VegBox Recipes

Lentil Bake (With Optional Apple)

Lentil bake doesn't have to be dull! In fact, if made well, it's absolutely delicious. And it's a great way of using up any spare veg box items - or even some from the fruit bag. See the Variations for using apples, mushrooms, and carrots.


Serves 4

  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 15ml olive or sunflower oil
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped (e.g. parsley, thyme leaves, marjoram, oregano)
  • 100g grated Cheddar
  • Handful of pine nuts or sesame seeds (topping - optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Gently heat the oil in a large pan.

  2. Add the onions and garlic and stir to coat with the oil. Cover and saute for 5 minutes, until starting to soften.

  3. Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 2 minutes.

  4. Add 1/4 of the water. It will spit and hiss a bit, because the pan is hot. Stir well and simmer gently until most of the water has boiled off. Add the lemon juice & rind.

  5. Then add another 1/4 of the water. Stir well and simmer again.

  6. If using, mix the stock cube with the rest of the water. Adding it earlier seems to make the lentils take longer to cook.

  7. Keep using the water this way, adding a little more if needed, until the lentils are soft and mushy. This takes 20-30 minutes. Taste & season with salt and pepper.

  8. Mix 2/3 of the cheese in with the lentils. This helps keep the bake moist.

  9. Put the lentil mixture into an oven-proof dish and top with the cheese and pine nuts. Bake at 200 degrees C for about 30 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and lightly browned.

Time From Cupboard-To-Table

About 1 1/4 hours, including 30 minutes in the oven

Notes & Variations on Lentil Bake (With Optional Apple)

Also works well with yellow split peas.

Got spare mushrooms? Slice them and fry in a little oil and garlic. Put them in the bottom of the oven-proof dish, before adding the lentil mixutre.

Got spare carrots? Wash them and grate them into the onion mixture, a couple of minutes before adding the lentils.

Got spare apples? Wash, peel and grate an apple into the bake just before putting it in the oven-proof dish.

For a spicier version, add 1/2 teaspoon each of ground coriander seed and cumin seed shortly before adding the lentils. You can even add a little chilli.


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