Fearne Cotton's autumn veggie bake

If you’re looking for some midweek inspiration, Fearne Cotton’s here with a veggie treat the whole family will love.

Taken from Happy Vegan by Fearne Cotton

Autumn veggie bake: squash, lentil, mushroom and thyme

Fearne says: This is one of my favourite Sunday lunch options. My mum is a vegetarian too and my husband has drastically cut out meat lately, so it can feed the masses adequately, as well as adding that much needed comfort to a Sunday. It’s full of veg and lentils so is easy on the gut and a dream for the taste buds. The perfect winter warmer that doesn’t leave you in a lull.

Serves: 4-6


2 onions, finely chopped

3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Half a butternut squash, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes

4 carrots, cut into 1cm cubes

200g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tbsp white spelt flour

500ml vegetable stock

100g red split lentils, washed

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 large sweet potatoes, thinly sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad or greens, to serve


  • Put the onions, oil, garlic and half the thyme leaves into a large pan and set over a medium-high heat. Sauté for 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened, taking care not to let them brown.

  • Stir in the squash, carrots, mushrooms and flour and fry for another 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock, lentils and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring now and again, until the lentils are soft and the vegetables are almost tender. Season to taste.

  • Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas mark 6

  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the sweet potato slices for 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly and lay out on a board.

  • Transfer the vegetable mixture into a large casserole dish and lay the sweet potato slices on top. Drizzle over some olive oil and scatter over the remaining thyme leaves. Season well and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden on top and all the vegetables are tender.

  • Serve with a salad or some greens