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THE ULTIMATE VEGETABLE LENTIL LOAF

side angle view of vegetable lentil loaf cut into slices on a serving platter surrounded by side dishes.

4.9 from 55 reviews

A wonderfully flavored lentil loaf for the whole family to enjoy. The leftovers make for great sandwiches too!

Ingredients

Scale

Loaf

  • 1 cup dry lentils (use green/brown)
  • 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil OR steam saute using 1/4 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced or grated
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup oats (I used GF oats)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour or finely ground oats (any flour of choice will work here too)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon cumin, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder & onion powder (for good measure!)
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, optional
  • cracked pepper & sea salt to taste

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons organic ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or balsamic (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Instructions

Prepare lentils: Rinse the lentils, remove odd pieces. In large pot add 2 1/2 cups water/broth with lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 35 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s ok if they get mushy, we are going to roughly puree 3/4 of the mixture when cooled. Once done, remove lid and set aside to cool (there should only be a little bit of water so do not drain), lentils will thicken a bit upon standing, about 15 minutes is good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make flax egg: In small bowl combine flaxseed meal and 1/3 cup water, set aside for at least 10 minutes, preferably in the refrigerator. This will act as a binder and will thicken nicely upon sitting.

Saute vegetables & spices: In saute pan heat oil or water over medium heat. Saute garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes. Add spices mixing well to incorporate. Set aside to cool.

Mash the lentils: Using an immersion blender, food processor, back of a fork or potato masher, blend 3/4 of the lentil mixture. For me this was an important part, I tried it other ways and this worked to help as a binder. If using an immersion blender, tilt the pot slightly to the side for easier blending.

Assemble lentil loaf: Combine sauteed vegetables with the lentils, oats, oat flour and flax-egg, mix well. Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed, or any other herb or spice you might like. Place mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper, leaving it overlapping for easy removal later. Press down firmly filling in along the edges too.

Glaze: Prepare your glaze by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, mix until incorporated. I recommend making each tablespoon heaping so you have plenty of this great sauce on top (if using tomato paste and mixture is too thick, add a teaspoon of water, or a little extra vinegar & syrup). Spread evenly over top the loaf.

Bake: Place in center of the oven, and bake in oven for about 45 – 50 minutes. Let cool a bit before slicing.

Serves 8

Serving suggestions: Serve with cooked asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, roasted red potatoes, scalloped potatoes, savory sauteed kale, baked beans, macaroni salad and/or simple salad, etc.

Notes

Glaze: Use either apple cider or balsamic vinegar. Balsamic will yield a bolder flavor. You may like to double up on the glaze, having some to put on the loaf after it’s removed from the oven.

Omit spicy heat: If you don’t care for a little spicy heat, omit the chipotle powder.

Canned lentils: You can use canned (15oz) lentils (or about 1 1/2 – 2 cups), just be sure to drain and rinse them well, and mash about 2/3 – 3/4 or so.

Store: Leftovers will last 5 – 5 days in the refrigerator, in covered containers. To keep longer, store in the freezer for 2 – 3 months. To freeze, cut into individual slices with parchment paper between the slices and store in freezer safe containers or bags (if using baggies remove as much air as possible).

Reheat: I do not recommend reheating the entire loaf at once. It will most likely become too dry, as the heat will take too long to reach the center. I recommend cutting slices and reheating.

Make ahead: 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.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: This loaf pan is a great size, or something similar. For lining the loaf pan I cut these parchment liners in half (affiliate links). For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials!