Vegan hotpot with lentils and mushrooms

Vegan hotpot with lentils and mushrooms

vegan hotpot baked

Aaaand…the weekend is here again… Is it just me or does there appear to be little difference between workdays and non workdays these days? Especially if you end up working on weekends like I often do. Both myself and Duncan are working today, but we hope to put our feet up tomorrow and maybe even venture out for a bit of a walk catch-up with friends although the weather is meant to be grim. It doesn’t matter, anything that stops us from staring at our respective screens will be good for the soul.

Duncan got his first vaccination jab this week and it knocked him down for the count. He was really poorly for a day and I was getting a touch concerned when I found him, eyes glistening from fever, suspended over the toilet bowl, fighting a sudden bout of nausea. Having done a little reading online, I came to the conclusion that the severity of his reaction is probably due to the fact that he has already had Covid and his body remembers how tough is was so this time it has geared for a counterattack with double ferocity. I was hoping to be the next in line, but apparently the government ran out of jabs and I have to wait at least another month for my vaccination invite. Oh well.

Recipewise, I’m conflicted between craving lighter meals when the sun sticks its head from behind a cloud and opting for comfort food in the evenings as it can still get rather cold. With this in mind, I have the cosiest dish for you today inspired by Duncan’s childhood nemesis – Lancashire hotpot. Although Duncan was lucky enough to grow up in sunny Australia, apparently his English born parents insisted on making cold climate inspired classics even when the weather called for anything but. That was his main gripe with Lancashire hotpot, I think and the fact that the last thing you want to do as a child is to stand out and the British overtones of his upbringing made his school life a bit miserable. I’m sure most people can relate! I certainly can, I had a hard time at school too although for very different reasons.

The said hotpot is a hearty fare that would be slow cooked in the oven all day, ready for miners to return home. Yup, it’s this kind of dish. It’s supposed to ‘stick to your bones’ or clog your arteries more like 😉 . It traditionally contains a meat stew (lamb is traditionally used, I think) bubbling away ferociously under a layer of crisped up potato slices. I’m not into meat but I’m down with the concept so I decided to attempt something equally comforting using plants alone.

I used a mixture of two different types of mushrooms and some hearty lentils as a substitute for meat. I cooked the stew in some shallots and plenty of garlic and seasoned it with soy sauce, vegan Worcester sauce, balsamic, lots of thyme and white wine and I have to say that the result is even more delicious than I expected. It’s hearty and heart-healthy (looking at you lentils) at the same time. It hugs you like a warm blanket on a cold March evening, provides a lot of sustenance while offering some protection against diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

vegan hotpot ingredients

vegan hotpot lentils potatoes

vegan hotpot making

vegan hotpot ready

vegan hotpot cut open

vegan hotpot inside

30 min
75 min
30 min
75 min
  • 150 g / ¾ cup French green lentils (lentilles vertes)*
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 banana shallots, finely diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 8 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 250 g / 9 oz chestnut / cremini mushrooms
  • 125 g / 4½ oz fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 medium starchy potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped large
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked (sweet) paprika
  • ½ vegan mushroom (or vegetable) stock cube
  • 7 ml / 1½ tsp vegan Worcester sauce
  • 15 ml / 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 120 ml / ½ cup vegan white wine (optional)
  • 2 tsp cornflour / cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water
  • salt
  1. Rinse lentils well and simmer them in plenty of water for about 30 minutes – they should only be partially cooked. Adding a piece of kombu to the cooking water is a good idea if you don’t digest lentils easily. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up 30 ml / 2 tbsp oil in a skillet (I used a 26 cm / 10″ cast iron skillet but you can also use a frying pan and transfer the mixture to an oven-proof dish for baking). Add diced shallots and fry until almost translucent, stirring frequently. Add chopped garlic and thyme leaves (reserve some for the topping) and fry for a few more minutes, until shallots are translucent and garlic has softened.
  3. While the shallots are frying, chop your mushrooms into large-medium chunks.
  4. Slice potatoes into 2-3 mm slices and parboil them for 4 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold tap and allow them to cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180° C / 355° F.
  6. Add mushrooms to the skillet, sauté them (stirring frequently) until lightly caramelised in places.
  7. Next, add in chopped carrot, cooked lentils, soy sauce, black pepper, smoked paprika, mushroom stock cube dissolved in 240 ml / 1 cup of water, Worcester sauce, balsamic vinegar, wine (if using, otherwise more water). Mix everything very well, taste (adjust the seasoning if necessary, it may need a bit more salt) and stir in cornflour slurry.
  8. Arrange cooled potato slices on top of the lentil-mushroom mixture so that the slices overlap. Cover the top of the dish with a fitting lid or a piece of kitchen foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the hotpot / casserole from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220° C / 425° F.
  10. Brush the tops of the potatoes with the last tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle them with leftover thyme, salt and pepper. Return the uncovered dish to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are nicely browned.

*I used TESCO’s Lentilles Vertes. Although the name translates as green lentils, they are different to what is known as green lentils in the UK. They are smaller, darker, speckled and require 40 minutes total cooking time. I like them as they keep their shape really well. You can use any other lentils that keep their shape instead but you may want to adjust their precook time accordingly. You can use 2 cups / 310 g of ready cooked lentils if you wish but be aware that by the time the dish is ready, they may end up being a little overcooked.

5 g
12 g
2 g
15 g
53 g
*per serving
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28 reviews, 42 comments
Sarah K:
Never left a review before but this one was too good not to let you all know. Easy and delicious, thank you!
    Aw thanks Sarah, I am really happy to hear that and I appreciate you taking the time to review. Ania
Matilde Azevedo Neves:
Thank you for the recipe. How can I do it without a skillet?
Another question, what can substitute Worcester sauce? I can’t find it where I live
    You can use a similar size pan that is oven-safe, like a casserole dish, for example. As for the other question, you can compensate by being a bit more generous with other seasonings (but be sure to taste). Hope this helps. Ania
can I freeze this
    Hi Lisa. I don't see why not although I must admit that I have not tried freezing it myself. Ania
i love this recipe! works perfectly every time!
    Thank you Shelley, I am so pleased to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. Ania
This sounds so yummy! Can I assemble it the day before and bake the following day?
    Hi Heather, sure you can! Hope you'll enjoy it! x Ania
Lauri Johnson:
The first time I made this my husband said I absolutely had to add it to our regular rotation…and I have. Not only is it fun to make and visually appealing, it tastes so good…the perfect comfort food!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!
    Aw thank you Lauri, I am so happy to hear that this dish went down so well with you and your husband that it became your regular staple. Thank you so much for leaving this review - I really appreciate it as they help my work be seen. x Ania
Just made it and it’s really, really good! The only thing I did differently was I did not cook the potatoes before, just put them on the casserole as instructed and they cooked perfectly in the oven. Thank you for another fantastic recipe!!
    Thank you Joann, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed this dish so much and that it came out well without the need to parboiling your potatoes - I will try that next time! Ania
Can I use a can of green lentils (have a tin in the cupboard)…?
    Hi Lizzie! Yes, of course. Since they are already fully cooked by the time the dish comes out of the oven, they will be a little overdone but that shouldn't be a big problem. Hope this helps! x Ania
I love lentils and this dish was absolutely amazing! So hearty and comforting for a cold night.
I also was drawn to this recipe because of the beautiful arrangement of all the potatoes in the skille
    Thanks so much, Brandi! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this so much and loved the presentation - my aim was to hypnotise with a potato sprial - sounds like I succeeded :P . Thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
This recipe was delicious, it takes a little time, to prepare as potatoes and lentils are cooked first. But well worth it, the combination of herbs spice vinegar and vegan Worcestershire sauce made it really tasty. I did cover in oven for a bit but took foil off to brown potatoes. It was in the oven longer than 20 min.
    Thank you, Victoria! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it and found it worth the effort. The total baking time is 50 minutes (20 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered), btw so I am glad you stuck it out. Thank you so much for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
This look soo good. I am planning on replacing the mushrooms with jackfruit since I am allergic to mushrooms. Should I simmer the jackfruit longer? And any thought on how much jackfruit I should use? I use del montes boxes. Do I need more umami when I remove the mushroom?
Thanks for all your fantastic receipes 😊
    Thank you, Nina. Jackfruit sounds great although I would also be tempted to add something like a few sun-dried tomatoes (chopped fine) to compensate for some umami that mushrooms bring to the table. I am not familar with this brand, but I would say that one 565 g tin should suffice (especially if you add some sun-dried tomatoes) - mushrooms shrink a lot. Jackfruit does not bring a lot of flavour so I personally would marinate it in a small amount of stock, a tablespooon of soy sauce (use only one in the rest of the dish) and some smoked paprika and then bake it in a hot oven for 20 minutes like in this recipe for example to give it nicer texture to and flavour. It does add some work so depending on how much time you want to spend and whether you are as fussy as I am 😜. Hope this helps! x Ania
      Thank you for your reply. I will marinate the jackfruit and add sudried tomators. I have some allergies, so I am used to substitute ingredients and that it sometimes takes longer times to make, but Its worth it 😋
      We often make your soups in big portions and freeze, like your Laksa. Its one of our favourites.
      Lentils are also a favo in our house, so I am sure this one will be a success.
        My pleasure! Great to hear and I hope you'll enjoy this dish just as much!
        PS: if you like lentils, you may enjoy this dish (one of my favourites) and you can sub mushrooms the same way. Perhaps making a bigger batch of jackfruit and splitting between the two might be a good idea.
Absolutely delicious. A complete meal in a dish and so filling and tasty. Thank you!
    Thank you Janette! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this dish was such a success in your house and thank you for coming back to review - I really appreciate it (glad to see that the glitch have gone away). x Ania
Absolutely love it! Tasty and nutritious. This is one we'll keep coming back to, especially on those cold Autumn evenings, Thanks Ania!
    Thanks Andrew, I am delighted to hear that this dish was such a hit in your house that it became a staple! So lovely to hear and thanks for taking the time to let me know, much appreciated. x Ania
Delicious, comforting and not hard to make - a new staple in our newly vegan household. Thanks so much!
    Thanks so much, Margot. I am delighted to hear that this dish went down so well with you and your family (congratulations on making the jump!! Personally for me, this was the best decision ever!). Thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it x Ania
great recipe, super tasty, thank you!
    Thanks Mary, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Ania
Hey Ania, I think I am going to make this recipe this week, it seems delicious. Do you recommend any vegetables to eat alongside it?
    Hi Cecelia,
    Sorry for a delayed response - was stuck in bed with Covid for the past two weeks! This dish has plenty of vegetables as is but a green salad (various types of green leaves, fennel, capers, shallot vignette) will be nice alongside it. Hope this helps! x Ania
Lloyd Watkin:
Used this recipe as a guide for my own version. Was really tasty and not too difficult/timely to put in place. Will definitely be making again!
    Thanks so much, Lloyd! I'm delighted that it resulted in something delicious and thank you for taking the time to leave this review, I really appreciate it. Ania
Hi Ania, I've made this pretty frequently especially over the cold months
I'd like to try it with soy mince instead of mushrooms ,,so what quantity would I need and would I still need to use lentils to bulk it up.
Many thanks
    Hi Maggie,
    Great to hear, I am glad you enjoyed it enough to make on a regular basis. I would personally sub lentils with TVP and leave the mushrooms in as they provide a lot of the flavour and interesting texture. If you were to do that you would probably need something like 1 cup of dry soy mince. If you don't want to use mushrooms, I am guessing (as I haven't actually tried it) you would need about 2.5-3 cups of dry mince and I would keep lentils in for texture. Hope this helps! x Ania
Made this today and absolutely loved it. In fact, I've just been back to my kitchen to pick at the lukewarm leftovers! Definitely something I'm looking forward to making again. It does take a while to do, but it's worth it, and since I'm only cooking for 2 there's plenty left for another night.
    Thank you for your kind words, Vicki! I'm delighted to hear that it was such a success with you and many thanks for taking the time to leave this review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
Hi Ania,
This was lovely... really very good. Kids loved it, as did me and my wife. It went especially well with the summer weather we're currently getting in the UK!
I haven't left a message before but just wanted to say thank you for sharing your recipes... My wife started a plant-based diet a couple of years ago now and I can honestly say that your website is the best we've found for plant-based food. The success rate of your recipes is probably the best of any food blog I've found. Bravo.
    Hi Eddie,
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I'm so chuffed to hear that you and your family enjoyed this dish, as well as some other of my recipes. Thank you for taking the time to write, that's so nice of you. And yes, summer?! What summer? It's been terrible this year, hasn't it? Apparently it's going to be high twenties next weekend in Bristol - I really hope met office doesn't change its mind ;) Wishing you lots of sunshine where you live too x Ania
Hello Ania.
Thank you for a tasty recipe - I will be making it again.
I wondered if you have the nutritional info for this meal - calorie count in particular.
    Thanks Klara, I'm happy to hear that it was a success! I don't have that info at the moment, BUT I am about to (hopefully in a month or so) finalise my new website where all that information will be provided. Please bear with me! x Ania
Tried this one a couple of weeks ago, it's delicious and heartwarming
    Thank you, I'm delighted to hear that this dish hit the spot. x Ania
This is amazing Ania. For those in Australia save yourself the trouble and jus use Dutch Cream potatoes. This recipe reminds of vegan shepherd pie with less veggies and no mash potaotes, but similar. Thanks a lot!
    Thanks, Hans! Lovely to hear that this dish has been a success! And a great tip on the starchy potato variety for the Aussies. Ania
Kate Bea:
I made this last night and it's my favourite thing I've cooked in a long time! So comforting and flavourful. Thank you for the recipe!
    Thank you so much for your lovely feedback, Kate! I'm so happy to hear that this dish went down so well with you. And thank you so much for taking the time to review, it helps my work to be more visible so I really appreciate it! x Ania
Katleen Bosteels:
Made this yesterday evening. Exactly what we needed with those april showers (in Belgium). So delicious! Thanks a lot for the recipe :-)
    Thanks Katleen, I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! x Ania
Hi. How long will this keep for in the fridge?
    Hi Vikki,
    3-4 days in an air-tight container, for sure. I recommend not storing it in the cast iron skillet if that's what you are using to make it. Ania
Clancy Mason:
I made this last night and it was a huge hit in our house, sooooo good! I’ve recently been diagnosed as a Ceoliac and I’ve been seeking GF recipes and this hot pot is now a firm favourite. Really unfussy to make, and I love that you can go relax with the rest of the wine as it cooks in the oven! :-)
Thanks for posting!
    That's lovely to hear, Clancy. I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis (although it's good to have one when you know that things aren't right with your body), I have a friend who is ceoliac and I know how difficult it is for him. I'm delighted that this dish put a smile on your face! x Ania
Valerie Wilkie:
Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. The recipe was easy to follow; thank you for posting it.
    Yay! Thanks so much, Valerie! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and thank you so much for taking the time to leave this lovely review - I really appreciate it! x Ania
Sarah Gensler:
I made this for supper tonight and it was superb. This recipe is defiantly a keeper.
    Thank you, Sarah! I'm delighted to hear that and thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review - I really appreciate it! x Ania
This is a fantastic meal! I added some parsley and celery. Used the water from cooking the lentils, did not have to use cornstarch. So good! You are the best!
    Thank you, Ket! I'm so happy you enjoyed it and great idea to use lentils cooking water! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review – I really appreciate it! x Ania
Katelynn Jensen:
Yum! Made this tonight and it's really hitting the spot. I swapped in red onion because I didn't have any shallots, and didn't want to open a bottle of wine but a bit of Canadian lager made a good stand-in. I really like the way the potatoes get that wonderful melt-in-your-mouth texture after baking on top of the stew. Thanks for this tasty recipe!
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Katelynn! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review - I really appreciate it! x Ania
That rare moment where you spot a delicious looking recipe on Insta and you've actually got all the ingredients! This vegan hotpot with mushrooms is like a cosy, rich, satisfying hug and super easy to make. Loved it, thanks Lazy Cat.
    Yay! Thank you, Helen! I am delighted that you were able to make it straight away, enjoyed it and found it easy to make too! What a bonus. x Ania
Hi Ania, those lentils are often called ‘Puy lentils’ too:
Thanks for the recipe, enjoy your Sunday!
    Hi Elisa,
    Thanks, I did think so too but wasn't sure. Don't they need to come from a particular area to be called that? Plus they are usually more expensive. Anyway, it's a good shout, they do behave like Puy lentils. Ania
Just made this recipe and it was awesome. I drizzled white truffle oil on top and that was great!
    Thanks so much, I'm delighted to hear that and truffle oil drizzle sounds inspired! x Ania
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