Pic of Courgette and lentil bake

Courgette and lentil bake

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Vegetarian mains

Courgette and lentil bake

Serves 2 1h
Like pasta sheets in a lasagne, slices of courgette separate a protein-enriched tomato sauce. Depending on the size and shape of your dish, you may need to do a little patchwork with the courgette slices so they completely cover each layer of lentils. Instead of a standard white sauce, we've opted for a rich ricotta topping. If you have the time, allow the bake to sit for 10 minutes or so before tucking in; the topping sets and firms up a little as it cools.


  • 2 courgettes
  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100ml red wine
  • 1 tin lentils
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp bouillon powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 150g ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 25g Italian-style hard cheese, grated
  • 200ml milk
  • 50g salad leaves
  • olive oil
Image of Courgette and lentil bake


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Wash and trim the courgettes. Slice lengthways into long strips, approx. 3mm thick.
  • Step 2

    Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add as many strips as you can in a single layer. Cook for approx. 1 min on each side, until lightly coloured. Transfer to a plate. Repeat until you've cooked all the courgettes. Keep to one side.
  • Step 3

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Peel and finely chop the onion. Add the onion to a saucepan with 1 tbsp oil. Cook over a low medium heat for 5-6 mins, until softened. Stir occasionally.
  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Add the garlic and wine to the onion. Cook for 1-2 mins, to cook off some alcohol.
  • Step 5

    Drain and rinse the lentils in a sieve. To the onion pan add the lentils, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, dried oregano, cinnamon, dried mint, bouillon powder and 100ml water. Season and simmer over a medium heat for 5-6 mins.
  • Step 6

    Meanwhile, mix the ricotta and egg in a bowl until smooth. Add the milk. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Step 7

    Taste the lentils and adjust the seasoning. Spread a layer in the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with a single layer of courgette slices. Repeat this process until the courgettes and lentil mix have been used up, finishing with a layer of courgettes.
  • Step 8

    Top with the ricotta mix. Scatter over the Italian cheese. Bake for approx. 20-25 mins, until golden.
  • Step 9

    Meanwhile, wash and dry the salad leaves. Dress simply with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Step 10

    Allow the bake to cool slightly (if you have time) before serving with the salad.

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