Our vegan lentil and vegetable loaf recipe is the ultimate comfort food; filled with tender lentils, seared vegetables, fire roasted tomatoes, and savory spices. It’s dairy-free, egg-free, and you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make it gluten-free. Serve our veggie lentil loaf with our garlic mashed potatoes and spicy green beans for a delicious and healthy dinner.
Published Nov. 16, 2015 and updated November 7, 2019.
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Hi there! We’re Linda and Alex, the mother daughter duo and creators of Veganosity. Thanks for visiting us, we’re so happy you’re here. If you’re looking for Southern inspired vegan comfort food recipes, you’ve come to the right place.
We love vegan comfort food and we’re really good at making it. Take a tour through our site and you’ll find all of the recipes that scream, stretchy pants required!
The good news, they’re all plant-based recipes, so you don’t need to feel guilty eating them. Now sit back, relax, and eat happy. 🙂
Also, in case you didn’t know, we’re published cookbook authors. We’ve written two vegan cookbooks that will help you make amazing vegan BBQ (you don’t even need a grill) and everyday meals, from breakfast to dessert.
A HEALTHY VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN MEATLOAF RECIPE
When I was growing up, meatloaf used to be a staple in our house. My dad loved it, and my mom made it for him at least every other week.
Although I don’t miss eating ground meat, I do miss the memories and flavors of her loaf.
When Alex and I went vegan, we knew that we had to recreate a flavorful and healthy vegan loaf that would be perfect for a hearty weeknight meal, or for a vegan holiday main course, and so we did.
This lentil mushroom loaf with veggies has so much flavor. We added onion, garlic, celery, Italian seasoning, and liquid smoke to give it a wonderful savory and smoky taste. Then we topped it with fire roasted tomatoes to add some tanginess.
It’s so good, and it doesn’t fall apart!
WHAT ARE THE BEST LENTILS TO USE FOR A VEGAN LENTIL LOAF?
There are three kinds of lentils; green, brown, and red.
We suggest using green or brown lentils for this hearty lentil loaf, and here’s why:
Green lentils take the longest to cook and are the firmest. They hold their texture and have a slightly peppery taste, which we like for this lentil loaf recipe.
Brown lentils also hold their shape well, and they have a slightly earthy flavor. We don’t mind that, we just prefer the taste of green lentils in our veggie and lentil loaf.
These don’t hold up well in our loaf recipe; however, they’re great for thickening soup, dals, or curry.
CAN I USE PACKAGED LENTILS OR SHOULD I USE FRESH COOKED?
You can use pre-cooked lentils. We prefer the kind that come out of a vacuum sealed bag rather than a can because they don’t have extra liquid.
If you cook dried lentils, we suggest making more than needed for this recipe and freezing the leftovers for soup, salad, or another lentil loaf.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN LENTIL LOAF WITH VEGETABLES
Combine the flax seed and the water until creamy. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. This is your egg substitute and will provide you with healthy omegas and extra protein.
In a medium sauce pan cover the lentils with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until soft. Add more water if needed.
Drain the excess water in a fine mesh colander, push down on the lentils to get all of the water out.
Put the lentils and oats in a food processor and pulse until they’re mostly creamy, you should see bits of pieces of the lentils. Put them in a large mixing bowl.
While the lentils are cooking, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the carrots, celery bell pepper, and onion and sauté for five minutes, stirring once or twice to avoid scorching.
Add the mushrooms and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and Italian seasoning. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Put the vegetables in the mixing bowl with the lentils. Add the bread crumbs, flax egg, liquid smoke, vegan Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup fire roasted tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.
Make sure to taste the loaf batter, there’s nothing in the batter that you couldn’t eat as is, and depending on your tastes, you may want to add more salt and/or pepper.
Stir until well combined or use your hands to mix it. Taste the mixture and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Put the lentil loaf mixture in the pan and firmly press it into the pan, make sure it reaches all four corners.
Bake for 1 hour. Remove the loaf from the oven and cut three 1/4 inch deep slices into the loaf and evenly pour the remaining cup of tomatoes on top. Don’t drench it, it should just cover the loaf. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tomato firms up.
Remove from the oven and let it set for ten minutes.
THE BENEFITS OF LENTILS
Here are a few of the many benefits that you’ll get from one cup of lentils:
- Folate – One cup provides you with 90% of the daily reference intake.
- Fiber – You’ll get 56% of the RDI!
- Iron – One cup provides 37% of the RDI.
These are just a few of the many nutrients that you’ll get from lentils. To learn more, click HERE.
MORE VEGAN COMFORT FOOD MEAT SUBSTITUTES YOU’LL LOVE
Make our vegan lentil loaf recipe and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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- 2 tbsp ground flax seed plus 5 tbsp water whisked until combined
- 1 ½ cups of uncooked or 3 cups cooked green lentils SEE NOTE
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, 32 Ounce">rolled oats
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup carrots finely chopped
- 1 cup red bell pepper stem, core, and seed removed and finely chopped
- 1 cup celery finely chopped
- 1 large red onion finely chopped
- 6 large Portobello mushroom caps stems and gills removed and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 ½ cups bread crumbs use gluten-free if desired
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce use Wizard’s brand for a Gluten-Free version
- 2 cups fire roasted tomatoes divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a 9x5x3 inch (23x13x8 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the 2 tbsp ground flax seed and the 5 tbsp water until creamy. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
- In a medium sauce pan cover the 1 ½ cups of lentils with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until soft. Add more water if needed. Drain the lentils in a fine mesh colander, push down on the lentils to get all of the excess water out. Put the lentils and 1 cup oats in a food processor and pulse until they’re mostly creamy, you should see bits of pieces of the lentils. Put them in a large mixing bowl.
- While the lentils are cooking, in a large skillet, heat the 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the 1 cup of carrots, 1 cup of celery and the onion and sauté for five minutes, stirring once or twice to avoid scorching. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and 2 tbsp of Italian seasoning. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Put the vegetables in the mixing bowl with the lentils. Add the 1 ½ cups of bread crumbs, the flax egg, 2 tsp of liquid smoke, 1 tbsp of vegan Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup of fire roasted tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined or use your hands to mix it. It should be firm and sticky. IMPORTANT: Taste the mixture and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Put the lentil loaf mixture in the pan and firmly press it into the pan, make sure it reaches all four corners.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until the loaf begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and cut three surface slices (approximately ¼ of an inch deep) slices into the loaf and evenly pour the remaining cup of tomatoes on top. Don’t drench it, it should just cover the loaf. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tomato firms up.
- Remove from the oven and let it set for ten minutes before removing from the pan. Let sit another 5 minutes before slicing so it doesn’t fall apart.
- You can used cooked packaged lentils; we suggest you purchase them in a vacuumed sealed package instead of in a can. Canned lentils tend to be packed in water, which can make the loaf too wet.
- Make extra lentils if you cook them, then freeze so you have cooked lentils for soup, salad, or another loaf.