Lentil Loaf

My Grandpop made a mean meatloaf for me growing up. It had ground beef, oats, carrots, onions, tomato paste, and herbs and was always served with a side of steamed carrots and mashed potatoes. This was a family favorite during elementary school. In high school, we started including more meatless meals during the week. That's when I had my first lentil loaf. I still remember eating it with ketchup, and a side of mashed potatoes, just like Grandpops. I also recall being so surprised that it was good! After that, I developed a love for lentils, beyond lentil soup. In addition to lentil loaf, give green lentil pasta a try, it's also packed with disease-fighting plant-based proteins.

Makes 8 servings
Serving size: 1 slice
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Ingredients for lentil loaf

  • 2 ½ cups cooked lentils (green or brown, cooked from 1 cup dry)
  • 3 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking or rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, roughly chopped or partially crushed
  • 1/2 cup oat flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 2 tsp dried herbs (such as thyme, oregano, parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Directions for lentil loaf

  1. Rinse lentils and add to a medium pot with 2.5 cups of water or low-sodium vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer.
  2. Cover and cook for 35 minutes, until soft. (It is ok to overcook lentils, but they should have a little liquid remaining – keep this liquid in the pot at the end).
  3. While lentils are cooking, heat 1 tbsp in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and carrot and sauté for 2 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  4. Stir well and add mushrooms, celery, and red pepper. Sauté for 1 minute more, then cover and sauté on low for 5-7 minutes more, until all veggies are fork-tender.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed meal, oats, oat flour, sunflower seeds, dried spices, salt and pepper. Whisk well to combine. Add in lentils, cooked veggies, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix very well (don’t worry if lentils break apart – it will help with binding), until all ingredients are incorporated. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (if not non-stick).
  7. Prepare the glaze: whisk tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  8. Transfer lentil mixture to the loaf pan and smooth out on top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and spread glaze evenly on top. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely before slicing.
  11. The loaf will continue to firm once refrigerated as well.

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Nutrition facts

Per Serving

  • calories: 210
  • carbohydrate: 30g
  • cholesterol: 0mg
  • fat: 7g
  • fiber: 9g
  • protein: 10g
  • saturated fat: 1g
  • sodium: 180mg
  • sugar: 6g
Photograph by Melissa Halas. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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