Find tried and tested recipes from McCarthy Stone homeowners, teams and the restaurant chefs in our assisted living (Retirement Living PLUS) developments

Winter Roots Casserole with Cheddar & Thyme Dumplings recipe

This deliciously warming winter stew recipe is packed with healthy vegetables and topped with indulgent cheesy dumplings,

Posted 04 November 2021
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Prep: 2 hours (including cooking) Cook: 120 minutes


For the casserole

  • Chantenay Carrots 250g
  • Onions 200g
  • Mushrooms 200g
  • Squash 120g
  • New Potatoes 400g
  • Garlic 25g
  • Thyme Sprigs 3g
  • Green Lentils 40g
  • Red Wine (or for alcohol free 50ml red wine vinegar) 100ml
  • Tomato Paste 30g
  • Tinned Tomatoes (Chopped) 400g
  • Veggie margarine 60g
  • Virgin Rapeseed Oil 20ml
  • Plain Flour 50g
  • Vegetable Stock from cubes 2Ltr
  • Bay Leaves 2

For the dumplings

  • Self Raising Flour 120g
  • Vegetarian Suet 35g
  • Strong Cheddar Cheese 40g
  • Fresh Thyme chopped 1g
  • Water Approx. 75ml
  • Salt & Black Pepper to season



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and put in a high sided roasting tin
  2. Clean the carrots, dice the onions, halve the mushrooms, dice the squash and potatoes into bite size pieces. Peel the garlic but leave the cloves whole.
  3. Place 500ml of the pre-made stock onto the stove and add 40g of green/Puy lentils, bring to the boil and simmer until just soft. Remove and cool but keep the strained stock.
  4. Place the carrots, mushrooms, squash and potatoes into a bowl and dress with the oil and seasoning. Toss to make sure all the veggies are coated then place these into the hot roasting tin and roast for 15 minutes to get some colour to the vegetables.
  5. Remove the veggies to one side and place your roasting tin onto a gas/electric hob on a low light. Add the veggie margarine and once melted toss in the onions and garlic, taking time and stirring to allow them to become golden brown. Now add the flour and stir to make a roux, cook for a few minutes before adding the tomato paste and then cook for a further few minutes.
  6. Now add the red wine and whisk into the paste, once this is fully combined then begin adding the hot pre-made stock always stirring to avoid any lumps.
  7. Now add the vegetables back to the pot along with the, lentils, thyme sprigs and bay leaves, bring to the boil before turning off the heat and covering with first parchment paper and then double foil. Place into your oven for one hour.
  8. While the casserole is in the oven prepare your dumplings by weighing out the dry ingredients and adding to a bowl, add the water a little at a time until the dough comes together. Once the dough is combined then rest in the fridge covered for 20 minutes. Once ready to add to your casserole then divide the dough into 12 equal dumplings in readiness ensuring they are compact and a nice even round shape.
  9. Remove the foil lid from your casserole and just make sure your veggies are cooked, if not then replace the lid and cook until they are. If you need any more liquid, then use the stock from your lentils.
  10. Once cooked remove the lid and evenly spread the dumplings around the surface of your casserole. Plunge them into the liquid as they will rise to the top as they bake and crisp up.
  11. Place back into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the tops of the dumplings are poking out and golden brown.
  12. Enjoy with lots of glazed green vegetables!
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