Smokey Butternut Squash & Lentil Bake (gf, ve)

Prep: 60 minutesCook: 45 minutesTotal: 105 minutes
Yield: serves 4Category: Dinners
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This is a really delicious dinner that feels like proper comfort food! The bake has a lovely smokey flavour with a hint of warming spice and the mushrooms and mung beans lend quite a ‘meaty’ texture to this recipe meaning that meat isn’t missed!

It may seem like a pretty faffy recipe because of the different layers but it is actually pretty easy once you get going! It isn’t as time consuming as it may first appear as the lentil layer and sauce can be made while the butternut squash is roasting in the oven. Once the layers have been assembled you can just pop it in the oven and leave it to do its thing. Due to this, it is the perfect dish to prepare in advance and then all you need to do at dinner time is put it in the oven. It stores and freezes well making it an ideal option for meal prep.

I make this using all dairy free alternatives, just ensure you reduce the heat when making the sauce and do not let it boil otherwise you risk it splitting. I use a mixture of nutritional yeast and dairy free parmesan on the top of this as I find the nutritional yeast helps the parmesan to melt, do not worry if you can’t find any as it will still be delicious without it.

Ingredients

metric
imperial
  • 250g 2 cups chestnut mushrooms
  • 200g 1 cup red lentils
  • 100g 1/2 cup mung beans
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tbsp harissa
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 litre 4 + 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • splash olive oil

For the sauce

  • 400ml 1 + 3/4 cups unsweetened soya milk
  • 1 handful dairy free grated mozzarella
  • 1 handful dairy free parmesan
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp gluten free plain flour
  • 1 tsp dairy free butter
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch black pepper

Method

  1. Use a sharp knife to slice the butternut squash into 1cm thick discs and place on a baking tray. Coat in a little olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and roast in a preheated oven for one hour at 150 degrees Celsius. Set aside once cooked
  2. Add the lentils, mung beans, water, harissa and stock cubes to a large pan and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until the lentils have absorbed most of the water and softened, stir occasionally so they do not stick to the bottom
  3. Chop the mushrooms and add to a frying pan along with the chopped garlic and onion. Sauté until the mushrooms reduce in size and the onion begins to soften. Add the seasoning and reduce to simmer for a few more minutes
  4. Once everything is cooked, remove from the heat and pour the mushroom mixture into the pan containing the lentils. Stir well and add more salt or pepper if required
  5. Pour the lentil and mushroom mixture into a large ovenproof dish, ensure it is evenly distributed and fills each corner
  6. Next, layer the butternut squash slices on top of the lentils so they are completely covered
  7. In a smaller pan, melt some butter over a low heat and pour in the milk. Add the flour a little bit at a time and stir continuously to get rid of any lumps. Add the salt, pepper and mozzarella and stir constantly until the sauce begins to thicken
  8. Now, pour the sauce over the top of the butternut squash, ensuring it is evenly distributed across the top of the bake and reaches into all four corners.
  9. Top with the dairy free parmesan and nutritional yeast before placing in a preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius

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