Easiest Lentils & Zucchini Cakes Recipe

Jump to Recipe

Ok, let me just say that you are about to try little savory bites of heaven!  Crispy outside, soft and warm inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are so satisfying!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note.  The scallion gives a mild onion flavor.  But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini.  Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil.

Delicious and Good for You!

Lentils are not just a vegetarian staple, they are actually VERY versatile and very healthful. They have high levels of soluble fiber. Fiber is important for helping keep cholesterol low, supporting heart health and digestive health. Lentils are also high in protein, and a good source of iron. If you are a newcomer to the world of lentils, try this recipe and I promise, you will be Loving Lentils too!  

BTW, Lentils are a great protein to make a ton of and use in different ways.  You can use in soup, in these cakes, or in my Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe.  Click here to get 30 More Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas.

Zucchini is also healthy!  I mean, obviously, it is a veggie.  But here’s how!  Zucchini is low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A.  Zucchini is also rich in antioxidants that are linked to benefits for your eyes, skin, and heart.   I love using Zucchini in my Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Zucchini recipe and my Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For shredding the zucchini, I simply used the large-hole side of a grater. You could also use a food processor with a shredding insert if you have it.

You also need a large frying pan to cook the zucchini cakes. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR ZUCCHINI CAKES RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

Cook the lentils on the stove in water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain the lentils, then mash with a fork so that about 50% are mashed.
Fork mashing cooked lentils for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

While the lentils cook, finely slice the scallions. Using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini. After it is all shredded, squeeze out and discard the excess water.

Add the shredded zucchini, scallions, flour, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add additional flour, a little at a time, until it thickens up.

Parmesan, flour, shredded zucchini and lentils in a bowl for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Can I add or swap ingredients in this recipe?

Yes, as long as you have the general measurements and include the flour and egg to bind it all together.  You can swap the Parmesan out for another cheese.  Shredded cheddar, gruyere, or manchego would all be fantastic.  You can swap out the lentils as well.  In their place you could add black beans or chickpeas.  Or you could add more of the zucchini.  You may need a tablespoon more flour if you remove a creamy bean from the recipe just to help it all hold together.

You can also add herbs, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic, and a great many other seasonings.  I kept these simple in flavor as that’s what I found my kids wanted.

Can I make this Zucchini Cakes Recipe ahead?

Yes, you can make the mixture and store it in the fridge sealed airtight for up to 3 days before cooking them.  You can also form the cakes and freeze them raw.  From the freezer, you can bake them in a 400 F degree oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked through and browned on the outside.

COOK YOUR ZUCCHINI CAKES RECIPE

Divide the mixture loosely in the bowl into 8-9 equal large cakes or 16-18 small cakes.  Add oil to a large skillet, heat to medium, add pancakes and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes cooking in a frying pan. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes starting to cook in a frying pan with center cake flipped over. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Serve with my Mind-blowing Remoulade or a Sriracha and Mayo mixture.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Lentil Zucchini Cakes Recipe

Crispy outside, soft inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are such satisfying little bites of heaven!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note.  The scallion gives a mild onion flavor.  But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini.  Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil. They make a perfect main dish or side! #zucchinicakes #lentilrecipes #zucchinirecipes #vegetarian

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword Lentils, zucchini
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 cakes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large zucchini 2 cups grated
  • 1/4 cup scallion finely sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked lentils drained cook according to directions on bag
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • ½ cup parmesan freshly grated
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Cook the lentils by adding 1/2 cup of uncooked lentils to 2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat to lowest setting, cover and let cook for 15 minutes until tender.

  2. While the lentils cook, finely slice the scallions. Using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini. After it is all shredded, squeeze out and discard the excess water.

  3. Drain the lentils and then transfer to a large bowl. Mash the lentils with a fork so that about 50% are mashed. Add the shredded zucchini, scallions, flour, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add additional flour, a little at a time, until it thickens up.

    Parmesan, flour, shredded zucchini and lentils in a bowl for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.
  4. Divide the mixture loosely in the bowl into 8-9 equal large cakes or 16-18 small cakes.

Cook the Lentil and Zucchini Cakes!

  1. Add oil to a large skillet, heat to medium, add pancakes and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.
    Lentil and Zucchini Cakes starting to cook in a frying pan with center cake flipped over. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.
  2. Serve with my Mind-blowing Remoulade or a Sriracha and Mayo mixture.

Smothered Chicken with Bacon and Tomatoes

Jump to Recipe
Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes and fettuccine on a plate with pan in background. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

Oh, hello, Bacon!  Welcome to my dinner, you’ve just made it a party!  This Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes is a STRESS-FREE dinner that your entire family will LOVE!

You will love it because it’s so easy to make!  Your family will love it because it’s loaded with delicious big comforting flavor.  The chicken is smothered in a creamy sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.  And the chicken seasoned with sage is the perfect moist vessel for all of this goodness!

This recipe cooks up quickly on the stove in a skillet or pan.  It pairs perfectly with pasta, rice, quinoa, or heck, a flip flop!

Cooking from the Freezer

When weeknights are busy, it’s so nice to have a stocked freezer to turn to.  I’m not talking about frozen pizzas or frozen TV dinners.  I’m talking about fresh ingredients that you can easily prep ahead and grab for quick cooking dinners.  

This Smothered Chicken with Bacon and Tomatoes recipe is one of those grab-from-the-freezer easy dinners!  Bacon stores amazingly in the freezer and of course chicken breasts do as well.  Pre-sliced scallions also freeze nicely and are great when they are being added to a cooked dish.  They are not great it you want to use as a garnish. 

Simply pull the chicken out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the fridge.  For the bacon, just cut off as much as you need while still frozen, then put the rest back in the freezer.  

Now, for the cherry tomatoes, you do not want to freeze them.  But, these are great to have on hand for a variety of quick meals from breakfast to lunch to dinner!

Click here to get my printable cheat sheet with 10 Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need a large skillet/frying pan for this recipe. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

Oh, I also like to cut my raw chicken with kitchen shears, but you can also just cut with a knife. And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR CHICKEN WITH BACON AND TOMATOES

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you prepare in the day(s) ahead.

 Slice the bacon into small bits.

Cut the chicken breasts into 2 pieces each and then season with a mixture of the ground sage, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Finely slice the scallions. Mince the garlic.  Store the bacon and chicken separately in the fridge until ready to cook.  The scallions and garlic can be stored together in the fridge.

Hand seasoning raw chicken on plate for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

How far ahead can I prep the chicken?

You can cut and season the raw chicken breasts up to 3 days in advance.  Be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.  Once you cook the chicken, you can save it for another 3 days. 

Do I have to use Bacon?

You can skip the bacon, but it’s what brings the smokiness to this dish.  If you still want that flavor, you can add some paprika to the seasoning for the chicken.  You can also swap the bacon with pancetta if you want that pork flavor without the smokiness. 

COOK YOUR YOUR CHICKEN, BACON, AND TOMATOES

Preheat a large frying pan on high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for 7-8 minutes to render the fat and crisp up the bacon. Transfer the bacon to a plate on a paper towel using a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

Bacon bits cooking in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

To the bacon fat, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook 5 minutes on the first side and then 2 minutes on the other side. Then cover the pan and cook for another 3-5 minutes to cook through until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F or all pink is gone in the center. Transfer chicken to the plate with the bacon.Chicken searing in pan with bacon bits on a plate to the side for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

Cooked chicken in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

To the same pan, add the garlic, the tomatoes and half of the scallions. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to pop and get juicy.

Bacon Tomato Sauce in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the remaining broth to the pan and then whisk in the half and half slurry. Bring up to a simmer while stirring as it thickens. Add back the chicken and half of the bacon bits. Let cook for 3 minutes so that everything comes together. Serve over Fettuccine.

Bacon Tomato Sauce in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes.  The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.

Can I freeze this after it’s cooked?

Yes, the Chicken, Bacon, and Tomatoes (without the pasta!) will freeze very nicely.  You can store it in the freezer for up to 4 months.  However, don’t freeze the pasta.  Make that fresh when you defrost and warm up the chicken again.  

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes in a pan. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
5 from 1 vote
Print

Smothered Chicken, Bacon, and Tomatoes

This Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes is a STRESS-FREE dinner that your entire family will LOVE! You will love it because it's so easy to make!  Your family will love it because it's loaded with delicious big comforting flavor.  The chicken is smothered in a creamy sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.  And the chicken seasoned with sage is the perfect moist vessel for all of this goodness! #chickendinnerideas

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Bacon, chicken, skillet dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Fettuccine
  • 1 lb Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Sage
  • 4 oz Bacon
  • 10 oz Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 4 Scallions
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 cup Half and Half
  • 1 tbsp Corn Starch

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Measure out and mix in a small bowl, the ground sage, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Cut the chicken breasts in 2 pieces each and season with the seasoning mixture.

    Hand seasoning raw chicken on plate for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  2. Slice the bacon. Finely slice the scallions. Mince the garlic.

Cook

  1. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Add a tsp of salt to the pasta water and then add the fettuccine pasta to the boiling water and stir so they noodles do not stick together. Bring back to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes until al dente. Save 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and add it back to the pot and cover while you finish the chicken.

  2. Preheat a large frying pan on high heat. Add the bacon slices and cook for 7-8 minutes to render the fat and crisp up the bacon. Transfer the bacon to a plate using a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

    Bacon bits cooking in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  3. To the bacon fat, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook 5 minutes on the first side and then 2 minutes on the other side. Then cover the pan and cook for another 3-5 minutes to cook through until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F or all pink is gone in the center. Transfer chicken to the plate with the bacon.

    Cooked chicken in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  4. To the same pan, add the garlic, the tomatoes and half of the scallions. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to pop and get juicy.

    Bacon Tomato Sauce in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, make the corn starch slurry by mixing the half and half and the corn starch in a small bowl.

  6. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the remaining broth to the pan and then whisk in the half and half slurry. Bring up to a simmer while stirring as it thickens.

    Bacon Tomato Sauce in pan for Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.
  7. Add back the chicken and half of the bacon bits. Let cook for 3 minutes so that everything comes together. If the sauce is too thick, you can whisk in another 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Serve over Fettuccine.

    Smothered Chicken with Bacon, and Tomatoes in a pan. The chicken is smothered in a thickened sauce infused with smokey and salty bacon flavor.  Cherry tomatoes give a sweet and tangy pop.