This Tex-Mex lentil casserole is the perfect healthy comfort food – packed with veggies, and full of protein and fibre, but still cheesy and irresistible!
I feel like this enchilada lentil casserole is such a ‘me’ recipe. I love all sorts of lentil bakes, I love anything Tex-Mex, and I love combining things in funny ways. So why not put all three things together, to create this tasty enchilada lentil casserole – made with lots of veggies, a super simple homemade enchilada sauce, and a proper cheesy topping.
A good lentil casserole is the ideal vegetarian dinner. Lentils are so good for you – they’re full of protein and fibre, and it’s so easy to make them tasty with whatever flavours you fancy. And a crispy, cheesy topping is enough to transform a healthy lentil stew into the most irresistible comfort food.
I’ve shared a few lentil casseroles on the blog before, including my super popular very veggie lentil bake, which has been shared over 72,000 times, and has almost entirely 5 star reviews! So if you like the look of this enchilada lentil casserole, make sure you check that one out too.
Lentils are just such an easy base for this type of hearty casserole. Flavour them however you like!
To start, boil the lentils in a pan, and also cook up plenty of vegetables. This is one of those fridge-clearing dinners that I always rave about, as you can really stick any vegetables in your lentil casserole, and it will almost certainly turn out well.
This time, I used onion, courgette (zucchini), peppers and mushrooms – four of my most commonly used veg. I grated the courgette, and just cut the others into chunks.
This time, I decided to add a Tex-Mex spin to my lentil casserole. I smothered some of my easy homemade enchilada sauce over the cooked lentils, which adds so much incredible flavour.
If you prefer, you can use a shop-bought Mexican-style sauce – I’ve seen all sorts of enchilada sauces, chilli sauces, etc. in the shops, which I’m sure would all work fine. But really, my homemade version only takes about 5 minutes to make from store cupboard ingredients, and it’s so easy (not to mention much cheaper than buying a jar of the shop-bought stuff!), so I’d recommend just making your own if you have a few extra minutes to spare.
Mix the sauce through the vegetables and cooked lentils, and transfer everything to a baking dish. I actually mixed a bit of grated cheese right through the lentil mixture too, as I wanted it to all melt together and become extra irresistible.
Then, of course, comes the all-important cheesy topping. It gets nice and crispy, and adds a whole new dimension to your lentil bake.
I like to add a few slices of tomato on top as well, just to add a bit of interest! They look so pretty, and it’s nice to have a big piece of juicy roasted tomato with your lentils.
Healthy comfort food
The end result is hot and bubbly, crispy on top, cheesy throughout, and packed full of veggies. It’s hearty and comforting, but also has plenty of protein and fibre, and will make you feel good inside and out.
This is literally my favourite type of dinner – it’s totally possible to make healthy food that’s super hearty too.
How to serve lentil casserole
There’s no reason you couldn’t serve this enchilada lentil casserole on its own. It’s packed with enough flavour to be the star of the show, and it’s already got protein, carbs, and plenty of different micronutrients. It’s a full meal in its own right.
But if you do fancy something extra on the side, there are all sorts of things you could go for:
- tortilla chips (to stick with the Tex-Mex theme)
- garlic bread for mopping up the plate
- a big side salad with fresh tomatoes and avocado
- a few chips (French fries) <– good with literally any meal
- extra roasted vegetables
or anything else you fancy.
Whatever you go for, this enchilada lentil casserole is an insanely tasty, comforting dish that it’s impossible not to enjoy!
Enchilada lentil casserole
- 300 g (~ 1 1/3 cups) dried green lentils
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small courgette (zucchini), grated (or 1/2 large courgette)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (I used orange)
- ~ 5 medium mushrooms, diced
- 1 batch homemade enchilada sauce (or 1 cup shop-bought)
- 200 g grated cheese – I used a mixture of grated cheddar and grated mozzarella (~ 2 cups when grated)
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Add the lentils to a pan with plenty of water, and bring to a gentle boil. Cook until tender, around 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan, and add the vegetables (onion through mushrooms). Cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, for around 5-10 minutes, until they are soft and any excess liquid has been cooked off.
- If using homemade enchilada sauce, prepare this now using this enchilada sauce recipe. Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- When the lentils are cooked, drain them and add to the cooked vegetables, along with the enchilada sauce. Mix well to combine. I also added about half of the grated cheese at this point, and stirred it through.
- Transfer everything to a baking dish – mine measured around 8 x 8 inches. Top with the remaining grated cheese and some slices of tomato.
- Bake for around 20 minutes, until the cheese has crisped up to your liking.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe (a generous portion – you could stretch it to feed 4 if needed!).