Zero Waste Moroccan Spice Rice & Lentil Pilaf with Quick Pickled Preserved Lemon

This vegetarian pilaf made with Success® Rice delivers a fragrant and flavorful vegetarian dish with zero waste.

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Zero Waste Moroccan Spice Rice & Lentil Pilaf with Quick Pickled Preserved Lemon

Cooking time
PREP TIME 10 mins
Cooking time
COOK TIME 20 mins
Ready in
TOTAL TIME 30 mins


  • 1 bag Success® Basmati Rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/3 cup dried brown lentils, rinse
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (both stalks and leaves)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Moroccan spice blend
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup preserved lemons, finely chopped


What is Pilaf?

A rice dish originating from Central Asia, Pilaf is made by cooking all of the ingredients together in one pot so all of the flavors absorb together. There are many variations of Pilaf, but most typically involve mixing the rice with veggies, meat and savory spices. This recipe uses both lentils and rice, making it most similar to a Middle Eastern style Pilaf called Mujadara, but without the caramelized onions. 

Lentil Love

Lentils are a great way to add bulk, protein and delicious nutrition to a dish! They are so versatile, inexpensive, easy to cook and perfect for a vegan diet. Like dried beans, dried lentils soak up the water and expand to more than twice their size when cooked, so make sure you use a large enough pot and an adequate amount of water to cook them properly. There is no need to aggressively boil your lentils, let the water heat up slowly to a simmer for the best texture. Most dried lentils are taken directly from the farm and packaged into bags, so to avoid pebbles and dirt, make sure you rinse your lentils before use! 

Cilantro Substitutions

Some people have a gene that makes Cilantro taste horrible to them! If this is you or a family member, try a substitution. Parsley can accent the fresh citrus, though you may want to use a little extra lemon to to give this pilaf a pop.

More Vegetarian Recipe Inspiration

For a quick and easy meal, check out this Vegan Dirty Rice, perfect to prep for midweek lunches. 

Want to get creative with plant-based meat alternatives? Try out these Black Bean, Quinoa and Feta Burgers that won’t make you miss the meat! Easy to make vegan with vegan feta! 

For a delicious and colorful meal, try this Jackfruit Burrito Bowl that will make you think you’re eating pulled pork!

  • This Pilaf balances warm spices, Success® Basmati Rice and bursts of zesty lemon for a dynamic and colorful dish. Vegan and hearty, this is the perfect dish shared with friends as a side, or to meal-prep for your weekly lunches.

    Step 1

    In a medium saucepot set over medium heat, bring 5 cups water to a boil. Add lentils and cook for 10-15 mins or until lentils are slightly soft.

    Step 2

    Submerge bag of rice in saucepan with lentils and cook for 10-12 mins or until lentils are tender. Remove bag immediately with fork and drain; set aside. Drain lentils and transfer back to saucepan. Cut open bag of rice and empty cooked rice into saucepan with lentils. Stir to combine.

    Step 3

    Stir in cilantro, green onions, olive oil, Moroccan spice blend, raisins, almonds and preserved lemons.

    Recipe Tips

    To make homemade Moroccan spice blend (Ras El Hanout): In a small bowl combine 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp ground turmeric, 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.

    To make a quick homemade preserved lemon: Combine 3/4 cup water, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Add lemon slices from 1 lemon; boil for 30 to 35 mins or until skins start to soften. Transfer to jar; cover and let stand for 15-20 mins or until quickly pickled.

    Use a mandolin slicer to cut lemon slices thinly and evenly.

    Substitute brown lentils with green if preferred.