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Mexican Lentil Casserole

As demonstrated in the “Let them Eat Lentils” episode of Live It – June 2021

Watch the episode here.

Related recipes: Salt-Free Taco Seasoning


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Lentil Filling

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ¼ cups dry brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce*
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning (7 tsp)*


Whole Grain Cornbread Topping**

  • 1 cup whole grain cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk***
  • ¼ cup olive oil


  1. To prepare the lentil filling, start by heating 1 Tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently until tender. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  2. Add lentils, water, tomato sauce and taco seasoning to the saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, partially covered for 35–40 minutes or until lentils are tender. 
  3. When lentils are almost done, preheat oven to 400º F, grease 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick spray or extra olive oil and prepare cornbread topping.
  4. To prepare cornbread topping, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine egg, buttermilk and oil. Gently mix wet ingredients with the dry until just combined. 
  5. To assemble the casserole, pour the warm lentil mixture into the casserole dish, then carefully spoon the cornbread batter over the lentil mixture and spread until evenly covered. Bake uncovered for 15–20 minutes or until topping is golden brown and cooked through.


*To reduce sodium, use no-salt added tomato sauce and homemade salt-free taco seasoning. (Find our taco seasoning recipe here.)

**For quick cornbread, substitute a store-bought mix, such as Jiffy brand and follow package instructions to make the batter.   

***Buttermilk substitute: 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice + enough milk to make 1 cup. Combine and let set for 5 minutes before using.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition information is unavailable at this time.

Live It is a cooking demonstration presented by the Nutrition Food Service and Wellness Departments at Parkview Health. Each episode is hosted by dietitian Andrea Miller, with a goal of showcasing nutrient-dense foods and teaching viewers doable ways to use them in order to promote wellness in our community.

For more recipes and to watch past episodes of Live It, visit