Harvest Vegetable Casserole with Lentils and Gravy

  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes one 13x9-inch casserole
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Worthy of center-table at your vegan Thanksgiving feast, this savory casserole dish is the perfect recipe to warm up a cold night. Hearty vegetables are roasted over a bed of lentils and topped with an umami-rich homemade gravy. The acorn squash is roasted with the peel on, creating a lovely texture in the final dish. Cinnamon and sage add an autumnal flair to the creamy sauce, while dried cranberries and pine nuts provide a delicious crunchy topping. It tastes the best fresh, so gather your family and dig in!   

Tip: If you want to start this recipe a day ahead, you can prep the casserole (Steps 1-2), make the gravy (Steps 4-5), and pop both into the refrigerator. On the day of, roast the casserole (Step 3), reheat the gravy, and follow Step 6 to put it all together.


  • 3 cups cooked brown lentils (2 15-oz. cans)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into 3-inch florets
  • 1 medium acorn squash, unpeeled, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pearl onions, peeled if fresh (about 20)
  • 24 oz. cremini mushrooms, cut into halves (divided)
  • ½ medium onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (1 cup)
  • 15 garlic cloves, minced (about 2½ tablespoons)
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons oat flour or whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 2½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped


  • In a 13x9-inch casserole dish, spread lentils out in an even layer. Set aside.
  • In a sauté pan, bring 1 cup of the broth to boiling; add cauliflower, squash, and carrots. Cover and steam over medium-high 10 minutes, until vegetables are almost cooked. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the casserole dish, leaving the liquid in the sauté pan. Spread vegetables over lentils. Top with pearl onions and half of the mushrooms.
  • Preheat oven to 500°F. Roast casserole for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are browned on top.
  • For gravy, to the sauté pan add the remaining mushrooms, the diced onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and ½ cup of the broth. Cook 10 minutes over medium, until onion is tender.
  • Discard cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Transfer sautéed mushroom mixture to a blender; add the remaining broth, the flour, tomato paste, tamari, and lemon juice. Blend into a smooth sauce. Return sauce to sauté pan. Stir in fresh herbs, reserving some parsley for garnish. Cover and cook over medium-low 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove casserole from oven. Pour hot gravy over the top; garnish with pine nuts, reserved parsley, and the cranberries. Serve right away.

Comments (46)

(5 from 16 votes)

Recipe Rating

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We made this “labour of love” for dinner tonight! We followed the recipe to a “T”, it was The Best! We would serve this as an elegant dinner to our friends with riced mashed potatoes and asparagus! The gravy was so delicious! Thank you! We added a dash of iodine salt and it pumped up the gorgeous flavours! Thank you! A definite keeper for dear family and friends! 💞🍁


Are the canned lentils rinsed first?


:-( this made me sad. Spent much of the day making it and didn’t care for it at all. Gravy didn’t taste nice and the “casserole” is just veggies in a pan. Oh well, had a nice holiday anyway and non-vegans had good food! Grateful. Also grateful for people trying to make interesting recipes.

Eric G.

This looks great! However I have family members who flat out refuse to eat mushrooms. Any suggestions with what I could swap for them?

Marilyn McLeod

I've never used can lentils. Do they come with juice that should be drained?


How long will this keep in the refrigerator and can you freez this

Megan Edwards

Hi Cheri, You could make the casserole through step 2 and cover the casserole dish to place in the freezer. When you're ready to eat, thaw it on the counter before continuing with step 3 and add the fresh gravy on top (the gravy can also be stored in the fridge, or placed in an air-tight container in the freezer if you want to make it ahead of time). Let us know how it goes!


We loved this dish . The gravy was marvelous. I wasn’t sure how much broth to add to the mushroom onion blender part. The recipe calls for 4 cups of vegetable broth total and only uses some of it for cooking the vegetables. We made 1/2 the entire recipe so when making the blender part for the gravy I added two cups of the broth— it came out wonderful and made a lot! The directions were not clear on that section. I don’t know if I was supposed to add that much for making 1/2 the gravy recipe, but it was splendid .


The gravy makes the meal. I found it helpful to cut the vegetables into smaller pieces and to peel the squash. I substituted honey butternut squash for the acorn squash. The gravy takes a bit longer than expected to make, so I suggest getting it started and then putting the casserole in the oven while finishing up the gravy.


thanks for your important tip. I will do this.


Is it possible to make this ahead without the gravy, and then reheat with the gravy on top for Thanksgiving?


Delicious and so filling, very satisfying


The gravy makes this dish, great flavors and who would think cinnamon was part of them. My husband, who is not vegan, thought the flavors were great also and gave the dish a "10".


Made this tonight, and thoroughly enjoyed, but veggies were not hot all the way through. I know oven temps vary so next time I will try cooking at 505*, and test after 30 mins. Absolutely the best gravy I have made on PB diet. This recipe has made the favorite list!


Do leftovers freeze well?

Joy B

With a 500-degree oven, you are using a metal pan, I assume, as glass is not recommended over 450 degrees. That makes for a not so beautiful presentation. I noticed you used a cream-colored pan. What is it made from?

Scott L

I used a stone pan (specifically pampered chef). I did not know glass could not go above 450F - thanks.

Betty Lou Blazic

Thank you for all the comments. I always love reading them. It helps alot.

Nisha S

OMG!!! Phenomenal flavors! Definitely on the rotation.

Scott L

Hands down one of the best FOK recipes I've ever made. I used delicata squash, steamed (vacuum-packed) lentils, dried sage, and less parsley, but otherwise followed the directions and it is delicious. I did cut the veg smaller than recommended - 1-2" pieces. Although peeling pearl onions is tedious it is totally worth it. The gravy is yummy- I was dubious about the cinnamon but I don't taste it specifically. Also, I put in ALL the garlic- not too garlicky at all. I set some gravy aside- and am putting it on the (even more delicious) leftovers. It would serve 6-8 people as the only dish; way more with plenty of other sides.

Kristine S

Made this for our Thanksgiving dinner. We really liked it, but I am still trying to decide if I like the flavor the cinnamon stick added to the gravy. I think next time I will use sweet potato in place of the squash

Erin Crawford

My husband (reformed bacon eater) made this for our Thanksgiving and it was delicious ! Family super impressed and all enjoyed it. This recipe is a keeper - can also be a good base for making vegan shepard's pie ! The gravy will also be a good staple recipe for other dishes. We are definitely making this again. We did peel the squash. We could not find pearlized onions so substituted with white onion. Excellent recipe !


I found the concept and bare bones of this recipe to be pretty good! Steamed vegetables, gravy, lentils, and garnish. However, when I make it again I would: -Chop the vegetables a bit smaller, more like 1.5" pieces -Peel the squash. You CAN eat the peels, but it's not a pleasant texture -15 garlic cloves is excessive. 3-6 cloves will do -no NOT make this gravy recipe. It was appalling. I had to throw the whole thing out (too much lemon and tamari, I think) I ended up making my own mushroom gravy instead -Eat this with extra cranberries or cranberry sauce. The sweetness it adds is lovely


I cut the garlic to 2 Tbsp (NOT 15 cloves) but followed the rest of the recipe as directed. I served the gravy on the side. The only guest who enjoyed the gravy has diminished sense of taste and can only taste highly spiced food. The rest of us couldn’t tolerate the gravy. The squash skin can stay if it’s thoroughly cooked. I would make again but scale back the seasoning and skip the lentils.


I made the today. So far I have put the gravy on it yet because I want to put the gravy on just before I eat it for super. I did however taste a piece of the squash and the skin had hard spots in it so I will definitely be peeling it next time, but the gravy is awesome so this recipe is a keeper. Thanks

Elizabeth Braymen

When I drop this into my meal planner it doesn't look right. The recipe calls for five pounds of lentils and 12 cups of broth. And doesn't specify dried lentils or pre-cooked lentils. Thank you!

Steven, FOK Support

Thank you for writing in, Elizabeth! The FMP Recipe Support Team is reviewing the recipe for revision and re-syncing. You should note the measurement adjustments already made (upon refreshing your FMP recipe page), and formatting fixes will also be taken care of.

Kristine Scoville

Can you use butternut squash? I hate peeling an acorn squash!


Sure can; I did - much easier to peel butternut - no way was I eating squash skin!

kathryn bowns

Can left overs of this casserole be frozen?


This casserole is out of this world delicious!! Especially the gravy, which is now my family's new gravy for everything. I followed the recipe to the letter, accept for substituting dates for the dried cranberries because my son doesn't like cranberries :)

Lisa Ohls

Is 500 degrees correct?

Liz Turner

Yes, 500 degrees is correct. --FOK editors.


Could this be made using a large slow cooker?


I am wondering if this could be made in a large slow cooker ?

Darshana Thacker

This may not give you the same outcome in a slow cooker, because the vegetables need to cook at high heat, and ideally without stirring too much to get crispy on the top.


You don’t peel the acorn squash at all, just leave it with skin on? Wouldn’t it be tough to eat that way?


I'm not the recipe's author, but I would definitely peel the squash!

Liz Turner

Yes, acorn squash is delicious with the peel left on. As long as it's cooked, it's good. --FOK editors

Kay Hughes

What temperature and how long should lentils and vegetables be roasted?

Loreta Vainius

I would like to get an answer to some of the comments. Plus I would soak and sprout the lentils making them easier to digest and more nutritious. I am anxious to try the recipe. Thank you

Liz Turner

The casserole (with the lentils and steamed vegetables on top) cooks for 30 minutes at 500 degrees F. --FOK editors

Chris Nelson

Do you have a nutritional analysis for the recipe?

Pat Olson

Do you really mean the oven should be preheated to 500°.?

Liz Turner


Melissa Rogers

This looks amazing!!! I can't wait to make it! Approximately how many servings would you say the recipe makes? Thank you!

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com and follow her on Instagram for more.
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