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The Best Lentil Loaf

What you need: 

2 cups red lentils
4 cups water or broth
1 large onion, very finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
3 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (such as Annie's), or more to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
salt, to taste
Glaze, optional:
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin with placing red lentils and water/broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low and simmer, covered, until lentils are cooked and mushy, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in a food processor pulse onion and garlic until very finely chopped. Add to a heated pan with oil and saute until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Put aside.
3. In the food processor, pulse walnuts and parsley until finely ground. Put aside. When lentils are done, add walnut mixture, onion mixture and all remaining ingredients to pot and mix well. Taste and season accordingly.
4. Scoop into a loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving to set. If using optional glaze, during the last 20 minutes of baking, mix ketchup and brown sugar, and spread on top of loaf for a sweet and savory glaze.
Source of recipe: This is inspired by Colleen Patrick Goudreau's "Old Fashioned Lentil Loaf" - this recipe has a bit of a stronger flavor and when you use red Lentils, it is virtually fool-proof to give you a dense, delicious lentil loaf that can slice very easily! Enjoy with some vegan mashed potatoes, sauteed kale and whatever else your heart desires. Perfect for the holidays or to impress non-vegan friends. My family is full of omnivores but I did make an entire Vegan Christmas feast for them last year, and this had rave reviews!

Preparation Time: 
30 minutes, Cooking time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 
45 minutes
Recipe Category: 




I just made this and it is way too soft to treat it as a meat loaf.  Perhaps brown lentils, after cooking and mashing, would be a better choice.


This was very tasty, but it didn't 'loaf up' as well as I'd hoped... however, due to pantry-stocking issues I did have to sub 1/2 cup oatmeal powder (whole oats pulsed in the blender) for bread crumbs, so that could be the problem. Definitely use the glaze-- I added a bit of liquid smoke and a few dashes of hot sauce, for a sweet-and-spicy-barbecue kinda flavor, and it was very good!

We had it with mashed potatoes and gravy, and that worked so well that I may try this as a casserole next time instead of a loaf: glaze on the bottom of a casserole dish, then lentil mixture, then mashed potatoes spread on top; maybe bake covered 35/ uncovered 10 to brown a little, then serve with gravy on the side... hmmm...!

The flavor was excellent, and I'm sure I'll use the recipe again somehow, either tinkering with the texture (using fresh or dry breadcrumbs instead of --or along with?-- ground oats) to make it firm up more as a loaf, or else as a casserole... yummy, thanks for the recipe!


Mine turned out kind of mushy but very yummy. My family loved it, I will absolutely be making this again.


This recipe tasted super good, but unfortunately, it never really set up.  It was totally mushy, which my omni-family had a really hard time with.  :-\

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