This recipe was created as part of the #TheSimpleLentil campaign, sponsored by Canadian Lentils. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Salted Plains!
I find it somewhat disconcerting September is nearing its end. It could be the weather that continues to be in the upper 80’s with humidity to match or the result of my mind wandering back to the home projects I started at the end of July and have yet to be completed. (Hello, bathroom renovation!)
With both of us back in the full-swing of the academic year, I’m finding even when I’ve done a pat-on-the-back job at meal planning for the week, when that time hits, there is little-to-no motivation left for either of us to put dinner on the table. Unless it’s easy. Easy always wins.
But to make it easy in the best good-for-you way, I try to ensure we have recipes like this Cajun lentil cornbread casserole in my back pocket. Spicy, hearty, and comforting, it also pairs great with cooler evening temps. (Here’s hoping that happens asap.)
Although I am not in control of the weather, I am happy to say this casserole hits all my major “must haves” in an easy meal. Incorporating lentils provides a hefty amount of protein and fiber for a nutritious boost. The lentils cook up quickly in the same skillet the veggies cooked in, thus reducing the amount of pots and pans.
Along with the lentils and spices, I commonly keep onions, celery, bell peppers, and canned diced tomatoes stocked in my pantry and fridge. It’s one of those recipes prime for quick memorization.
Lastly—but certainly not least in my book—is the leftovers factor. A healthy dinner I can take for lunch the next day or heat up for dinner again the following night gets a blue ribbon. Make that two blue ribbons.
Make a Salted Plains recipe? I’d love to see! Tag your creations on Instagram with #saltedplains!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2¼ cups water
- 1¼ cups dry red split lentils
- 1½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning (store-bought or homemade mix)*
- Cornbread Dumplings:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons almond flour (gf oat flour or sorghum flour will work too)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet, add olive oil and cook onions, celery, and bell pepper over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until onions have started to turn translucent and vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Stir in diced tomatoes and their juices, followed by the water and dry lentils. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover most of skillet with a cover or metal baking sheet. Allow to simmer for about 12 minutes or until lentils are tender and water has reduced. Remove cover (with oven mitt) and remove from heat. Add in Cajun seasoning and stir to incorporate.
- While the lentil mixture is simmering, place the dry ingredients for the cornbread dumplings in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add almond milk, egg, olive oil, and honey. Stir to combine and set aside until your lentils are done simmering.
- Drop seven to eight mounds of cornbread batter on top of lentils. Place skillet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutest or until the cornbread has started to brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.