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Fall Lentil Bowls with Walnut Pesto

  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 generously 1x


Grain bowl, buddha bowl, glow bowl, WHATEVER, these bowls feature quinoa, turmeric lentils, walnut kale pesto, and roasted fall-spiced veggies for tons of flavor and nutrition. These grain bowls are excellent for meal prep!




  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3 cups torn kale leaves
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup olive oil


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 16 ounces small tomatoes (cocktail, cheery, Campari etc)
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked to package directions with a sprinkle of salt


  • 1 cup split red lentils (or use any kind you like)
  • 2 ½ cups water, more or less depending on the package directions
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon yellow curry powder


  1. Make the pesto. Add all ingredients to a food processor and combine on high for 1-2 minutes until a smooth paste forms. Taste, and add more salt to your preference or a bit of olive oil if the pesto seems dry. It will be thick, nearly the consistency of grainy peanut butter.
  2. Roast the veggies. Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange the sweet potatoes and tomatoes on one large or two small baking sheets. Drizzle all over with olive oil. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with ½ teaspoon of salt, the cumin, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the tomatoes with ¼ teaspoon EACH salt and sugar. Roast for 35-45 minutes until the potatoes are tender and caramelized at the edges.
  3. Cook the lentils with the water, tomato paste, and spices. Simmer as directed until just tender. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
  4. Arrange the bowls with scoops of quinoa and lentils followed by some sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and a scoop of walnut kale pesto.
  5. Flaky salt, crushed red pepper, or cracked black pepper would be showing off, and is always encouraged.


I usually make these components separately then assemble them right before I’m ready to eat. However, to make this in one hour, follow these steps:

1.      Start the oven for the roasted veggies. Prep the veggies and arrange them on a baking sheet. When the oven is hot, bake per directions, set a timer.

2.      When the veggies are in, start the quinoa and lentils at the same time; they both will simmer for about 15 minutes (Unless your package directions vary a lot from mine. If so, start the thing that cooks the LONGEST first! Use timers!)

3.      While the veggies, lentils, and quinoa are cooking at the same time, whip up the pesto.

4.      Look at you go, you organized kitchen master.

Do not fret about this meal! It is DELICIOUS as written, but the options for simplifying it or changing it up are endless.

Some ideas:

·        Sub the quinoa with farro, leftover rice, or any other grain you like.

·        Roast any veggies you have, enjoy, or can use in other dishes throughout the week.

·        Use jarred pesto or any other sauce you like: hummus, tahini sauce, or even vinaigrette.

·        If you don’t have turmeric or curry powder for the lentils, cook them in some chicken or veggie broth instead of water for extra flavor.

This bowl is gluten free as written. Be sure to check labels on spices and other ingredients just in case!

Make ahead: The pesto can be made several days in advance and kept in the fridge, or frozen for several months. All other components can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave. I adore this in particular for a Sunday dinner + double batch for lunches all week.

Keywords: Walnut kale pesto, kale and walnut pesto, kale walnut pesto, pesto walnut recipe, lentil bowls, lentil quinoa bowl, lentil bowl recipes, quinoa power bowl