Lentil & squash bake with a cheesy potato topping

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 60 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes

Serves: 8


2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
700g butternut squash (weight after peeling), cut into 2cm cubes
150g red lentils
390g carton Italian chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock
1kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
200ml tub crème fraîche
100g mature Cheddar, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and gently cook for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the garlic, spices and ginger and cook for a further minute.

2. Add the butternut squash and red lentils and toss well in the spices and onion. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and stock and mix together well. Cook, uncovered, over a gentle heat for about 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked and tender, the squash is very soft and the sauce has thickened.

3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large saucepan of water, bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for a further 7 minutes until the potatoes and cauliflower are very soft when pierced with a knife. Drain well and return to the pan with the crème fraîche and cheese. Mash together well with a potato masher until you have a creamy but coarse mash. Season.

4. Tip the squash and lentil mixture into the bottom of a 40x30cm baking dish or shallow round dish, then spoon the potato and cauliflower mash on top, leaving it quite rough so that you get a lovely crispy crust. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.