Things I have been cooking lately #104: Spicy lentil bake

This lentil bake is sort of reminiscent of a moussaka but with more Middle Eastern flavours. The base recipe that I built this on showed the different layers as all being beautifully separate but when I cut into this it all kind of glooped together. That didn’t make it any less tasty though and I quite liked the fact that it all merged into a delicious goo. Of course that made it a nightmare to photograph so please don’t let the rather bland photo put you off, if you’re looking for a filling, healthy vegetarian dish, this is a knock out.

Spicy lentil bake

Very loosely inspired by this recipe on One Green Planet

2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 spring onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
500g pre-cooked green lentils
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 tablespoons of harissa pasta
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
A handful of chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1/2 cup water

For the cheese sauce
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 handfuls of cheese

For the layers
1 aubergines
2 courgettes

2 extra cups of cheese

Preheat your oven to 180 C.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the spring onions until lightly golden. Add the garlic and fry until also golden. Add the red pepper and harissa and cook until the red pepper has softened. Add the lentils and mix well. Then add the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 20 minutes.

While that’s on the go, slice the aubergines and courgettes lengthwise and cook them in your griddle pan until you have the nice grill lines on them. Set aside.

Then make the cheese sauce. Heat the olive oil until runny. Then remove from the heat and stir in the flour and a pinch of salt to form a paste. Add the milk a couple of tablespoons at a time and mix well after each addition ensuring that there are no lumps. Return to the heat, stirring continuously until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Add the cheese and stir over the heat until you have a smooth sauce.

In a large baking dish spread half the lentils. Then a layer of cheese sauce. Then a layer of courgette and aubergine. Followed by a layer of lentils, a layer of courgette and aubergine and a final layer of cheese sauce. Then top with the additional cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Serves 6 – 8



  1. this looks amazing! gonna wait till I move in with my new room-mate, this looks like A LOT for just one person – or maybe not? 😉

    1. Abbi

      My husband and I ate it for about a week there was so much of it so it’s definitely good for a bunch of people and it keeps really well. Let me know how it goes!

  2. OMG, Abbi. This looks sooo good. It took me awhile to realize your aubergines mean egg plant to us Yanks. 🙂

    1. Abbi

      And the courgettes are zucchinis. Funny how things are called different things in different countries. In South Africa we sometimes call egg plants brinjals so that’s even another name to remember! Lol!

    1. Abbi

      It was soooooo good. I had it for lunch everyday for a week and I never got tired of it!

  3. Theo

    It looks delicious!! Never had a lentil bake, ever….

    1. Abbi

      They’re a great, tasty alternative to meat. I love lentils!

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