Vegetarian casserole

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4
A Mediterranean one-pot stew with peppers, courgettes, lentils, sweet smoked paprika and thyme

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal216
  • fat5.1g
  • saturates0.7g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars16.1g
  • fibre9.8g
  • protein12.3g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 1 tbsp dried thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 3 medium carrot, sliced (about 200g)



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 medium sticks celery, finely sliced (about 120g)



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins tomatoes or peeled cherry tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 250ml vegetable stock cube (we used 1 Knorr vegetable stock pot)
  • 2 courgette, sliced thickly (about 300g)



    The courgette is a variety of cucurtbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 250g cooked lentil (we used Merchant Gourmet ready-to-eat Puy lentils)



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onions and cook gently for 5 – 10 mins until softened.

  2. Add the garlic, spices, dried thyme, carrots, celery and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes, stock, courgettes and fresh thyme and cook for 20 - 25 minutes.

  4. Take out the thyme sprigs. Stir in the lentils and bring back to a simmer. Serve with wild and white basmati rice, mash or quinoa.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (41)'s picture

Loved this served with rice. But added chilli powder and flakes for a bit more flavour.

lah's picture

Add tablespoon of harrisa paste,really perks this dish up

a-woodward's picture

Delicious though I used sweet potato and butter beans instead of lentils. I also put some dumplings with it, it was such a tasty dish.

bkelaries's picture

Much better SEVERAL days later and by itself! I was really quite disappointed by this recipe, I tried tweaking the spices but it was just bland all the time. I ended up adding some chorizo which made it a bit better.I think the veggies just don't gel together into a satisfying meal. After 3 days it was better but not by much.

picko1's picture

Personally I find this a little bit bland!! I keep having to add more seasoning to it as its just not tasty enough. I have cooked in advance, so am hoping that by leaving it for a few hours the flavours will come through more. Heres hoping!

emilyhounsome's picture

Very simple to make, but deliciously earthy flavour. Be generous with the herbs, and creative with the vegetables, as you can substitute for pretty much any winter veg in season - enjoy local sourcing!

goodfood123456's picture

I used organic tinned tomatoes without citric acid; they don't have the bitter flavour of so many tinned varieties.

Great recipe for a vegetarian who came to dinner. The rest of us enjoyed it too.

waldry's picture

Lovely...Even my meat eating son liked it.

elisaponsele's picture

I basically agree with what PanClanger says. A little too soup-y for my liking and maybe even a bit too tomato-y..I served it with garlic dough balls and added chives but don't think the latter added much at all. Very straightforward to make though so would be tempted to make it again with a few tweaks.

jillsouth's picture

A very easy dish to prepare I put all the ingredients into a slow cooker for a couple of hours and left for the next day fab
My husband is not a veggie so I put some meat into it you could try chicken or sausages but he said it was really tasty and would have it again

ibizafan's picture

Nice healthy dish, just right for January, after all the rich Xmas food, had some rice with it, an easy way for people to have a meat free day, even if not vegetarian. It fills you up as well.

marieb1's picture

A good healthy, veggie option. Will use a little less thyme next time, the flavour really came through. Easily serves 4 ... have frozen half for another day.

jilly27's picture

Really enjoyed this, lots of flavour and I served it with garlic toast. I substituted a tin of drained cannelini beans for the lentils as my husband doen't like them and it worked perfectly.

clevercat1992's picture

This is delicious. So easy to make and was even better the following day. I served the left overs the following day with grilled chicken breasts. One I will make often. Buy good quality tinned toms - it makes a difference I feel. Well done Caroline Hire.

vivaves's picture

This is a nice veggie dish, but I wouldn't rave about it. It's got some good punchy flavours, with the thyme and smoked paprika, and feels very healthy, but benefits from being accompanied by something creamy or buttery in my opinion (so there goes the health kick!). I served it with cheesy mashed potato, which helped mop up the sauce (which was a bit on the thin side for my liking) and also counteracted the acidity of the dish due to the tomatoes. I think maybe the tinned tomatoes I'd chosen to use weren't sufficiently good quality to work here. I was surprised that my partner liked it (large readily-identifiable chunks of stewed veg are always treated with suspicion) so I will probably make it again, as it's good to have such a veg-packed recipe in the repertoire. Oh, and don't waste money on 'ready-to-eat' packs of lentils - buy them dried and cook them yourself. Simples!

ukbirdmj's picture

Made this for myself and a non-vegetarian friend. Very nice, keeps well in the fridge, and as stated, it does mature nicely overnight.

Serves 4 quite easily with rice (Microwave Packet of Long Grain is perfect).

mollie3's picture

I loved this recipe. Wickedly hot and healthy. I managed to find the cooked lentils in my local co op, and was well worth it.

Recommend this

cathyhill's picture

Freezing courgettes made them go soggy, but over all a delicious recipe though. Going to try with sweet potatoes next time and see if it freezes better.

delightfuldebris's picture

I thought this dish was dead simple and very tasty. There was lots left over and we had it the next day, and it tasted even better. I didn't change much, only added some mushrooms as I had some that had to be used up. I forwarded this recipe to my daughter-in -law as they like to have meat free days.

mitchellclarke's picture

I'd add the garlic at step 3 because garlic can taste quite bitter if overcooked. I'd also add a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of tomato paste at step 3 to give a nice contrast to the dish.


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