Sunday, March 29, 2009

El Paso Pilaf ~ A Meatless Meal for Days of Abstinence

When I was a child, my siblings and I were members of 4-H.  Each year we took part in an event called "Food Fiesta" where we each had to prepare a dish and present it to the judges.  One year my little brother won a medal for his entry: "El Paso Pilaf".  I couldn't agree more with the judges... I *loved* it!!!

Ever since, I have been making and modifying the recipe.  Since that was about 20 years ago, I have no idea exactly what the recipe called for, so I am going to share my version with you all.  It is a staple in our home since it is easy, healthy, filling, and affordable.

I usually serve it in fried taco shells, though I have also served it in flour tortillas as burritos, and as a side dish for other Mexican dishes. 

El Paso Pilaf
"stolen" from my brother and modified over the years ;) 


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice (though I do use short grain brown rice on occasion)
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (16 oz) chicken broth (I substitute vegetable broth on days of abstinence)
  • 1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water (I usually rinse out the tomato sauce cans into the pan with the water)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • toppings of your choice:  lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, olives, avocado, salsa, etc...


Saute onion and garlic in pan.  Add all other ingredients and mix together.  Cover pot and simmer on low for 45 to 60 minutes.  Serve on tortillas topped with lettuce, cheese, or any other toppings of your choice.


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  1. Healthy and delicious!
    Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  2. I will shear this recipe with my friends, I'm sure they will appreciate it for the days of abstinence.

    Pray with us

  3. Jessica,
    This recipe looks similar to one I have made over the years called Cuban Beans and Rice:
    I think yours will be tastier since it has lentils and corn, too! I will try it this week.
    God bless you!

  4. thank you for this friday meal recipe! you have been added to the directory column of recommended blogs on my website. please send up a Hail Mary for me if you remember. i will do the same! God Bless! ~lisa