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Lentil Walnut Loaf

This Lentil Walnut Loaf with apple, fennel, and sage is hearty, full of flavor, and makes a great centerpiece for the holiday table! It’s naturally vegan and can be made in advance!

top down view of a serving of vegan lentil loaf with apple, sage and fennel on a white plate with items.

It’s been two years since my last lentil loaf recipe!

I’ve adapted this new vegan lentil loaf from the other, The Ultimate Vegetable Lentil Loaf, on TSV which is still a big hit. It’s a great all-around loaf and I hope you all find this new lentil loaf flavor combination just as delicious!

I thought this time I’d create something with a whole new flavor profile, and this vegan lentil walnut loaf with apple, fennel, and sage is completely different and absolutely delicious.

I love this flavor combination and think it’s a perfect fall-winter loaf or one that can be rotated for variation all year long.

top down view of the ingredients used to make lentil loaf recipe with apple, fennel and sage.

Ingredient Notes

  • Apple adds a little sweetness, which is not overpowering at all.
  • Fennel and sage are a perfect pairing of herbs.
  • Walnuts add texture but can be optional if you are allergic or don’t care for them.
  • The glaze is super simple with just organic ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and pure maple syrup. It has a slight tanginess which is a nice contrast to the other flavors.

A note on the fennel seeds: In case you’re wondering what else to do with your fennel seeds, I’ve used them in a few recipes like this Cannellini Bean & Fennel FlatbreadMushroom and Buckwheat Soup, and Rustic Cabbage, Potato & White Bean Soup. See all the recipes on TSV using Fennel. If they are new to your pantry, you can purchase them knowing you can use them in other recipes!

side by side process showing the process of making lentil loaf with apple, sage and fennel.

How To Make Lentil Walnut Loaf

Cook your lentils, and let set for about 15 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed. Mash or puree about 3/4 of the mixture. You should be able to easily mash the lentils with the back of a fork or slotted spoon.

Prep and saute. While you’re working on the lentils, prepare the vegetables and apple, and saute with the herbs.

top down view showing the process of making vegan lentil loaf with apple, sage and fennel.

Add everything together. Add the lentils to the sauteed veggie mixture, along with the oats, flour, applesauce, and walnuts. Mix well to combine.

side by side photos showing the process of topping lentil loaf with glaze.

Pack into a loaf pan and bake. Once everything is mixed, pack the mixture into a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Spread glaze over the top and bake in preheated oven set to 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Once done, remove from the oven, let cool, slice and enjoy!

top down view of freshly baked lentil loaf on a rectangular serving plate.

Serving Suggestions

This lentil walnut loaf is versatile and goes with many sides. Here are a few of my favorite options:

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 5 – 6 days. They make great sandwiches!
  • Freezer: To keep longer, store in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let the lentil loaf cool completely. Slice into individual cut pieces and store them in freezer-safe containers (affiliate link) with parchment paper between the slices so they don’t stick together. You can also use baggies, removing as much air as possible before storing.

How To Reheat

I don’t recommend reheating the entire loaf at once because it will most likely become too dry. I do recommend cutting slices and then reheating.

Make Ahead

You can make your lentil walnut loaf a day or two ahead. Store uncooked in the refrigerator until ready to heat, and bake according to instructions.

top down view of a serving of vegan lentil loaf with apple, sage and fennel on a white plate with items.

If you try this lentil walnut loaf recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

Perfect for the holidays this lentil loaf is hearty, full of flavor and will make a great centerpiece for the holiday table!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Vegan


  • 1 cup green/brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 1/4 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, diced or grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small apple, cored, peeled and diced or grated (use firm crisp like fuji, gala or granny) (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, use whole or lightly crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage or 2 tablespoons fresh minced
  • 3/4 cup oats, quick or rolled (I used quick) or bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup flour (spelt, almond, oat, GF all-purpose, etc.)
  • 1/23/4 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • salt & pepper to taste (I used white pepper)


  • 6 tablespoons organic ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup


Cook lentils: In a dutch oven or large pot, add vegetable broth and lentils, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 – 45 minutes, most to all liquid should be absorbed. (If most liquid is not absorbed, cooked until it is mostly absorbed. If by chance your liquid absorbs too fast, add a tad more water as needed and continue the process.) Lentils should be overcooked and tender. Set aside to cool, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Mash lentils with the back of a spoon or fork, or roughly puree using an immersion blender or food processor, about 2/3 – 3/4 of the lentil mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Toast walnuts: Spread walnuts on a small rimmed baking pan, place in oven and toast until fragrant, about 10 -15 minutes. Set aside to cool..

Prepare vegetables and apple: Heat oil in a medium size pan over medium heat, add onion, garlic, celery and carrot, saute for about 5 minutes. Add apple, fennel, sage salt & pepper, heat for another 3 – 4 minutes.

Combine everything: Add the sauteed mixture with the lentils and mix. Add flour, oats, walnuts and 1/2 cup apple sauce, mix well to combine. If mixture seems to dry, add a little more apple sauce, mix again. Taste for seasoning adding extra herbs, salt and pepper as needed.

Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper, (this will make for easy removal later), add mixture and press down gently but firmly to remove any air pockets, fill in along the edges as well.

Make glaze: In small bowl, mix together the glaze and spread over top lentil loaf as evenly as you can. Here you can even add a fresh sage leaf in the center of the loaf, it won’t burn, it may roll a bit on the edges, and will add a nice decoration.

Bake: Place loaf in oven, on middle rack, and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes, remove from pan using the edges of the parchment paper. You may like to mix a bit more sauce and spread over top. Place loaf on serving dish, cut and serve individual slices.

Serving suggestions: Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes, or potato & cauliflower mash, a side of green beans or any combo of roasted brussels sprouts, carrots, butternut squash and beets. A simple fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette is also a great side! Leftovers make for great sandwiches!

Makes 8 slices.


If you don’t use a good vegetable broth while cooking the lentils, I recommend add in 1/2 teaspoon of onion and garlic powder, along with a big pinch of salt. The lentils are the base of the recipe and should have good flavor.

If mixture is too wet, add a tad more flour or oats/bread crumbs. If mixture is too dry, add a tad more applesauce.

I’ve used both oats and bread crumbs. Both were great. I didn’t notice that the oat flavor came through at all (or maybe I’m just adapted to them).

I don’t recommend reheating the entire loaf at once. It will most likely become too dry, as the heat will take to long to reach the center. I recommend cutting slices and reheating. If you need, you can make your lentil loaf the day before and store uncooked until ready to heat, bring to room temperature and heat according to instructions above.

If you love fennel and sage, by all means add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of each! Or an extra tablespoon of fresh minced sage.

If allergic to walnuts, omit them completely.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: This loaf pan is a great size, or something similar. For lining the loaf pan I cut the parchment these parchment liners (affiliate links).

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  1. Loved it Julie! Really good flavor! I increased the sage as suggested and it was great

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed the lentil walnut loaf, Kim! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. I made this for my vegan sister for Christmas dinner this year. Not only did she love it, but lots of the meat eaters tried it and liked, it, too! I should have made two! Thank you for providing a holiday version with the fennel and apples, so my sister could have something festive!

  3. Hi,
    I made your lentil walnut loaf, and although the taste was delicious, it did not stick together as well as your vegetable lentil loaf recipe. Do you have any tips?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Glad you enjoyed the flavor, Sherry! I suggest making sure you pack the mixture well into the loaf pan. That should help. Keep me updated if that didn’t do the trick.

      1. Hi Julie,
        Thanks for the tip. I made it again and was careful to pack it down well. I also increased the amount of applesauce form 1/2 to 3/4. With those two changes, it held together nicely. This will definitely be one of my go to recipes for the holidays or when having guests for dinner.
        Thank you.

        1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

          Great, so glad that helped! Thanks for sharing your, and happy holidays to you and yours! :)

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