This delicious Baked Kitchari Casserole is a simple 1 Pan nourishing meal! This easy Spiced Lentil Rice Casserole takes just minutes to prep. Just add everything to the pan, cover and bake! great for meal prep! Gluten-free Nutfree Soyfree. Just 7 main ingredients.
For a super simple weeknight dinner recipe that practically cooks itself in the oven, try my Baked Lentil Rice Casserole aka. Kitchari Casserole. You all loved the spiced Chickpea Rice casserole and you’ll love this 1 pot meal too.
Kitchari (which means “mishmash” in Hindi) is traditionally made using a combination of mung dal and basmati rice. This simple dish is traditionally overcooked – a bit like porridge. You can make it softer or cook less time to consistency preference. It’s rich in nutrients and a great savory meal to add to your list of “go to” foods for when you crave something healthy and yet satisfying. There are various ways to make khichdi. The simplest kitchari uses just the lentils and rice and a few light spices. That version is usually the go to for when you need a light meal or your stomach needs a rest. You can amp that up with spices, veggies, nuts and seeds to make it a satisfying 1 Pot meal. In this version, we put everything in the baking dish, add veggies, spices and flavors, then bake and done!
What makes this casserole dish so delicious are the spices. I like using a fragrant blend of coriander, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cayenne, fenugreek leaves, paprika or Kashmiri chili powder, and garam masala or Berbere. SO good! You can change it up and use Berbere (it’s great with berbere!) or Cajun.
This Kitchari casserole is super wholesome and a soul-satisfying meal that is perfect for lunch or dinner – especially on a rainy day. You can make a simple version like this instant pot kitchari, or make this delicious baked casserole.
Why you’ll love this baked vegan lentil rice kitchari
- It uses just 7 main ingredients
- its Glutenfree Soyfree and nutfree
- its satisfying and delicious
- it takes just a few minutes to put together then put in the oven and forget it!
More vegan baked casseroles:
- Chana Pulao (chickpea rice casserole)
- Barbecue Lentil Farro Cauliflower Bake
- Lentil Curry Casserole
- Baked South Indian Eggplant Curry
- Lentil Rice Casserole with Chickpea Dumplings
- Jalapeno Chili Cornbread Casserole
Spiced Lentil Rice Casserole or Kitchari Casserole
- 1/2 cup (100 g) split red lentils ( masoor dal) or a mix of split red lentils and petite yellow lentils (moong dal)
- 1/2 cup (90 g) white basmati rice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 cups (182 g) chopped vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, peas, green beans, corn, bell peppers, zucchini, etc
- 1/2- 1 cup (230 g) frozen spinach thawed
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 tablespoons spices of choice, see notes for the spices that I usually use
- 4 cups (950 ml) water 4 cups for porridgy khichdi, 3 cups for less moist like a rice dish
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- cilantro and lemon juice for garnish
- Wash and drain your lentils and rice and set aside.
- To a 9x11 inch or similar size baking dish, add the lentils and rice, the veggies, spinach, tomato, salt, spices, and water and mix well.
- Then put it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) . Cover with parchment and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Check at the 35/37 minute mark to see if the lentils and rice are cooked through.
- Remove the dish from the oven, fluff a bit, and garnish with some cilantro and lemon juice and serve. You can add roasted veggies or toasted nuts for garnish as well.
- You can top the dish with some non dairy yogurt or serve it with some raita and papadums , chutneys or achar(Indian pickle) or as a side with a curry.
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi)
- 1 teaspoon paprika or kashmiri chili powder
- 2 teaspoons curry powder or 1 teaspoon garam masala
- basmati rice is what is traditionally used but you can make this with brown rice (see notes)
- lentils – I use red lentils or a mix of split red lentils (masoor dal) and petite yellow lentils ( moong dal, see pics)
- veggies – use whatever you like and have. I added frozen spinach, cauliflower, carrots, peas, green beans, corn, bell peppers, and zucchini.
- fresh tomatoes are a great-add as they lend this some moisture and flavor
- ground spices: coriander, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cayenne, fenugreek leaves, paprika or kashmiri chili powder and garam masala or curry powder or Berbere.
- whole spices: bay leaves
- you can either grind your own spices or use pre-ground spices for this dish.
- for the spices, you can also use a mix of 1.5 teaspoons ground coriander, and 2 teaspoons curry powder or Berbere or madras curry powder or sambhar powder or chole masala!
How to make Baked Kitchari Casserole
Wash and drain your lentils and rice and set aside.
To a 9×11 inch or similar size baking dish, add the lentils and rice, the veggies, spinach, tomato, salt, spices, and water and mix well.
Then put it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius). Cover with parchment and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Check at the 40 minute mark to see if the lentils and rice and cooked through.
Remove the dish from the oven, fluff a bit, garnish with some cilantro and lemon juice and serve.
Refrigerate for upto 3 days.
What to serve with Baked Kitchari Casserole?
You can top the dish with some non-dairy yogurt or serve it with some raita and papadams, chutneys, or achar (Indian pickles) or as side with a curry.
Can I make this Indian rice casserole with brown rice?
You can also make this lentil rice casserole with brown rice, but you would need to use a hardy lentils. Use the whole lentils, whole mung beans or whole brown lentils instead of the split version. Soak the brown rice and lentils for 15 minutes in hot water. Drain and use. bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Check if the brown rice is done. Else continue to bake for another 10-15 mins.