Ecuadorian Lentil Stew with Rice (Arroz con Menestra de Lentejas)

It’s time for this month’s Eat the World and we’re heading to the warmer climate of Ecuador!  As I frequently do at this time of year, I take the opportunity to try a vegetarian meal from our Eat the World countries since it is Lent and my family abstains from meat on Fridays.

Today’s recipe can actually be served with or without meat.  Traditionally, this lentil stew is served with grilled steak (hello, that would be delicious), but the blog I found the recipe on suggested egg as a more frugal topping, so that was what I tried!

While my kids we’re exactly jumping for joy about this one (“I knew it! Lentils are beans! *sigh*) they did eat their serving (then went back for more rice).  Hubs and I quite enjoyed our portion and happily ate the leftovers over the next couple days!

Check out all the wonderful Ecuadorian dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us! 

Ecuadorian Lentil Stew with Rice (Arroz con Menestra de Lentejas)

Adapted Slightly from Laylita’s Recipes

Lentil Stew

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper (I used orange), diced

3 roma tomatoes, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 packet Sazón Goya Coriander & Achiote

2 quarts water

1 pound lentils

Salt & pepper, to taste


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons white onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups medium grain white rice

2 ½ cups water

1 teaspoon salt

To serve

Fried egg


Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic.  Cook until softened, 5-7 minutes.

Stir in the lentils, cumin, Sazón Goya, salt and pepper.  Cook for a minute, then add the water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the lentils are tender, approximately 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the rice.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the rice and cook for another minute.  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cook for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and rice is tender.

To serve, spoon the lentil stew into bowls.  Top with fried egg, rice, and avocado slices.

Amy Eats the World in...

Cuba: Ropa Vieja (Slow Cooker Beef)
Ireland: Cheesy Potato Soup with Irish Ale
Thailand: Chicken Satay
Kenya: Crunchy N’Dizi (Peanut Crusted Bananas)
Sweden: Rodbetssallad med Getost (Grated Beet Salad with Goat Cheese)
New Zealand: Kiwi Burge
France: Fougasse (Provencal Flatbread)
Argentina: Chimichurri Sauce
Mexico (Halloween Special): Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead Bread)
India: Spiced Golden Mil
Poland: Chrusciki (Angel Wing Cookies)
Ethiopia: Buticha (Hummus)
England: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Leaky Cauldron-Style Mini Cottage Pie 
Georgia: Lobiani (Bean-Stuffed Bread)
Mexico: Crispy Pork Carnitas
Cambodia: Loc Lac (Shredded Beef with Lime)
Israel: Chicken Albondigas (Chicken Meatballs)
Finland: Sima (Lemonade) 
Puerto Rico: Arroz con Tocino  (Rice with Bacon)
Egypt: Ghorayebah Cookies
Ukraine: Scuffles (Rohalyky) Cinnamon Crescent Rolls
Portugal: Bitoque (Steak & Eggs) 
Germany (Christmas Special): Lebkuchenherzen (German "Gingerbread" Cookies) 
Trinidad & Tobago: Trini Macaroni Pie 
Iraq: T'bit (Slow Cooked Chicken & Brown Rice) 
Fiji: Fijian Creamy Lentil Soup (Dhal) 
Senegal: Cafe Touba (Senegalese Spiced Coffee) 
Colombia: Cañón de Cerdo (Colombia-Style Pork Loin Roast) 
Soul Food (United States): Oven-Baked Ribs with Cola BBQ Sauce 
Bangladesh: Shemai (Sweet Vermicelli Pudding) 
The Netherlands: Dutch Farmer’s Cheese Soup (Boerenkaas Soep) 
Laos: Khao Piak Sen (Lao Chicken Noodle Soup) 
Jamaica: Chicken &  Pumpkin Soup 
Vietnam: Vietnamese Chicken Porridge (Chao Ga) 
Sudan: Red Lentil Soup (Sudanese Addas) 
Luxembourg: Bouchée à la Reine (Vol-au-Vent)
Uruguay: Pasta Caruso

Lesotho: Borotho Bread
Scotland: Tattie Scones
Native American Tribes of North America: Wild Rice, Squash, & Corn Soup
Guyana: Butterflaps
Réunion Island: Rougail Z'Andouille
Australia: Fairy Bread


  1. We loved this lentil stew too! This is hearty and comforting!


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