The wildly popular Honey Baked Lentils recipe is really gaining favor in my household. Three out of four of us can barely stop smiling long enough to shovel in another bite; the fourth is now able to be convinced to eat a few bites before asking for “just plain rice, please.” (Two-year-olds are not the most adventurous eaters, are they?) I love how fast, easy, and easily customizable the recipe is. Now that I’ve tweaked it to my version of Honey Baked Lentil Perfection, I will offer some updates and tips:
- Based on the recipe I had found floating around MDC in several places, I originally copied the recommendation to substitute 1/3 cup of lentils with brown rice (or another grain). I no longer recommend this; the grains do not cook fully through.
- Instead, bake your rice separately, but alongside the lentils. Saves energy over cooking on the stove top or in a rice cooker, and is much, much easier. Try Basic Baked Rice – comes out perfect every time!
- I usually make my lentils with at least half chicken stock; the best successes have been when I used very rich (esp. jelly in consistency) chicken stock. But my chicken stock doesn’t always gel, and sometimes I forget to thaw some before baking, so water works fine, too.
- Red lentils (which are actually orange, and turn yellowish brown after cooking) are by far our favorite. I’ve not yet cooked this recipe with brown/green lentils and enjoyed eating it. Red lentils produce a mushy consistency similar to baked butternut squash or mashed potatoes. It’s sooooo good mixed with rice.
- Try doubling the honey/maple syrup for a special treat, or add a dab of honey to your bowl right before you eat it. We tried this tonight with some old, crystallized honey that I wanted to use up, and it was amazing.
- I now make this with Basic Baked Rice right alongside, adding the rice dish after 30 minutes. I make them both in glass Pyrex bread pans–they fit nicely in the oven, and it’s more than enough for our family of four.