Honey Baked Lentils

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.


47 thoughts on “Honey Baked Lentils

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  14. This looks so yummy! I love the slightly Oriental undertones in the recipe.

    I often bake lentils with brown rice, but have found the best way to get the nice crispy topping but still soft brown rice is to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes before baking.

    • It does have a slightly teriyaki flavor, but because the flavor of the lentils comes through and lentils normally are not used in Japanese food, it is pretty different–a dish that has its own delicious identity!

      Thanks for the tip on getting brown rice to come out right!

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    • Yes, dry ginger. I haven’t tried using fresh ginger root, but I suspect it would float to the top the way fresh onions do. The dried stuff works better in this recipe, which makes it convenient for times when you haven’t been to the store recently!

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  36. I’m going to try this one. It sounds different than any of my usual lentil recipes and while we like lentils over here, I think we need a refresh! And I like the idea of baking the lentils – a time-saver.

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