Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa [+ VIDEO]

Jessica Penner, RDDinner, Meatless, Recipes10 Comments

Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa

A simple skillet meal, this gluten free Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa dish is humble but deliciously satisfying! 

When I told my husband what I planned on naming this dish his response was “I didn’t think quinoa was Mediterranean!”

He’s correct, quinoa originally hail from Bolivia. So, perhaps I should explain… I called this a Mediterranean dish because:

a) it has flavours reminiscent of Mediterranean cuisine like Italian or Greek

b) it falls in line with a Mediterranean Diet style of eating

What? You haven’t heard of the Mediterranean Diet? It’s only the healthiest way of living ever discovered!

Check out this Food Pyramid for the Mediterranean Diet


In short, the diet focuses mainly on vegetarianism but dabbles into meat on occasion. It’s exactly like my flexitarian way of eating. I recently looked into the Mediterranean Diet and felt a little smug when I realized that all my nutrition education and acquired knowledge has ended up leading me to piece together a diet that coincidentally resembles the healthiest cultural diet on the planet.

This dish is as amazing as that diet.  If you’re thinking about exploring lentils as a means to decrease your reliance on meat, this is a great recipe to start with! It’s so flavourful.. you’ll never miss the meat!

Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa in a bowl with mozzarella cheese

If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram!  I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter.  

Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa

Mediterranean Lentils with Quinoa

  • Author: Jessica Penner, RD
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


A simple skillet meal, this gluten free Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa dish is humble but deliciously satisfying! 


  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • ¾ cup dry lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ package frozen spinach (or 150 g), defrosted
  • ½ cup sundried (or oven roasted) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (155 ml) can tomato paste (keep the can to measure out one can of water)
  • shredded mozzarella for serving (optional)


  1. Combine the quinoa, lentils, and water in a pot. Heat over high heat until boiling then turn down to low to simmer. Don’t cover the pot or else it might boil over!
  2. Meanwhile, saute the oil and onion over medium low heat in a large skillet until soft.
  3. Then add the basil, oregano, salt, and fennel seeds. Cook one minute.
  4. Then add the spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and tomato paste. Fill the empty can of tomato paste with water and add to the skillet. Stir until combined.
  5. Once the quinoa and lentils are cooked, add to the skillet.
  6. Serve with shredded mozzarella (optional).

Keywords: mediterranean lentils

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10 Comments on “Mediterranean Lentils and Quinoa [+ VIDEO]”

    1. Glad you liked it and thanks for sharing about leaving out the fennel as not everyone always has that one on hand!

  1. For some reason I have not made this since the first time I ever made it. I totally forgot how delicious it is. I took the liberty of adding a lot of garlic. I figure that can only enhance a tomato based recipe. I do not own fennel yet so I’m not sure what I’m missing when I delete it.

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