Lentil Cheddar Bake - a cheesy lentil bake with peppers that is great as it is with a salad or as a side to soup or chilli.
This lentil cheddar bake is a recipe I've been making for many years now and it's made on a regular basis in the summer months, purely because it's a great portable high protein recipe.
It is actually really versatile recipe too, that can be easily adapted with different vegetables of your choosing. Although I tend to stick to it just as it is nowadays, as the flavours are perfect.
Cooking Red Lentils
Cooking red lentils is really easy, usually the are add into curries or soups as a great thickening ingredient so we don't need to pay too much attention to the right ratio of liquid.
In this recipe however, we are using the lentils as the main ingredient for this bake, so we don't want too much liquid that the lentils are too wet once cooked. I find the perfect ratio for is a 2:1. So for 1 cup of lentils (192g) we want 2 cups of stock (480ml).
Vegetable or Chicken stock are my prefered stocks to use for this and the great thing about cooking in stock is it will also flavour the lentils. Make sure however if you use stock cubes that the check the packaging so you know how much to sue for the right amount of mls.
Different Varieties of Lentils
This recipe uses red lentils, and they are the ones you want for this recipe, as when cooked they break down and are almost paste like.
Other varieties of lentils like green and brown hold their shape when cooked and won't work as well in this recipe, the texture would be different and it won't hold together as well.
Cooking the Lentil Bake
I like to cook it in a 7 inch springform pan. It gives the Lentil Cheddar Bake a decent height and is easier to remove and slice once cooked. I use my springform pans regularly for things like Quiches or Cheesecake. I have various different sizes and they are a great cookware item to have. How many times have you cooked something and then struggled to remove it from the pan without make a mess? The springform pans solve all of that.
However you can use any dish you want, just ensure if you don't use a spring form pan that you grease it well with some spray oil, so it's easy to remove once cooked.
You could even bake it as individual sized muffins (but be aware these do not have a cake/bread like texture). That way it is all portioned out perfectly for you. Just be aware if you do bake it like this you will need to reduce the cooking time as it won't take as long to cook this way.
Type of Cheese for Lentil Bake
Here in Canada, most of our cheddar is a deep orange/yellow colour due to added annatto. My favourite is Balderson's Canadian Extra Old Cheddar which I get at Costco Canada.
If you want to get the deeper yellow/orange colour to the bake, Red Leicester is a good substitute to use to achieve the same colour, slightly different taste, but still works really well.
How to Serve Lentil Cheddar Bake
A slice of this Lentil Cheddar Bake makes a great lunch time meal, perfect on it's own with a salad, or on the side of your favourite soup. My favourite way to enjoy this is with one of my many chilli recipes instead of rice. The cheese flavour with peppers, cilantro and jalapenos is a great pairing.
Here are some of the amazing chilli recipes on Slimming Eats:
- TURKEY CHILLI (STOVE TOP AND INSTANT POT)
- BEST EVER CHILLI CON CARNE
- CHICKPEA VEGETABLE CHILLI (STOVE TOP AND INSTANT POT)
- BEEF AND SIX BEAN CHILLI (STOVE TOP, INSTANT POT AND SLOW COOKER)
- INSTANT POT CHOCOLATE CHILLI
- BEEF AND ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHILLI
- SWEET POTATO, VEGETABLE AND LENTIL CHILLI
You can enjoy this hot or cold, so it is perfect for packed lunches or meals on the go and for taking in picnics during the summer months.
I also really like a slice of it with this Tomato and Onion Relish on the side.
Perfect Lentil Recipe for Vegetarians
This Lentil Cheddar Bake is perfect for vegetarians too if you use vegetable stock to cook the lentils instead of chicken and then pair it with one of my vegetarian Chilli recipes above.
It is a also a great budget friendly dish because lentils are usually pretty cheap. You can normally grab a big bag of red lentils for a couple of $ here in Canada, and no doubt less than a couple of pounds in the UK.
I tend to buy dried pulses and beans where possible instead of canned as not only are they cheaper, but I find they taste better too when you cook them yourself. If money is tight. Lentils are a great substitute for ground meat too in dishes like bolognese and shepherd's pie.
More Lentil Recipes
Looking for some other lentil recipes? Check out these:
- VEGAN CREAMY COCONUT MUSHROOM LENTILS (STOVE TOP AND INSTANT POT)
- SPICY SWEET POTATO AND LENTILS
- SPICY LENTILS AND SPINACH (STOVE TOP AND INSTANT POT)
- COCONUT CHICKEN AND LENTIL CURRY
- TACO LENTIL SOUP (INSTANT POT OR STOVE TOP)
- LENTIL BOLOGNESE
- LENTIL CURRY (INSTANT POT AND STOVE TOP RECIPE)
or head on over to my Full Recipe Index with over 900 delicious Slimming Eats and Weight Watchers friendly recipes all fully searchable by meal type, ingredients, value and smart points etc
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