Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Hotpot (Dairy free, Gluten free)
Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Hotpot a cheap, filling and nutritious dinner that will soon become a firm family favourite or student staple! This delicious veggie bake is piled high with soft, delicate lentils and packed full of sweet veggies galore; all smothered in a thick, warming tomato sauce. And if that wasn’t tasty enough, its all hidden underneath a beautiful crispy, melty cheese potato crust! Dairy free dinner delcious-ness at its best!
Ever looked at a recipe as an allergy sufferer and thought you’d love to try it but its full of all the things you can’t eat? Despair no more, as I share how I adapted one recipe to make it suitable for everyone around our dinner table! It’s actually very easy and just a case of switching out a few ingredients.
Jump to Recipe for how I did it…
This beautiful Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Hotpot began life as a vegetarian family meal from the recipe pages of Hello Fresh but with a few simple tweaks has made its way into our family favourites. Its filling, nutritious and topped with a beautiful, crispy melted cheese potato crust that noone in this house can resist!
AND EVERYONE ATE IT ALL!!!
Hello Fresh Recipes
Hello Fresh deliver Recipe Boxes for 2-4 people, packed with everything you need for a meal straight to your door. There is loads to choose from so something to suit every taste (and pretty reasonable too)… But did you know they also have an extensive library of easy to follow & delicious recipes on their site too?
Well they do!
And they look amazing! So when I was approached to share my tips for recreating one of these delicious dinners at home, the decision wasn’t easy! But there is one ingredient that I always struggle to cook with… Lentils! So this Lentil & Vegetable Hot Pot Recipe was a great choice!
Despite their impressive nutritional credentials, Lentils are not something I use a lot of in the kitchen. But feeding 5 of us on an ever tightening budget (and increasingly stepping away from meat based meals) means I am always looking for delicious ways to sneak them into our weekly meal planning.
And I reckon I may have just found it…
What I also like about this dish is just how colourful it is. Which is unusual for a hotpot. The dark tomato sauce contrasts so beautifully with the bright red pepper chunks, carrot cubes and flurry of vibrant fresh parsley. And don’t forget the golden brown bubble of crispy potatoes covered in melty dairyfree cheese. It all adds up to a very handsome hotpot indeed!
Trust me everyone will be fighting over the crispy cheesy potato top but if you are not a fan of cheese or have run out, a garlic breadcrumb crust would be amazing too. In fact just add the garlic breadcrumb crust and the cheese at the end together – double decadence!
Perfect for Autumn!
The whole dish is just perfect Autumn comfort food and will be just what we need after a day clearing No17 ready for Winter. All I will do is cook the lentil base, put in an ovenproof dish before we go. Once we are back it will just need to be topped with potatoes and baked in the oven for around 20 minutes without cheese & then a further 20 with!
The lentil base itself has a beautiful, gentle spice from the mustard and think next time I will be adding just a pinch of smoky dried chilli flakes just to intensify it even more. This would also work really well with tinned beans if you are not a lentil lover!
I have to say this hotpot is very filling and the suggested portion sizes are quite generous. I made two smaller hotpots in shallower dishes to increase the ratio of cheesy potato topping to lentil filling – and so I could reheat one later! This has served the 5 of us and there is still a fair bit left so I would imagine you could stretch it to serve 6 with the addition of fresh bread for dunking!
Recipe for Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Hotpot
So how did I make this recipe suitable for all of us?
I switched out the soy sauce for Balsamic Vinegar but pomegranate molasses or even a little marmite would work too! I also then substituted the butter and cheese for dairy & soya free alternatives.
Check out my Allergy Friendly Adapted Recipe below
For the original ingredients & instructions on cooking this Lentil and Vegetable Hotpot visit the recipe over on Hello Fresh recipe archives. There are LOADS of different recipes to choose from either to order as boxes or to cook with your own ingredients! Why don’t you hop over and check it out!
Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Hotpot
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Onions
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 punnet Mushrooms Chestnut or Cup
- 2 tins Green Lentils
- 1 bunch Fresh Parsley
- 3 tbsp Fresh Mixed Herbs* (Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano)
- 2 Potatoes
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 tsp English or Wholegrain Mustard Check for Egg & Wheat
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1 bag Baby Spinach (I used Swiss Chard)
- 4 tbsp Dairyfree Margarine Vitalite, Pure etc
- 60 g Grated Dairyfree Mozarella Violife, Supermarket Own etc
- Preheat oven to 200C.
Prepare all the veggies:
- Slightly crush and then finely chop or grate the garlic cloves.Slice one of the onions and finely dice the other. Chop the carrots into small cubes and pepper into bitesize chunks.Next chop the larger mushrooms, leaving any the diameter of a 2p piece whole.Drain the lentils into a sieve and rinse thoroughly. Rougly chop all the fresh herbs and greens (if using baby spinach leaves just leave whole and give them a wash)
Cook the Lentil base
- In a large pan. Gently fry the onions and garlic over a medium heat for around 5 minutes in a tablespoon or two of Olive Oil.Next add the whole mushrooms and saute for a minute before adding the carrots, chopped mushrooms and peppers. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring.
- Stir in the lentils, chopped (or dried) herbs, large pinch of black pepper, balsamic vinegar and tomato puree before adding 350ml of water, the Mushroom stock pot and mustard. Sprinkle over the Parsley and combine well before piling the finely sliced chard (or whole baby spinach leaves) on top and simmering for about 4 minutes.
Assemble & Cook the Hotpot
- Pour the Lentil Base into an ovenproof dish - choose a shallow one for greater potato to lentil ratio! At this point you can cover the lentil base and leave aside to cool if you are making ahead of time. Just add the potato slices and continue to cook from there. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time to make sure the lentil base is piping hot.
- Spread over the potato slices, taking care not to overlap them as this will prevent even cooking.Dot over the dairyfree margarine and bake in the oven for 20minutes.
- After 20minutes, remove the hotpot from the oven and sprinkle over the dairyfree cheese.Here you have two options. If you are not sure if your dish is suitable for going under the grill (or if it wont fit) put the hotpot back in the oven for a further 20minutes until the cheese is bubbly and melty!ORPlace under a preheated grill for around 5minutes to melt the cheese.
Other Top Tips:Onions - finely dice one onion and slice the other. The diced onion will dissolve into the sauce and thicken & sweeten it while the slices will remain in the lentil base for flavour. Mushrooms - The recipe calls for chestnut mushrooms which are lovely and nutty with a good meaty texture. If you can't get hold of them, normal cup mushrooms work just as well. I leave the baby ones whole and quarter the larger ones, as this gives the hotpot extra texture for those missing meat. Lentils - Using tinned lentils saves time. I just used the only tin labelled lentils I could find and they became lovely and soft. If you prefer red lentils, then these would would disappear completely into the sauce. Beans would also be a good alternative for lentil haters! or you could semi-blitz the lentil mix!
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***Disclaimer:- I was paid for my time & ingredients but all thoughts, opinions and Top Tips for adapting this recipe are mine & mine alone (Where do you think The Peachicks get it from?!)***