Lentil-Orzo Casserole


2 T. olive oil
2 med. onions, chopped
2 med. carrots, peeled and diced (1 cup)
8 med. cloves garlic, minced
1 c. dry brown lentils, rinsed
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
3 c. vegetable broth
6 oz. dry orzo pasta (1 cup)
1 14 1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 c. boiling water
1/3 c. plain dry bread crumbs
2 T. chopped fresh parsley


In large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots, stirring often until softened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, cook about another minute. Add lentils and thyme, and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Coat deep 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Transfer lentil mixture to dish, add pasta, tomatoes and salt to taste. Mix with rubber spatula. Pour boiling water over mixture.

Cover with lid or foil, and bake until lentils and orzo are almost tender, about 25 minutes. While this baking is going on, mix bread crumbs, parsley and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil together in small dish. Uncover casserole dish and stir to redistribute ingredients. Spread breadcrumb/parsley mixture over top of pasta/lentil mix, return to oven, and bake uncovered until bubbly and the top is crusty, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Serve hot.
Serves 8

Nutritional Information: