You’ll love this easy protein-packed lentils and rice recipe, aka. Fakorizo. The recipe is simple yet so delicious, featuring wholesome everyday ingredients.
Fakorizo is a popular Greek recipe that deserves all the credit! Rice on its own makes a great side dish, but lentils and rice is an entire main dish that’s going to keep you full for hours. So, if you are looking to make something easy, packed with nutrients and protein, that’s not going to cost you a ton of money and time this recipe checks all the boxes.
Rice, legumes are a staple in the Mediterranean diet, and I love incorporating them daily in my meals. One recipe that I love in particular that features rice is this Lemon Rice Soup – it’s refreshing, lemony, packed with broccoli, carrots, onions, etc. Chickpeas are the other favorite; I love adding them in salads to make hummus, crispy in toasts, and wraps.
Ingredients you’ll need for Fakorizo
- LENTILS – Originally lentils and rice is made with green or brown lentils. The main reason for this is because these types of lentils keep their shape when cooked. As supposed to red lentils which get mushy quickly. Red lentils are great for making fritters, creamy soups etc.
- RICE – The most common rice used for Fakorizo is meidum grain rice. However as substitutes it can be used any other kind of rice such as short grain, long grain, brown rice, balsamati or Jasmin. The amount of water would always vary depending on the rice. For long, medium and short grain the water conten would stay the same, and with any other rice the water content varies.
- VEGETABLES – Here you can get creative. I love using fresh carrots, peas and onions. Other add-ins such as corn, green beans, red peppers, would go great with this dish!
- TOPPINGS – A few toppings that are optional but absoutley delicious are: fresh parsley, crumbled feta, lemon juice, olives.
How to easly cook lentils on the stove
This quick guide on how to cook lentils refers specifically to green, brown, or black lentils. Lentils often tend to get mushy or break up if not cooked properly. So, here’s an easy way to perfectly cooked lentils on the stove:
- Clean the lentils by taking out any bad lentils or stones while the lentils are dry. Then rinse them with water 2-3 times untill the water runs clear.
- Cover the lentils with water and leave them to soak for 30 minutes up to an hour. Then transfer them to the pot cover with more water and bring them to simmer. Optioanlly you can add bay leaf while the lentils are cooking.
- Simmer on low for 25-30 minutes covered with lid. Rinse the water out, put the lid back on and leave to steam for anotehr 15 minutes.
How to make lentils and rice
Here’s how to make lentils and rice in few easy steps:
- Add olive oil in a nonstick pan and turn the heat to medium. Cook the vegetables in the pan until they soften up then add the previously rinsed rice. Continue and cook the rice for additional 3-5 minutes.
- Continue and add the water or vegetable stock. Then mix in all the seasonings. Once the rice comes to a boil cover the pan with foil then transfer it to the oven on 200C/390F for 10 minutes than lower the temperature to 180C/355F for another 10 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the water.
- Take the rice out of the oven, add the previously cooked lentils and fluff them up with a fork. Cover the pan with aluminium foil and leave to steam for another 10 minutes.
- Top with fresh parley, crumbled feta or lemon juice.
Lentils and brown rice
Other than the classic version of Fakorizo, which is made with white rice, lentils, and brown rice is another favorite. If you want to make lentils with brown rice, you would have to cook the brown rice separately. Cook the vegetables in the pan, add the previously cooked brown rice and finish the lentils and seasonings.
A few recipe tips:
- The best rice to use is medium, short or long grain rice, but if you decide to use any other rice the water content would always vary. If you are making the rice in the oven you’ll need 1/2 cup rice – 2 cups of water or 100g rice – 470g water. For the same amount of rice on the stove you’ll need 360g 2 1/2 cups water.
- To get best and fluffiest rice leave the rice to steam covered with lid or aluminium foil once cooked. Repeat the same process for the lentils as well.
- Optionally you can add 1 diced tomato together with the vegetables for umami falvor.
- Big flavor enxancer in this dish is the vegetable stock. I usually try to avoid store bought stocks but love to flavor my dishes with Vegeta seasoning. It adds so much flavor plus it’s in powder form making it easy to add less or more.
You’ll also love to try:
Greek Lentils And Rice – Fakorizo
- 50g 1/4 cup uncooked green or brown lentils (100 grams cooked)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium/large carrot
- 100g 1/2 cup medium-grain rice
- 470g 2cups water (for the oven method) 360g or 2 1/2 cups water (for the stove method)
- 50g peas
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Vegeta seasoning (see Notes)
- Clean any bad lentils or stones that might be found in the lentils, then rinse with cold water for 2-3 minutes.
- Cover the lentils back with water and leave to soak for 30 minutes up to an hour.
- Transfer them to a pot cover with more water, optionally add a bay leaf. Simmer the lentils covered with a lid for 25-30 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Once cooked, drain all the water, put the lid back on, and steam for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.
- Dice the onion; cut the carrot in half, and again in half just through the middle in quarters, and then into bite-sized pieces.
- Rinse the rice with cold water not more than 2-3 times. (This step should be done right before adding the rice to the pan)
- Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add olive oil together with the onion and carrot. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Continue and add the rice and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring every 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetable stock or water along with the seasonings. Bring the rice to simmer, cover with aluminium foil then transfer it to the oven.
- Once the rice gets to a boil again, lower the temperature to 180C/355F and boil for 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked and all the water is gone.
- Take the pan out of the oven, fluff the lentils with a fork, put the lid on, and let it steam for 10-15 minutes.
- Repeat all the steps above to step number 5. Once the rice comes to a boil, cover the pan with a lid, lower down the temperature, and cook for 10-12 minutes or untill all the water has been absorbed.
- Add the cooked lentils, fluff them up with a fork, and then cover them with a lid for another 10 minutes.