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Bread-free Vegan Stuffing

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My Thanksgiving main dish was amazing!

The mashed lentils acted almost like a thick gravy over the flavorful veggies.

lentil stuffing


Really, this is more like pot pie. But I already have a Vegan Pot Pie Filling.

So for the above recipe title, I needed to get creative. Got creative with the actual recipe as well. It was originally Shepherds Pie. Potatoes aren’t my favorite veggie, but flipping through my cookbooks, I thought the filling sounded good. By the time I was finished cooking, my “stuffing” looked nothing like the one in the cookbook. However, it still tasted absolutely delicious!

bread free stuffing

In fact, it was so delicious that I’ve already made this again. The second time, I decided to add zucchini (which is why there’s zucchini in the second photo but not the first).

Vegan Lentil Stuffing  (Bread-Free)

(or pot-pie filling)

  • 1 medium onion, sliced (175g)
  • 1-2 cups spinach (I used 60g)
  • 2-4 carrots, cut into coins (I used 140g, but feel free to use more) (I actually recommend non-organic carrots for this, as they tend to be much sweeter.)
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 1 zucchini, cut in coins (I used 280g, but I steamed 1/2 separately and mixed them in later.)
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into coins (I used 65g)
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup cooked lentils, drained and mashed (I used 110g Westbrae)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp olive oil, or more if desired (You can omit this, but you’ll lose the yummy, buttery taste!)

Heat oil, then add carrots, zucchini, onion, and celery. Cook a few minutes (like 10), then add spinach, lentils, spices, and tomato. Cook 2 more minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil, then cover and lower to simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and stuffing is flavorful. Without the optional ingredients, this makes around 3 cups, or around 2 servings. (However, if you follow my personal gram measurements, it makes quite a bit more.)


The ingredient list might seem long, but this recipe comes together surprisingly easily. (It helps to have a sweet mom willing to chop all the veggies for you.)

What’s your favorite way to eat beans?
Yes, I know lentils are technically not beans. But just go with me here. Some of my favorite bean recipes include bean soups, salads, refried beans on sandwiches, and bean chili.

All CCK bean recipes can be seen here: 50+ Healthy Bean Recipes.

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Albizia says:

    First thing to do: stop staring at the stuffing.
    Second thing to do: bookmark a.s.a.p.

    I love all kinds of legumes and eat beans/lentils more often than anyone else I know. Regarding lentils, dal is my all-time favorite although I haven’t cooked it for long. I love putting tons of garlic, cumin and coriander in it 🙂 . And beans… I don’t know where to start. Baked beans, bean salads, dried peppers stuffed with beans, beans with cabbage, scrambled eggs with beans and onions, chilli, just beans directly from the can… I am a pro 😀 .

  2. Eric Jaffa says:

    Do you buy organic carrots?

  3. Jennifer - jcd says:

    What a great meal for Thanksgiving! Yum! Stuffing is always the best part of the meal, I think, and yours looks amazing.

    Beals, legumes, lentils – love them all! My husband really likes chickpeas and lentils, so we eat those a lot. My favourites are probably black beans and mung beans, but I like them all. We love making three- (or four-) bean chili, kabocha black bean stew, and lentil soup. Mmm… sounds like yummy winter fare to me!

    Have a great week!

  4. That picture of you and your mom is super sweet!! And I looooooove beans, pretty much anyway I can get them!

  5. Emily says:

    Love the photo of you and your mom! So gorgeous!

    I love beans; my fave way to eat them is in hummus. 🙂

  6. Another great recipe Katie!

    I love beans, legumes, whatever! I’ve been making my own refried beans by mashing 1/2 a can of pintos and mixing it with sauteed veggies, spices, and salsa. And a quick go-to dinner for me is quinoa and lentils with a ton of curry powder and some roasted squash!

  7. I like plain green beans actually with a bit of garlic. Sounds a bit strange I suppose ha. With a lot of my veggies I like to just have them steamed or eaten plain.

    You and your mother look beautiful and as many people have said-I love your scarf!

  8. Wow, this looks SO good! I love the idea of using lentils like a “gravy”! Are mashed lentils sort of like mashed chickpeas? I’m wondering if I could make something similar using chickpeas… I guess that would be sort of like hummus!

    So many things to try! I was just trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight. I might have to try this!

    1. Hmmm… I looooove your thinking! Now I want to try it with chickpeas too. If you make it, let me know how it goes! 🙂

  9. Debbie C says:

    The stuffing looks delicious, have to try it.I also want to tell you how much I enjoy the Single Lady cupcakes.I have made them several times.I was wondering if you have a recipe for Single Lady cookies, where I could just make 2-4. Molasses type cookie maybe?

    1. Oh I am so going to have to try!
      (And hehe I’m giving you a shout-out in my post for Wednesday :).)

  10. spoonfulofsugarfree says:

    YUM! I love lentils! I like throwing a bunch of veggies (this mix would work!) into the crockpot and letting it stew all day until the lentils are nice and soft 🙂

    My favorite bean, though, are black beans!!! Soooo good 🙂 Especially with mexican food 🙂 🙂

    1. Woah, I want to try that now. Do you season it at all, or just throw the veg/beans in the crockpot?

    2. spoonfulofsugarfree says:

      By the way-you and your mom look beautiful! I love that scarf and your mom’s top!

  11. yum this looks yummy! I’ve NEVER cooked with lentils! i really want to though.. i didn’t realise they cooked in such a short time!

  12. lauravirginia says:

    I looooove beans. Black bean burgers are one of my most favorite foods! 😀 That picture of you and your mom is GORGEOUS, Katie!

  13. Stefanie says:

    I eat beans everyday. It is a great source of protein. My favorite beans are chickpeas and pinto beans but I’ll eat whatever bean I have. Mostly, I eat chickpeas in hummus and pintos in stirfries and tacos/burritos. Now I need to try spoonfullofsugarfree’s idea of lentils and veggies in the crockpot. Have a great day. 🙂

  14. thedelicateplace says:

    i’m not a huge fan of beans but i’d love to try subbing in more squash. this looks amazing! i didn’t have stuffing at my table since i’m gluten intolerant wish i would have seen this sooner!

  15. Little Bookworm says:

    That recipe sounds great – bookmarked it. 🙂 What type of lentils do you use in the recipe?

    I love beans and lentils. My favourite bean recipe is a bean casserole recipe I’ve making a lot recently. I love beans in soups as well and in vegetable chilli.

      1. Little Bookworm says:

        I meant green/brown or red. Sorry if I wasn’t clear! 🙂

        1. Ooooh 🙂
          Green or brown. Just make sure it’s 1/2 cup AFTER they’re cooked, if you’re not using canned.

  16. Di @ says:

    This recipe sounds fabulous – the lentils really sold me on it. Love them. 🙂

    And I originally missed your post on Pinto Bean Pudding and am very intrigued by how that one tastes. I’ll have to give it a whirl. Beans are great because of their versatility (which it appears you’re quite experienced in getting creative with them).

  17. That looks awesome!!!! I love veggies in any form!

  18. This looks awesome!
    I am a huge fan of beans, especially black beans. As you may have heard, they are the magical fruit 🙂 Bahaha, I am so mature!

  19. Melissa says:

    Um… YUM. In my mouth, please, now. 🙂

  20. Annette says:

    Thanks for another great looking recipe!!

    I wonder if you have caught up with all of these blogs lately with vegan bloggers switching to omnis? Just wondered what you thought about it. I realize you might not want to do a whole post about it because it could be controversial.

    Have a good day!

    1. Woah, I actually don’t know anything about this! Any bloggers in particular? lol now I’m curious. As strange as it may seem, I don’t have many food blogs in my Reader… I just got tired of reading about food all day!
      As for posting on it… well, I kinda LIKE controversial posts, because they get the most fun comments :). Plus, sometimes people with differing views end up enlightening me and changing my opinion about something!

      1. Melissa says:

        The only one I know is that the voracious vegan is now voracious eats.
        Lindsay of Happy Herbivore posted her take on it – not specifically that ONE blogger, of course! -apparently there have been a rash of ex-vegans in the blogosphere lately? I’m out of the loop, too!

      2. Annette says:

        Yes, the Voracious Vegan is the main one I am speaking about. But she also linked on her post (Vegan No More) to other food bloggers who have switched from Vegan diets back to omni. It’s kind of crazy to read!

        1. Annette says:

          Oh and she also made reference to several vegan food bloggers who really aren’t even vegan behind the scenes. I was like OMG, now that’s just really wild. It’s an interesting blog post to read if you have time (it’s really, really long).

          1. Wow, I just read it.
            Wow some more times. Thanks for showing me this post, Annette. I think I might just have to respond. Might take me a few weeks to get something together, though… there’s a lot of info in her post!

          2. Annette says:

            Katie – I look forward to reading your response! Especially since you’ve been vegan for a very long time and she was for 3.5 years. It’s interesting how different people can be.

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