Being vegan or plant-based doesn’t mean you forget the favorite flavor combinations from your “omnivore era” (if you had one). One of the comfort foods we loved (especially Andrew) was meatloaf, so we simply had to create a plant-based alternative. After a few experiments, we came up with this Lentil Loaf! And like so many meals that we’ve vegan-ized, we realized it was the flavors around the meat that made it so great! The onions, garlic, herbs, and tangy ketchup were the real heroes. So forget the animal products – you can get everything you need (and make anything you want) with plants!
Lentil Loaf – Loaded with Goodness!
The key to this loaf is the combination of lentils, walnuts, and brown rice. These ingredients:
- Have a grainy texture like ground beef
- Give the recipe bulk
- Stick together when baked
Also, these foods pack a real nutrition punch. For example, lentils are full of protein, iron, and folate. Walnuts bring healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats to the table. And last but not least, brown rice is a whole grain that delivers fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Rice Tip: cook the brown rice in veggie broth before using it in this recipe to intensify the flavor!
Flavor to Savor
As we said earlier, it’s all the savory flavors that make lentil loaf such an excellent vegan alternative. Don’t hold back on the onion and garlic here, use the amount listed in the recipe. Also, ketchup is a convenient way to add contrasting sweet and vinegary flavors. Finally, you need a selection of earthy herbs. We suggest parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage.
Bound to Succeed
We’ve learned a couple of tricks that help the lentils, and other ingredients bind into a solid loaf. Firstly, use flax eggs – these are an effective alternative to chicken eggs, with none of the saturated fat or cholesterol. Secondly, it helps to mash the mixture up! We use a potato masher and work the mix until the lentils and rice are about half mashed and half chunky. Also, make sure your lentils are dry before adding them to the loaf, or it may end up soggy.
The Meal-Prep Option
Lentil loaf is a terrific option for meal-prep. After baking, it keeps in the fridge for a few days. So feel free to slice it up, and take a piece with you for lunch. This recipe also freezes well – you can keep it for at least a month that away. Again, if you slice it before freezing, you can grab it and go anytime!
You might also like to make the recipe ahead. For example, this is useful if you’re preparing for a holiday feast. In this case, you can prep the lentil loaf and store it in the fridge uncooked. Then, bake it just before it’s time to eat!
We hope you enjoyed replacing traditional meatloaf with this hearty vegan Lentil Loaf. If you tried it, please let us know what you think with a comment and a rating. Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better.
If you’re looking for some more hearty lentil recipes, check out our Lentil Bolognese and Spicy Lentil Pasta!Print
Lentil Loaf | Cozy, Comforting & Meal-prep Ready
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf / 10 slices 1x
It’s time to CHOW DOWN on delicious LENTIL LOAF – the perfect vegan alternative to meatloaf! Enjoy it as a cozy dinner, portable lunch, or Holiday meal!
- 1 cup dry brown rice (2 1/2 cups cooked)
- 2 cups + 6 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion (12oz/340grams), finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can lentils (15oz/425grams), drained, rinsed and patted dry
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs e.g. parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Cook brown rice with 2 cups of vegetable broth using your preferred method. We like to cook our brown rice on the stove top or by using an Instant Pot.
- Prepare flax eggs by mixing together ground flax seeds with the remaining 6 tablespoons of vegetable broth. Set aside to thicken.
- Toast the walnuts into a skillet pan over medium heat until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat to cool. Chop into small pieces and then set aside.
- Heat the skillet pan again over medium heat. Add olive oil, finely chopped onion and garlic, sauté until onion has softened, around 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Preheat the over to 350F/175C and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Into a mixing bowl add cooked brown rice, flax eggs, toasted walnut pieces, sautéed onion and garlic, drained lentils, ketchup, fresh herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper, mix well. Using a potato masher (or wooden spoon), mash the lentil mixture to breakdown the lentils and rice. Taste the lentil mixture and adjust seasoning to taste. Mashing will help bind the ingredients together and prevent the Lentil Loaf from falling apart.
- Spoon the lentil mixture into the lined loaf pan and place into the oven. Cook for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the lentil loaf comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, then remove the Lentil Loaf from the pan and cut using a serrated knife.
Enjoy a slice or two of your Lentil Loaf with a little ketchup, a drizzle of gravy and a side of steamed vegetables.
Store Lentil Loaf in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 3 days. Reheat as needed in the microwave.
- This recipe is great for meal prep! You can make this recipe a few days ahead, and even store in the freezer for up to a month.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: lentil loaf, vegan lentil loaf, vegan meatloaf
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