Rice with Coconut and Lentils (Arroz con Coco y Lentejas)

Arroz con Coco y lentejas

Arroz con Lentejas y Coco  is a traditional Colombian rice recipe and if you follow this blog, you know that I use coconut milk in a lot of the traditional Colombian dishes. This delicious rice with lentils dish makes a fabulous accompaniment and could also be served as a vegetarian meal, perhaps with a green salad.

Arroz con Coco y Lentejas



(4 Servings)

  • ½ cup lentils
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt
  • Fresh cilantro for serving


  1. Rinsed and soak the lentils for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
  3. Add the lentils, bay leaf, salt and water. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed.
  4. Discard the bay leaf, add the rice and stir until combined. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.
  5. Arroz con Coco y Lentajas

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  1. Amber says

    This looks so good! How beautiful. I love coconut rice and I love lentils but I have never had the combo of them together. I will have to try it!

  2. says

    I love coconut! I would have never thought coconut and lentils together. Great combination!

    I would not have known that coconut was a common cooking ingredient in Colombian cooking. Interesting!

  3. says

    This sounds so good & served with a salad it is one full healthy meal. What kind of lentils did you use, brown ones? i do beans & rice, but never combined it with coconut milk, sounds like a flavorful vegetable biryani.

  4. DougT says

    Coming back for the fourth time to make a new family favorite!
    The first time we made this for a BBQ we had. A pal is Colombian, so I thought I’d surprise him. He was, we loved it, and here I am back again.

    Thanks for posting!

  5. marionk says

    My mother was from Panama and coconut rice was a staple on our table. She has passed and I was so dumb not to get the recipe. I remember her making it using fresh coconut, but I never could would remember what type of bean she used in it. I knew it was a small brown bean. Your recipe looks almost identical to mom’s rice. I am going to try it. thank you!!

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