Winter Layered Smoky Lentil and Squash Bake

Layers of lovely smoky Puy lentils with harissa and mushrooms, roast squash topped with a gooey 'cheesy' sauce – such a deliciously warming dish.
Winter layered smoky lentil and squash bake

Perfect for cosy Sunday lunches or a festive feast.

A little like a lasagne with its layers and tasty cheese topping, and the roast squash in the middle adds a sweet contrast to the earthy lentils — so good!

This would make a fantastic addition to your festive table. I like it with maple roast carrots parsnips or new potato hasselbacks.

Lots more festive recipes coming your way, watch this space!

Much love, Niki xx

The Recipe

Winter layered smoky lentil and squash bake

Winter Layered Smoky Lentil and Squash Bake

Layers of lovely smoky Puy lentils with harissa and mushrooms, roast squash topped with a gooey ‘cheesy’ sauce–such a deliciously warming dish.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
4 servings
4.67 from 3 votes


  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 175 g mushrooms finely chopped
  • 2 to matoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp rose Harissa 0r 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce–I used Biona vegan version
  • 150 g dark green French or puy lentils rinsed
  • 750 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Twist black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme

For the cheesy bechamel sauce

  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250 almond milk
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Big pinch sea salt
  • Twist black pepper


To roast the veg

  • Pre heat your oven to 180c
  • Place squash on a baking tray and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 45- 60 minutes or until cooked. Keep your eye on them, as they will cook at varying times.
  • Set aside

To make the lentils

  • Add your oil and onion to a wide bottom pan and fry gently on a low heat for around 10 minutes until soft and browning. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds more, then add the paprika.
  • Next, add the sundried tomatoes, tomatoes, Worcester sauce, mushrooms, tamari & harrisa–stir to combine and allow everything to soften.
  • Now add the lentils and water. Bring to the boil then cook on a low heat for 40 minutes.
  • Season with black pepper & salt to the pan and simmer for a further minute.
  • Turn off the heat and stir the fresh thyme & olive oil.

To make the cheesy bechamel sauce

  • Add the butter to a frying pan and melt on a low heat, then add the flour. Stir to combine well.
  • Next, add the almond milk and nutritional yeast. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure no lumps form. Now season well and remove from the heat.

To make the bake

  • Layer the lentils, then the squash, more lentils, then top with the cheese sauce.
  • Bake for 25 minutes on 180c.
  • Remove from the oven and, if desired, pop under the grill to brown the top a little.
Print Recipe

I'd love to hear your comments…

  • Ashleigh Lam

    could I possibly use a gem squash instead??

  • Tan Abb

    5 stars
    Made this lovely recipe today and it was surprisingly easy. I used tinned green lentils because I had those in the cupboard. I didnt add the 750ml water as a result and it cut the cook time down by 30 minutes, so it made this recipe much quicker. Thanks for another great meal.

  • Hello, Worcestershire Sauce isn’t vegan as it contains anchovies. Might be worth updating the recipe so non-vegans don’t cook it for their vegan friends and feed them all fish…

    Have you managed to find a vegan one? I’d love to get hold of one but haven’t been able to find a good one yet. We are in the UK.

    • Carrie Harvey

      If you can find it, Hendersons Relish is vegan…it’s mostly sold in the midlands but idk if it’s becoming more widely available. Hth!

    • Hi Noelle
      I used Biona vegan Worcester sauce. I’ll update to highlight they need to find a vegan version.
      My best
      Niki xxx

  • Christy

    Can you tell me what kind of squash that you used?

  • This is delicious, I made it tonight to make sure I used everything in my fridge during lockdown and happened to have everything,

    I do agree with the previous comment however that it would do us three portions not 8 to 10, I think I’d double next time to ensure I have leftovers as it’s so tasty .

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Sally
      Happy to hear!
      I’ll amend the portions – I must have been a bit stingy!
      Niki xx

  • Just made this for dinner tonight – really tasty thank you. I must admit that I’m not vegan and made a real cheese sauce, but apart from that followed the rest of the recipe.

    The only thing I would say is that it was only just enough for 3 of us with a salad – I know we have hearty appetites, but I can’t see how this would be enough for 8-10 servings.

    Love your website – thanks.

    • Hi Mandy
      So happy you enjoyed.
      Good flag about the servings – ill review.
      Niki xxx

  • Andrew and Jane

    Second time I’ve cooked this and it’s a winner. The first one I made I didn’t add enough water to the lentil mix and it ended up being a bit dry. Follow the instructions! 750ml of water!

    Last night I added a layer of sliced (boiled) potatoes to give it a bit of a Mousaka feel and it was great. Thanks Nikki!

  • Hi! I am planning on making this for Christmas. What size pan do you use?

Let me know what you think below…

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