Mushroom Lentil Quinoa Pilaf

Pretty this dish is not. Nor is it photogenic. In fact, it was one of those poor dishes that I didn’t put much effort or care into. I didn’t even think I’d include it here on the blog. Except the flavor was so good, how could I not?

So you’re stuck with this one photo of, quite possibly, the ugliest thing I’ve ever made.

Mushroom Lentil Quinoa Pilaf #vegan #glutenfree

I apologize for not doing this dish justice and giving it the proper opportunity to shine.

I know that you all eat with your eyes first. I do too. We all do. That’s why I didn’t think much of this as I was cooking it. It looked … well, like I said, ugly. It didn’t look like it’d taste very good. I figured we’d just choke it down as we tell each other how glad we are that didn’t order take-out because look at us being healthy, saving money and using inexpensive staple items. Hahahaha.

I laugh because what a flavor surprise this turned out to be. We didn’t even need to convince ourselves it was good because of the above healthy, money-saving, using up staple items reasons. Those are just  bonuses. It’ll be a protein-packed side dish that I make often. Perhaps when I remake this dish a bunch of times from now I’ll remember to set up a nice shot and finally make up for my negligence this time around. Maybe.

4.3 from 3 reviews
Mushroom Lentil Quinoa Pilaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Not everything that's tasty has to be pretty.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
  • ½ lb white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
  • 2½ cups hot vegetable broth
  • 1 cube 'beef' bouillon
  • ½ cup green/brown lentils, washed and picked through
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute onions and mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes until the onion begins to soften and the mushrooms start to brown. Add garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add hot vegetable broth and 'beef' bouillon cube to the pan. Break up the cube if necessary.
  4. Add lentils. Stir. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add quinoa. Stir. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Lentils should be tender.
  6. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.



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17 Responses to “Mushroom Lentil Quinoa Pilaf”

  1. Pam
    March 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Just made this for dinner as a main dish. Not a looker, but oh my! Did it taste great! I served with green veggies (broccoli, greens) and that made the plat look good. Thank you for an excellent recipe!

  2. Pam
    March 19, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Just made this for dinner as a main dish. Not a looker, but oh my! Did it taste great! I served with green veggies (broccoli, greens) and that made the plate look good. Thank you for an excellent recipe!

    • March 21, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      “Not a looker, by oh my!” <— LOL You got that right Pam! So glad you attempted the recipe (and enjoyed it!) despite knowing it wasn’t going to be a pretty one. I ended up serving mine with tasty sauteed chard and it sure did help brighten it up. Greens make everything look good.

  3. March 26, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    It may not look pretty to you but it hits all the right notes for me. Gluten free and full of mushroomy goodness. This will be on my menu this week. Thanks!


    • March 28, 2013 at 9:13 am #

      Awesome to hear Glenn. I enjoyed the earthiness and comfort-factor of this recipe, that’s why I had to share it despite not having the motivation to pretty it up for a proper photo. :)

  4. Jessica
    April 1, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    I added fresh, chopped, flat-leaf parsley to “brighten” it up and it looked and tasted great! :)

    • April 1, 2013 at 9:35 am #

      Awesome! It’s amazing what a bit of chopped fresh parsley can do to a dish. Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Karen
    May 30, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    This was DELICIOUS. True, not pretty, but man, it makes up for it with personality!

    I used shallots instead of onion and extra boullion instead of garlic and broth, and I will definitely make this again very soon. Hearty, satisfying and yummy.

    I’m a longtime vegan new to gluten-free, and I’m so thankful for your site. I can’t wait to try more!

    • May 31, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

      Love the adaptations Karen! I keep thinking I should really make this again and try to dress it up a bit for a new photo but I don’t mind showing how ordinary this dish really is.

      • Karen
        August 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

        Update: I now make this ALL THE TIME. Like once a week. It’s become one of my go-to weeknight dishes. Thanks much!

        • August 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

          Awesome to hear Karen!!

  6. Sandy
    September 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    I had tri-colored quinoa and black lentils. It did make it kind of dark, but really good tasting! I also added a little dry sherry for a little more flavor. Delicious!!

    • September 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      Yum! Love tri-colored quinoa and love black lentils.

  7. September 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    I made a variant of this recipe as follows, and it was awesome! Great as a side dish or main dish :)

    Lentils, Rice, Barley & Wild Mushrooms

    4 cups of water (roughly)
    2 oz dried wild mix mushrooms
    1 cup shredded carrots (chopped fine)
    1 cup red lentils
    1/2 cup barley
    1/2 cup quinoa
    2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons beef broth concentrate
    1.5 teaspoons minced garlic
    Salt & Pepper to taste

    Notes: Soak the mushrooms in about 4 cups of water, simmer for 20 minutes then add vinegar, beef broth concentrate, and minced garlic. Simmer about 5 minutes then add lentils and carrots, simmering another 5 minutes. Add barley, simmer 5 more minutes, then add quinoa, cover with a lid, then simmer low for about 20-25 minutes or until all water boils off. Salt and pepper to taste.

    • September 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm #


      Rice in the title of the recipe above should be edited to say Quinoa instead :)

    • September 21, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      Thanks for sharing your version of this recipe Margaret. It does sound lovely using dried mushrooms! I just need to make sure to point out to any other readers who are new to gluten-free living that barley is NOT gluten free. Also, if you’re vegan you’ll want to swap out the beef broth for a vegan alternative.


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