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Butternut Squash and Lentil Harvest Lunch Bowl

Mary Matthews

With cooler weather here, we are always looking for hearty and healthy Fall lunch ideas to keep us going and warm us up. This recipe is just that.



  • 3 cups butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup parsnips cut into 1/2-inch pieces, about 3 small parsnips
  • 1 small leek, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided (2 to sauté, 6 for dressing)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups lentils, cooked
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 small bunch baby kale (about 6 ounces), stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese


In a large Sauté Pan, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and melt 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat.

Place the squash, onion, garlic, with the butter/oil, a big pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and toss to combine. Cook the vegetables until tender and caramelized, 10-15 minutes.

Add the lentils to the vegetable pan and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Taste and season with more salt as needed.

In a separate bowl add the remaining 6 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, mustard, sage, cardamom, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper to the bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and lentils.

To assemble, add the kale and toss until well coated. Add the pepitas, and cherries and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Just before serving, toss in the parsley. serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese. Optionally, serve with toasted baguette.

Learn more recipes like this at one of our Adult cooking classes.