A perfect replacement for meatloaf – this lentil loaf is delicious and full of flavor! It’s perfect to serve for the holidays or just when you want a classic meatloaf made vegan style.
Getting ready for the holidays? This meatless meatloaf recipe is sure to be a crowdpleaser! I’ve served it at several Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and have always had raving reviews! (Except for that one friend who hates lentils and beans of all shapes and sizes. I still don’t understand how someone can hate beans. I digress.)
This loaf includes a wonderful glaze on top that really pulls the whole thing together. Some recipes call for barbecue sauce but I wanted to keep this healthier with less processed ingredients so I made my own. I love that this recipe has so much flavor, is filling, yet healthy as well!
This loaf comes together quickly which is perfect for that busy day when you just don’t feel like doing a ton of chopping. And with a few basic kitchen tools, you’ll have yourself a spectacular meal in no time!
Kitchen Equipment You’ll Need
- Blender – to make a vegetable slurry
- Food Processor – to quickly pulse everything together (can also use a blender that has a pulse option)
- Loaf pan (can also use a flat baking sheet and form the dough into a loaf)
How to Make
Cook the lentils the day before or used canned lentils. I find this results in a better texture than hot, just-cooked lentils. Brown lentils are best because they mash easier and give the final loaf a more meaty look.
I wanted the final result to be closer to traditional meatloaf without big chunks of vegetables. I also find that it holds together better this way. Too many chunky vegetables = crumbly, sad loaf. And we definitely don’t want that!
So instead, we roughly chop vegetables just to fit into our blender, then whiz them up into a finely chopped slurry. Having them finely diced like this also allows them to cook up faster. And you know I’m all about saving time in the kitchen!
Then we transfer the slurry to a skillet and cook through.
Meanwhile, pulse the lentils in a food processor with the oats, flax, bread crumbs, tomato paste, maple syrup, mustard, and parsley. Then add the lentil mixture to the vegetable slurry and mix to combine to form a “dough.”
Transfer the dough to your loaf pan or form a loaf shape on a flat baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes at 375°F or 190°C, then cover with the glaze/basting sauce and bake for another 10 minutes.
How to Store
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat, cut into slices first. This loaf reheats well in the microwave or you can reheat in an oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes.
You can make the dough and sauce a head of time, then store separately in the refrigerator for a day or two. When ready, follow the baking instructions. So easy!
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Vegan Lentil Loaf
- Food Processor or Blender
- 1/2 cup yellow onion
- 1 1/4 cup mushrooms roughly chopped
- 1 cup red pepper roughly chopped
- 1 large carrot roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups brown lentils cooked
- 1/2 cup rolled oats or quick oats
- 2 tbsps flax meal
- 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 1 tbsps pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsps yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- additional water to thin to basting consistency
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F or 190°C.
- Roughly chop the onion, mushrooms, red pepper, and carrot. Add them to the blender and pulse until it becomes a chunky slurry.
- In a large skillet, add the vegetable slurry with the minced garlic, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until heated through (5-10 minutes). Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the lentils, oats, flax, bread crumbs, tomato paste, maple syrup, mustard, and parsley. It should be slightly chunky; do not over pulse. Add lentil mixture to the vegetable slurry and mix to combine and form a “dough.”
- Use a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have a loaf pan, you may form the dough into a loaf shape on a baking sheet. Place dough into the loaf pan, and gently press the top to form a bread shape on top. Bake for 40 minutes.
- A few minutes before the 40 minutes are up mix together the basting ingredients in a small bowl. When the loaf is ready, drizzle the basting sauce on top and spread it around evenly. Return it to oven for an additional 10 minutes.
- When it’s done baking, remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Slice and enjoy!
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