Just sauté the kale in a bit of olive oil until it is wilted and slightly browned.

The end result is a delicious side dish that is healthy and satisfying.

10. Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa Pilaf with Toasted Almonds

The last side dish on this list is quinoa pilaf.

This is a great side dish for a number of reasons.

  • First, it is packed with flavor. The quinoa is cooked in a broth with onions, garlic, and spices, making it very flavorful.
  • Second, it is not difficult to make. The quinoa is simply cooked in a pot with the other ingredients.
  • Third, it has a great texture. The quinoa is fluffy and the vegetables are soft, making it a great side dish.

Finally, here are some tips for making quinoa pilaf: make sure to cook the quinoa in a broth for flavor, and add vegetables such as onions, garlic, and spices for extra flavor.

This side dish is great for a number of occasions, including a casual dinner party or a family gathering.

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What to Serve with Lentils and Rice (10 Best Side Dishes)

I've always loved lentils and rice.
They're such a simple dish, but they're so versatile and delicious. I like to add a bit of spice to my lentils, and then top them with some chopped onions, tomatoes and cilantro.
The rice is the perfect complement to the spiciness of the lentils, and the chopped vegetables add a bit of freshness and crunch.
But my absolute favorite way to eat lentils and rice is with a side dish.
I love how the flavors of the different dishes blend together, and the contrast of textures makes the meal so much more enjoyable.
Whether it's a simple green salad or a hearty stew, a side dish can really make lentils and rice come to life.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 371 kcal


  • Caramelized Onions
  • Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Green Beans
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Roasted Cauliflower
  • Baked Sweet Potato
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Sautéed Kale
  • Quinoa Pilaf


  • Pick your favorite side dish to serve with your meal.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Enjoy in less than 15 minutes!
Keyword What to Serve with Lentils and Rice