This cheesy lentil quinoa casserole is loaded with veggies and protein, and does not skip out on flavour! The vegan cheese sauce is thick and creamy, and oozing with deliciousness.
If you’re short on time, you can prep this dish in advance and fully prepare all the components. When ready to bake, just pop it in the oven and you can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes.
It’s perfect for busy weeknights, and is sure to please the entire family.
What’s in my casserole recipe?
For my casserole base, I’m using split red lentils, quinoa and veggies. For the veggies I’m choosing chopped leek, zucchini and mushrooms.
If any of these veggies are not your favourite, feel free to swap with another veggie instead. Some other delicious options include onion, bell peppers, green beans, and peas.
For my vegan cheese sauce, the base is made using sweet potato which serves for richness as well as colour. Then I’m adding oats for a thicker texture, nutritional yeast for cheesy flavour, tapioca starch for that stretchy, “meltyness” every good cheese needs, apple cider vinegar for a little tang, and some seasoning to balance everything together.
See the recipe card below for all the details!
How to make this vegan casserole
Start by preheating your oven and getting your lentils and quinoa cooking in a sauce pot.
I like using vegetable broth to cook my lentils and quinoa for added flavour. But salted water works too if you don’t have any on hand.
Meanwhile, add the diced sweet potato to a small pot covered with water and let that boil until fork tender. Drain and set aside until you’re ready to make the cheese sauce.
While that’s all going, start sautéing your veggies in a large skillet. You won’t need to add any oil or water since the veggies will release their own water. Stir often to prevent sticking.
Add the cooked lentils and quinoa to a 9″x13″ (or similar) baking dish and then add your sautéed veggies. Mix well and set aside to make your cheese sauce.
For the sauce, add your cooked and drained sweet potatoes to a blender, along with all remaining cheese sauce ingredients, and process until smooth.
Cover your dish and bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes covered, and then remove the paper and bake another 5 minutes to slightly brown the top.
Then serve immediately and enjoy!
This dish tastes best when fresh out of the oven, when the cheese is warm and melty. As it starts to cool, it may harden some, altering the texture, but will still taste great!
To return the cheese to a melty state, pop it back in the oven to reheat.
How long does it keep?
Leftovers keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. You may reheat in the oven and enjoy.
I haven’t tried freezing this one yet, but I imagine it will freeze well. I’ll update once I have a chance to try it.
More vegan casserole recipes
- Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Instant Pot Mexican Casserole
- Veggie Enchilada Casserole
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- 9"x13" Baking Dish (or similar)
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/4 cup leek finely chopped
- 1 cup zucchini diced
- 8oz (227g) package button mushrooms chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a medium sauce pot, add your lentils, quinoa and veggie broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes stirring occasionally, until liquids are mostly absorbed. (Towards the end of cooking, stir more often.) Set aside.
- Meanwhile, add your diced sweet potato to a small pot, covered with water and bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, approx minutes. Drain and set aside once cooked.
- To a large skillet, add the leek, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic powder, thyme and salt and sauté until softened, approx 5 minutes.. Stir often to prevent sticking. You should not need any water or oil since the mushrooms will release moisture as they cook.
- Add the cooked quinoa and lentils along with yout sautéed veggies to a 9"x13" (or similar) baking dish and mix well.
- To make the cheese sauce, add your cooked sweet potato, and all remaining cheese sauce ingredients to your blender and process until smooth. Evenly pour the sauce over your lentil, quinoa and veggie mixture, and sprinkle with more thyme, if using.
- Cover the dish with parchment paper and then aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake an additional 5 minutes to slightly brown the top. Serve immediately.