Delicious Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils Recipe

Are you ready to take your taste buds on a trip to Colombia? Introducing Arroz con Lentejas y Coco, a traditional Colombian dish that features colorful bell peppers, red lentils, and of course, coconut rice. This dish is perfect for those who love the flavors of Latin American cuisine.

Colombian food has gained popularity all over the world for its unique spiciness and the use of vibrant ingredients like coriander, chilies, and limes. This dish is a perfect example of the flavors that make Colombian cuisine so special.

With the rediscovery of traditional Colombian recipes like arroz con lentejas y coco, we are able to explore a new culinary adventure with each bite. So let’s dive in and experience the amazing fusion of flavors in this dish, and take a virtual trip to Colombia!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco - Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils
Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco – Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils

Are you looking for a comforting, hearty and flavorful dish that will transport you to the coast of Colombia? Look no further than Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco, or Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils Recipe, a traditional Colombian side dish that is as delicious as it is colorful.

What makes this recipe truly special is the combination of creamy coconut milk, nutty red lentils, and fluffy rice, all cooked together with aromatic onion and garlic, seasoned with bay leaf, salt and black pepper. This dish isn’t just your average rice and beans type of meal- it’s a rich mixture of flavors that satisfies your taste buds and warms your soul.

As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I can confidently say that this Colombian recipe is one of my favorites for its versatility. It can be served as a main dish or add a protein like chicken or shrimp to elevate its status as an entrée. It can be also adapted to different dietary preferences: vegan by using olive oil instead of butter; gluten-free by using rice flour instead of wheat flour.

Moreover, this authentic Colombian side dish takes less than an hour to prepare from start to finish. Simmering lentils and rice in coconut milk creates a rich creaminess without the need for constant stirring. Plus, the colorful bell peppers add a final touch of brightness to an already delicious plate.

Overall, when you taste Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco, con coco lentejas or coconut lentils in combination with arroz con coco or coconut rice, you’ll immediately understand why it’s so popular among Colombians and why it’s now being rediscovered by foodies around the world. Whether you’re a fan of traditional Colombian cuisine or simply someone who loves to try new flavors and textures, this dish provides comfort in every bite while being healthy at the same time.

Ingredient List

 This Colombian favorite is packed with flavor and texture.
This Colombian favorite is packed with flavor and texture.

Before starting this Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils recipe, make sure to gather all ingredients. Here are the ingredients you will need for this flavorful and nutritious dish:

Rice and lentils

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup red lentil
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water

Coconut sauce

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 cups coconut milk


  • 2 teaspoons salt

Traditional Colombian side dish seasoned with colorful vegetables.

– 1 red bell pepper, chopped
– 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
– 1 green bell pepper, chopped 
– [INSERT QUANTITY] cup chopped onion

Pro-tip: make sure to use a good quality coconut milk to get the best results. Additionally, using fresh vegetables is always preferred; however, if they’re not available canned ones will work too – just make sure they are well-drained before use!

The Recipe How-To

 Creamy coconut milk complements lentils perfectly in this rice dish.
Creamy coconut milk complements lentils perfectly in this rice dish.

Now that you have prepared the ingredients, it is time to cook this delicious Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco.

Step 1: Sautéing the Onion and Garlic

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion and 1 crushed garlic clove. Cook until onion is soft, for about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Adding the Lentils and Water

Add 1 cup of red lentil to the pot with the onion and garlic mixture. Pour in 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Preparing the Rice

In another pot, add 2 cups of rice, 1 bay leaf, 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 cups of coconut milk. Bring it to a boil over high heat; then, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is cooked through.

Step 4: Mixing the Cooked Lentils with Rice

Once both lentils and rice are ready, remove bay leaf from the rice pot. Then add the cooked lentils (along with any remaining liquid) to the rice pot. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Step 5: Garnishing with Bell Peppers

For a seasoned colorful Colombian side dish, add some sliced bell peppers on top of your Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco before serving.

Enjoy your traditional Colombian style dish seasoned with delicious coconut flavor!

Substitutions and Variations

 Looking for a hearty and spicy meal? Try Arroz con Lentejas y Coco.
Looking for a hearty and spicy meal? Try Arroz con Lentejas y Coco.

It’s always great to have options when it comes to cooking, and this recipe is versatile enough for substitutions and variations to suit your preferences. Here are some ideas to change things up:

– Substitute the red lentils with green, brown or black lentils for a different texture and flavor.

– If you don’t like coconut milk, you can use regular milk or vegetable broth as a substitute for a more savory dish.

– For a spicier version, add some diced jalapenos or red pepper flakes to the onion saute.

– If you’re not a fan of bell peppers, try substituting them with diced carrots or celery.

– Add some protein by adding grilled chicken breasts, shrimp, or pan-seared tofu either as a topping or mix it in with the rice.

– To make this recipe vegan friendly, replace the butter in the recipe with vegan butter or olive oil.

Remember to adjust cooking times and water ratios accordingly when making substitutions so as not to alter the final texture of the rice.

With these potential variations and ingredient substitutions at your disposal, you can play around with this recipe and create your very own signature dish!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list. This recipe is worth it!
Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list. This recipe is worth it!

Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils make a perfect side dish for a variety of meals. This traditional Colombian side dish is seasoned with colorful bell peppers, onions, and garlic that add a delightful aroma to the dish. The brilliant white of the rice and lentils contrast with the array of bright colors giving your plate an instant aesthetically pleasing look.

This nutritious meal can be served hot or cold – as per your preference. When pairing this meal with other dishes, you can never go wrong with any protein or vegetable. A simple roasted chicken or steak complements the rice and lentils perfectly. If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing it with a delicious homemade salsa! This dish also goes well with grilled seafood such as salmon or shrimp.

The exceptional taste of this combination is only heightened when paired with a fresh salad that includes avocado or cucumbers. The soft, silky texture of the rice and lentils give this dish substance while maintaining a luxurious flavor. It makes an excellent healthy comfort food option for an intimate dinner party or family gathering.

Regardless of how you decide to serve and pair your Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentil dish, its beautiful presentation, combined with its comforting texture and unique blend of flavors, will leave your guests talking about it long after the meal has finished.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This dish is perfect for meal prep; just store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
This dish is perfect for meal prep; just store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

Once you have prepared your Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils dish, it can easily be stored for later use or reheated for a quick meal. This is perfect if you want to meal prep for the week or have leftovers that you want to keep fresh.

To store the dish, allow it to cool to room temperature first. Then, transfer it into an airtight container and place it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days.

When reheating, you can use a microwave or reheat it on a stove. If you’re using a microwave, simply transfer the desired amount of the dish onto a microwave-safe container, cover it with a lid or plastic wrap, and heat it in sequence until you reach your desired temperature. Remember to mix the rice and lentils occasionally to avoid cold spots.

If you’re reheating on a stove, add 1-2 tablespoons of water or coconut milk to the rice and lentils before re-warming. Heat them in medium-low heat while stirring occasionally until they reach your preferred temperature.

Note that when reheating Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils, they may appear drier than when freshly cooked. So, I suggest keeping a bit of water nearby and adding small increments if necessary as these dishes absorb liquid over time.

These little adjustments are worth your time and effort as they doubly enhance the flavor of your rice and lentil preparation for another track down of this delicious cuisine!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Bring the taste of Colombia to your kitchen with this aromatic recipe.
Bring the taste of Colombia to your kitchen with this aromatic recipe.

To achieve the perfect Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils (Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco), there are a few tips that can help you achieve a flavorful and delicious dish.

First, make sure to rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking it. This will remove excess starch and prevent the rice from becoming too sticky. After rinsing, let the rice soak for at least 15 minutes. Soaking allows the rice to absorb water and cook more evenly.

Second, use a quality olive oil when sautéing the onion and garlic. The olive oil adds a rich flavor to the dish that complements the coconut milk and lentils.

Third, season the lentils with salt before cooking them. This ensures that they absorb flavor and don’t taste bland or under-seasoned.

Fourth, when adding the coconut milk to the rice and lentils, make sure to stir continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Stirring also helps distribute the coconut milk evenly throughout the dish.

Fifth, add some chopped bell peppers to the mixture before simmering. The colorful bell peppers not only add nutrition but also contribute to the attractiveness of this popular Colombian side dish.

Sixth, allow the dish to rest for at least five minutes after cooking. Resting allows all of the flavors to combine and settle, creating an even greater flavor profile.

Lastly, if you want an extra kick of flavor, consider adding a dash of chili powder or cumin during cooking. These spices add depth and warmth to the dish, amplifying its rich flavors.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll become an expert in preparing traditional Colombian dishes like Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco recipe is a fantastic addition to any culinary repertoire. Not only does it offer a delicious taste, but it is also easy to make and customizable for different dietary needs. Whether you are a fan of Colombian food or just looking for something new to try, this dish is sure to impress. So why not gather the ingredients and give it a go? Your taste buds will thank you! And with the rediscovery of traditional Colombian recipes such as this one, we can embrace the unique culture and history that comes with each dish. In the age of globalization, let us not forget to treasure the diversity that makes our world so rich.

Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco - Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils

Arroz Con Lentejas Y Coco - Colombian Coconut Rice and Lentils Recipe

From and posted for ZWT7.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Colombian
Calories 577.9 kcal


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup red lentil
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  • Sauté the onion in the oil until soft and golden (5-8 minutes).
  • Add the lentils and 1 cup of water, and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the rice and the salt. Stir in the coconut milk.
  • Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes more, until rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 200gCalories: 577.9kcalCarbohydrates: 74.6gProtein: 14.2gFat: 25.9gSaturated Fat: 17.1gSodium: 791.7mgFiber: 4.7gSugar: 0.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Colombian, Rice, South American, White Rice
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.