Today I’m sharing the Ultimate Vegan Lentil Loaf for the holidays. It’s gluten-free and so easy to make, (what more can we ask for). And, it’s a great meat alternative to substitute turkey for the holidays. Certainly, this “meatloaf” is protein-rich and hearty. And it will even please a crowd of vegan skeptics, tasting so much like traditional meatloaf they won’t know the difference.
Made with french (green) lentils, savoury oats, tons of herbs and spices, it’s packed with flavour. Then lathered with a tomato maple glaze for extra flavour and an impressive presentation. No doubt, a slice of this meatloaf is savoury and satisfying for a dish to be remembered at your holiday gathering, and requested for many years to come.
Now, let me tell you exactly how to make this Vegan Lentil Loaf so you can start a new tradition, vegan-style!
Vegan Lentil Loaf (GF + Easy):
Now, this recipe has a longer list of ingredients. But it’s nothing out of the ordinary, and likely you already have them in your pantry.
For this recipe you will need:
- Cooked french (green) lentils
- coconut oil
- nutritional yeast
- flax seeds
- sea salt and pepper
- fresh thyme
- apple cider vinegar
- maple syrup
- tomato paste
It’s a long list, but the point is to offer lots of flavour for what otherwise would be a bland meatloaf. Just as you would add lots of spice to traditional meatloaf to give it flavour. In addition, the list is longer as I’ve skipped using pre-made sauces and stuck to herbs, spices, and natural liquid ingredients like apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and tamari to build flavour. And trust me, the outcome is flavour-rich and more-ish!
How long does it take to make Vegan Lentil Loaf
A lot faster than a turkey, that’s for sure! All-in you’re looking at about 20 minutes prep time, and 30 minutes bake time for a delicious vegan lentil loaf that will serve a gathering.
It begins by pan frying onion and carrots on the stove top until soft, then transferring to a food processor and pulsing the rest of the ingredients to combine. Next, transfer the lentil mixture to a rectangular baking pan (I used a 9×5 inch pan), add your tomato maple glaze and bake in the oven for 30 mins.
And to save time on game day, the ingredients can be prepped in advanced so that all you have to do on Dec. 25 is transfer to a baking dish and stick in the oven.
So, how does this Vegan Lentil Loaf taste similar to traditional meatloaf?
It’s all in the seasoning, baby! Just like meat dishes, it’s the seasoning that brings taste a flavour to this lentil loaf. Ingredients like onion and garlic, nutritional yeast, cumin, paprika, thyme, tamari, apple cider vinegary, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper bring tremendous flavour to this recipe. Certainly, this lentil loaf is not lacking in flavour.
And that’s why I have labelled this recipe “skeptic approved,” because this vegan meatloaf packs ton of savoury flavour that most non-vegans enjoy in traditional meat-based dishes. Certainly, this lentil loaf will be a favourite amongst a mixed crowd.
For the glaze:
No doubt, the glaze in this recipe is vibrant and festive. Made by combining tomato paste with maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and a bit of tamari it brings all the umami flavours. Of course, you can always keep the meatloaf sans glaze. But I recommend to use it for extra flavour and a festive topping to impress when you set it down.
Other holiday recipes to pair with this Vegan Lentil Loaf:
If you’re looking for some recipes for the holidays, to pair with this Vegan Lentil Loaf. Try the following:
- Best vegan mashed potatoes
- Quick and easy vegan gravy
- Maple roasted brussels sprouts
- Kale caesar salad
- Curried butternut squash and sweet potato soup
Shop my kitchen:
I’m always asked what items I like to use in the kitchen. So, I’ve included my favourites for making this Vegan Lentil Loaf below. You can also find more of my favourite kitchen essentials and products on my Shop page.
(commissions earned as an affiliate. I only recommend products I know and love).
My baking pans. Used in this recipe to bake the lentil loaf.
not exactly the same, but very similar to the food processor I have
And there we have it. A savoury and hearty vegan lentil loaf to serve at your upcoming holiday gathering. Whether you’re vegan or a vegan skeptic, the taste and texture of this Vegan Lentil Loaf is sure to please a mixed crowd. I know you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. And hope that it will help to build some new traditions in your family.
And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
Vegan Lentil Loaf (GF + Easy)
- 1 white onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3/4 cup gluten-free oats (or you can use quinoa flakes)
- 1 3/4 cup french lentils (green lentils), cooked
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
For the glaze
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Chop onion and garlic, grate carrots. Add veg to a pot with coconut oil with a generous pinch of sea salt. Cook until softened (10 mins).
- In a food processor with the S-shape blade, pulse oats until flour like substance. Add cooked onion/carrot medley, 1 cup of french lentils, paprika, cumin, sea salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, fresh thyme, and ground flax seeds. Pulse to combine. Then add your liquids: water, tamari, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Blend until well combined.
- Remove S-shape blade and add remaining 3/4 cup lentils (this offers different textures to the loaf). Lightly oil a rectangular baking pan (I used a 9x5 inch) and pour lentil mixture into pan. Spread to even.
- Make glaze by combining tomato paste, maple syrup, tamari, water, apple cider vinegar and sea salt in a small bowl. Paint lentil loaf with the glaze. Cook lentil loaf in oven for 25 minutes. (Optional to turn to broil for the last 5 minutes to lightly toast the glaze). Wait 10-15 minutes to cool, then remove from baking pan, cut into slices and serve.