Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

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maple baked lentils 9961 thumb   Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

Oh, January. Your detoxes, cleanses, juice fasts, diet commercials, and cellulite cream jeans are starting to get on my nerves. Just so you know I’m tuning you out, so don’t bother trying to lure me in with 6 easy payments or strict diet plans. It’s just not my thing. My approach to January – or any other month for that matter – is to eat food that makes me feel good and less of what doesn’t. But this approach doesn’t really sell, does it?

Soup, chili, and casseroles – these are the warm, comfort foods on my mind most days. Today, I’m sharing my take on maple baked beans, using hearty, chewy lentils for a fun twist. Lentils may seem boring to many, but I find them just the opposite. Their subtle flavour can blend into just about any vegan dish. Much like tofu, lentils are a great canvas for many different flavours, spices, and cuisines. I even adore them plain with a dusting of Herbamare and splash of vinegar. It’s a rather homely snack, but I’d devour the entire bowl before noticing.

Adding more fuel to my lentil loving fire – Canada is the world’s largest producer of lentils. It’s in my blood, eh? Their relative proximity, along with being a super cheap protein source, make them a regular staple in my diet. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they are nutritional powerhouses too. One cooked cup provides around 17.86 grams of protein, 6.5 mg iron, and 15.64 grams of fibre (source) making it a stick-to-your-ribs plant food that can go the distance. Pair them with Vitamin C rich sweet potato and you’ll boost your iron absorption even more.

maple baked lentils 9966 thumb   Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato

A bit of apple cider vinegar rounds out the sweetness of the dish and I encourage you to adjust the amounts to your own taste as you may like more or less pop from the vinegar. Serve this over some toasted bread, or even with a salad, and you have yourself a budget-friendly vegan meal during the peak of winter. To save on cook time, make the lentils beforehand and simply mix everything together and pop into the oven.

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Yield: 4-6 servings

2 cups dry green lentils
1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet apple, peeled and diced (I used Gala)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced small*
14-oz can diced tomatoes (about 1.5 cups)
2.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 tsp regular mustard
1/2-1 tsp fine grain sea salt + ground pepper, to taste
1-2.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar, to taste

1. Rinse and drain lentils. In a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven*, add lentils along with 4 cups of water. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring often. Add more water if necessary. Lentils are ready when they are just tender (but not mushy) and most of the water is absorbed.

2. Preheat oven to 375F. Add onion, garlic, apple, sweet potato, tomatoes (with juice), maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, mustard, salt, and pepper to the pot with the lentils. Stir well to combine. Add half of the apple cider vinegar (you’ll add the rest later if desired).

3. Cover with lid (or tin foil in a pinch) and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and stir. Bake for another 8-12 minutes, uncovered, until the sweet potato is tender. Stir in the rest of the apple cider vinegar if desired and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

4. Serve over toasted bread or with a salad.

Nutritional Info (without bun): based on six and four servings.

Notes: If you don’t have an oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, simply transfer the mixture into a casserole dish and cover with tin foil before baking. 2) Dice the sweet potato small to decrease cook time.

maple baked lentils 9957 thumb   Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

What are your favourite vegan comfort foods?

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{ 240 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna January 23, 2013

This meal was delish! I omitted mustard & molasses and added potato. It was still great! Thanks for a great staple lentil dish!

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Mary Beth January 23, 2013

This was so delicious, I didn’t have the tomatoes but was so good anyway! Definitely a keeper. Thanks

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Joy January 23, 2013

Made this tonite…it’s rather sweet…we had a salad with it, but we all think having it over rice would have balanced out the sweet a lot better. It makes a LOT for the 3 of us, so I froze the rest into 2 containers and noted the rice idea on the label….it will come in handy some nite!!

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Rachelle January 23, 2013

This was easy and Delicious. My one year old son LOVED it and gobbled it up.

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Jessica January 24, 2013

Angela,

I made this last night and it was DIVINE!!! I wasn’t sure how the combination of flavors would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised….it was both savory and sweet, almost like how baked beans taste. I’m already looking forward to my leftovers today at lunch! :)

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Mary January 24, 2013

Did my husband go ‘ewwww’ at the thought of lentils for dinner? Yup.
Did I make this recipe anyway? Yup.
Was the result that I got to enjoy maple lentil deliciousness all weekend and not have to share with anyone? Ohhh yes.

Thanks Angela, you’re my legume hero.

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ilona @aflingwiththevegthing January 24, 2013

In the oven as we speak (type?). I made a double batch…who knew 4 cups of lentils cooks up to so much?? Had to evacuate some from the dutch oven to make it all fit LOL. But it’s all good, just conformation that I need a bigger dutch oven to accommodate the quantities I like to make (I feed my family members and coworkers all the time).
On a side note, I discovered your site not even a week ago and already this is recipe #2 (made the crispy baked tofu two nights ago). Seriously good eats you’ve got here! Thanks :)

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HANNA January 25, 2013

can i use canned lentils?? what the amount should i use than? thanks

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Alana January 25, 2013

Hi Angela :)

I have to say, I really enjoy reading your blog – I’m Canadian as well, so that makes your blog even more intriguing! :) I read your posts on a regular basis, however, this is the first recipe that I’ve tried from your blog and it was absolutely scrumptious. Both myself and my boyfriend fell in love with the flavors in this recipe. The only thing I did differently was I added a Macintosh apple instead of Gala, but it worked well. I will definitely make this again….very soon.
Thanks for sharing your recipe!
-Alana

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2013

Hey Alana, Lovely to meet you! Thanks for trying out the recipe. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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Ann January 27, 2013

You had me at Sweet potatoes but adding lentils? Yep, I am a goner. Love it. It would be nice inside a wrap as well.

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Suzanne January 28, 2013

Angela- I just made this recipe a few nights ago and absolutely love it! My family enjoyed it too. Thank you so much for your website. I have tried several of your recipes (lentil-walnut apple loaf,potato and black bean burritos, veggie burgers, chocolate, cherry energy bites, chocolate chip cookies, banana soft serve, and probably more….) and I have enjoyed every one of them. Thank you! This is the first time I have posted on your blog- or ANY blog for that matter- and I did because I wanted to let you know you are very inspiring. I have been vegetarian for many years but I am trying to eat vegan and get back into shape. I really believe in the vegan lifestyle but have had a hard time making the switch. Hopefully, with your recipes and inspiration I will finally be able to do it! Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 29, 2013

Hi Suzanne, Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Goodluck with all your goals :)

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Nicholle January 28, 2013

I made tthis dish this weekend and loved it! I have a lot of left overs…do you think they would freeze ok?

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AustinJohn January 28, 2013

Is the bread in your pictures of this recipe your Herb and Cheese Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits? Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 29, 2013

Nope, it’s from a bakery! But im sure the drop biscuits would be nice too :)

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AustinJohn January 29, 2013

Thanks for replying. Your blog is terrific (and yes, “Austin” in “AustinJohn” does mean I’m from Austin, TX, the home of Stubbs BBQ -the sauce you like for your BBQ Tofu – and lots of other cool places, especially for folks who are vegetarian/vegan/plant strong).

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Cathy January 28, 2013

I made this for dinner tonight!! I followed your recipe exactly! My husband and I both loved it!! Thank you so much for a delicious recipe!! I can’t wait to make it for my grandkids!!

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Kristin January 28, 2013

Made this last night and ate it tonnight. My lentils were very old and took a long time to finish cooking in the oven. LIke two hours – and extra liquid. Also, I used butternut squash instead of sweet potato. Since my lentils took so long to cook, my squash was basically mush. Not pretty. So I sauteed some red/yellow/orange bell peppers and stirred that in along with some spinach. Just to pretty things up. ;-) I served it over a mix of brown rice and quinoa because that is what I had. In spite of my old lentils, and the changes I made, the recipe came out very delicious. I will definitey make it again, and would recommend it to others. Oh, 1 tbsp of vinegar, and some black pepper worked for us.

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Stephanie January 29, 2013

I made a double batch of these this weekend and they were a HIT with my very picky husband! I love that there is very little added sweetness the sweet potatoes and apples really liven up this lentil dish. Thanks for sharing…I am in love! :)

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Stacy January 29, 2013

I made this last night and it was a hit. Especially with the pickier of my two sons, so that is really saying something. He even told me that I can make it again sometime…the highest possible compliment!

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Amy February 1, 2013

Made this last weekend. After an hour in the oven the sweet potatoes were still rock solid. I was baffled as to how that could be possible. The only thing I could think of was that our casserole dish was too small. I took a couple servings out, added a half cup of water and returned it to the oven to basically re-bake per the instructions above. After that it was fine. So I think my overall comment is to make sure your casserole dish is plenty large! This recipe makes a lot. The flavor was good, and I loved the leftovers for lunch.

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Shawna February 5, 2013

I made this last night and LOVED it. Definitely in my top 3 favorite homemade meals. I’m not much of a cook so the fact that my husband loved it as well (and didn’t even try to slip any to the dog) says how easy and delicious it was :)

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WendyinPNG February 6, 2013

LOVE IT! I am using your recipes to ease my family into vegan meals with as little pain as possible. I haven’t mentioned the word “vegan” but instead announce that I am simply “trying a new recipe.” In the past couple of weeks I’ve served raw taco salad, maple baked lentils and sweet potatoes, make ahead veggie burgers, ratatouille inspired summer veg. dish, buckwheat tabbouleh, eggplant parmesan, vegetarian kale soup, and roasted butternut squash with kale. Tonight I made my own version of whole wheat burritos that the family devoured. So far there hasn’t been one single rejection or complaint about the new meals. I am writing down the recipes and keeping them in a notebook so that when we return to our jobs in Papua New Guinea this summer, I will have a family approved, wonderfully nutritious option for our continued healthy eating. THANK YOU! Keep the recipes coming!

WendyinPNG

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 7, 2013

Hi Wendy, That is great news!! Good for you. Thanks so much for trying out the recipes. :)

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Jenn February 11, 2013

Just made this last week….soooo good and yields lots of leftovers. Good plain or on a roll with some BBQ sauce or drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This one got the thumbs-up from my carnivore husband. Thanks for the comfort food sans guilt :)

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Mandy February 16, 2013

Oh my word. This is how much we loved your recipe. One million thank yous for filling my toddler’s belly with such goodness!

mamamandy.com/2013/02/15/want-your-kid-to-eat-lentils/

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Kate February 18, 2013

This was delicious! I’ve been wary of making lentils for awhile since my last attempt resulted in an unintentional lentil mush (I called it “soup”). But this turned out great! I love the baked-beans flavor combination combined with the sweetness of apples. It’s a wonderfully warming dish for this cold winter night. Thank you!

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Kathy March 5, 2013

I have been becoming increasingly obsessed with this recipe since it first popped up on your site. I finally made it today. The flavor is great, but it doesn’t look anywhere as appetizing as your version. I think my mistake was using French green lentils?? I am not really up on my lentils, so I wasn’t sure…didn’t see any in the store that seemed to be just plain green lentils. The ones I used are pretty firm and lend a dark, not-so-pretty look to the dish. What lentils should I look for next time?

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Elizabeth March 8, 2013

This turned out delicious! However, I had to add an extra half hour to the cook time to cook the sweet potato properly. I cut them pretty small too…

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Kate March 13, 2013

Before adding in the rest of the ingredients to the lentils, should I drain the water in the pot?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 13, 2013

Hi Kate, there shouldn’t be any water left in the pot, but if there is then yes I would drain it out. Hope this helps!

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Kandace March 29, 2013

I made this last week in the slow cooker and it turned out really well.

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Alice April 7, 2013

Made this tonight and OH! MY! HEAVENS! So yummy! Your blog is awesome and I can’t wait to try more of your delicious creations, Angela.
One question for you- have you tried freezing this casserole? If yes, does it freeze well?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 8, 2013

Hi Alice, I’m sorry I haven’t tried freezing it yet. I generally find potatoes don’t freeze well, so I’d be hesitant to try it out. So glad you enjoyed it!

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Payton planiden April 27, 2013

Hello, Angela!! My Math teacher from high school actually turned me on to your blog and I am proud to say that I am glad he did. I have been vegan for about a year now and I could not survive without your blog. I made this last night for my mom and I and boy was it AMAZING. You are so creative with what ingredients you decide to use. The flavors were so good! Oh and I love your enchilada recipe. That is a staple recipe in my house!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 28, 2013

Hey Payton, Im so happy to hear that! Thanks for letting me know :)

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Payton Planiden April 28, 2013

No problem!! I think your hard work should be recognized! Also, I was wondering what your favorite recipe was? I know it’s kind of hard because you have so many to choose from hahhah but if you could narrow it down to one what would it be?

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Laurie April 30, 2013

I made this tonight. First, let me say that I am not a fan of lentils…..but I LOVED this. It looked so yummy, and I love sweet potatoes, so I decided to give it a try. It was so delicious and filling. I brought a big container to a friend’s house tonight too, for them to try. Thank you for sharing such healthy recipes!

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Jessica July 1, 2013

This was a great combo of sweet and savory type flavors. Super good. Sure, it might be better to warm ya up in the winter, but it is great in the summer, too!

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Carmen July 7, 2013

Thank you so much for this recipe! It has become a favorite of mine. Just made it for my birthday tonight. It freezes well for me too. I just love all these ingredients and how they compliment each other so well, perfection!

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Heather October 2, 2013

Don’t know how small the sweet potatoes were supposed to be diced, but mine were barely bigger than the lentils and after the maximum time in the oven they are still pretty much raw. Now have nothing to feed my kids for dinner. Be prepared to add a LOT of extra cooking time.

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Deanna November 12, 2013

Angela,
I am a big fan and follower of your recipes and look forward to getting your cookbook! One request… is it possible to include nutritional information on more recipes? Thanks – Deanna

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jeanne November 13, 2013

Made this last night — it’s fantastic! I served it over baby greens. It is to DIE FOR! Thanks! :)

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India December 5, 2013

Eating this now and it’s a treat! I’ve only had lentils in a soup and this is a treat. Thanks for the great recipe!

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Drea January 16, 2014

This is one of my faves from this site! I add kale or spinach sometimes at the end if I have them (usually when they’re about to go bad). I’m not vegan, so adding a strip of sautéed bacon or a turkey sausage are delicious to add as well (I cook the onions, garlic together with the sausage and then add the apple, lentils, and everything else and into the oven. But if you use bacon start with that instead of olive oil). Definitely recommend roasting the diced sweet potatoes ahead of time for about 20 mins or else I find it takes FOREVER for them to cook through, I usually put them in while I start the lentils, so the timing works well.

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Tara January 22, 2014

Nice recipe. This was delicious. Easy to make too. Love lentils!

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Judeen February 14, 2014

Tasty! I can always trust your recipes will be delicious. Have tried
many and enjoyed all of them. Great job!

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chris March 23, 2014

This trumps lentil loaf! I added cooked frozen corn to
Enjoy sweet crunch with it. Next time I think I will put
In cut up spinach near the end. Also for sure make very.
Small diices with the sweet potatoes. It was filling enough
So I didn’t need bread or anything else with it.
Thanks again Angela for this winner!!!!

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