Braised Black Lentil & Quinoa Bowls


These healthy vegetarian bowls feature black lentils braised in spices like thyme and smoked paprika. Riced cauliflower and quinoa bulk up the dish to make it satisfying for any weeknight dinner. A creamy yogurt topping finishes the recipe.

a recipe photo of the Braised Black Lentil Bowls served in a bowl and topped with sour cream and chives
Photo: Ali Redmond
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper plus more for garnish

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup dry black lentils

  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 cup white quinoa

  • 1 cup riced cauliflower

  • ¾ cup low-fat plain strained yogurt, such as Greek-style

  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • Pinch of flaky sea salt

  • 1 scallion, chopped


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, thyme, paprika, cayenne and kosher salt; cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add lentils; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and the lentils are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Add 1 cup broth and 3 cups water. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the lentils are tender and most of the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes more.

  2. Meanwhile, bring the remaining 2 cups broth to a light boil in a medium pot. Add quinoa and cauliflower; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until fluffy and tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

  3. Mix yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and flaky salt in a small bowl.

  4. Divide the quinoa mixture among 4 bowls. Top with the braised lentils, yogurt sauce and scallion. Garnish with a pinch of cayenne, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

332 Calories
6g Fat
51g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 5
Serving Size 2/3 cup quinoa, scant 1/2 cup lentils & 2 1/2 Tbsp. sauce
Calories 332
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 19g 38%
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Vitamin A 233IU 5%
Vitamin C 10mg 11%
Vitamin E 1mg 9%
Folate 70mcg 18%
Vitamin K 6mcg 5%
Sodium 467mg 20%
Calcium 86mg 7%
Iron 5mg 28%
Magnesium 74mg 18%
Potassium 262mg 6%
Zinc 1mg 9%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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