Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #277: Mashed Potato Lentil Hotdish

By Becca Sirek, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota]

Photo credit: benhosg/Flickr

Having grown up in Minnesota, I’m very fond of the culinary masterpiece that is hotdish. For those of you who are unfamiliar, hotdish is a warm, comforting combination of whatever is found in the pantry or freezer (some may know it as casserole). Nothing sounds more appealing as we begin to snowshoe into winter!

My personal favorite is tater tot hotdish. This recipe is a spin off of that dish, with canned lentils serving as a healthier substitute for the ground beef that is found in traditional recipes. Lentils are a plant-based source of protein that are full of fiber and nutrients. Additionally, the tater tots are replaced with mashed potatoes, providing the same starchy goodness with less saturated fat. Diets low in saturated fat can lower blood cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

Mashed Potato Lentil Hotdish

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 lbs. of potatoes (about 4 large potatoes), peeled and diced
  • 1 cup of 1% milk
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion (about 1 ½ cups), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup of carrots, diced
  • 1 cup of frozen green beans
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 19 oz. can of lentil soup, drained
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 14 oz. can of vegetable broth
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare mashed-potato topping: Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). Drain water from pot. Add milk, 2 tbsp. butter, salt and pepper. Mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
  3. Prepare vegetable filling: Warm large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp. butter, onion, garlic, carrots, corn and green beans. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes). Next, stir in canned lentils and thyme. Sprinkle flour over the lentil-vegetable mixture and stir to evenly coat. Stir in broth. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Spread lentil-vegetable mixture into baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes prepared in step one.
  5. Bake in oven for 8–10 minutes until mashed potato top is golden.


  • Leave the potatoes unpeeled for a more textured and fiber-full mashed potato topping.
  • Like all hotdishes, this recipe is flexible to fit what you have on hand. Swap out any of the given vegetables for the canned, frozen or fresh variety of your choice.
  • Substitute ground beef for the canned lentil soup for a more traditional hotdish.

Nutrition Information:

Per serving: 360 calories, 7g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 10 g protein, 63 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 305 mg sodium.

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