Brown Rice Lentil Stir Fry with Peanut Butter Sauce
5 from 6 votes

This quick, easy vegan brown rice lentil stir fry will become your go-to weeknight dinner! It’s so easy to make, and it’s a nutritious, complete plant-based meal. It’s made with an addictive and versatile peanut butter sauce.

Quick & Easy Brown Rice Lentil Stir Fry with Peanut Butter Sauce | The Full Helping

Back when I was doing the SNAP challenge earlier this semester, one of my readers expressed surprise that a jar of peanut butter hadn’t made it onto my list of allotted purchases for the week. I simply hadn’t thought about it–you do a lot of picking and choosing on the challenge–because I’d been too focused on incorporating other foods into the budget. When my reader mentioned that one of her favorite, inexpensive dinners was a rice and lentil stir fry with peanut butter sauce, though, I made a mental note. It sounded tasty, healthy and fast in addition to being budget-friendly.

Nearly a month and a half later, I’ve made my own version of a quick, easy brown rice lentil stir fry with peanut butter sauce. I can already tell that this dish is going to make it onto the shortlist of recipes–which at the moment includes savory oats, curried chickpeas, and various bowl meals–of super fast recipes that I rely on during busy times.

Quick & Easy Brown Rice Lentil Stir Fry with Peanut Butter Sauce | The Full Helping

In truth, the stir-fry is a humble one–just veggies, legumes, a grain, and a splash of tamari, vinegar, and ginger for flavor–but the salty, sweet peanut butter sauce is what makes it shine. You can stir the sauce into the dish as it warms in the skillet, or you can serve it alongside the stir fry and spoon it on top of the veggies and rice to your heart’s content.

Now that I’ve made the sauce, there’s a good chance I’ll be serving it in and on just about everything, from chopped salads to simple grain bowls. If I had the time or inclination to make spring rolls right now–which I don’t, but let’s pretend–the sauce would be ideal for dipping. You can fold it into any stir fry dish or use it as a marinade for tofu or tempeh. And I’m also imagining that it would be a killer dipping sauce for baked sweet potato wedges. Yum!

Quick & Easy Brown Rice Lentil Stir Fry with Peanut Butter Sauce | The Full Helping

But to start with, try using it as a flavor base for this easy vegan supper.

5 from 6 votes

Brown Rice Lentil Stir Fry with Peanut Butter Sauce

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (choose a smooth variety)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamari (substitute soy sauce or coconut aminos)
  • 2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

For the stir fry:

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced or grated ginger
  • 3 scallions (white parts and tops, chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 cup broccoli stems and florets, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (substitute soy sauce or coconut aminos)
  • Splash of unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (for serving)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils (1 can, drained and rinsed)


  • Whisk together the sauce ingredients. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add 1 extra tablespoon warm water.
  • To prepare the stir fry, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the ginger and the white parts of the green onions/scallions. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Add the garlic and cook, continuing to stir, for about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, cabbage, and carrot. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes, or until they’re softened but still a little crispy. Stir in the tamari and the splash of vinegar.
  • Add the cooked rice and lentils to the skillet. Mix everything well and heat for a minute or two, or until the rice and lentils are warm. Give the mixture a quick taste and add a little vinegar or tamari as desired, keeping in mind that you’ll be adding more flavor to the dish with the peanut sauce.
  • To serve, you can stir in the peanut sauce while the stir fry is still in the skillet, heating through, or you can divide the stir fry onto plates and have everyone top his or her stir-fry with a few spoonfuls of the sauce. Top the plates with some chopped green onion tops and enjoy.


Stir fry leftovers will keep for up to two days. Leftover peanut sauce can be stored separately and will keep for up to a week.
Quick & Easy Brown Rice Lentil Stir Fry with Peanut Butter Sauce | The Full Helping

This is one of those dishes that’s more than the sum of its parts. Taken individually, all of the components are so simple, but somehow when they come together the result is really great. Even Steven, who has expressed a strong dislike of stir fry in the past, admitted that if it always tasted like this dish, he’d never mind eating it.

So, it’s worth a try. Especially if you find yourself struggling to get something on the table quickly these days. I hope you’ll find it as easy and satisfying as we did.

I had every intention of getting a menu plan Monday post up yesterday, but it just wasn’t in the cards. I’m hoping to settle back into a clearer plan next week, but for the rest of this week, I’m just winging it (and looking forward to celebrating Passover with friends and family this coming weekend). In the meantime, I have another super simple recipe planned for Thursday–another bowl!–and I hope to see you then 🙂


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Recipe Rating

  1. The recipe was great tasting until I added the peanut butter, it turned into a gooey mess after unfortunatley and was ruined.

    • So sorry to hear that! The sauce is definitely meant to enhance the dish as a topping, not make it a mess. If you have leftovers, you can try thinning the sauce with a few tablespoons of water to dilute it.

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this, and it was delicious! Didn’t have cabbage but a lot of extra spinach, so I chopped that and used it instead. Still great!

  3. Ooh this might make a good lunch too, especially as leftovers. The sauce sounds like a perfect staple – I like the idea of making lettuce rolls to dip into it. And dipping sweet potato fries in the sauce sounds amazing!
    And budget friendly to boot!

  4. I made this recipe for dinner tonight, and it was absolutely delicious. I substituted white beans and quinoa for the lentils and brown rice. That peanut butter sauce is out of this world! Thanks so much for this recipe. I will be making it again very soon!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for supper – it was so good! Loved the addition of the lentils – almost like a stir-fry/mujadrah combo. I served it with a few slices of avocado on top, a sprinkle of gomasio and sriracha to pass at the table. Happily eaten by all from 86 to 8 – that’s impressive!

  6. I love reader-inspired recipes! And this stir fry sounds incredible. I would have never thought to include lentils and now I’m wondering how I will ever make it again without them – such a smart idea <3. And nut-butter sauce is the best sauce, always. Hope you're having a lovely week Gena! YAY for the weekend 🙂

  7. Such beautiful colors–this is my kind of meal–and I know my son and daughter-in-law would love the peanut sauce! Thanks, Gena! xo

  8. This sounds delicious! I am also going through a period where I have zero time for cooking, coupled with a very limited budget, so I really love that you are posting these types of meals! I have frozen broccoli that I’ll have to use and some beluga lentils and short-grain brown rice, looking forward to trying it out! PS- I ALWAYS have PB

  9. The colors in this are fabulous, and I’m always down for quick + easy. I have every ingredient on hand, so this might be tonight’s dinner. Love that wrinkled linen, too! 🙂

  10. Oh I just love everything about this recipe, Gena! Peanut Butter Sauce is our favorite go-to during the week – it’s perfect for brightening up pretty much any dish!