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Mom's Ultimate Vegetarian Lentil Loaf

Mom’s delicious ultimate vegetarian lentil loaf — you won’t miss the meat in this healthy vegan and gluten free recipe packed with plant-based protein!

Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hour 15 mins

four paneled photos of vegetarian lentil loaf

It’s that time of year where I’m starting to crave hearty, warm meals like chili, sloppy joes, lasagna and of course a good meatloaf. You too, huh?

Since the days are becoming cooler, I thought that I would share my absolute favorite recipe for meatloaf. And guess what you guys? It’s vegan and gluten free! That’s right; lentils replace meat in this lip-smacking super good meatloaf drenched in some complete awesome sauce. You won’t believe how healthy this is either. The nutrition is rockin!

Did I just say rockin’? Ugh I’m getting old.

vegetarian lentil loaf on top of parchment paper

My mom introduced me to this meatloaf a few years ago. At first I was like WTF… did my Mom really just cook up lentils and veggies and then slab it all in a pan? She must be off the rocker. But then of course I tasted it, and it was GLORIOUS.

So good I felt the need to eat half the pan that night. Now every time I see Mom, I’m practically begging for her to make me this lentil loaf for dinner. MAKE ME THE LENTIL LOAF, MA! She thinks I’m nuts now. Probably true.
I asked her where she got the idea for a vegetarian meatloaf and she pointed me to The Simple Veganista, a blog that I now absolutely adore. Check her out, she has tons of wonderful recipes that are plant-based and delish.

Mom adapted the recipe and added a few more spices and herbs, but really this vegetarian lentil loaf is great to make your own special way. Mix up your topping, try a hawaiian sauce, sweet and sour or perhaps a spicy BBQ sauce. I think my sauce is pretty great, but making your own always makes it fun, too!

vegetarian lentil loaf on top of parchment paper

As mentioned above, one of my favorite reasons I love this meal is because not only is it satisfying, but it’s also packed with some pretty amazing nutrition stats. Not only do lentils contain tons of fiber, but they are an excellent source of protein, too. I mean 16g of fiber and 14g of protein for one serving? Dream come true.

I hope you guys enjoy Mom’s lentil loaf. She’s super excited for you to try it, so let me know what you think. xo!

a slice of lentil loaf with a fork

See how to make the lentil loaf:

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More healthy vegetarian recipes you’ll love:

Ultimate Vegan Black Bean Burgers with Tahini Garlic Sauce

Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew

Vegan Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cashew Crema

Vegan & Gluten Free Curry Chickpea Pot Pie with Sweet Potato ‘Crust’

Slow Cooker Taco Lentil Soup

Mom's Ultimate Vegetarian Lentil Loaf

4.17 from 6 votes
Course Dinner, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword lentil loaf
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves 6
A vegan and gluten free vegetarian lentil loaf made with lentils, herbs and delicious spices.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup diced onion)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced, optional
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour (you can make your own!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (omit if you don't like spicy food)

Instructions

  1. Rinse the lentils in a large mesh strainer. Add 4 cups of water to a large pot with lentils and a dash of salt, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils absorb most of the water and become tender. Drain lentils and set aside.
  2. While the lentils cook: Mix flaxseed meal and 1/3 cup water to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator while you make the rest of the loaf. The flaxseed meal will help bind the loaf together.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
  4. Place large pan over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Once oil is hot, add in garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrot, jalapeno and cilantro; saute for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften a bit. 
  5. Add in spices and cook for 30 more seconds, then transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  6. Using a blender or food processor, blend about 2 cups of the cooked lentils. 
  7. Transfer to the bowl with the sauteed veggies, and stir in the remaining lentils along with the oats, oat flour, and flaxseed meal (from the fridge!). Add salt and pepper, then taste and add more spices or salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Add mixture to prepared loaf pan, pressing and smoothing to the sides to make sure it bakes evenly. Quickly prepare your glazed by combining all ingredients in a small bowl then spreading half of the sauce on top. 
  9. Bake loaf for 45 minutes. Top with remaining sauce. 
  10. Remove from heat and cool for 10-15 minutes before removing it from pan. Cut into 5 slices and serve! I like to enjoy it with a little extra ketchup or bbq sauce. Also delicious served with mashed potatoes!

Recipe Notes

This is freezer-friendly, simple wrap tight or place in a freezer safe ziploc bag. Will stay good for up to 3 months. You can also bake and then freeze it in the loaf pan, just ensuring that it is tightly covered.

Nutrition
Servings: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 serving
Calories: 264kcal
Fat: 3.3g
Carbohydrates: 45.3g
Fiber: 16.3g
Sugar: 6.2g
Protein: 14.4g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Sarah Fennel // Broma Bakery

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