Slow Cooked Lentils with Chorizo

I have a confession to make.  Until very recently, I did not know how to make rice.

You can pick up your jaw from the floor now.

I realize that for someone who spends as much time in the kitchen as I do, you would expect that I could make rice. I would expect that I could make rice. But here’s the thing… I was a stirrer. I would stir and stir away, adding liquid when the rice would start to seem dry.  I would end up with rice that would make a great substitute for wallpaper paste.

Everything changed last week. I decided to make these smokey, slow cooked lentils with chorizo in my slow cooker.  I originally thought I would make some sourdough bread to go with the dish, but the Spanish-inspired flavors just begged for rice.  I had to (finally) learn how to properly make rice, so I decided to go to the best source I know… Twitter!

Fortunately, a few of my favorite people quickly came to my rescue with lots of tips for making rice.  Rinse the rice… And, don’t stir! Set the timer, cover the rice, and just let it go. Remove from the heat, let it sit, and fluff. Who knew?! Apparently Renee, Ken, and Barb did.

Though I am not a rice expert yet, I can say that the rice that I made to go with our lentils was as close to perfect as I have ever made. It was light and fluffy… And, I think you’d have a hard time using it to hang wallpaper (and that is a good thing!). Perhaps you’ll see me cooking with rice more often now.

For now, though, I recommend making these lentils. They are easy to make in your slow cooker (and I love that you don’t have to soak them ahead of time!).  If you’re not a fan of eating pork, you could substitute a spicy chicken or turkey sausage instead.

Slow Cooked Lentils with Chorizo
(Serves 8 )

  • 1 pound of chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dry lentils, rinsed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Cooked rice (optional)

Brown the chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender.

Transfer the chorizo and vegetable mixture to your slow cooker. Stir in the lentils.  Add in the tomato stauce, chicken stock, and spices.  Stir to evenly combine. Slow cook on low for 4 – 6 hours, until the lentils are soft.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve over rice, if desired.

21 Responses to Slow Cooked Lentils with Chorizo

  1. This looks awesome!! I have some chorizo I need to use up (spanish, not mexican, and I think you’re calling for mexican here but I think it’ll still rock). Hubby’s picking up lentils on the way home :-)

  2. WOW – these look incredible Jen! Don’t feel bad about the rice thing. I can’t tell you how many pots of rice I messed up until I got the hang of it. And you’re right, rice seems like the perfect thing to go along side these yummy lentils :)

  3. I’m with you – I make rice once in a while, but hubby says it’s never that great, haha (and I agree). I got a rice cooker for Christmas though, so the next time I make it I’ll put it to good use!

  4. I just recently learned to make rice that was light and fluffy! It’s harder than it sounds, right? Here’s my confession – I’ve never had lentils. I’m sort of afraid they’ll be too healthy for my tastes :)

  5. I thought I’d already commented here, but, oops! That sounds like a perfect dish, and I’ve bookmarked it for when I finally get a new slow cooker. :-) See? Fluffy rice isn’t rocket science – like all good things in the kitchen, it’s just knowing when to leave it alone. :-) xox

  6. This was awesome! I also am not good with rice. I made minute rice with mine, so I totally cheated! I’d never had lentils before and was looking for a way to try them, but I was a little wary about it. This was a really good blend of tastes and a really good way to try lentils for the first time. Now I have to find some Mexican chorizo instead of Spanish to find out what’s different.