A long-time favourite lentil bowl, this simple dinner is made up of cooked lentils mixed with roasted broccoli, sweet potato, and onion. Cloves of garlic are roasted alongside the other vegetables, skin on, to make a sweet roasted garlic vinaigrette for topping.
This is a great low effort meal, ideal for weeknights or after work. If you cook and refrigerate or freeze lentils in advance (I recommend it – a jar of frozen lentils is a lifesaver), it’s as easy as roasting a pan of veg.
The lemony garlic vinaigrette steals the show here. Roasting garlic in single cloves is must faster and you still get that great flavour, without using up a whole head. You can use this trick in other recipes like my Moroccan roasted vegetable salad.
- Brown Lentils: or green, or black – as long as they hold their texture after cooking. Salt the lentil cooking water for a better overall flavour, like you would for pasta or rice.
- Sweet Potato: be sure to cut to the recommended size to avoid the broccoli charring before the sweet potato is cooked.
- Broccoli: regular (Calabrese) broccoli or purple sprouting, if you have it in late winter.
- Onion: red is my preference, but any type of onion (or shallot) will work here.
- Garlic: roasted, skin on, for a sweet roasted garlic addition to the lentil bowl.
- Olive Oil: for roasting the vegetables and for the vinaigrette.
- Spices: sumac, cumin, hot pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Lemon: this is a lemon vinaigrette, but you could sub a splash of apple cider or white wine vinegar.
This is very simple – if you have cooked lentils already on hand, it’s as easy as roasting some vegetables and whipping up a dressing.
Notes and Substitutions
If you don’t have sweet potato on hand, carrots or pumpkin make a good substitution. Both tend to take a bit longer to cook, so you may want to add them to the oven slightly in advance of the broccoli.
Try mixing some hardy greens in with the vegetables right after they come out of the oven. If you like kale chips, you can also cook kale alongside the other veg right in the tray and it’ll crisp right up.
Change up the spices based on your preference. Coriander is excellent here. If you don’t have sumac, simply add the zest of the lemon to substitute.
The size for the sweet potato slices is quite specific because otherwise they cook too slowly compared to the broccoli. Large pieces of broccoli and small slices of sweet potato are needed here.
Top with any seeds or nuts you like. Pomegranate adds a bit of sweetness, but dates, raisins, or dried cranberries are all good too.
More Lentil Recipes
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Roasted Broccoli and Sweet Potato Lentil Bowls
- 1 large sweet potato halved and very thinly sliced (5 mm / 1/5 in.)
- 1 head of broccoli cut into large florets
- 1 small onion halved and thinly sliced
- 4 large cloves of garlic skin on
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil oil
- ½ teaspoon ground sumac*
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes to taste
- 150 grams cooked brown black, or green lentils
- Nuts and pomegranate seeds for topping (optional)
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
- 4 cloves roasted garlic skin removed
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of a lemon ~3 tablespoons
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the sweet potato, broccoli, onion, garlic, 2 teaspoons olive oil, sumac, cumin, salt, and pepper onto the baking sheet. Mix to coat the vegetables in the spices.
- Roasted for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Carefully remove the garlic cloves from the sheet and peel them. Mash the garlic with a fork, then whisk together with the 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
- Split the cooked lentils and roasted vegetables between two bowls. Top with the vinaigrette, nuts, and pomegranate seeds, and serve immediately.
This post was first published in February 2016, under the title of ‘Late Winter Buddha Bowl’. It has been updated with some slight improvements to the recipe as of September 2021.