This easy Beetroot and lentil recipe is such a brilliantly versatile, all-year-round side or salad. With a hearty and earthy flavour, this diabetes-friendly dish will win your heart as well as boost your well-being.
In this dish, I combine the earthy rich flavours of the roasted beetroot with the softer flavours of pre-cooked puy lentils. I love the merchant gourmet puy lentils as they have already been cooked with onion, bay leaves and a dash of olive oil which adds a depth of flavour to them.
I’m all about wholesome, delicious meals that nourish your body and soul and this beetroot and lentil side dish or salad is certainly one of those meals. So, let’s dive into the world of beetroot and lentils!
Why You’ll love this recipe
- Blood Sugar Friendly: This dish combines low-GI beetroots with fibre-rich lentils, promoting stable blood sugar levels.
- Heart-Healthy: Beetroots can also support heart health by improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.
- Plant-Powered Protein: Lentils provide plant-based protein that keeps you feeling full and satisfied while helping maintain blood sugar control.
- Flavour Explosion: The earthy lentils against the natural sweetness of beetroots & caramelised onions create a taste sensation that’s a treat for your taste buds.
- Easy and Versatile: This recipe is simple to prepare and can be served hot or cold, customised with your favourite herbs, spices or topped with your favourite cheese
Beetroots truly are a wonder veg. They are packed with lots of essential nutrients and are a great source of fibre but are not usually served up as an everyday side veg. Well not in my house historically. But thanks to my weekly veg box, from oddbox, which has introduced lots more seasonal vegetables into my cooking, beetroot is now firmly becoming a staple.
For individuals managing diabetes, beetroots bring a unique advantage. They have a low glycemic index (GI), which means they release sugar into the bloodstream slowly, helping maintain stable blood sugar levels.
How to store your Fresh Beetroots
As soon as you get your beetroot home, chop the bulb from the beetroot tops. This will help the beetroot bulb to stay fresher for longer. But don’t throw your beetroot tops away!
Wash the stalk and leaves in cold water and pat dry.
- Store in the fridge
- The bulb – I like to put them in a paper bag just to stop the mud from going everywhere.
- The beetroot tops – I like to put them into a sealable, reusable bag to help keep them fresher for longer
And if you’re wondering what to do with the beetroot tops then take a look at my SAUTÉED BEETROOT TOPS recipe. A super simple and tasty way to enjoy the whole vegetable without any waste!
What you will need to make easy roasted beetroot and lentils
- Packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and fibre.
- You can use fresh or for convenience I sometimes use the vacuum packed beetroot
- Bring a gentle sweetness to the dish
- Puy lentils
- High in protein and fibre
- Makes this dish extra filling
- Vegetable stock
- Gives this dish an extra boost of flavour
- A lovely earthy herb
- It compliments the other flavours in this dish beautifully
- Use fresh or frozen
- Adds an extra zing and freshness that lifts the flavours in this dish
- Also gives another kick of vitamin C
- Salt and Pepper
- Essential seasoning
How to make roasted beetroot and lentil
This dish is very simple to bring together once you have roasted your beetroot – A step you could do in advance and then keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
To Roast the beetroot
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan. Scrub the beets thoroughly, then wrap them loosely in aluminium foil. Place them on a baking tray and roast for roast for 50 to 60 minutes.
If you are using the vacuum-packed beetroot which has already been peeled and cooked, simply place them straight onto a baking tray and roast for 25 to 30 minutes.
Once roasted leave the beetroot to cool until you can handle them. Then hold one of the beetroot in a paper towel and use the edges of the paper to rub the skin away. The skin should peel away easily; if it doesn’t, it needs to cook for a little longer.
To Prepare the lentils
While you are waiting for the beetroot to cool slightly, place the chopped onion into a frying pan with a little olive oil and fry gently until soft. Then add the thyme sprigs and vegetable stock and gently heat for a couple of minutes
Finally, add the lentils and chopped beetroot combining everything well. Remove from the heat and finish with some more thyme leaves and lemon juice to serve.
Top tips and serving suggestions
This roasted beetroot and lentil dish is pretty effortless, once the peeling of the beetroot is done. A job I hate by the way! But my top tip is to wear gloves when peeling your beetroot. This helps with stopping the beets from staining your hands.
If you have a big bunch of beets then I find it is much easier to roast all of them at once. That way you can use them as and when you need them. They will store roasted in the fridge in an air-tight container for 4-5 days
The roasted beetroot and lentil dish really is super tasty hot and cold. But here are a few extra serving ideas to enhance the enjoyment further:
Add extra roasted vegetables – try adding carrots, courgettes, aubergines or peppers when roasting your beetroot, They can then be served alongside the beetroot and lentils for an extra dose of vitamins and fibre.
Add Cheese Crumbles – If you’re a cheese lover (like me, crumble some feta, goat or even blue cheese over the Easy Beetroot & Lentils for a creamy, salty kick. The cheese pairs wonderfully with the earthy sweetness of the beetroots.
Make It a Bowl – Transform this recipe into a wholesome Buddha bowl by adding cooked brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice as the base. Top it with the Easy Beetroot & Lentils and your choice of garnishes.
Make it a Side Salad – Pair this dish with a simple side salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a simple vinaigrette dressing. The salad’s freshness complements the warm, hearty flavours of the beetroot and lentils.
If you liked this recipe, then take a look at these other delicious and nutritious recipes that are blood sugar-friendly and beneficial for managing diabetes
A carb-count-free side dish that is full of fibre and essential nutrients. The addition of fibre to your meals may be beneficial in helping with blood glucose management as it helps to minimise blood sugar rises. Along with its many other benefits like better gut health, it will also make you feel fuller for longer.