My wife recently had her fifth knee surgery–an impressive milestone, although maybe not one to brag about at age 32. Two very generous, thoughtful friends (who also happen to be parents of triplets and somehow remain intentionally connected to the world) gifted us meals from a local meal delivery service focused on healthy meals. To my delight, one of the meal selections the final week was a lentil loaf. I was immediately hooked on the idea and knew I needed to create a vegan version.
Guilty pleasure: vegan-izing meat eater classics.As a vegan, meatloaf is clearly out of the question, but this recipe serves the same hearty density with a bolder spice profile than your typical loaf. Side benefit: it won’t make you feel like you need to take a nap immediately after. This lentil loaf is flavorful, with plenty of spices like thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, and chipotle powder. It’s also chock-full of veggies including bell peppers, celery, carrots, garlic, and mushrooms. Lentil loaf an ideal dish for fall or winter when you’re seeking something warm and comforting.
If you make this simple lentil loaf, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating the recipe or taking a picture and tagging it #plantandvine on Instagram.
lentil loaf and wine pairings
This lentil loaf is super fun to pair with wine. The “meatiness” of the lentils and mushrooms provide a lot of room to stretch your wine wings and explore. Here are some of my favorites:
- Pinot Noir: Classic red wine pairing for the earthy mushrooms and lentils. Cherry, raspberry, cloves, and mushroom flavors will complement the essence of this recipe’s flavors.
- Suggested Regions: Burgundy, France or Willamette Valley, Oregon
- Tempranillo: Dried fig, cedar, tobacco, cherry, and dill. Look for a Reserva or Gran Reserva to capture the longer effects of oak aging – more pronounced baking spices, cinnamon, and leather notes. Complementary flavors pair well with the lentil loaf.
- Suggested Regions: La Rioja, Spain
- Chardonnay: If white wine is more your jam, a full-bodied chardonnay can support the creamy nuttiness of the lentil mushroom combination and provide some refreshing fruit bursts of flavor.
- Suggested Regions: Sonoma or Napa Valley, California
Vegan Lentil Loaf
Delicious and hearty vegan lentil loaf, chockfull of healthy vegetables and spices.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- Category: Vegan, Vegetarian, Main
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American, Vegan, Healthy
- 1 cup dry green or brown whole lentils, cooked
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1/3 cup water
- Oil for cooking vegetables
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 4-6 ounces Crimini mushrooms, quartered then diced
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
Lentil Loaf Glaze:
- 6 tablespoons organic ketchup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Rinse lentils. In large pot, add vegetable broth, bay leaves, salt, and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft. Once done, remove lid and set aside to cool, about 15 minutes. Do not drain. Once cooled, remove bay leaves.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In small mixing bowl, combine flaxseed meal and water. Set aside uncovered in refrigerator for 10 minutes or more. This will thicken upon sitting.
- In frying pan with high sides, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Add all spices, mixing until evenly dispersed. Sauté about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.
- Separate about 1/2 of lentils. Using an immersion blender, food processor, or potato masher, coarsely blend lentils. You don’t want a soup level of smoothness but you do want to soften the consistency.
- Combine sautéed vegetables, lentils, oats, oat flour and flax egg, stirring until well mixed. Taste, adding salt, pepper, and any additional spices as desired.
- Place mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper overlapping the sides of the pan for easy removal. Make sure to fill mixture all the way to the edges of the pan.
- Prepare glaze by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and stirring until incorporated. Spread 2/3 of glaze over top of loaf.
- Bake in oven for about 45 – 55 minutes. Let cool a bit, about 10-15 minutes, before slicing. The texture will be less messy the longer the loaf is allowed to cool.
- Store individual slices in airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.
*Recipe is a guide. Adapt as needed. Adapted from The Simple Veganista.
**Lentil loaf texture is softer than regular meatloaf so be prepared for a delicious, slightly messy experience!
Keywords: vegan lentil loaf, lentil loaf, meatloaf alternative