This stew is also known as menestra de lentejas. It’s a popular dish in Ecuador that uses lentils, though you can give it a go with any type of bean you have on hand. This recipe calls for minimal and basic ingredients that most of us always have on hand, so it’s known by many as a “poor man’s dish. But this dish is absolutely delicious!

I was not a huge fan of brown lentils before this recipe. I didn’t like the brown ones at all, though I love the black ones. So I had a bag full of brown lentils I had never used and now I know what to do with it. If you have some extra lentils on hand be sure to try this recipe out.

Ecuadorian Lentil Stew With Rice

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Ecuadorian Lentil Stew With Rice

  • Servings: 4 people
  • Difficulty: easy
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Also know as menestra de lentejas, this lentil dish is popular in Ecuador.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 white onion, whole
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 sazon packet
  • 1/2 tsp adobo
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add oil, onion, garlic, bell pepper, and cilantro in a small pot on low heat and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. After 2 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients, turn to medium heat, and wait for a boil.
  3. Once the mixture has reached a boil cover with lid, lower heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Serve.