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Image for Recipe - Jack Monroe’s Beetroot & Lentil Lasagne

Jack Monroe’s Beetroot & Lentil Lasagne

Image for Recipe - Jack Monroe’s Beetroot & Lentil Lasagne
  • Time preparation 25 minutes
  • cook time 2 hours
  • Serve Serves 6-8

“This beetroot and lentil version is bright and beautiful, a stunning showstopper of a centrepiece on any dinner table, and packed with goodness and nutrients, too. You can use any colour lentils you like – bear in mind green and brown take far longer to cook, but hold their shape and texture better and have more of a ‘meaty’ bite to them” - Jack Monroe

Recipe taken from Vegan (ish) by Jack Monroe (£16.99, Bluebird)
  • 250g dried red lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable or chickenstyle stock – I like Osem
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bulb of fennel, or 1 extra onion or 1 leek
  • 6 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 large raw beetroots
  • 2 x 400g cartons of passata or tins of cchopped tomatoes
  • 250ml red wine
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 box of lasagne sheets
  • 200g greens, finely chopped – kale, spinach or chard are best
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs rocket or green leaves, to serve (optional)
  • For the Smoky Vegan ‘Cheese’ Sauce
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 800ml vegan ‘milk’ – I prefer cashew for this but soya works as well
  • 4 slices of Violife Smoked-flavour ‘cheese’
  • 8 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Start by making the sauce. First make a roux with your flour and oil by mixing them together in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. I prefer to mix them off the heat and then place them on a low heat for this recipe.

Add a splash of ‘milk’, around 3 tablespoons, then bring to a low heat, mixing well. Add a splash more ‘milk’ and repeat until half the ‘milk’ is incorporated into the pan.

Add the smoked ‘cheese’ slices and turn up the heat to medium – it is important not to boil it as plant-based ‘milks’ do not enjoy being boiled and they can spoil. Cook for 10–12 minutes, stirring intermittently, until the ‘cheese’ slices melt completely.

Stir in the nutritional yeast flakes and mustard, and season well with salt and pepper. Add the remaining ‘milk’ gradually to thin the sauce to your desired consistency and set aside.

Now cook your lentils; rinse them thoroughly under a cold running tap for a minute to reduce the amount of scum that accumulates when they cook. Pop them into a pan with the stock, or the same volume of water. Do not add salt.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until soft.

In a separate pan, cook the veg. Finely slice the onion and fennel, and peel and finely chop the garlic.

Transfer to a large non-stick frying or sauté pan with the oil and salt. Grate the beetroots – or blitz them in a small blender or food processor – and add to the pan. Cook low and slow for 20 minutes, while the lentils simmer.

When the lentils are swollen and the veg are soft, drain and rinse the lentils to get rid of any scum, and tip them into the veg pan.

Cover with the tomatoes and wine, add the herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 20 minutes to combine. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160ºC/350°F/gas 4).

Spread a 1cm layer of the beetroot-lentil mixture on the bottom of a 20 x 30cm ovenproof dish or roasting tin. Lay enough lasagne sheets over the top to cover. Top with a thin layer of ‘cheese’ sauce, then finely chopped greens.

Repeat until all the mixture is gone or the dish is full, usually around four layers of pasta sheets. Finish with a layer of ‘cheese’ sauce, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the pasta is soft and a knife inserted into the centre goes through easily. Serve piping hot.

Ingredients

  • 250g dried red lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable or chickenstyle stock – I like Osem
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bulb of fennel, or 1 extra onion or 1 leek
  • 6 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 large raw beetroots
  • 2 x 400g cartons of passata or tins of cchopped tomatoes
  • 250ml red wine
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 box of lasagne sheets
  • 200g greens, finely chopped – kale, spinach or chard are best
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs rocket or green leaves, to serve (optional)
  • For the Smoky Vegan ‘Cheese’ Sauce
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 800ml vegan ‘milk’ – I prefer cashew for this but soya works as well
  • 4 slices of Violife Smoked-flavour ‘cheese’
  • 8 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method

Start by making the sauce. First make a roux with your flour and oil by mixing them together in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. I prefer to mix them off the heat and then place them on a low heat for this recipe.

Add a splash of ‘milk’, around 3 tablespoons, then bring to a low heat, mixing well. Add a splash more ‘milk’ and repeat until half the ‘milk’ is incorporated into the pan.

Add the smoked ‘cheese’ slices and turn up the heat to medium – it is important not to boil it as plant-based ‘milks’ do not enjoy being boiled and they can spoil. Cook for 10–12 minutes, stirring intermittently, until the ‘cheese’ slices melt completely.

Stir in the nutritional yeast flakes and mustard, and season well with salt and pepper. Add the remaining ‘milk’ gradually to thin the sauce to your desired consistency and set aside.

Now cook your lentils; rinse them thoroughly under a cold running tap for a minute to reduce the amount of scum that accumulates when they cook. Pop them into a pan with the stock, or the same volume of water. Do not add salt.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until soft.

In a separate pan, cook the veg. Finely slice the onion and fennel, and peel and finely chop the garlic.

Transfer to a large non-stick frying or sauté pan with the oil and salt. Grate the beetroots – or blitz them in a small blender or food processor – and add to the pan. Cook low and slow for 20 minutes, while the lentils simmer.

When the lentils are swollen and the veg are soft, drain and rinse the lentils to get rid of any scum, and tip them into the veg pan.

Cover with the tomatoes and wine, add the herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 20 minutes to combine. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160ºC/350°F/gas 4).

Spread a 1cm layer of the beetroot-lentil mixture on the bottom of a 20 x 30cm ovenproof dish or roasting tin. Lay enough lasagne sheets over the top to cover. Top with a thin layer of ‘cheese’ sauce, then finely chopped greens.

Repeat until all the mixture is gone or the dish is full, usually around four layers of pasta sheets. Finish with a layer of ‘cheese’ sauce, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the pasta is soft and a knife inserted into the centre goes through easily. Serve piping hot.

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