Forget everything you ever knew about lentil salad. It’s not that I don’t LIKE lentil salad, it’s that I usually don’t LOVE it. This, I love. I usually eat lentil salad wishing there were less lentils. I want more crunch, more texture, more complex flavor.…
I’ve been getting lots of requests on Instagram for more Hungry Lady Soups, so it was time to post this one. This January has really become the soup and salad month over here, and I’m not mad about it one bit. They are my some…
This Cheesy Eggplant and Lentil Bake has been one of the most requested recipes I’ve created… not just one of the most requested vegetarian dinner recipes but most requested recipes period. I hinted at it on my Instagram stories about a month ago, and ever since people have been messaging me asking when I would be posting it.
It’s for good reason.
Layers of eggplant and lentils are smothered with a simple tomato sauce spiced with coriander, paprika, and oregano and topped with cheese. Once baked until hot and bubbling and set aside to rest, it cuts almost like an eggplant parmesan but is gluten free and packed with fiber and protein. It is healthy comfort food at its best.
The best part about recipes like this is that it can be prepared at your leisure during the day and simply baked off before dinner. For a busy mom, or anyone that likes to get ahead of mealtime, it’s super convenient. It’s also fantastic as a dish to prepare for a new mom – it can be assembled and given with baking instructions or baked to be reheated, and it freezes well too.
Watch Me Make My Cheesy Eggplant Lentil Bake
How To Make My Cheesy Eggplant Lentil Bake
Step 1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add in the eggplant disks. Boil for 5 – 7 minutes. Drain then set aside. Pat dry to remove as much water as possible.
Step 3. Heat a large pot over medium heat with oil, then add the diced onion. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until the onions start to turn translucent. Add in the garlic, coriander, paprika, oregano, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of salt. Fry for 2 more minutes.
Step 4. Add the cooked lentils and tomatoes and a large pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Stir and cook for 5 – 7 minutes more.
Step 5. Spread some of the lentil mixture on the bottom of a large oven-safe pan or casserole dish then add some of the eggplant circles. Top with 1/3 – 1/2 of the cheese depending on the size of your pan. You will have 2 or 3 layers.
Step 6. Continue building the layers and finish with the last of the cheese. It doesn’t need to look perfect.
Step 7. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until it is warmed through and is lightly brown on top. Let the pan rest for 15 minutes before serving it with fresh parsley.
What Else Can I Use?
- I love my Lodge Cast Iron pan for this, which you can find here, but use any heavy, ovenproof skillet or casserole dish. Something like this or this would work well. I have this one and use it all the time, and it happens to be on sale right now.
- If you don’t have coriander on hand, don’t sweat it. Simply omit it.
- You can boil your lentils ahead of time, or use precooked ones. Trader Joe’s makes great steamed lentils, they’re really convenient for something like this.
- If you’re dairy free, you can use vegan cheese. Daiya makes a very good one.
More Comforting Skillet Recipes
You probably know by now how much I love my wholesome, comforting skillet suppers. If you do too then you’ll want to check out these recipes as well:
If you make this Cheesy Eggplant and Lentil Bake, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and rate the recipe. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!
Cheesy Eggplant and Lentil Bake
- 1 large ovenproof skillet
- Kosher salt
- 2 medium-large eggplants 1 ½ pounds, sliced into ½ inch disks
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 16 ounces cooked green lentils cooked according to package directions (1 cup dry)
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese grated
- Fresh parsley for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- Add the eggplant disks and boil for 5-7 minutes until soft, but not mushy. Drain and set aside, patting dry to remove as much water as possible.
- In a large pot set over medium heat, heat the oil, then add diced onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, coriander, paprika, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and oregano and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Add the cooked lentils and tomatoes along with a large pinch of salt and pepper and stir, cooking for another 5-7 minutes.
- Spread some of the lentil mixture on the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.
- Add half of the eggplant circles, followed by a third of the cheese.
- Continue building and finish with the last third of cheese.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until warmed through and bubbling.
- Finish with fresh parsley and let it stands for 15 minutes before scooping out into shallow bowls for serving.
Everybody needs a few great picnic-y salads in their repertoire. I’m all for the classics, like a great potato salad, a crunchy slaw, fresh greens… you know the ones. But I love to bring something less expected, and one I can be almost sure no…