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overhead: berbere chicken and lentils
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5 from 4 votes

Berbere Chicken and Lentils

Berbere chicken and lentils is a hearty, healthy Ethiopian dish that is easy to make and bursting with the best flavors of the region.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Keyword: Berbere Chicken
Servings: 6
Author: Kevin


  • 8 cups water
  • 3 tsp salt divided
  • 1 lb dried brown lentils rinsed, drained
  • cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp berbere spice divided
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts (or boneless thighs)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 lemon slices



  • Combine the water and 1 teaspoon salt in large saucepan over high heat. Add lentils and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, drain again. Place in large bowl.


  • In a blender or using a immersion hand blender, mix the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, 1 tablespoon of berbere, cinnamon, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt, until thick and emulsified. Pour 3/4 cup dressing over warm lentils and toss to coat, set aside.


  • Rub chicken all over with remaining 1 tablespoon berbere and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add chicken breasts to skillet and sauté 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through.


  • Toss the lentils with the dressing again. Arrange lentils on large platter or individual plate. Place chicken on top of lentils, onions on top of chicken and drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon slices.



Calories: 719kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1126mg | Potassium: 1355mg | Fiber: 25g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 8mg