I’ve seen this recipe floating around vegetarian and thrifty discussions for the past year or two, but I didn’t get around to trying it until this past weekend. It was delicious and very easy! It will be ideal for us now that Daniel is working at home, because he can spend just a few minutes assembling it (or one of us could do that the night before) and stick it in the oven and go back to work, and dinner will be ready when Nicholas and I get home. All the ingredients are shelf-stable (except the optional orange juice), so it can be a back-up meal when we haven’t gotten to the store recently.
To make 6-8 main-dish servings, you will need:
- 1 cup dry lentils (Green or brown lentils hold their shape and texture; red lentils get softer and taste less “beany”, ideal for people who think they don’t like beans!)
- 2 cups water, or 1 cup orange juice and 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- <1 clove garlic, crushed, or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or granulated garlic
- Optional ingredient for extra nutrition and deliciousness and appetizing color: 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes (huh?)
- 2 Tbsp. dried minced onion (You can use fresh onion, but it all floats to the top and gets a soggy consistency.)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. honey (You can substitute maple syrup for a different flavor, also very good.)
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
It will be soupy, suitable for serving in bowls or over rice or in a baked potato or squash. If you prefer a more solid, casserole-like consistency, bake it longer, or add:
1/3 cup uncooked rice (brown rice works, but it will not get really soft).
Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish. (Measure them in the order listed for tidiest use of your measuring spoons!) You can let it soak for a while before baking, if convenient–this makes the lentils and rice softer and may improve digestibility.
Bake, covered, at 350F until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
We baked some squash at the same time to make a complete meal with no additional energy use. It was a tasty combination of foods. A few weeks later, I whipped up a Pumpkin Cornbread that also can bake along with Honey Baked Lentils and goes really well with them.
- This turns out to be a great dish to bring to potluck dinners. Almost everyone likes it! It’s vegetarian and dairy-free, and some vegans are willing to eat honey. (If I know there will be strict vegans dining, I use maple syrup.) I can bake it the night before and reheat it in an oven or microwave, or it’s pretty good at room temperature.
- Here are instructions for making Honey Baked Lentils in a slow-cooker.
- I linked this recipe to a carnival of bean recipes and another carnival of bean recipes where you can find many other ways to enjoy lentils and other beans!
- Visit Fabulously Frugal Thursday for more money-saving ideas!
- My son was able to mix up this recipe by himself by age 7. When he’s also willing to scrub some sweet potatoes and poke holes in them, he can make dinner for the family all by himself except for a little help with the oven!
- This recipe was featured in 10 Meatless Meals for Lent at Simple Catholic Living. Far more than 10 ideas are there, thanks to comments!
- I researched the nutrition of this recipe and reported my findings at Kitchen Stewardship.
- Here’s how to clean the pan!