Hearty, delicious, and full of plant-based protein. We're about to show you how to make the best lentil loaf ever! Seriously, you're not going to miss the meat in this one.
We often get asked about vegan meal ideas during the holidays since people have a harder time thinking up recipes to match their meat counterparts. This is exactly why we're so excited to share our lentil loaf with you today.
Try serving this at your next holiday meal and watch your fam go nuts! It's full of all those cozy flavors everyone loves about the holidays, just without the meat. Plus, it pairs incredibly well with all the other festive dishes like mashed potatoes or roasted veggies.
Have we mentioned how delicious this loaf is in leftover sandwiches? Throw a slice between two pieces of bread with a dollop of vegan mayo and mustard to make a perfect on-the-go snack (drool).
Alright, alright, enough about how easy, delicious, and budget-friendly this meal is. Let's get cookin' people!
Key Ingredients For The Best Lentil Loaf
- Lentils: this hearty, fiber-rich legume acts as the replacement for meat in this loaf. It's important to use the green or brown variety since red lentils will end up too mushy. Lentils are not only delicious, but they also contain high amounts of B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Lentil up!
- Walnuts: to add a crunchy texture and "umami" flavor, we threw walnuts into this dish. You can use any nut of your liking, but we personally believe walnuts are the top candidate for this job. You'll be happy to know they also help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff). So, crunch away!
- Mushrooms: in addition to walnuts, mushrooms are our go-to for a savory, "meaty" effect. They've got the best flavor and texture to replace animal products. Plus, mushrooms contain vitamin D, making them one of the only non-animal sources of this important nutrient. We personally use cremini, but there are tons of other varieties to try!
- Celery: never underestimate the power of celery in your cooking. We use it in our lentil loaf to enhance the other flavors and add more crunch. Even if you aren't a fan of celery on its own, there is very good reason to include it in this entrée. It provides flavors of citrus, pine, and a slight bitterness that adds depth to this recipe.
How to Make The Best Lentil Loaf
To start off with, you'll need to prepare your lentils. We highly recommend pre-cooking the lentils if you are making them from scratch to help prevent a soggy loaf. Alternatively, you can use canned lentils to save more time (just remember to rinse them well).
When your lentils are ready, dice all the veggies and cook them in some olive oil in a pan over low-medium. This will help release all the umami flavors that make this loaf so delicious.
Once the vegetables are tender, add those along with the lentils (leaving out a ½ cup), flaxseed, liquid aminos, walnuts, oat flour, bread crumbs, and seasonings to a large food processor. Pulse everything together, making sure to leave some chunks for texture.
Then, you'll transfer this mixture to a large bowl and stir in the rest of the lentils. After you taste test (a very important step), firmly press the lentil mixture into a parchment-lined loaf pan. Prepare the glaze by mixing all ingredients in a bowl, then brush over top of the unbaked loaf.
Bake your loaf uncovered until the glaze appears matte. Note: once you take it out of the oven, let the lentil loaf cool for about 15 minutes before slicing it.
How to Store This Lentil Loaf
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5-6 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze lentil loaf for up to 2-3 months.
For best results, store individual slices with parchment paper in between in a freezer-safe bag or container. Reheat individual slices in the microwave or oven at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.
Why You'll Love This Vegan Lentil Loaf
This lentil loaf is one of our favorite dishes to serve for dinner or lunch! It's:
- Super filling
- Full of flavor
- Great for leftovers
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment, rate it, and tag us on Instagram with #brokebankvegan. Happy eating!
Other Recipes You'll Enjoy
- Yellow Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup
- Easy Lentil Sloppy Joes
- The Best Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
- Vegan Basil Pesto Pasta
8 servings per container
Serving Size1 servings
- Amount Per ServingCalories253
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 1.3g 7%
- Sodium 481.3mg 21%
- Potassium 492.9mg 15%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 5.3g 22%
- Sugars 4.2g
- Protein 10g 20%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Why is my loaf mushy?
Your loaf is most likely mushy because it contains excess moisture from the cooked lentils. To prevent this, we highly recommend pre-cooking the lentils and letting them cool before making the loaf. Alternatively, you can use canned lentils.
How can I make this lentil loaf gluten-free?
To make this lentil loaf gluten-free simply swap out the panko bread crumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Can I prepare this lentil loaf beforehand?
Absolutely! To prepare this lentil loaf beforehand, make the base and press it into your pan. Cover and store the pan in your fridge without the glaze. When you are ready to bake it, brush the glaze over top and cook as usual.