Carolyn’s Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

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Carolyn's Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

This Community Recipe is Carolyn’s Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe. A bastilla is a traditional North African meat and pastry dish. Carolyn’s vegan version is a beautiful spiral of crunchy filo pastry, stuffed with a gently spiced lentil filling. 

Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your vegan recipes on the Jewish Food Hero blog. When you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here. This series is all about sharing healthy plant-based and vegan recipes. We are creating a positive community around food and sharing.

Carolyn's Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

All about Carolyn Tanner Cohen

Carolyn lives in Toronto, Canada and grew up in Montreal. She has 3 young-adult children. When she has free time, she is very active and loves to bike, ski, hike, go to restaurants and travel. Carolyn’s all-time favorite quick dinner is pasta with Italian tuna, capers, sun dried tomatoes and olives.

Carolyn's Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

Delicious Dish Cooking School

Carolyn is the owner of Delicious Dish Cooking School in Toronto, established in 2002. In March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic, Carolyn pivoted the in-person cooking school to a successful virtual cooking program. As a result of moving online, she runs cook-together classes daily. She is a recipe developer, food stylist, food photographer and culinary teacher. You can see some of her stunning dishes on her Instagram account and via the Delicious Dish Facebook Page. Carolyn makes a variety of dishes, including tofu soba noodle bowls and potato latkes, for instance.

Cookbook inspiration

Right now, Carolyn is reading:

Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat

Her all time favorite cookbooks are:

Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook by Carla Lalli Music

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Shuk: From Market to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking by Einat Admony and Janna Gur

How was Carolyn’s Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe created?

A Bastilla is a classic Moroccan meat or pigeon pie. It is usually served at large gatherings and on special occasions. This is Carolyn’s vegan version of the classic. The traditional dish is shaped like a large, flattened disc. For her creation, Carolyn decided to make it into a large coiled pie. As a result, everyone gets plenty of crunchy filo surrounding the silky lentil filling! 

The version shared here is vegan. But if you eat eggs and dairy, you could just as easily switch the flax eggs for hens eggs and the oil for butter. 

Carolyn's Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

A make ahead dish

Carolyn’s Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe can be cooked right before eating, and even cooked a day in advance then reheated in a 400˚F oven for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, it can be assembled, frozen raw and cooked straight from frozen when needed. When doing it this way, simply add about 10-15 minutes extra to the cooking time.

Carolyn's Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

A vegan alternative to eggs

Flax eggs are a nutritious and successful alternative to hens eggs. The great news is they are also really simple to make! To make one flax egg: in a small bowl or cup, mix a tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water. Leave to stand for 5 minutes or so, then use in place of egg in your recipe.

Key Ingredients for Carolyn’s Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

Vegan + Kosher Filo Dough

Quinoa flakes

Canned Lentils

Poppy Seeds

Dried Rose petals

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Carolyn's Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

Carolyn’s Vegan Lentil Bastilla Recipe

  • Author: Carolyn Tanner Cohen
  • Prep Time: 40
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12-18


For the filling:

2 tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped 

1 clove garlic, minced 

2 large carrots, grated, about 1 cup

2 tbs. finely chopped parsley or cilantro

1 tsp. ground cumin 

1 tsp. kosher salt 

2 19-ounce cans of lentils, drained and rinsed 

2 flax eggs 

3 tbs. quinoa flakes or panko crumbs

For the Bastilla Assembly:

1 box of filo dough, you will need 6 sheets 

½ cup neutral tasting oil 

1 tbsp. poppy seeds 

Big pinch flaked sea salt 

A sprinkle of dried edible rose petals for garnish, optional


Make the filling: 

  1. Sauté the onion in a little oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the carrot and cook for another 5 minutes. Add cumin, salt and lentils, cook for another 5 minutes. 

  2. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes. 

  3. Mix up your flax eggs – see note above.

  4. Add flax eggs and quinoa flakes or panko to the lentil and vegetable mix. Mix well until everything is combined, and set to one side. 


To Assemble the Bastilla: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. 

  2. Unfold one of the packages of filo on your work surface. Brush the bottom and sides of the baking pan with oil.

  3. Remove one sheet of filo from the stack and place it on your work surface with the short side close to you. Lightly oil the sheet of filo, layer a second sheet on top and oil that too.

  4. Place about ¾ cup of filling along the bottom edge of the filo sheets. Now, roll the filled sheets away from you, like a carpet (not tightly). Lay the rolled carpet along the perimeter of the prepared pan. 

  5. Repeat with two more stacks so that you have three carpet rolls in total,

  6. One by one, carefully move the rolls onto the prepared baking pan, arranging them in a spiral shape. Brush the top of the coiled bastilla with oil and sprinkle with poppy seeds and flaked sea salt. 

  7. Place the tray into the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. 

  8. Before serving, sprinkle with rose petals. 

More Community Recipes

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to mix up our regular recipe rotation. Our Community Recipes feature is for just that – to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community.  Since you’ve read Carolyn’s, do you feel inspired to share your own recipe? Don’t forget to get in touch to share your vegan recipe too!

Check out these other recipes from our community:



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