Vegan lentil loaf is a staple meal that is quick, easy and packed with flavor. Made with mushrooms, walnuts and quinoa along with plenty of herbs and spices for maximum flavor, this vegan lentil loaf recipe is savory and filling.
Lentil loaf is fantastic to serve to a group of people and ideal for vegans to take to family gatherings if other protein options aren’t available.
Skill: Easy | Time: 1 hr 5 min | Servings: 6
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Make an Easy Vegan Lentil Loaf
Making a lentil mushroom loaf seemed so intimidating to me at one point. It used to take so long to put everything together, so I created a simple recipe that really only has 4 steps: prep, pre-cook the veggies, stir everything else in and bake!
I’ve purposefully avoided using a food processor for this lentil loaf because not everyone has one and they can be annoying to clean (so many parts!).
To make this vegan lentil quinoa loaf recipe easier, I recommend preparing all the ingredients before you start cooking the veggies. Also, have the loaf pan ready to go and get the oven heating! Once you start cooking the vegetables, things will move pretty quickly.
Tips for Getting Vegan Lentil Loaf to Hold Together
I’m not going to lie, this vegan lentil mushroom loaf is pretty “rustic” when you serve it. While it may not always hold together, there are a few steps you can take to make this easy lentil loaf hold together better:
- Mash the lentils: Mashing the lentils with a fork or potato masher before stirring them in will create more of a “paste” that can hold together better compared to whole lentils. Don’t over-mash though; you want some texture so the final product isn’t too smooth.
- More gluten flour: The gluten flour is really what holds this vegan lentil loaf together. Adding more provides additional binding-power to keep things held together. Also be sure to read the directions about stirring gluten flour into the mixture; it’s important to do this step well so the gluten incorporates evenly. An extra 1 -2 tablespoons would do the trick; likely no need to fully double.
- Chop the veggies extra-fine: The smaller the onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms are cut, the easier it is to hold the small pieces together. Large chunks tend to make for a more rustic loaf.
Add Mushrooms, Walnuts and Quinoa to a Vegan Lentil Loaf
Mushrooms, walnuts and quinoa sounds pretty tasty to me! All of these ingredients are used in this vegan lentil quinoa loaf to add texture, flavor and nutrition!
Mushrooms add a softer texture and some moisture to the lentil loaf. They’re also a good source of B-vitamins, potassium, selenium and even some plant-based protein! Mushrooms provide an “earthy” flavor to meals like lentil mushroom loaf and can be a good addition to dishes that replicate meat products (they also add a darker color).
Walnuts provide a nice crunch, lots of flavor and a ton of nutrition. Walnuts are a great source of healthy fats including omega 3s, plant-based protein, iron, magnesium as well as fiber and a small amount of calcium. The healthy fats really make this lentil loaf satisfying and delicious.
Quinoa is a whole grain that is a good source of fiber, healthy carbohydrates, plant-based protein as well as magnesium, iron, zinc, antioxidants and folate. By making this a lentil quinoa loaf recipe, you’ll consume 5 out of the 6 food groups for a healthy plant-based diet in one meal!
What to Serve with Vegan Lentil Loaf
Vegan lentil loaf is a delicious and nutritious replacement for any other type of loaf dish (ex. meat loaf). You can serve vegan lentil loaf alongside so many tasty options like mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and vegetables to make a “classic” meal.
If you don’t like boring steamed vegetables, roasting veggies is a perfect way to pack a ton of flavor into a meal. Toss vegetables with any of your favorite spices and a touch of oil, roast until cooked through and you’re all set!
I like to bring lentil quinoa loaf to family gatherings where there may not be a good protein option for me to eat (as a vegan). I can then pair the lentil loaf with the veggie sides that are available!
Maple balsamic Brussel’s sprouts are a fantastic side dish to try alongside vegan lentil loaf!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please rate and comment below so others benefit from your experience.
More Vegan Recipes with Plant-based Protein
Vegan Lentil Loaf with Mushrooms, Walnuts and Quinoa
- Cutting Board
- Can Opener
- Large pan
- Loaf pan
- ½ C onion , finely diced
- ½ C celery , finely diced
- ½ C carrot , finely diced
- 1 C mushrooms , finely diced (white/ button or cremini)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 19 oz can lentils , drained and rinsed
- ½ C quinoa , cooked
- ½ C walnuts , chopped
- ¼ C gluten flour (vital wheat gluten)
- 2 tbsp ketchup , plus more for topping loaf
- 1 tbsp barbecue sauce , plus more for topping loaf
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (about 1 tbsp chopped or ½ tsp dry thyme)
- 1 tsp Herbamare seasoning (or ½ tsp of salt + ½ tsp herb blend)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp dry ground sage (or poultry seasoning)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Prep all ingredients as above.
- Preheat oven to 375 °F.
- Cook the onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms in a pan over medium-high heat. Use 1-2 tbsp of oil to prevent sticking. Sautee for 4-5 minutes then add the garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes then turn the heat down to low.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. It’s important to sprinkle the gluten flour in a thin layer across the top of the rest of the ingredients and stir it in carefully to prevent the gluten flour from clumping.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Grease a loaf pan (I use an oil spray) and firmly press the loaf into the pan. Top with BBQ sauce and/ or ketchup (depending on your preferences). Cover the top with a thin layer of sauce.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges have started to crisp and the center is heated through.
- Let the loaf sit for at least 20 minutes before cutting. It’s best to serve this loaf from the pan as it’s challenging to remove from the pan.
- See tips in text above from making this loaf hold together better (this recipe creates a fairly loose texture).