Gratin of white cabbage & lentils in a Provençal sauce

Gratin of white cabbage & lentils in a Provençal sauce

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(24 ratings)

Ready in about 1¼ hours


Serves 4
Sophie Grigson's meat-free supper dish can be put together an hour or two in advance, then baked just before you sit down to eat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal320
  • fat13g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre9g
  • protein17g
  • salt0.73g


  • 140g brown or green lentils



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

  • ⅓ white cabbage, about 375g/13oz shredded



    The cabbage, or brassica, family is huge, and includes everything from the familiar red, white…

  • 25g breadcrumbs
  • 25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), freshly grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into postage stamp-sized squares
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 generous sprigs thyme


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

  • 2x 400g cans chopped tomatoes



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

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • leaves from 1 large sprig basil, roughly torn up



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan 180C. Cook the lentils in boiling unsalted water for about 20- 30 minutes until just tender, then drain. Fry the onion, garlic and red pepper in the olive oil until soft (about 10 minutes). Add the ground coriander and thyme, and stir for 30 seconds or so. Now tip in the tomatoes, tomato purée and sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer to a thick sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 15- 20 minutes. Check seasoning, take out the thyme and stir in the basil.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the cabbage in boiling salted water for about 3-4 minutes, until just tender. Drain, and run under the cold tap, then drain thoroughly again. Mix the cabbage and lentils with the tomato sauce, and spoon into a shallow ovenproof gratin dish.

  3. Mix the breadcrumbs and cheese, and scatter over the mixture in an even layer. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes until sizzling and patched appetisingly with brown.

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Comments, questions and tips

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23rd May, 2019
Can you prepare this a couple of days in advance
4th Jan, 2019
I really enjoyed this and so did my husband. We often do a few meat free days a week and this will go into regular rotation. I added the extra ingredients recommended by others and used extra breadcrumbs and cheese with some garlic powder for the topping. Very tasty
sfminty's picture
19th Oct, 2018
Ok and useful for using up white cabbage but a bit bland. If I make it again I will follow some of the suggestions to add more flavour to the provencale sauce. The topping was nice but more of it might have improved the dish.
8th Jan, 2016
Absolutely yummy with a few tweaks suggested by others!
14th Nov, 2014
Used a couple of the other user suggestions such as adding worcester sauce, oregano and bay leaves. Also added a bit of smoked paprika to the topping but felt this was probably a tweak too far. Loads of flavour in the finished article and really enjoyed. Served it with new potatoes.
viviennefleet's picture
29th May, 2014
This went down very well with the family served with brown rice. I followed evil_angelwings' suggestions for pepping up the Provencale sauce and Jules The Norweegie's tip on adding smoked paprika to the crumb topping (which works just as well with cheddar if you've run out of parmesan as I had!). Will definitely make again.
KochinVeronica's picture
27th Apr, 2014
In a word - edible. Nothing special though and not worth doing again.
22nd Mar, 2014
This is actually delicious!!
evil_angelwings's picture
29th Jan, 2014
With some tweaks, this was really good. I only used 1/2 tbsp oil; I cooked the lentils in stock; I added more herbs to make it more "provencal" in taste -1tsp each of marjoram, oregano, rosemary and 2 bay leaves, plus veggie Worcestershire sauce. The crumb topping was made super tasty with a handful of chopped olives! It made a filling, low calorie dinner, served with potatoes and mixed green veggies. Will make again, especially the tex mex taco twist that someone below made.
8th Jul, 2013
A clever recipe that you can use when you've got leftover cabbage and parmesan that you don't know what to do with! I made this yesterday, and you can see the result on my food blog here: I had to add a few spices to it so it wouldn't be too bland, but a bit of tweaking here and there and it turned out really good!


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