Lentil Cornbread Dinner

Lentil Cornbread Casserole

I came across a version of this recipe when I was first married and looking for easy, one-dish meals that I could put together in the morning and cook when I got home from work. With lentils as the main ingredient, I didn’t count on this being a big hit, but my husband loved it. And so did the neighbors when I brought it for dinner. And the church crowd when I took it to a potluck. This casserole received raves from every corner. Who would’ve thought? I now make this updated recipe that features veggies I’ve flash frozen from my summer garden. It’s still great for a busy weeknight or to share with a friend or neighbor.

Makes 6 meal-sized servings


For the lentils

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt (optional)
  • 2 cups water, vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 14-16 ounces diced tomatoes (can be fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (recipe for how to make your own here)
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste

For the cornbread topping

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup corn kernels (can be fresh, frozen or canned)


  1. Heat oil in deep skillet or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Cook onion, pepper and garlic in oil, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.
  2. Stir in water/broth, lentils, tomatoes, seasonings and paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add more liquid if needed.
  3. Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 2-quart casserole dish.
  4. Prepare cornbread topping by mixing dry ingredients in a small bowl and wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  5. Spoon lentil mixture into dish. Spread topping evenly over lentil mixture.
  6. Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes until topping is golden brown. Serve warm.