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Creamy Vegan Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Bake
Creamy Vegan Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Bake
Nisha Vora

Chef Nisha Vora, author of The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes (in stores June 2019), knows a thing or two about healthy vegan recipes that taste super indulgent.

Case in point? Her creamy vegan lentil and roasted vegetable bake. In Vora’s words, “This is the ultimate winter comfort food.”

Sweet, caramelized roasted vegetables and hearty lentils are baked in a rich cashew cream; a crispy pine nut topping brings crunchy balance. Tip: To make this gluten-free, omit the topping and garnish the casserole with simply toasted pine nuts.

Anyone else want to dig in?

PureWow’s Chef in Residence program invites food influencers and tastemakers from all over the world to create new recipes in our New York City test kitchen.           

RELATED: 5 Hearty (and Healthy) Fall Bowls by Chef Jodi Moreno

8 servings

Casserole

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets

3 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large sweet onion, diced

6 garlic cloves, minced

12 ounces (1½ cups) French green (Puy) lentils

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water

Small handful of thyme sprigs

4 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons yellow or white miso paste

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, for serving

Cashew Cream

1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1 hour in boiling water

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crispy Pine Nut Topping

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup panko bread crumbs

½ cup pine nuts

1. Make the Casserole: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the cauliflower florets, butternut squash and sweet potato with 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to sheet trays and roast, tossing once, until they are browned and soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F.

2. While the vegetables are roasting, pour the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil into a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the lentils, vegetable broth and thyme sprigs to the skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender but still al dente, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Remove the thyme sprigs from the lentils and stir in the tahini, miso paste and balsamic vinegar.

5. Make the Cashew Cream: While the vegetables are roasting and the lentils are cooking, add the drained cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water to the bowl of a high-powered blender. Season with salt and pepper, and blend until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, you can prepare the cashew cream up to two days in advance.

6. Layer the roasted veggies and cooked lentils in a 13-by-9-inch or 3-liter casserole pan. Drizzle the cashew cream on top and bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.

7. Prepare the Crispy Pine Nut Topping: Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the panko bread crumbs and stir until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cool slightly and then stir in the pine nuts.

8. Sprinkle the pine nut mixture over the casserole and then place the dish under the broiler for a few minutes until the topping is golden (keep a careful watch, as pine nuts can burn easily). Allow the casserole to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.

438 calories

18g fat

56g carbs

19g protein

9g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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