Vegan lentil load is a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and delicious loaf made using vegetables and lentils. It is a perfect combination of healthy vegan ingredients. Topped with a homemade ketchup glaze or barbecue sauce, this loaf is perfect for every occasion.
This Vegan Lentil Loaf recipe is so easy to prepare; it is incredibly delicious, it is the perfect Thanksgiving and Christmas main. As a matter of fact, I have made it so many times already, and it’s not even Thanksgiving as yet!
It is by far the best vegan meatloaf recipe, and it has a more classic meatloaf flavor than chickpea loaf or tofu. I served it with my VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE recipe and my SOUTHERN STYLE COLLARD GREENS.
This vegan lentil loaf recipe is super convenient to store as well. You can store leftover loaves for later use. Or use can get creative and use it for other purposes as well. I made a delicious sandwich with the leftover loaf with vegan mayo, red onions, and lettuce, and it was so yummy!
What is a Vegan Lentil Loaf?
You may have enjoyed a meatloaf before turning vegan. Meatloaf is a widely enjoyed dish that is usually served n special occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. However, vegan people can’t eat meatloaf for obvious reasons. Now, if you are craving a meatloaf or thinking about making something similar to meatloaf and something vegan (of course), you are going to love this recipe.
A vegan lentil loaf is a vegan imitation of a meatloaf. This lentil loaf is made from vegan ingredients, and gluten-free seasonings and is super delicious. It has a firm texture. The loaf is topped with a delicious rich homemade tomato ketchup, BBQ Cranberry Sauce, or Barbecue Sauce which makes it even more tasteful and enjoyable.
This delicious vegan lentil loaf recipe is divided into two main components, i.e., the lentil loaf and the vegan ketchup glaze. Here is everything you will need for this recipe.
For the Lentil Loaf:
- Lentils: The main ingredient used to make this Vegan Lentil Loaf is lentils. I have used green lentils for this recipe, but you can use brown lentils as well. Lentils are loaded with fiber, magnesium, and iron. So they are a very healthy choice and usually a staple in several parts of the world. You can either use precooked canned lentils or choose dried lentils as well. Whatever works best for you!
- Vegetable broth: You will need vegetable broth to cook the ingredients. Plus, it also adds a rich flavor to the dish. You can also use water for cooking, but that won’t add as much flavor as the vegetable stock does.
- Heart of palms or Carrots: The heart of the palm is rather a unique vegetable. It comes from the palm tree and has a milk flavor that is very similar to artichoke hearts. I used the hearts of palms that you can purchase from Trader Joe’s or any supermarket here in the USA or ONLINE. If you can’t find or don’t want to use the heat of palms, you can use carrots or radishes as well. Just make sure you finely chop or process the vegetables in a food processor.
- Walnuts: Walnuts not just add a crunchy texture but are loaded with nutrients. These nuts offer so many health benefits and, therefore, should be included in your daily diet.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is usually my favorite choice of oil besides avocado oil. It is rich in healthy fats and low in calories as well.
- Onion: Add onion for a slightly sweet and savory flavor. You can use either red onion, white onion, or yellow onion for this recipe. I prefer using red onions. The rest have a sweeter flavor.
- Garlic: You will find garlic in every recipe. That’s because I love what it does to the dish. It adds a depth of savory flavor which makes a difference in the overall taste of the dish. You can use garlic powder as well.
- Celery: Celery is a great vegetable. It has so many amazing benefits. Plus, its salty and savory flavor shines through this Vegan Lentil Loaf.
- Dried thyme leaves: Dried thyme leaves have an earthy, peppery flavor and a floral aroma. They add flavor to this dish. You can use any other herb you like as well.
- Ground paprika: Paprika has a sweet yet spicy flavor. The balance is really tasteful and adds flavor to this loaf.
- Parsley: Parsley adds a clean and herbaceous flavor to this lentil loaf.
- Bragg’s liquid aminos: This substitute for soy sauce has an umami and salty flavor very similar to soy sauce, and it is soy-free. You can also use tamari instead of Bragg’s liquid aminos.
- Nutritional yeast flakes: These add a savory and cheesy flavor to this dish. You might not feel the rich cheesiness, but the flavor will hit your taste buds in the right places.
- Oat flour: I have used oat flour for this recipe. It is not just rich in fiber but is also gluten-free, thus perfect for those with gluten allergies. You can easily find oat flour in the grocery store. Plus, you can make it at home as well by grinding oats.
- Ground flax seeds: Flax seeds are a superfood, but we are not using them for that only. They also act as a binding agent, ensuring the vegan lentil loaf doesn’t fall apart and has a body.
- Salt: Use salt as per your liking to adjust the flavor of this dish.
For Homemade Ketchup Glaze:
- Tomato paste: Tomato paste is a concentrated version of tomato puree. It is rich in tomato-y flavor and is a great ingredient that brings flavor to many dishes and stews.
- Water: Add water to adjust the consistency of the glaze.
- Maple syrup: It balances out the flavors of tomato with its sweet and caramel-like flavor.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a citrusy flavor to the glaze.
- Molasses: Molasses is a dark and very sweet syrup that adds sweetness to this glaze.
- Garlic powder: It adds a savory flavor to the glaze.
- Onion powder: It also adds a savory flavor to the glaze.
- Allspice: Allspice is a mix of powdered spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, black peppercorns, cloves, etc. it adds flavor and warmth to this glaze.
- Salt: Adding salt enhances the flavor of the glaze and makes it more savory.
How To Make Vegan Lentil Loaf?
I can’t tell you how delicious this easy lentil loaf was, it had the perfect texture, and I used an ingredient that is unique to this recipe. Here are a few simple steps you have to follow to make this declivous Vegan Lentil Loaf:
For the Lentil Loaf:
Step 1: First of all, Sort and rinse dry lentils. Add to a medium saucepan with vegetable broth or water and place the pan over medium heat. I prefer using vegetable broth to get the most flavor. Bring it to a boil.
Step 2: Now, Reduce heat and let it simmer for 40 minutes or until all liquid has evaporated and the lentils are mushy. Take the pan off the heat and transfer the lentils to a large bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher and set aside. Substitute with 2 (15-ounce cans) of lentils.
Step 3: Meanwhile, finely chop or process the carrot, radish, or heart of palms or radishes, in a food processor. Once done, transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
Step 4: Next, add walnuts and process until crumbly. Transfer the walnut to the bowl with lentils.
Step 5: in a large skillet, add olive oil and place it on medium-high heat. Once the oil heats up, add onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
Step 6: Now add garlic, celery, heart palm, dried thyme, paprika, and parsley. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
Step 7: Take the cooked vegetables off the heat and Transfer them to lentils. Mix well. Now add Bragg’s liquid aminos, nutritional yeast flakes, oat flour, ground flax seeds, and salt. Mix well until everything is well combined.
Step 8: Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper hanging over rims for easy removal. Spread the lentil mixture in the pan and set it aside.
For Homemade Ketchup Glaze
Step 9: In a bowl, add tomato paste, water, maple syrup, lemon juice, molasses, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, and salt. Mix well so that everything is well incorporated.
Step 10: Pour this mixture into a saucepan and place it over medium-low heat. Stir and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes or until it thickens up.
Step 11: Once the glaze is thick, pour it over the lentil loaf and place it in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for about 45 to 50 minutes.
Step 12: Once done, take it out of the oven and let the lentil loaf cool down for about 30 minutes. Now take it out of the pan using the free parchment paper edges and slice it. Make sure the loaf is firm before you slice it. Enjoy!
Tips For Making The Best Lentil Loaf
Here are a few tips you should keep in mind and follow when making vegan lentil loaf for better results:
- Make sure your lentil is being cooked, but all the liquid evaporated, which might mean cooking for longer or adding extra vegetable broth to ensure the lentils are tender. Substitute with 2 cans of lentils.
- Make your own oat flour; process rolled oats in a high-speed blender or food processor. Substitute with your favorite flour such as gluten-free flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, or sorghum flour.
- Use only green or brown lentils for this recipe. Red or black lentils won’t taste good and won’t work well.
- You can easily be substituted the heart of the palm with a carrot or radish. The heart of the palms with the lentils gives a great texture. I have tested the recipe with both carrots and radishes, and they were delicious!
- You can skip making ketchup glaze at home and Substitute homemade ketchup for a store-bought one as well. Sometimes you can use your favorite barbecue sauce as well.
- You can also add mushrooms to this recipe as they are known to bring a meaty texture to vegan dishes.
- This vegan meatloaf gets firmer as it cools, and the result isn’t mushy. This a great recipe to make the day before and reheat in a preheated oven at 350 F for 30 minutes. It is even better the next day, so it is the perfect make-ahead recipe.
Can you use anything other than Homemade Vegan Ketchup?
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- Categories: Gluten-Free, Vegan
- Course: Main Course
- Cuisines: American, Italian
- Seasons: Christmas, Thanksgiving
- Energy: 255 kcal / 1066 kJ
- Fat: 12 g
- Protein: 13 g
- Carbs: 27 g
- Preparation: 40 min
- Cooking: 50 min
- Ready in: 1 h 30 min
- For: 8 slices
- 1 cup green lentils, or brown lentils or 2 (15-ounce) cans
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, or water
- 1 medium carrot, or 1 cup of radish or, or heart of palm, processed in a food processor
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- 1/4 cup Bragg's liquid aminos, or Tamari sauce
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/3 cup oat flour, or your favorite flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Homemade Ketchup Glaze or use Barbecue Sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of onion powder
- Pinch of allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Sort and rinse lentils, add to a medium saucepan with vegetable broth or water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until all liquid has evaporated and the lentils are mushy. Transfer to a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher and set aside or rinse and drained canned lentils and mash.
- Meanwhile, finely chop or process carrot, or radish or heart of palms in a food processor followed by walnuts until crumbly, transfer the heart of palm/radish to a small bowl and the walnut to the bowl with lentils.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high, add onions and cook until soft about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, celery, carrots, or heart palm or radish, thyme, paprika, and parsley. Cook stirring frequently until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer cooked vegetables to lentils, stir to combine adding Bragg's liquid aminos, nutritional yeast flakes, oat flour, ground flax seeds and salt.
- Transfer to a 9x5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper hanging over rims for easy removal, spread top with homemade tomato ketchup or your favorite barbecue sauce and bake in a preheated oven for 50 minutes,
- Allow the loaf to cool for about 30 minutes before slicing so the loaf will firm up.
Homemade Ketchup Glaze
- Combine tomato paste, water, maple syrup, lemon juice, molasses, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice and salt in a bowl, mix well. Pour into a saucepan and cook for 5 minutes to thicken. Allow to cool and spread over the top of the loaf.
So excited to try this! I just took it out of the oven.
Andrea, that is so awesome, I hope you enjoy it. Thank you so much for trying!
Thank you for everything you do
Hi Michelle I’m going to make this for our Thanksgiving dinner.
I wanted to know if I could sub ketchup for the tomato paste when I make the glaze. Thanks
Chris, that actually sounds great, Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for your support.
Michelle I made the lentil loaf and added the glaze it looks amazing. How should I reheat it? Thx
WOW…this lentil loaf was amazing. I made it for Thanksgiving dinner the day before. I just had to reheat it in the microwave . I made your vegan brown gravy which was really delicious too. Husband wasn’t sure he liked the walnuts though, maybe next time I will just grind them a little longer. Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks for sharing this recipe
Just starting my vegan cooking adventures. If I use canned lentils for this recipe what volume would I use? Still One cup as you indicated for the dry brown or green lentils
Welcome Wendy, 1 cup dry lentils = about 2 ½ cups cooked lentils. Make sure to drain the can lentils properly. Hope you enjoy!
I’m obsessed. My only variations were carrots in place of the heart of palm and soy sauce instead of liquid aminos. I don’t have a loaf pan so I smushed it into a loaf-ish shape on a baking sheet and it was still perfect. This will absolutely become a staple. Thank you for the recipe!
Ash, I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your adjustments with us.
This looks amazing! I would love to try it but do you think it can be done without the flax seeds? Thank you!
Charlie, thank you. Yes, it will be fine without.
I made this last week and it’s so good! Not all lentil loafs are made the same, and this one was really tasty! Bonus: My 7 month old ate it up too! The mods I made were:
I never have celery or parsley on-hand, so I left those out…and I used carrots instead of hearts of palm. I also used The Simple Veganista’s glaze because it’s so simple (3T ketchup, 1T balsamic vinegar, 1T maple syrup) and I put the glaze on before baking.
All in all, I was very happy and will definitely be making this again!
Katie, thank you very much for sharing your adjustments with us. I’m so happy you enjoyed it.
I made this for Thanksgiving, and it was delicious!! I’ll be making this again for sure.