Easy Lentil Bake

Lentil Bake Supper Recipe

Lentils – For a Low Cost Meal

Lentils are a fabulous low cost ingredient in many fabulous meals. They are extremely versatile and can be used in many different ways. As people continue to feel the pinch with incomes staying the same or falling in real terms, many families are on the look out for easy and nutritious, low cost meals. This lentil bake recipe is cheap to make at around £2.00 for four servings and it is very quick and easy too. And if you are cooking for one or two people, the extra portions will keep easily in the fridge or freezer to be reheated when required – or even be used for lunch the next day!

One of the best ways to save money on your food bills is to use pulses instead of meat. At just over £1 for 500g of lentils, each pack will make two meals for four at least and maybe more. Compare that with the cost of beef mince!

Red lentils cook in 15-20 minutes and they are low in fat and calories, and high in protein. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to try them. In fact you can always mix them with meat in a stew so that the meat goes further.

Lentils are low cost and highly nutritious and can be used in many tasty dishes. This Lentil Bake is a great way to feed a hungry family, easily and economically

What Are Lentils?

Lentils are a legume, the seed from the lentil plant and has been part of the human diet since prehistoric times.

They grow in pods on the lentil bush and are produced in the United States and in Canada as well as Asia and the Mediterranean. The bush is about 16 inches high. In fact they may have been one of the very first cultivated plants.

Because they are dried, they have a long shelf life, so there is little danger of them being wasted – another aspect that makes them economical. And they are available all year round. The red and green lentils are most commonly sold although brown and other colours are available. Red lentils cook more quickly and are mushier than green lentils. Green lentils hold their shape better in stews and soups. Which lentil you use for a recipe depends on the type of dish you are creating.

Green lentils make a good meat substitute in a dish such as Vegetarian Lasagne and red lentils are good where a softer texture is sought such as this Lentil Bake dish.

Lentil Bake – Low Cost, Easy Supper

Lentil-Book-Image-amazon-clickNot only is this recipe low cost and delicious it is very easy and quick to make. So if you are coming in from work – or for whatever reason have limited time for preparation, this dish is ideal. It only requires two pans to make and then it all goes into a baking dish and into the oven.

Serve with baked potatoes to make the most of the heat while the oven is on, along with salad or your favourite green vegetable

This recipe also uses courgettes which are plentiful in late summer. At other times of year use mushrooms, leeks, broccoli or even frozen peas, instead.

The tomato on top make a great finish and adds an extra flavour and texture but it can be omitted when tomatoes aren’t in season.

Easy Lentil Bake Recipe

Serves 4


  • 125g / 4oz red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 small courgette, chopped
  • 55g / 2oz rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g / 3oz cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tomato (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Place the red lentils in a saucepan and cover with boiling water

  2. Bring back to the boil and simmer gently, for 10-15 minutes until soft, adding more water if necessary

  3. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pan

  4. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C

  5. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan

  6. Cook the onion until soft

  7. Add the garlic and courgette

  8. Continue cooking for a few minutes and then lower the heat

  9. Stir in the cooked red lentils

  10. Sprinkle in the dried mixed herbs

  11. Stir in the oats

  12. Stir in the egg and 3/4 of the cheese

  13. When all is thoroughly mixed in place in a baking dish

  14. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese

  15. Slice the tomato and place on top, if using

  16. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes

Serve hot with baked potatoes and a green vegetable or salad
Do you have an easy, low cost recipe you would like to share? See Share a Recipe or send in your recipe via the Contact Form

If you like this recipe, you may want to subscribe to Penny’s Recipe’s newsletter and get the free Meal Plan – 7 family meals for under £30

This recipe was first published in September 2011 but has been updated in 2014.

Author Signature


  1. SHEILA says

    Hi Penny,
    I have contacted you as I cook for 50 people once a month at my local Baptist church in Australia. I am given $120 which is not a lot! I guess that’s roughly 60GBP.
    The lentil bake looks great and I may use that in two weeks time. I will accompany it with unpeeled washed potato with a cross on top and roast them. I will use sea salt and in some trays whole garlic. In the last half hour I will squash down the potato and put lots of fresh rosemary on top. Most likely for quickness will use frozen peas/sweetcorn and carrot mix. There are three in my team including me and we usually have 2 .15 hours to prepare this one course. meal.
    I have some cheap recipes that I will share with you another day.
    Thanks for your inspiration and look forward to chatting with you. Sheila

  2. Tass says


    What can I use instead of the oats please?

    Three of us are coeliacs and also can’t eat oats (more’s the pity).



  3. Belinda Hard says

    Very tasty, I used double the ingredients and have enough to freeze for another day. I didn’t have any courgettes so used red pepper and mushrooms. Thanks! Belle

  4. says

    Made this yesterday – so good, so tasty. I made the amount given even though it was just for two of so, thinking I would have half for another meal. My husband liked it so much he had another helping, so now I only have a small piece left – might add it to a soup! Served the bake with buttered cabbage. Delicious.

  5. Evie says

    Penny thank you so much for this recipe- I’m totally hooked on it. I’m making it and freezing it in portions, since I’m following weightwatchers and don’t want to buy their products.
    I’m trying to convince my teenagers
    That it’s so tasty too- fussy teens!!!
    I hope to win them over one day :)
    Thanks again
    Evie x

    • says

      Thanks for saying – and glad you like it so much. Perhaps when teenagers become responsible for buying and cooking their own food they will realise the value of easy, low cost and really tasty meals!

  6. says

    Lentils take only about 20 minutes to cook (and no need to pre-soak eheitr) They are the easiest legume to cook.If you want it really simple just cover in water and add garlic and salt. If you want to make it more substantial then add whatever vegetable you like.(diced carrots, celery, peas,whatever..you can also add tomato sauce to increase the flavor. Lentils are very simple to work with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge