Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Bake

Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Bake
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    [post_date] => 2017-07-10 07:42:40
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-10 13:42:40
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    [post_title] => Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Bake
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    [post_modified] => 2018-02-03 18:35:48
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-04 00:35:48
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  • 7 ounces noodles of choice (I use fusili, brand linked below)
  • 2 cups sweet potato, peeled & diced into 1/4" pieces (approx 1/2 lg sweet potato)
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled & diced into 1/4" pieces (approx 2 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced into 1/2" pieces (approx 1/2 lg onion)
  • 4 clovesg garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium Tamari (sub low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup plain Kite Hill Cream Cheese (sub regular cream cheese)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (sub melted coconut oil, brands linked below)
  • 1 15 ounce can diced organic tomatoes
  • 2 cans brown lentils. Rinse and drain one can & just drain the other
  • 3 packed cups grated grassfed cheddar cheese
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, then rinse and cool (al dente is a few minutes less than recommended. Should still be a little chewy). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grab a 9.5x13.5x2 casserole dish.
  2. Chop sweet potato and carrot and place in a sauce pot. Add water to cover then bring to a boil. Once boiling, boil for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Dice onion and mince garlic. Set aside. In small bowl, whisk together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, black pepper and coconut sugar. Set aside. In a high powered blender, puree tamari, tomato pasta, cream cheese and water. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large wide pot to medium heat and add oil. When oil moves quickly around the pan, add sweet potatoes, carrots and diced onion. Cook, stirring every minute or so, until onions are softened and translucent. You can add splashes of water to the pan as necessary to prevent browning/sticking. The takes about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Add minced garlic and spice/coconut sugar mixture and stir to incorporate evenly. Cook another 2-3 minutes, again adding splashes of water as necessary, until garlic is softened and fragrant. Add tomato paste/cream cheese mixture, can of diced tomatoes and both cans of lentils. Stir to incorporate evenly, then allow to cook another 5 minutes. Mixture should be thick and bubbling around the edges. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you grate cheese.
  5. Assemble Casserole: Add 1/2 of your lentil mixture to the bottom and spread in an even layer. Top with 1/2 of your al dente noodles, then 1/2 of your grated cheese. Repeat with remaining goodness. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling around the edges. Note that some of the noodles will get crunchy, which is my favorite part! Optional: Before removing from the oven, broil until some of the cheese turns golden brown on top.
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  • Emily

    I can’t wait to make this recipe! I am having a baby soon and am wondering how long this will keep frozen…?

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      I wouldn’t freeze it longer than 2 months!

  • Annette DesRosiers

    Will this work if I’m using dried lentils? And is there anything I can add to replace the coconut sugar? Can’t wait to try it!!

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      I haven’t tested it but it should if you just use 4 cups cooked lentils!!! Any dried sweetener will work for the coconut sugar–brown sugar, sugar in the raw, demerrara, maple crystals. If you have a liquid sweetener like maple syrup or honey, you can add that into the blender with the other wet ingredients!

      • Ryan

        I made it with dried lentils tonight. It was a hit (even with Margie, who as you know is not exactly a connoisseur of plant-based foods). I used a one-pound bag of dried lentils and also added about 1.5 cups of the cooking water. I might add closer to a cup next time; it made the sauce pretty thin and I probably cooked the sauce for 10-12 minutes rather than the five you recommend.

        • Laura Lea Bryant

          Oh fantastic!!! Thank you so much for letting me know this variation! I know this will be really helpful for others!

  • Jerri White

    No basil listed in ingredients, but called for in directions. Dried or fresh? How much? Thanks so much!

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      Hi! Thanks for noticing! I just added it to the ingredient list!! Xo

  • Jennifer Chorazy

    so excited to try this after seeing it over and over on your insta story! I’m a new follower, and really love your site and all the info you share on instagram. Just ordered your book and can’t wait to dive in once it arrives. The other day on insta story you mentioned a mistake in your book… Is there a place on your website where you notate what the mistake is so we can correct it? If not, that would be super helpful because I already forgot what recipe it was! Thanks girl!

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      Hey Jennifer!!! Thank you for the incredibly kind words! This is a great idea–I will add a section to my FAQ page with cookbook errors so people can get it correct! I’ll announce on my stories xx

  • Paige Isaacs

    Phenomenal! I’m 2 servings in and there is so much left over. Hearty without the guilt. Definitely a Freezer friendly find.

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      Yay!!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!!! It does make a lot of food–I just had my last portion from the freezer and it was still amazing! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  • Sharron Ridler

    Honestly, this beats any pasta dish I’ve made – ever! I’ve ordered the book and cannot wait (it’s a long ol’ wait to the UK!) Thank you for such great recipes 🙂

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      Yay! Thank you so much for the feedback! I am thrilled that you loved it!!!! Xoxo

  • Carly Ezzo O’Connor

    Any suggestions for what to do with the leftovers of the kite hill cream cheese? Never used it before!

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      Hi! Yes! You can use it just like regular cream cheese–I love spresding on toast with avocado or scrambled eggs and some salt and pepper. Or with some berry jam! You can also blend it into a smoothie for a cheesecake flavor!

  • Kayla Singer

    Hey Laura! Do you have suggestions of places to get canned lentils? I am having trouble finding these, or is there a substitution?

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      Hey! Whole Foods, Amazon and Thrive Market all have them. Also, you can cook dry brown lentils, you just need 4 cups total once cooked!

  • Myranda

    Made this for me and my fiancé last night and he actually REALLY liked it. I couldn’t believe how well it turned out and I even prepped and par-baked it during the day so that when he got home all I had to do was put it in the over at 375 for about 30 minutes (plus broiled for 3-5 minutes). It was PERFECT and now I have leftovers for my lunches for rest of the week. Thank you Laura!

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      Yay!!!! That is so awesome! I am thrilled that you and your fiance enjoyed it! That sounds like a win :).

  • Candace Holliway Greer

    How would you go about freezing this after it has already been cooked? I don’t freeze foods much.

    • Laura Lea Goldberg

      Hi! I would portion into individual servings then take one out and place in the fridge the night before you want to enjoy it. I suggest glass containers so you can then take the lid off and place directly in a 350 oven until warmed through!

  • Julia Model

    Hi!! Would the Kite Hill Chive Cream cheese work okay?

    • Laura Lea Goldberg

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure but I think it would be tasty!

  • Do you use a whole box of pasta for this recipe? It says 7oz pasta but that’s like half a box? So confused! Also there’s a typo you wrote pasta instead for paste I’m assuming in directions.

    • Laura Lea Bryant

      Hi! Thanks for noticing the typo! I used a 7 ounce box of pasta, but you can just estimate with whatever you use—if it’s an 8 ounce box you can just use the whole thing but if it’s like 10-12 ounces, use approx 3/4

  • Mary Elizabeth

    One of our absolute favorite recipes – my husband and I love this.

    • Laura Lea Goldberg

      Aww heck yeah! Love your name, p.s. Thanks for taking the time share!