An easy back-pocket meatless meal, this cheesy lentil bake is the perfect lentil recipe for toddlers, and the whole family! Try baking with lentils today!
So, how was your Valentine’s Day? Did you go for dinner, or stay in? Do absolutely nothing? We took it easy and made a fancy dinner once the boys were in bed – lobster tails, grilled steak with mushrooms, and creamy parmesan risotto. I put some peas in the risotto so there was at least some green….! Dessert was two massive chocolate lava cakes with ice cream. We ended up multiplying the recipe I had for the lava cakes by 1.5 since the ramekins I used were larger than what the recipe called for….I don’t even want to think about the amount of butter consumed.
Needless to say, we were FULL.
After nights like that, I definitely need some lighter meals for a few days. I’m pretty excited to share this cheesy lentil bake with you guys! It totally fits the bill for an easy vegetarian meal made of pretty basic ingredients that you can throw together quickly. We all need a few of these in our back pocket, right?
Are lentils good for kids?
Lentils are excellent for kids! They are a great source of vitamins, iron and calcium.
I’ve placed this dish under my Meatless Monday category, but I’m also filing it under Wee Ones. The boys both LOVED this dish, making it a really wonderful meal to serve to kids and babies that are just starting on solids. It’s full of healthy vegetables and lentils, and while firm enough to pick up, it’s also very soft and easy for babies to gum (or old people, for that matter…. 😉 )
How long does it take to make this cheesy lentil bake?
The bake will require a little bit of preparation, but nothing crazy. You’ll need to sauté the vegetables and simmer the lentils before baking, so the total cook time is about an hour. Not 30 minutes, but not too bad. For this recipe, I used a 9″ pie plate, but you could also fit this into an 8″ x 8″ casserole dish if you prefer; you just might need to increase the bake time by 5 minutes or so since the dish is a bit deeper than the pie plate.
I had leftover butternut squash on hand when I made this, but you could easily swap the squash for a sweet potato!
While the flavours in the bake are fairly subtle (again, perfect for kids), that little bit of fresh thyme really makes a difference. You could absolutely leave it out, or try freelancing with a few different spices – or cheeses! I have been meaning to try this dish again using our favourite jalapeno monetary jack cheese, just to give it a little kick.
Speaking of freelancing, I took a “people” photography course this past weekend, so if you’re suddenly in need of someone to take a proper photo of you, I’m your gal. Kidding, of course. I wouldn’t trust me just yet with any photos that don’t involve an edible subject. But I did learn some really cool things!
Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend, and be sure to keep this easy little bake in mind for your next meatless meal! Pssst – you should probably pin it.
This meal is perfect for kids! I’ve got a few other things PERFECT for kids here 😉Print
Cheesy Lentil Bake
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 5-6 servings 1x
An easy back-pocket meatless meal full of hearty vegetables and covered in an almond and parmesan crust. This cheesy lentil bake is so soft and cheesy, it’s even perfect for those fussy little eaters!
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup butternut squash, diced into 1/2” pieces
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 cup red lentils, uncooked
- 2 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I used 1/2 white cheddar and 1/2 sharp cheddar)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 9″ pie plate.
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat the coconut oil until shimmering. Add the diced onion and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute. Add the butternut squash, red pepper and thyme, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils, followed by the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils have absorbed all of the liquid. Remove from heat.
- Beat the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Once the lentil mixture has been allowed to cool for 5 minutes, add the mixture to the eggs along with the cheese. Stir thoroughly to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate, pressing down slightly on the top. Scatter the parmesan cheese evenly over the top, then follow with the almonds. Bake the bake (hah) for 30-35 minutes, or until the bake looks firm and does not jiggle in the center when you give it a gentle shake.
- Remove the bake from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with sour cream or additional cheese, if desired!
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days, in a covered airtight container.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: toddler food, family food
- Method: Oven
Keywords: lentils for baby // cheesy lentil casserole // lentil recipe baby led weaning
Sounds like you had an epic Valentine’s Day meal! I am jealous!! I worked all day….so dinner was just my meal prepped grilled chicken I had for the week hahah. These cheesy lentil bake looks so hearty and warming. I am such a fan of lentils too 🙂 XOOX
Aww Kelly – you sacrificed a delicious V-day dinner because you were serving the public!! You deserve a steak just for that! Thank you – I love how versatile lentils can be. Have a great weekend!!
OMG have I ever told you just how much I love lentils? All caps LOVE them. And when you add cheese I’m just going to love them more. Adding this to the dinner rotation for next week! Have a great weekend, Katherine!
Hooray! I LOVE lentils too, Kelsie!! It’s funny because I never ate them growing up, but now I eat them at least weekly. Cheese and lentils were meant to be! I hope you love the dish! XO
I left another comment, but it didn’t go through 🙁
You always make the BEST recipes, Katherine! Before I started to read down through I clicked ‘Pin’ and can’t wait to try! We celebrated fur baby on Valentine’s day for his b day, but will be celebrating Valentine’s day this weekend by making a whole bunch of Indian food! Yay! I’ll keep you in mind if I ever need a photographer 😉 I’m sure it will come handy when you take all those baby pics 😉 Have a wonderful weekend! XO
Aaah sorry Dawn – that always happens to me too. I appreciate you trying again my friend! This one worked!! And THANK YOU for the nicest compliment. I hope you love the recipe – and I LOVE that you sacrificed the big V-day for your fur baby’s birthday. So, so sweet. Indian food sounds amazing!! I hope you enjoy! And yes – I can at least take my time with my own baby haha CHEERS!
Katherine, we are definitely of the same mind when it comes to publishing breakfast foods, or breakfast for supper foods! I published a lentil, egg, sweet potato recipe today!! I totally love the sound of this cheesy lentil bake! I imagine pairing it with a salad for a hearty and healthy supper! And you can’t go wrong when a recipe has cheesy in the title! 😉 Happy weekend! p.s. would love to hear more about that photography course!
Yes we are! I’m hopping over to your blog asap to check out this recipe – it sounds delicious!! We ate this with a salad, so you’ve definitely got the right idea 😉 Thanks Leanne!! Have a great weekend!
Sounds like a great valentines! Lentils are one of my favorite things so I must try this!
It was lovely! I hope you like it, Patrick! 🙂
Haha…lava cakes and me just do not get along…I LOVE to eat it but for the life of me, I just cannot seem to bake it right, 😬. It is always overbaked no matter how I time it or sit staring into the oven saying my silent lava cake prayer🙄
Anyhow, this cheesy lentil bake sounds soooo good. I absolutely love lentils and always looking for a recipe with these protein packed legumes and with cheese, even better.I am Definitely saving this recipe to make during the week because this I KNOW will turn out and taste perfect.
Thank you for the great recipe Katherine and have a wonderful weekend 🙂
Aww Ashika, haha I have had the SAME problem SO many times. If I’m being honest, these were probably slightly overbaked too! I think it’s because when you’re “supposed” to take it out, it just looks too underdone!! Thank you so much for the kind words – I hope you love the recipe!! Have a great weekend XO
I just bought some lentils, but will make a salad just for me instead of your yummy cheesy lentil bake. It sounds perfect for dinner and lunches, but I haven’t convinced the hubby that lentils are fabulous….at least not yet!
Aaah you have to keep working at it – my husband was also a skeptic of lentils for a while, but I’ve been making them so much I think he’s coming around! As long as there’s enough cheese 😉 Thanks Liz!
Your Valentine’s Day meal sounds incredible! We normally don’t go out but we were out of town and my husband and I had a quiet dinner out…it was nice! Lentils are one of my favorite things and if you add cheese they just top the charts! I love this dish and totally need to try it!
We don’t usually go out either, so having the opportunity while being out of town would be so nice! I hope you enjoyed! Thanks Marcie – if you’re a lentil lover you’ll definitely like it! 🙂
I love, love lentils so much but have never thought of combining them with cheese. Such a healthy, hearty, filling meal. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend Kathy:)
I LOVE lentils too, Maria! They’re so good with cheese – you definitely have to try it. I hope you had a great weekend too my friend!!
Your Valentine’s dinner does sound epic (At least) haha. I opted for a lighter main course (chicken breasts). But we balanced out this relatively light dish with a dessert – scrumptious cheesecake. With caramel. I’m still recovering 😉 This lentil bake sounds great – my kind of meal.
Ooh caramel cheesecake is never a bad idea. That sounds decadent and delightful!! I’m glad you had a “full” Valentine’s Day!! Thanks Ben, hope you get a chance to try it out!
I love lentils, first of all, but that almond parmesan crust definitely has my attention! Sounds delicious, my friend!
Thank you Annie! I love the crust too – I think I need to make double next time 😉
What a great use of lentils Katherine. Tom and I both enjoy lentils, so I’ll need to work this into the weekly menu!
Lentils are wonderful – they’re so versatile! I hope you both like it. Thank you!!
Your Valentine’s dinner sounds better than any fancy restaurant meal! And this is a lovely recipe with lentils..In India, we make lentils everyday but I have never thought about baking them like that! I am going to try this super soon!
Ah, thank you Deepika! It definitely felt fancy enough to be from a restaurant, but in the coziness of our own home! Lentils are so good – India knows what they’re doing 😉 I hope you like it!!
What a wonderful bake! I love adding lentils in my meals for they are so nutritious. I need to try this recipe out. <3
Thank you Neha! Lentils are so wonderful and versatile. I hope you love it!!