Dinner/ Recipes

Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf

I’m just going to say up front that I don’t really do meatloaf. Just the name MEATLOAF really turns me off and the idea of compacted meat in a loaf pan, the same loaf pan that bears me sweet fragrant yeast breads, straight gives me the willies.

I just don’t know why.

However, in the spirit of consuming anything and everything lentils, I decided to do a little experiment this evening. I read a bunch of different vegetarian cookbooks and compared and contrasted recipes for a vegetarian form of meatloaf made with lentils instead of the usual ground beef and pork. To be honest, it didn’t really sound appetizing and being even more honest, I’m quite sick of legumes right now. But still, the show must go on and what better way to spend a late Tuesday afternoon than making a lentil walnut loaf?


For this recipe I did a little of this, a little of that. Threw in what I had from home and topped everything off with toasted walnuts and a sweet tomato glaze. And you know? It actually turned out really, really good. Perhaps even fantastic? You’ll have to be the judge of that. As for me, I sat in awe and silence, forking bite after bite into my mouth in awe that lentils in a loaf form could possibly be one stroke short of genius.

So, here we go. Start off by simmering 1 cup of dried lentils with 3 cups of vegetable broth and a wee bit of salt.


It’ll take about 25 minutes for the lentils to become tender and absorb the broth. Keep the heat on medium and stir every now and again but don’t go crazy with it. Meanwhile, prepare your veggies.


Chop up one large yellow onion and one stalk celery.

Grate one carrot for good measure.


And then heat up two tablespoons of olive oil in your skillet. Previously, we’ve mastered caramelizing onions. Don’t do that tonight. Simply saute the onions and the celery for about six minutes, or until both are tender. Keep the heat on medium low so you don’t burn your britches. Now, add the grated carrot and two tsp minced garlic.


Stir to combine and cook for about four minutes. It will definitely look like bunny food. No doubt about it. Now add 1 tsp dried oregano, and a healthy pinch of sea salt and pepper.


While you’ve got that goin’ on the stove, toast 3/4 cup chopped walnuts. I do this in a 350 degree oven for about six minutes. Be careful but not paranoid….if one nut particle burns, simply toss it in the trash and move on.


Then, make a flax egg. To do this, combine three tbsp ground flax with 1/2 cup water. Stir and set aside.


Once the nuts are toasted, dump ’em in with the onion/carrot/celery/garlic mixture.


Transfer everything to a large bowl and add the cooked lentils and one cup dry breadcrumbs. Here, I’m using Panko crumbs, which are my favorite. Add your flax egg and stir well. It’s not pretty folks but this is a process. The end is in sight. Stick with me.


Dump everything in a greased loaf pan and press down.


Then, make the glaze. In a small bowl combine 2 tbsp ketchup with 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Spread over the top of the loaf.


Bake the loaf at 350 for 40 minutes and then when you pull it out, this magically appears!

I served a big hunk of mine with roasted veggies and it blew me away. Sort of like a thicker form of a homemade veggie burger. I dumped hot sauce on mine, naturally, and I suggest you do the same.

Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf

makes 1 loaf to serve 6 people

Print this recipe!


1 cup green lentils

3 cups vegetable stock or broth

1 large yellow onion

1 large carrot

1 stalk celery

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp minced garlic

1 cup breadcrumbs

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

3 tbsp ground flax mixed with 1/2 cup water OR 1 egg white

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

for topping—

2 tbsp ketchup

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the ground flax and 1/2 cup water. Set aside.

Simmer together the lentils, broth and a pinch of salt for about 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and have absorbed all the broth.

Meanwhile, prepare your veggies. Chop the onion, grate the carrot and dice the celery. Saute the onion and celery in the olive oil over medium high heat for six minutes, or until

tender, not caramelized. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for about another four minutes.

Toast the walnuts in the oven for six to seven minutes. Add them to the onion/carrot/garlic mixture on the stove and stir well.

Add the oregano, salt and pepper as well and then take the mixture off the stove and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the breadcrumbs, flax/water (or egg white) and cooked lentils and toss well. Press mixture into a greased loaf pan and set aside while you make the topping.

In another small bowl combine the ketchup, maple syrup and vinegar. Spread on top of loaf. Bake for 40 minutes and then out on a plate.

Leftovers make great sandwich stuffers!


Other What’s Cooking Tonight recipes:

Poached Eggs

Homestyle Turkey Chili

Roasted Broccoli and Corn Frittata

Channa Masala

You Might Also Like

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    June 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely delicious! I’ve already bookmarked it…I can’t wait to test it out on my family!

  • Becki @ HikeBikeEat
    June 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Sounds delish! I’ve been on a lentil bender lately – it’ll be very good to try something other than soup!

  • Evan Thomas
    June 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I looooove lentil meatloaf. This reminds me to make my recipe sometime soon. I love that there’s always leftovers, too!

  • eatmovelove
    June 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    This is great! I love meatloaf. I think this is the best lentil recipe yet…anyways, I’m far too full to be talking about food right now.

  • Pure2raw twins
    June 15, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    This lentil meatloaf looks amazing. Sabrina already had me craving lentils, not this…YUM!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    June 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I too am quite unsure when I hear the words ‘meatloaf’ but boy oh boy does this version sound wonderful!!! I love the maple glaze too!

  • Jennu
    June 15, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    WOW!!! That looks like a great-tasting, healthy dish!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    June 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Wow that sounds AMAZING. I don’t really “do” meatloaf either, but lentil walnut loaf is different in my book.

  • Micaela
    June 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    That sounds great! It seems like a lot of work just to make it for myself but if I ever need something to take to a potluck I might try it. I’ve never actually tried meatloaf because I stopped eating meat at a really young age. For some reason though, I always thought I would like it.

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy
    June 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Woah! What a great idea!

    I’m pretty traumatised of meatloaf from a low-carbs recipe back in the days (shame on me), but I’m willing to try this one!

  • Camille
    June 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    There is a restaurant here in San Diego that serves vegan and vegetarian meatloaf (called Neatloaf) and it is amazing! Your recipe reminds me a lot of that!

  • Dee
    June 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Wow! This looks great!

  • Paige (running around normal)
    June 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    This sounds incredible! I need to make this this week!

  • Laurel
    June 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve only ever liked my mom’s meatloaf and of course I don’t have the recipe for that….but I’m willing to try this! It sounds yummy. I made a really good lentil “chili” this week (you’ve inspired me to try these little guys out), so I’m sure it will be great! Thanks for sharing all the steps. Hope you sleep well tonight.

  • Mindy
    June 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Oh, I definitely need to try that!!

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    June 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    The lentil loaf looks delicious!!

  • Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches
    June 15, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I love lentil loafs! I tried one that Kath posted a while ago on her site, and it was great. This recipe looks similar but fantastic in its own way! So many healthy things in a nice package.

  • Kristen @ Change of Pace
    June 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Love the lentil recipe Jenna! I never know what in the world to do with them except make soup! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    June 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve never had meatloaf, and don’t plan to. This on the other hand, sounds right up my alley. Veggies represent!

  • emily
    June 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Lentil loaf sounds really disgusting but that looks fantastic. I think the glaze just manages to push it into my “to make” files!

  • Daisy
    June 15, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    i feel the same way you do about meatloaf. heebie jeebies. no thank ya.

  • Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary
    June 15, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    YUM! Jenna, that lentil loaf looks great! I love lentil loaf & think that I must try my had legume loaves 😉

  • diana@mymarblerye
    June 15, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I was gonna make meatloaf THURSDAY…woo hoo..you got me all excited now!

  • Casey
    June 15, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Ummm…WOW! That Lentil Loaf looks incredible! I know what I’m making Friday night. Thanks 🙂

  • Jamie @ Tearaveler
    June 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I think you just made meatloaf sexy haha

  • Meg
    June 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Boomarked 🙂 This looks awesome, Jenna.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    June 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Wow. The finished plated product w/veggies looks delicious, and love all the ingredients. Thanks! I’ll have to try that. Looks like you got over the blahs cooking–that’ll do it! I forced myself to go on marathon walk–was terrific. Carmel is loaded with interesting people + golf & movie starts for the US Open-which had forgotten about.

  • Katie
    June 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Love the le creuset pots and pans you’ve been rocking lately… they’re my fav (and worth the $$$$).

  • Kaz
    June 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Oh, amazing! That looks so good! Thank you for this recipe!

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth)
    June 15, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I need me a Le Creuset!! And a Vitamix! But, that’s besides the point. I always wanted to try a veggie loaf, but I can’t help but associate it with meatloaf. I, too, am way off put by meat in the form of a loaf, blech. This may inspire me to change, looks amazing! 🙂

  • Shelley (Pink House)
    June 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I’d like to try this. It seems like catsup or tomato sauce would be good in this to add flavor.

  • Stacey
    June 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I think I’m going to make this tomorrow! I recently bought lentils (for the first time!) and have been Googling lentil loaf recipes with no luck… most of the ones I’ve found are so complicated. I like how this doesn’t have a zillion ingredients and still looks/sounds yummy.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    June 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Oh, man…I just did a ‘made-up recipe’ that was terrific but not totally there. Some smartie would undoubtedly know how to make excellent. I got a new Presto Stainless Steel electric wok that just love as heat is instantaneous hot/or lowered. Excellent engineering (sound like working for them but not!) and only $79. at Macy’s on sale…so have been making lots of new things.

    So, first browned few rounds of Polenta in good quality butter, then set aside on paper towel. Cooked very lean uncured smoked Applewood bacon/ 3 large cloves of chopped garlic in a bit of olive oil (didn’t have pancetta and think the Applewood bacon actually worked better.) Once browned, added very large handful of sliced crimini mushroom, browned those and squeezed in juice of fresh lemon, then add entire 12 oz bag of organic brocccoli florets–stirred and then covered to steam lightly. Then turned up heat to brown slightly. Added some sea salt and a bit of good quality butter for richness, then a teaspoon of Thai Curry paste—was great up to this point, and the curry paste wasn’t bad…but something else might have been better and can’t think of what. Anyway, served over the browned polenta rounds…very attractive and really enjoyed. But could be refined. So somebody smarter than me should go at it and think what the perfect thing is to perfect it!

  • Courtney
    June 15, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Jenna, looks way too good to have the word “loaf” involved haha. Can’t wait to try it – any recommendations for walnut substitutions??

  • Lena
    June 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    ingenius!!!! wow! p.s. happy belated birthday!!!

  • Claire
    June 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    That seriously looks and sounds amazing…I have yet to do the lentil meatloaf thing but I remember being a lil terrified when my mom mixed regular meatloaf growing up with her hands.

    This one though…I definitely want to try!

  • Heather
    June 15, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    hahaha lentil loaf sounds funnier to me than meatloaf, but DELICIOUS all the same! sounds like a definitely MUST try!

  • Marina
    June 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I would love to try lentil loaf, but again, my oven hates me so I won’t be doing it anytime soon 🙁
    Thanks for the recipe though 🙂

  • Laura
    June 16, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Just printed this recipe out, going to attempt it. You’re cooking makes me loins smile. seriously inspired by you.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    June 16, 2010 at 12:55 am

    And now I must go make me some lentil meatloaf, pronto.

  • Helen
    June 16, 2010 at 1:17 am

    I hate the idea of meatloaf too, actually thinking about it turns my stomach. This non meat version looks delicious though and i think I would definitely prefer it!

  • Cassie @ Tasteful Tales
    June 16, 2010 at 2:34 am

    I’ll admit I have the same feeling you do about meatloaf… why shape meat into a bread loaf? Makes no sense to me! But your recipe looks delicious… on my list to try for sure.

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    June 16, 2010 at 4:16 am

    What a great looking veggie loaf! Adding it to my repertoire for sure!

  • Becky
    June 16, 2010 at 4:48 am

    The Vegan Lunchbox lady used to have (or maybe still does?) a great “magic nutloaf” program on her website where you entered the ingredients you have or like and it spit out a customized recipe for a vegan nutloaf. It was brilliant.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    June 16, 2010 at 5:07 am

    This looks so wonderful!!! And I have everything on hand except the flaxseed. But 1/2 c. water seems more than one egg. Would you happen to know how to substitute a real egg for the flax in this recipe?? I’m hoping to make it tonight. 😀

    • jenna
      June 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      I would just use one beaten egg instead of the flax and it should work fine.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    June 16, 2010 at 5:13 am

    That looks amazing.

  • Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit!
    June 16, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Genius, pure genius!

    Not only have I been looking for more vegan sources of protein, but I actually own all of the ingredients needed to make this dish. I think it’s a sign; a sign that I need vegan lentil loaf in my life asap.

    Thank you!

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries
    June 16, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Mmm…this sounds light’s out. I love all the different flavors you added in there! Plus, I love meatloaf, so you didn’t really have to ask me twice to try whip it up soon 🙂

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    June 16, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Fabulous….looks wonderful Jenna!!

  • read, write, repeat
    June 16, 2010 at 5:51 am

    ahhh this loook DELISH! I can’t wait to try it.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    June 16, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I hate meatloaf too. I hate the idea of it. I hate the loaf form. I hate that there’s ketchup in it. But this I could do.

  • Lindsey
    June 16, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Jenna, I love the What’s Cooking Tonight posts! I know I’ve said it before, but it’s awesome. Thanks!

  • Kristin (Salty Tooth)
    June 16, 2010 at 6:16 am

    I feel like I have been seeing lentil loaf everywhere. I guess that’s a sign that I need to make it.

  • JessZ
    June 16, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Yum! I have all the ingredients- going in the oven for supper tonight! 🙂

  • Karen
    June 16, 2010 at 6:33 am

    What is the status of the planned book discussions?

  • Nichole
    June 16, 2010 at 6:35 am

    That turned out great! Glad you found a healthy alternative. We sometimes use turkey. For our dog’s birthday we made meatloaf cupcakes. A dozen mini loaves:)

  • Krista
    June 16, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Your lentil loaf actually looks appetizing, nice work! Since you gave it a big thumbs up I am going to try making it next week. I made red lentil soup last night…legumes for all!

  • Kayla @ Let's Live Wholesome
    June 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Okay, congrats for making a “nut loaf” look delicious! I’m a veg, and always make fun of nut loaves, because I think they sound even less appetizing than meatloaves! So, job well done, now I want a slice in between some sprouted bread 😀

  • Michelle @ NewLeafEats
    June 16, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Very nice! I’ve been thinking of making a turkey loaf type thing using ground turkey, carrots, celery, onions, sage, thyme, dried cranberries, and something to bring in the “Thanksgiving dressing” flavor. I was thinking boxed stuffing mix, but I did buy Panko crumbs for the first time last night, and I do have a bag of fresh ground cornmeal in the freezer. I might experiment!

  • Calantha
    June 16, 2010 at 7:08 am

    First off, I just started reading your blog and really love it.

    Second, though this doesn’t have lentils or any other legume/bean–if you’re ever looking to make a different veggie loaf, try this one: http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/mushroom-hazelnut-loaf/

    I made it and loved it!

    (I just actually typed “loaved it.” A suiting spelling error.)

  • Andrea
    June 16, 2010 at 7:22 am

    I adore meatloaf and can’t get enough of lentils, so this fusion is perfect. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/
    June 16, 2010 at 7:39 am

    What a great idea and probably really tasty.

  • Andrea @ Sweet N Green
    June 16, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I’ve never been crazy about mealoaf either. This recipe sounds genius, I can’t wait to try it out!

  • Olivia @ Blissful Runner
    June 16, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I just printed this out and added it to my recipe arsenol. Looks delish!

  • CW
    June 16, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I’m not the biggest carnivore out there, and I used to not do meatloaf either (something about the name has always turned me off), until I had my mother-in-law’s. It is so delicious and it’s surprisingly easy. She/I use a really simple recipe that just involves lean ground beef (grass-fed from their own farm, lucky us), chopped onion and garlic, bbq sauce and diced tomatoes, plus an egg and rolled oats to hold it all together. It takes about 5 minutes to put together plus an hour in the oven. It’s amazing. I urge you to try it sometime if you’re feeling meaty!

  • Marcia
    June 16, 2010 at 8:41 am

    good lord that looks good. I’m going to make that.

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    June 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I’m with you, meat loaf just creeps me right out. Lentil loaf on the other hand sounds rather appealing! A nice dense, healthy, flavorful meal. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • Lauren @ Lauren Loses it
    June 16, 2010 at 9:36 am

    That looks freaking fantastic! That might end up being the first meal I cook in my new house.
    I’m reposting to share with everyone. Love it!

  • read, write, repeat
    June 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

    hey there – just wanted to let you know that I wrote up your blog on my blog as a great example of how writers can lead healthy lives! thanks for being such a great inspiration all the time!
    you can read the post here: http://readwriterepeat.tumblr.com/post/704912424/blog-lovin-eat-live-run

  • Kim (Imperfectly Perfect)
    June 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Wow, great job! That looks delish!

  • Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life
    June 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    That looks quite delicious! Very impressive!
    No matter what, “meatloaf” always make me think of the movie “A Christmas Story” 😀

  • Liz
    June 16, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Truth be told, I love real meatloaf (either with ground beef or turkey) but I completely agree with you about the name MEATLOAF. I actually made some last night, and had a sandwich with it today, and I do sort of have to suspend thought about what it is that I am consuming in order to enjoy it. But, I also LOVE lentils. This looks like a great way to cut down on fat and calories and looks so flavorful. I will definitely bookmark this and make it soon.

  • Em
    June 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Looks fabulous, Jenna!
    You may want to site the source of your inspiration — I find it’s good practice to give credit where due when adapting recipes: adapted from “Clean Food” by Terry Walters.

    • jenna
      June 16, 2010 at 11:52 am

      I agree but that recipe wasn’t the source! I fused together about five different recipes to make my own. If I change one thing from a recipe I am always sure to cite my inspiration. thanks though!

  • Annie D. @ Annie's Simple Life
    June 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    THANK YOU for sharing! We’re always looking for a good lentil laof recipe!

  • Gina
    June 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Beth
    June 16, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Oh my goodness, that is an amazing recipe – I will be making this very soon. Love the creativity you have, very inspiring 🙂

  • tasha - the clean eating mama
    June 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I was never a fan of meat loaf, either. A loaf a meat? No thanks! Now that I am vegan, I am always on the hunt for vegan loafs that don’t contain a huge amounts of nuts or tofu. This recipe sounds amazing! I have a bad of frozen, cooked lentils in my freezer and now I know exactly what I am going to do with them! =)

  • Fueling for Fitness
    June 17, 2010 at 10:23 am

    My last lentil meatloaf was a disaster. I substituted one too many things and ended up with a dry, uninspiring crumble. I said I would never try it again – until I saw this. Thank you for sharing this recipe!


  • JoseeG
    June 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I just did your recipe… it is very good and tasty. A great alternative to real meatloaf!

    Thanks and good luck.

  • Sarah
    June 18, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I lurve lentil loaf!! My favorite Lentil Loaf recipe is from “The Vegan Table”. It tastes just like good ole fashioned southern meatloaf! And it makes a great sammy the next day too! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

  • Susan
    June 20, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I made this and left out the walnuts since I don’t care too much for them. It was really good!

  • Jos
    June 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Wow, I gotta try this! I have most of the ingredients, except the bread crumbs and walnuts. Can I skip that and still get the amazing result?

  • Katherine
    June 22, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Made this for dinner last night and we all LOVED it!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Paige
    June 22, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for making this delicious recipe available! I happened to have some precooked lentils from Trader Joes on hand which made the prep even easier, and I subbed pecans (also on hand) for the walnuts. The texture was perfect and that simple glaze is divine.

  • Alison
    June 22, 2010 at 10:54 am

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now but this is my first time posting a comment. I made your delish looking loaf on the weekend but it was a big fail 🙁 It turned out really soupy. Sigh. The only thing that I could think of was that I used “red” lentils – is there a difference between red lentils and the ones you used? Your pictures made it look so good I am willing to give it another try 🙂 Thanks.

    • cm
      January 5, 2014 at 10:38 am

      i know im answering a 4 year old question – but just in case this helps someone reading through these.

      Red lentils do not hold their shape when they’re cooked, they turn to mush.. which makes them great for making soups and dahls but they’d be less than desirable in a loaf. definitely use the green/brown variety.

  • Gina
    June 26, 2010 at 6:04 am

    This was delicious! I made it for dinner last night, and my dad (who can be pretty picky) loved it! I can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch =D

    I used red lentils, like the person above, but mine wasn’t soupy =/

  • Laura Ann
    June 28, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    WOW! delicious! my bf (a very open-minded meat eater) also loved it, and we decided we’re making it for our dinner party on friday. recipe was perfect – he suggested adding some type of additional spice to the sauce on top. YUM.


  • Dee
    July 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I printed this out when I first saw it, and just made it last night. It was delicious! Even better today for lunch. Thanks for the new addition to my menu!

  • Emily
    September 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for posting this. It sounds and looks delicious. I’m definitely going to try it out on my family. I have a huge bag of lentils leftover from last summer and they’re just waiting to be used for this yummy loaf. Thanks! 🙂

  • Ariffa
    September 26, 2010 at 9:44 am

    this. was. awesome.

  • Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey
    November 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Do you think I could substitute cooked quinoa for the breadcrumbs? I have none and am hoping to increase the protein a bit for my Thanksgiving dinner. 😀

  • Gina
    November 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I made this recipe today for Thanksgiving. I was a little worried to try it out because I’ve read how other recipes like this one can come out dry and crumbly. Well, I must say that this recipe worked out FANTASTIC for me! The loaf was very moist and perfectly seasoned. One word of warning … it is very filling. Thanks again for this recipe!

  • Rachel S
    January 8, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic! So moist and I loved the sauce on top. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Ivy
    January 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I made this for lunches this week, SO GOOD, I am in love with beans loaves now and next week I’m going to make a chickpea loaf. Sounds weird, but beyond delicious, the nuts really make it good!

    • jenna
      January 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      awesome! So glad!

  • Kate Freed
    February 6, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Hi! Made this last night – it was FANTASTIC. My husband was a little skeptical at first but he was pleasantly surprised. The glaze is so tasty. Now we have all these healthy leftovers in the fridge too! Thanks so much.

  • Beth @ C'est La Belle Vie
    April 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Having recently re-committed to the vegetarian life, I’m looking forward to trying this! Sounds delicious!

  • Alycia
    May 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I have made this twice this month now, and found that using split lentils, which when cooked, come out more mushy – actually work great and made it more ‘loafy’ (for lack of a better term!) Mine tended to fall apart a bit when I used the whole lentils. Either way, the flavour is awesome and I will make this all the time! Thanks 🙂

  • HilaryJo
    May 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Okay, Im not sure if I should be reviewing yet since I technically havent finished the recipe (by that I mean baked)–but it is SOOOOOOOOO YUMMY SO FAR!!!!!!!!!! I dont know if it WILL get baked, so I figured I better praise its flavor, and hope that whatever makes it into the oven is as delicious as the parts that will never make it into the oven are!! 🙂

  • Amber
    September 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

    This was so good! Made it last weekend and am cooking it tonight for some meat eating friends. My 13 month old loved it too!

  • hihorosie
    September 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make this for some time now and finally did tonight. I’m not a meatloaf kind of person either but this I was willing to try. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your recipe. It was really good (made no changes) and we’ll be making this again. 🙂

  • Jen
    September 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    My loaf is in the oven right now–it smells amazing! Can’t wait to taste it! 🙂

  • Sarah Kiser
    October 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Wow, this was truly fantastic! My kids and I (we’re vegan) just loved it. I hope you make/post more vegan recipes. Thanks!

  • Nancy Biota
    November 14, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Every time I make this, people go crazy and ask for the recipe. The sandwiches from leftovers are also outstanding. Freezes well, so consider doubling the recipe and making one for now and one for the freezer – great for potlucks.

  • wingraclaire
    January 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I made this tonight, and we loved it!!!! Thank you! It’s just the kind of thing we like to eat.

  • Meghan
    February 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Wow… I just finished my first huge slab of it… and I felt I HAD to comment on this. I don’t normally do this. This recipe was sooooo delicious. I have recently moved out and this will be the first recipe I put on a recipe card in my new box. Thank you so much, it is so great! I will be telling people about it!

  • Kelly
    March 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I might have to try this, cause regular meatloaf grosses me out, too.
    Do you make your own vegetable broth or do you just use canned? I guess I don’t know how to make veggie broth.

    • jenna
      March 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      I don’t! And tonight I used Trader Joe’s chicken stock. You can use whatever you have!

  • Bette
    March 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I do like meatloaf. I love meat. I love how it tastes, I love how it looks, and I love how it feels. I like vegetables, too. But, in general I intensely dislike any vegetable trying to pretend it is a meat. I have tried veggie “burgers”. I don’t like how they look or taste and I definitely hate how the feel. Part of it I think is psychological. If you say it is a burger it better look, taste, and feel like a burger. You can’t do that with veggies. I might tolerate it more if you were just honest and called it a vegetable patty. I know, I know, I am being petty. But I like my meat. It’s just the way I feel. Having said all that, I would be willing to try this recipe. It actually sounds good. And it doesn’t even try to call itself a “meatloaf” which it isn’t.

  • Mary
    April 6, 2012 at 7:19 am

    This lentil loaf was delicious. When I turned it out of the pan, it actually fell apart, but I’m pretty sure that’s because I didn’t pack it into the pan enough. I would definetly suggest packing it in. I didn’t care though — the flavor was great & I will definetly be making this again.

  • Luti
    April 7, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I love your humor, photos and clarity. Thank you what promises to be a delightful treat! Can’t wait to try it out!

  • Luti
    April 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Oops! Sorry, forgot to include the website 🙂

  • Bear
    May 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I love this recipe. While I was living in Korea, as a vegetarian, I wanted some comfort food and food this recipe. I LOVED IT! I’ve made it some many times since. The last time my husband combined the leftovers with polenta-bake leftovers and a couple eggs to make delicious burger patties. We’ll be doing that for a long time to come. Thanks so much for all of the delicious foods you share.

  • kathleen
    May 27, 2012 at 4:03 am

    I’m going to try this recipe tomorrow,I need a subsetute for the egg white I cant get ground flax here in Spain where I live,and I dont eat dairy products.

  • Hillary {Nutrition Nut on the Run}
    October 30, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Do you think almond meal would work as a breadcrumb replacement?

  • Sarah
    December 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I just made this tonight, and it was DELICIOUS! I have been searching for a “meatloaf” recipe that actually feels like I am eating meatloaf. The walnuts were absolutely amazing in this. Thank you so much!

  • Christine
    December 21, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Made this for dinner Sunday and ate it every meal until it was gone. It’s that great!

  • Ada
    December 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Really good! I’m trying to transition into a more plant based diet, and this was a delightful introduction to vegan cooking. I’m only 17, but I found your recipe easy to follow, the ingredients easy to find and I very much loved the mix of flavours!

  • Rachel
    December 31, 2012 at 5:16 am

    Just made this last night and WOW! You put together such an amazing recipe. Thank you so much 🙂
    I hope you have a wonderful Happy New Year!
    Thanks again!

  • Maggie
    January 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm


    This recipe is so ridiculously amazing that I can barely string together a coherent sentence thanks to my “vegan lentil walnut loaf high.” I can’t wait to eat this again for lunch tomorrow! (Okay, technically I already *did* eat it again because I went back for seconds…had to talk myself out of thirds!)

    Make this, now. You’ll be happy you did!

  • Shelby
    January 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m the only vegetarian in my house so finding recipes that my husband and our 16 year old son will like has been a struggle. We ALL loved this!

  • Nell
    February 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    We’re a new vegan family and I’m thrilled to say we loved this!! Thank you!!!

  • Mark
    February 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Excellent, except you should post some nutrition information.


  • Carrie Cullen
    March 27, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I used red lentils and I was a little shy on the breadcrumbs so a I threw in a handful of oats. I used Gravymaster as the topping… looks good so far… waiting for it to come out of the oven!!

  • Julie
    March 31, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I have made this recipe once and am making it again tonight (that should tell you that it was successful!).

    The only modifications I had were: 1) Chicken stock (I’m not vegan or veg so I didn’t have any veggie stock on hand); and 2) I didn’t use *real* maple syrup – I used plain old Aunt Jemima. This was concerning to me, but when mixed with the balsamic and ketchup the mapley-flavor was satisfactory. I’m sure it would be more delicious if real maple syrup were used, but I am but a wee poor graduate student and the cheap stuff prevails.

    For my second go-around this time, I think I’m going to put a small amount of the glaze in the bottom of the loaf pan as well, that way when it is turned out, the loaf will have a crunchy caramelized top as well as bottom.

    Thanks for a great, healthy recipe! As stated in the recipe, the “meat”loaf is devine the next day in a sandwich. I topped my sandwiches with a slice of provolone, which of course de-veganizes it but is YUMMY.


  • barb
    April 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    This lentil loaf is incredible! I was ready to give up on ever finding a good lentil loaf recipe, after many disappointing tries. The glaze is just the icing on the cake!!!

  • Nicole
    September 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Thank you for making one without tempeh, tofu, gluten, and a million ingredients! I will soon try this one! Might try adding Worcestershire sauce if I need it, other recipes have it.

  • Emily
    October 17, 2013 at 4:45 am

    One question about the lentils- do you soak them overnight first or start cooking them completely dried? I’ve always soaked dried beans when using them but want to make this tonight


  • Laura
    November 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I hosted a vegan Thanksgiving for my omnivorous family last night, and while one person did bring some turkey, he filled his plate with all my vegan dishes and forgot to add turkey to it! So everybody ate a 100% vegan (and gluten-free) Thanksgiving feast and they were full of compliments! This lentil loaf was definitely a huge hit, even though it fell apart (a little) after I took it out of the loaf pan! I am so happy. We ended the evening watching South Park episodes and finally Clash Of The Titans (the new one). I love my family! 🙂

  • Loveforveg
    December 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I’m hosting Christmas dinner for my fam first time ever. They are traveling from out of state, whole nine yards. My husband and I are vegan but no one else is. We wanted to make a dish that we would love and others would not despise. Saw this recipe and tested it out last night. The flavor was fantastic (added some garlic and onion powder) but it came out of the oven more as a stew than a loaf. We cooked it for an add’l 15 minutes but it didn’t “loaf” any better. I can’t serve this at my Christmas dinner and expect to convert the masses. My husband suggested a cup less veg broth while adding more flax and some flour. Any suggestions?

  • John Fisher
    December 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I can almost smell this cooking already. I think I’m going to make some minor variations to the recipe to suit my own tastes, but it’s a good basis for starters. Great recipe. Thanks.

  • Kate
    January 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    We thought this was good, but a little bland. The sauce really improved it though. If I made this again in the future, I’d make extra sauce to have on the side. Or I’d cut the recipe in half to make a thinner loaf and use the same amount of sauce. Thanks!

  • Dawn
    January 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    So, just tried this delicious sounding recipe. However, you didn’t indicate how deep it should be. I cooked it for over an hour, and it takes good, but still has the consistency of raw, uncooked meatloaf. I was expecting it to have more of a consistency of a cooked loaf. Still, it does taste good so I’m not prepared to give up on this recipe yet.
    Can you please suggest the dimensions of the pan in which you cook this loaf and how deep it should be when it goes into the oven. I am wondering if my loaf pan creates a deeper loaf than you intended.

  • Lisa
    January 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    My topping came out black! I freaked out till I realized I used molasses instead of maple syrup. What a delicious mistake! Thanks for the recipe.

    • marthava
      May 31, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      LOL. I was like… black??

  • Nona
    March 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    So good! The texture is wonderful. I’ve made it twice now. The second time I played with the spices. I kept the oregano and added at least 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, cumin powder, ancho chili powder. Then instead of the ketchup, I mixed some tomato paste with water, a dash of sugar and some of the same spices. Yum!! I served it with a pan of vegan mac&cheese. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  • Nona
    March 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    So good! The texture is wonderful. I’ve made it twice now. The second time I played with the spices. I kept the oregano and added at least 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, cumin powder, ancho chili powder. Then instead of the ketchup, I mixed some tomato paste with water, a dash of sugar and some of the same spices. Yum!! I served it with a pan of vegan mac&cheese. Thanks for such a great recipe. Oh, and I also baked maybe 5 minutes longer the second time. It held up better for me.

  • Bailee
    March 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I’ve made this twice so far and it is soooooo good! I don’t like ketchup topping on any meatloaf (or ketchup in any amount, ever. Lol) so the first time around I used homemade marinara sauce as a topping and that was really great. This time I’m going to omit a topping and cover it in foil for most of the baking process, then remove it to crisp the top slightly towards the end. With my leftovers I crumbled some in a dish and added jalapenos, salsa, olives and such and made a veggie taco bowl. This time, upon a family member’s request (a meat eater, I’ll add 🙂 I removed some of the mix before baking and put it through the food processor to make it into a “burger-like” consistency and voila! Awesome veggie burgers! I’m going to keep tweaking and experimenting with this recipe because it’s just that great 🙂

  • marthava
    May 31, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Like another commenter, I have tried many lentil loaves and haven’t liked any of them. This is the best one I’ve ever eaten, and I’m so excited I finally have a great recipe! Thank you!

  • demabu
    June 3, 2014 at 4:26 am

    This was amazing! This is the first lentil loaf I’ve tried – I’d never even eaten meatloaf prior to turning vegan – and it’s going to be a keeper. I doubled the glaze, and made it a day in advance, refrigerating overnight. It turned out beautifully.

  • Tracy Gibb
    July 8, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    This looks sooo good, especially with the veggies. This is my first time to your site and I’ll definitely bookmark it!

  • Kelley
    December 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Can the loaf ( less the topping) be made one day ahead and refrigerated until baked?

    • Dave
      November 25, 2018 at 11:03 am

      Yes. I just made it and it seems like something that would work with a meal prep.

  • Nita
    January 12, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Jenna, thank you for the BEST EVER meatless loaf. I have been using it for a very long time, & never tire of it. If often make it in muffin tins & bake for 20 – 25 minutes. I always double the topping because it is delicious.

    This recipe is also used as a burger replacement on a bun, topped with onion, avocado, lettuce & tomatoes.

    Your recipe makes my #WFPB lifestyle easier.