Vegan Lentil Loaf is a healthy and delicious vegan version of meatloaf that’s made with a combination of, green lentils, portobello mushrooms, quinoa and vegetables. It’s topped with a sweet and tangy balsamic ketchup sauce and is perfect for a vegetarian/vegan-friendly holiday main!

lentil loaf sliced topped with fresh parsley

I’ve been working making some delicious dishes for Thanksgiving, like Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese and pumpkin pie bars, but I wanted to share a recipe that would work well as a vegetarian main.

I made this Vegan Lentil Loaf for Canadian Thanksgiving (which we celebrated mid-October) and everyone loved it!

The portobello mushrooms give the lentil loaf a really hearty and meaty texture, and the lentils make it filling and satisfying. You could also add in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts if you want it to be even more filling and hearty, but I found it wasn’t necessary for this recipe.

One thing I love about this lentil loaf is that it holds its shape really well. (Some veggie loaves tend to be crumbly and fall apart easily.) This loaf also stores well in the fridge for up to a week.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • The combination of portobello mushrooms, lentils and quinoa make this loaf super-rich and hearty.
  • This recipe is fantastic to serve up for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner as a main dish or even as a side dish.
  • This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
  • The glaze on this lentil loaf is so delicious made with three simple ingredients: ketchup, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.

What goes into a lentil loaf?

  • Lentils: green lentils or french lentils are best
  • Portobello mushrooms: you can substitute other mushrooms, but portobello work best for a meaty texture.
  • Veggies: Onions, garlic, carrot, celery, red pepper.
  • Herbs: I like to use dried oregano, thyme, and parsley, but any combination of your favourite dried herbs will work
  • Red wine: to deglaze the pan and help build rich flavour
  • Tomato paste: gives a nice balance of acidity to the recipe
  • Ketchup: Adds a hint of sweetness and vinegar
  • Tamari or soy sauce: Use tamari for gluten-free, or soy sauce if you prefer
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce: The secret ingredient. This adds that savoury flavour to the recipe that really ties it all together
  • Quinoa: you can substitute brown rice or any cooked grain you love
  • Oats: to help bind everything together, you could also use breadcrumbs
  • Flax eggs: To bind everything together. If making this dish vegetarian, you could also use a regular egg.

How to make a lentil loaf

Chop up the veggies then sautee them in a pan with a bit of oil. You want to let the veggies cook down for 10-15 minutes. It’s important not to rush this step, this is where all the flavour will build! Once the veggies are cooked deglaze the pan with some red wine then add the tomato paste, and seasoning.

A food processor with veggies, lentils, flax oats and quinoa in it

Cook the lentils in vegetable broth, then add them to a food processor with the veggies, quinoa and oats. Pulse it up just a bit so there are still some chunks remaining.

a food processor with lentil loaf mixture in it

Line an 8×4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper then pour the loaf mixture into the pan, pressing down evenly.

Lentil loaf in a pan

Mix the sauce ingredients together then spread the sauce to completely cover the top of the loaf.

A spoon spreading sauce onto a lentil loaf

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes on the counter before removing from the pan.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Take your time to brown the veggies in the pan. You want to do this for at least 10 minutes, but ideally 15. The veggies will cook down and brown nicely and will build up flavour for the loaf.
  • Don’t over pulse the mixture in the food processor. You don’t want it to be completely pureed. There should be whole pieces of the lentils left for texture.
  • Line your loaf pan with parchment paper. This will prevent the loaf from sticking and make it easier to remove the loaf from the pan once it’s cooked.
lentil loaf sliced on a serving tray

More lentil recipes to try

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lentil loaf sliced topped with fresh parsley

Vegan Lentil Loaf

  • Author: Jess
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A meat-less loaf recipe made with lentils, portobello mushrooms and quinoa


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green lentils (uncooked, about 3 cups cooked)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds+6 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 portabello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan worshershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup oats

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Cook the lentils according package directions in water or in vegetable broth, then drain. (I recommend using vegetable broth.) 
  2. Mix the ground flax seeds with the water and let sit for 5 minues to gel.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrot, celery, red pepper and mushrooms and let brown in the pan for 10-15 minutes, stiring constantly so the veggies don’t burn. Sesason with salt, pepper, paprika and dried herbs.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium then deglaze the pan with red wine. Add the ketchup, tomato paste tamari, and vegan worshershire sauce and mix everything together. 
  5. Add the veggie mixture to a food processor with the lentils, quinoa oats, and flax eggs. Pulse just a bit until combined, but not too much so there is still texture.
  6. Line an 8×4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Pour the lentil mixture into the pan spreading evenly.
  7. To make the glaze mix the ketchup, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup together, then spread evenly onto the loaf. 
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
  9. Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.

Notes

Don’t rush cooking the vegetables in the pan. You want them to brown. If they start to brown too much, reduce your heat a bit. 

I recommend cooking the lentils in broth rather than water. This will help infuse the lentils with more flavour. 

Don’t overpulse the mixture in the food processor. You want to leave some texture. 

Don’t try and remove the loaf from the pan while it’s still hot. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/10th recipe
  • Calories: 177
  • Sugar: 5.5g
  • Sodium: 328mg
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 8g

Keywords: vegan meatloaf recipe, meatloaf with lentils

If you tried this Vegan Lentil Loaf or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!