Cheesy Roasted Lentil and Veggie Casserole
In between too many cookies and holiday parties, I saw a photo of Roasted Red Lentil Casserole by Nom Eat Nom. The name of the dish intrigued me, so I clicked on the link to see more. What I saw seemed like a satisfying respite from the overindulgences that too often come with the season. It was also an ideal dinner for my vegetarian sister.
Lentils are delicious (at least I think so!), yet they are also filling and packed with protein and minerals. Nom Eat Nom roasted them in a coating of egg along with several other vegetables for an easy, one-dish meal. I adapted the recipe but certainly kept the essence of what Nom Eat Nom created.
Although this may not seem like a kid-friendly dish, my two boys loved it. My husband was out of town when I prepared this the first time, but when served leftovers two nights later, he seriously raved. This from a major steak fan! The egg coating binds the lentils a bit, creating a meatier texture. The egg part is one of the things I augmented from the original recipe, which you can view by clicking here. Beyond that I streamlined a few of the ingredients, added kale, and went a little cheesier. I give enormous credit to Nom Eat Nom for thinking to roast the lentils along with the veggies. Adding the egg was truly a stroke of brilliance.
I made the preparation super simple by cooking the lentils in advance. This is a recipe I look forward to going back to frequently, and I have more ideas as to how to adapt the recipe. Perhaps you have your own? Feel free to share in the comment section below….and then go introduce yourself to Nom Eat Nom, and tell them The Fountain Avenue Kitchen says hello!
I used grated cheddar, as it was what I had on hand. Gruyere would be nice as would almost any flavorful cheese. I was thinking a combination of feta for flavor and mozzarella for gooeyness would be delicious, too!
- 1 cup uncooked lentils (I used brown lentils)
- 1 head cauliflower
- 8 ounces mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size
- 2 cups lightly packed kale leaves, chopped
- 1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (I used about 3/4 and 1/4 teaspoon, respectively)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large tomato, sliced and halved (or 1/2-1 cup of grape tomatoes)
- 1 cup freshly grated cheddar, Gruyere, or cheese of choice
- Rinse the lentils, and then simmer (covered) in water to cover for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are just soft. (I like to keep just a little “bite” to them. Taste and remove from heat when they are cooked to your liking.)
- Drain the lentils. You may cook the lentils in advance and refrigerate at this point until ready to proceed.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and grease a 9×13 pan or another large baking dish.
- Combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and thyme in a small bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the lentils with all of the vegetables except for the tomato. Do not mix in the cheese either.
- Pour the egg mixture over the veggie mixture and toss until evenly coated.
- Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. I found it easiest to toss a bit with my hands and allow most of the lentils to settle to the bottom. This way, they will bind with the egg mixture and form a tasty bottom layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until veggies are becoming tender but still crisp. Remove from the oven, top with the tomato, and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
- Return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and the cheese is melted. All ovens vary but, in my oven, 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes yielded vegetables that were lightly golden yet still crisp-tender.
- Leftovers are delicious reheated…and I enjoyed them cold, too!
This recipe was happily shared with Recipes for My Boys’ Thursday’s Treasures.