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Vegan Meatloaf | The Choosy Eater

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This traditional vegan meatloaf, loaded with walnuts, lentils, carrots, shallots, and savory spices for a mix of flavors that’s positive to impress. Topped with a barely candy tomato glaze, it’s the right vegan or vegetarian entree. The leftovers make nice lunches too!

vegan lentil meatloaf / vegan lentil loaf with tomato glaze served on a white plate

This vegan meatloaf is one in every of my favourite hearty vegetarian recipes to make for dinner! It additionally occurs to be vegan, making it when you’ve got dairy-free or vegan company. 

Basic meatloafs historically embrace floor beef, however this wholesome model is full of protein, wholesome fat, and taste. That is one of the best vegan meatloaf recipe, and it doesn’t include any Unimaginable burger or retailer purchased vegan meat.

My protein-packed vegan meatloaf is tremendous simple to make and a lot of the substances wanted are issues yow will discover in your pantry — which makes it even simpler. The very best half is, this vegan lentil meatloaf is so scrumptious that nobody will miss the meat on this dish in any respect!

Utilizing lentils as a substitute of meat does wonders for this dish. I wasn’t positive if lentils can be a satisfying sufficient substitution for meat, but it surely seems that the feel of this meatloaf is harking back to the traditional recipe! Lentils and walnuts make this loaf tremendous savory, hearty and satisfying. When paired with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies, it’s consolation meals at its greatest!

If that is your first time attempting any vegan cooking, you’ll love this approachable and easy recipe. You’ll even be hooked on plant based mostly cooking after you attempt my wholesome vegan meatloaf!

I assure you’ll love this straightforward lentil loaf recipe. It’s the right predominant dish for a household meal, or for feeding a crowd. And with solely 20 minutes of prep time (and 40 minutes of cooking time), you’re not going to be spending hours within the kitchen making this walnut lentil loaf. It’s additionally simply made gluten-free, and kid-friendly too! Win win for everybody!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love This Vegan Meatloaf

  • Easy Healthful Substances: Conventional meatloaf recipes will be excessive in fats and less-than-healthy substances. Each ingredient on this vegan recipe is one yow will discover dietary worth in so you’ll be able to be ok with feeding this vegan meatloaf to your loved ones. That is additionally a budget-friendly dish and it’s nice for meal prep!
  • Household Pleasant: Youngsters and adults alike (even non-vegans/vegetarians!) will love this vegan lentil loaf. It’s flavorful, meaty, scrumptious, and satisfying!
  • Excellent For The Holidays: This recipe for vegan meatloaf is a showstopper! It’s good to serve at a household gathering for a vacation (like Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving) or a special day. It’s additionally simple sufficient to prep in 20 minutes (and do different issues whereas it bakes!) to serve any night time.
  • Scrumptious Leftovers: The leftovers of this simple vegetarian meatloaf are scrumptious even days later. Serve it up in a meatloaf sandwich or as is for a straightforward and satisfying lunch.

Newest Recipe Video!

🥘 Substances

You may have already got a lot of the substances for this healthful vegan lentil loaf (no animal merchandise!). If not, these easy substances will be discovered at your native grocery retailer. See the recipe card on the backside of the publish for dietary data.

Ingredients for easy vegan meatloaf recipe made with lentils and walnuts on a white background.
  • Purple Onion, Garlic, Shallots, And Garlic: The onion (crimson onion or yellow onion is ok), garlic, and shallots are aromatics that add plenty of scrumptious taste to this recipe. The carrots additionally add some earthiness and a barely candy taste (plus additional vitamins!) to this vegan meatless meatloaf.
  • Dry Lentils: Any kind (or colour) lentils will work. Nonetheless, crimson lentils are likely to prepare dinner as much as be extra mushy whereas brown lentils and inexperienced lentils stay extra tender and maintain their form. If you wish to use a mixture of lentils, that’s superb, however do not forget that the crimson lentils prepare dinner sooner, so both add them close to the top of the lentil cooking course of or simply use inexperienced and brown lentils.
  • Walnuts: I selected walnuts for this lentil nut loaf as a result of it blends effectively with the lentils and offers stability and further protein. Elective: You possibly can toast these within the oven till golden brown for a extra strong taste. 
  • Breadcrumbs: I like home made entire wheat bread crumbs, however any you may have readily available is ok. Identical to with conventional meatloaf, the breadcrumbs assist maintain all the things collectively and soak up extra moisture – this retains you from ending up with a mushy lentil loaf!
  • Flaxseed Egg: To make this vegan, I substituted egg with 1 tablespoon floor flaxseed meal and a couple of ½ to three tablespoons water. Floor flax seeds additionally add some wholesome fat to this simple vegan meatloaf!
  • Sauces And Spices: That is the place the magic occurs. You possibly can customise to your liking, however the combo used on this no meat meatloaf is deliciously savory — and a tad umami — as is. The olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce (or coconut aminos or vegan Worcestershire) mix is on level, and the smoked paprika actually enhances the extra “standard” spices like thyme, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper which supplies this nice recipe a wealthy taste. Be at liberty to experiment with Italian seasoning, dietary yeast, or different spices.
  • Tomato Glaze Substances: You’ll discover tomato paste, balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), candy paprika (or liquid smoke), maple syrup (or brown sugar) and salt on this vegan meatloaf glaze. This barely candy glaze is downright addictive!

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Garlic: I extremely advocate sticking to recent garlic cloves for this vegan meatloaf recipe. That mentioned, don’t not make it should you don’t have it readily available. Merely exchange with a heaping tablespoon of pre-packaged minced garlic or 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
  • Carrots: You would substitute one other veggie like bell pepper (these prepare dinner up faster) however should you use a water-filled vegetable like zucchini or mushrooms, be sure to prepare dinner out the additional liquid so that you don’t find yourself with a soggy vegan loaf.
  • Lentils: You too can use canned beans (when you’ve got dry beans, you’ll must prepare dinner these first) and skip the lentil cooking a part of the directions (you may as well use canned or lentils — Dealer Joe’s additionally sells pre-cooked lentils of their ready meals part).
  • Walnuts: If there’s a walnut allergy, different nuts like pecans, cashews, or almonds will work. For normal nut allergic reactions, uncooked pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or sunflower seeds will work!
  • Breadcrumbs: Common breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs are additionally superb (use gluten-free breadcrumbs if wanted). Garbanzo bean flour (besan), fast oats, or oat flour will also be used.
  • Flaxseed: Chia seeds are an excellent substitute for flaxseed (use the identical seed to water ratio). Be aware that flaxseed should be floor to gel correctly, whereas chia seeds will be left entire. Should you can solely discover entire flaxseed, you’ll be able to grind it in a spice grinder or espresso grinder.
  • Tomato Glaze: Should you don’t need to make the glaze from scratch, you may as well use barbecue sauce (attempt my home made vegan bbq sauce!) and even cranberry sauce on prime of the lentil loaf.

🔪 How To Make Vegan Meatloaf

This wholesome vegan meatloaf with lentils and walnuts comes collectively in solely 20 minutes of prep with easy steps and minimal effort! Right here is the right way to make my vegan lentil loaf:

For The Vegan Meatloaf

Preheat Oven, Put together Baking Pan: Preheat the oven to 350 levels F / 180 C and line a typical loaf pan (or a smaller baking dish) with parchment paper and put aside. 

Prepare dinner The Lentils If Not Utilizing Canned/Ready: To prepare dinner dried lentils, you’ll use a ratio of 1 cup lentils to three cups of water and easily convey all the things to a boil, then simmer on the stovetop in a small pot till tender, stirring often. For reference, 1 cup dried lentils turns into 2 ½ cups cooked (what this recipe requires). Understand that crimson lentils prepare dinner a lot sooner than inexperienced or brown lentils. Don’t salt the lentils till they’re executed cooking, as this could make them robust. Whereas the lentils are cooking you’ll be able to put together the greens.

Cooked brown lentils on a white dish.

Chop The Veggies & Prepare dinner: Cube garlic cloves, onion and carrot into very small items. Chop the shallot and set that apart. Sauté garlic in a heated giant skillet or pan with olive oil over medium warmth till aromatic. Then add onion and carrot and sauté, stirring incessantly) for 4-5 minutes or till onion is translucent.

onions and carrots sauteeing in a pan

Add The Shallot: Add the chopped shallot to the cooked veggies. Prepare dinner for 2 extra minutes stirring incessantly.

other veggies and spices added to pan

Make The Flaxseed Egg: Combine the bottom flaxseed and water (don’t use scorching water) in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for at the least 5 minutes (you are able to do this whilst you mix the lentil loaf combination – see the following two steps beneath).

wet ingredients mixed in a bowl

Add To A Giant Bowl: Place the cooked greens in a big mixing bowl and add 2 cups of cooked lentils (leaving ½ cup of lentils apart). 

Mix The Combination: Utilizing an immersion blender, course of the greens till they type a easy paste. Then add the walnuts and mix once more. This may be executed with a meals processor, countertop blender, or perhaps a potato masher as effectively.

walnuts added to veggie mixture pureed in a bowl

Add Seasonings And Binder: Add all of the spices, the remainder of the lentils, breadcrumbs, flaxseed egg, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and salt and stir to mix.

lentils and breadcrumbs added to veggie mixture

Add To Loaf Pan: Switch the meatloaf combination to the ready loaf pan and press with a spoon to get a compact loaf, making certain the highest of the vegan loaf is flat and even.

lentil loaf added to baking pan lined with parchment paper

Make The Vegan Meatloaf Glaze

Whisk Collectively Glaze Substances: In a small bowl, whisk collectively the glaze substances. (Skip this step if utilizing barbecue sauce or one other ready sauce.)

Add The Glaze: Utilizing a spoon, add the glaze on prime of the meatloaf. Use the again of the spoon to unfold the glaze evenly to all edges of the lentil loaf.

tomato sauce added to lentil loaf

Bake The Vegan Meatloaf

Bake 40 Minutes: Put the entire loaf within the oven and bake for 40 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 levels F / 180 C, or till golden brown on the sides. 

Relaxation The Meatloaf: Let the vegan meatloaf sit within the pan for 10 minutes. This may assist it slice higher.

Take away From Pan: Grasp the sides of the parchment paper and punctiliously switch the cooked vegan meatloaf to a wire rack. To ensure the slices lower properly, let it relaxation for an additional 10 minutes.

Vegan lentil loaf with tomato glaze, sliced and served on a white plate.

Slice The Meatloaf & Serve: Fastidiously transfer the loaf to a slicing board or serving platter. Use a pointy knife to chop the vegan meatloaf into particular person slices for serving. This recipe is greatest loved instantly, although it tastes nice the following day too! Garnish with recent parsley if desired.

Vegan lentil meatloaf with tomato glaze, sliced and served on a white plate.

💭 Professional Ideas

  • Don’t Overcook The Lentils: If the lentils get mushy, you might want extra breadcrumbs to assist this vegan meatloaf keep agency. Attempt to not overcook them.
  • Scale back Extra Moisture: If there’s an excessive amount of moisture within the cooked veggies, drain them or blot with a paper towel earlier than including to the bowl. This may assist keep away from a mushy vegan meatloaf.
  • Drain Lentils: Equally, in case your cooked lentils have leftover cooking liquid otherwise you’re utilizing canned lentils, you’ll need to totally drain them first for greatest outcomes. 
  • Too Moist? If the veggie meatloaf combination feels too moist, add a bit extra breadcrumbs.
  • Too Dry? If the lentil walnut meatloaf combination feels too dry or crumbly or gained’t come collectively, you’ll be able to add a bit of little bit of olive oil or soy sauce. You possibly can add an additional flaxseed egg too if you need, however be sure to present it 5-10 minutes to arrange earlier than including it to the combination.
  • No Loaf Pan: Should you don’t have a loaf pan, you’ll be able to line a baking sheet with parchment paper and type the loaf together with your palms.

📖 Variations

  • Vegan Meatloaf Muffins: You may make my vegan lentil loaf into particular person muffins utilizing a muffin tin! Bake for half the time. These freeze nice, making meal prep and portion management simpler. Plus they’re cute!
  • Mini Meatloaves: Equally, you should purchase mini loaf pans and make smaller vegan meatloafs. I might additionally advocate baking these for half the time. The sides ought to be golden brown when the lentil loaf is cooked.
  • Past Meat Meatloaf: Use two packages of Past Meat floor meat (or one other comparable model of plant based mostly floor meat) and the identical flavorings/binders I utilized in my vegan meatloaf recipe beneath. Chances are you’ll want to regulate the ratio of dry and moist substances. The combination ought to be agency and moist however not mushy or too delicate. Should you can pinch a bit between your fingers and it stays collectively, then it’s in all probability going to work effectively. You too can use cooked, crumbled tempeh as a substitute of Past Meat to make a tempeh meatlof.
  • Chickpea Meatloaf: Change the lentils with an equal quantity of cooked chickpeas to make this veggie loaf recipe with chickpeas as a substitute of lentils!
  • Vegan Meatballs: This recipe for lentil meatloaf additionally makes nice meatballs! Use a big cookie scoop and roll the balls between your palms (if it’s too moist, add some extra breadcrumbs and blend). Prepare dinner in a big skillet with a bit of olive oil and switch till golden brown OR bake in a preheated oven at 350 levels F / 180 C on a lined baking tray for round 20-Half-hour or till the meatballs are cooked by way of and golden brown (I like to recommend flipping the meatballs midway by way of).

🍽 Serving Recommendations

This vegan meatloaf is the right predominant dish! Listed here are a couple of of my favourite sides to serve it with:

If serving for Thanksgiving, attempt it with my wholesome candy potato casserole and cornbread gluten-free stuffing! You would additionally attempt a inexperienced bean casserole on the facet.

🙌 Dietary Diversifications

This recipe is already vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free! See beneath for 2 different dietary modifications

  • Gluten-Free Lentil Loaf: Use licensed gluten-free breadcrumbs rather than the common breadcrumbs and swap the soy sauce for licensed gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos. You too can use coarsely floor gluten free oats or gluten free oat flour as a substitute of breadcrumbs to make a lentil oat walnut loaf.
  • Nut-Free Choice: You possibly can attempt utilizing pumpkin seeds as a substitute of walnuts within the lentil loaf combination!

⏲️ Meal Prep / Make Forward Directions

This has turn into one in every of my favourite vegan meal prep meals. You are able to do this two methods:

  • Choice 1: Batch prepare dinner the lentil loaf substances forward of time, then retailer till able to assemble. As an example, you’ll be able to prepare dinner up a big batch of lentils and retailer in an hermetic container; after which chop and saute all of your greens and retailer them in a separate hermetic container. You too can make the tomato glaze and retailer it in a 3rd hermetic container. Doing it this fashion, you’ll be able to simply double the recipe if wanted. You are able to do this as much as 3 days prematurely, after which mix the substances and bake on the day of.
  • Choice 2: Make your complete lentil and walnut loaf the day earlier than. With this selection, you’ll prepare dinner and assemble as you usually would however depart off the tomato glaze. Place within the loaf pan, cowl with plastic wrap, and retailer within the fridge. When able to prepare dinner, let your vegan meatloaf sit at room temperature for about Half-hour, then prime with the glaze and bake.

🫙 Storage Instructions

Right here is the right way to retailer and preserve this vegan meatloaf:

  • Refrigerating: Let any leftover lentil meatloaf cool fully, then slice the remaining loaf. Switch to an hermetic container. It’s going to preserve within the fridge for about 5 days.
  • To Freeze: This vegan meatloaf’s meaty texture holds up within the freezer properly. Observe the identical instructions as should you have been refrigerating it, however as a substitute simply place it within the freezer. You should use a freezer bag or a freezer protected vacuum sealed container. It’s going to preserve for as much as 3 months. Thaw within the fridge earlier than reheating.
  • Reheating: To reheat, place a slice of vegan meatloaf on a plate and microwave, or you’ll be able to reheat on a baking sheet within the oven or toaster oven.

🥪 How To Use Leftovers

  • In A Meatloaf Sandwich: Use leftover lentil loaf slices rather than deli meat in sandwiches. Pair with entire grain bread, recent tomatoes, child spinach and a dollop of mustard.
  • In a Salad: Crumble up the loaf and use it for added protein in inexperienced salads!

❓Recipe FAQs


My wholesome vegan meatloaf is made up of easy and healthful substances like lentils, walnuts, carrots, onion, shallots, garlic, spices, and different seasonings. This can be a plant based mostly meatloaf you’ll be able to be ok with serving your loved ones.


Relies on how a lot time you may have! I favor the budget-friendly choice of cooking dried lentils from scratch, however canned lentils and even the steamed “able to eat” lentils work as effectively.

To prepare dinner dried lentils, you’ll use a ratio of 1 cup lentils to three cups of water and easily convey to a boil, then simmer on the stovetop till tender. For reference, ½ cup of dried lentils equals 1 heaping cup cooked, and 1 cup dried lentils turns into 2.5 cups cooked.

However should you’re quick on time, you’ll be able to completely simply pop open a can of lentils and name it a day. This vegan lentil loaf recipe can deal with it! Simply be sure you drain totally and use paper towels to pat dry. You need the lentils as dry as doable earlier than including to the loaf.


Fortuitously, lentils are nothing like dried beans on the subject of how lengthy they take to prepare dinner. You possibly can go from dried lentils to tender, recipe-ready in about 20 minutes.

Some lentil varieties must be soaked earlier than cooking, so be sure you verify directions on the bundle.

If you’re utilizing cut up lentils, it’ll be even sooner — about 7 minutes. Should you prepare dinner lentils your self, be sure so as to add the salt after cooking. Including salt throughout the simmering stage can lead to robust lentils.

The bottom line is: prepare dinner your lentils till barely tender. Belief me, you do NOT need overly delicate lentils for this vegan meatloaf recipe. The one factor worse than a mushy lentil loaf is a soggy one.


The flaxseed egg (created from floor flaxseed) and water (let it gel for 5-10 minutes till it’s a thick gloopy paste) is the binder on this vegan meatloaf recipe. However vegan or vegetarian meatloaf recipe will use a number of substances to maintain the loaf collectively similar to a mix of moist substances (just like the flax egg, olive oil, and soy sauce) and dry substances (just like the breadcrumbs and spices) to assist all the things keep collectively and make a agency loaf.


Lentils which have cooked too lengthy retain extra moisture, and an excessive amount of moisture is the reason for soggy lentil loaf.

I truthfully haven’t had that drawback with this simple lentil meatloaf recipe, and I believe that’s because of the bread crumbs and walnut mixture. This simple vegan lentil loaf recipe provides you one of the best texture that’s sturdy and holds collectively very well. It’s tender and a tad juicy with out being mushy!

If for no matter cause, you continue to battle with a soggy loaf, attempt lowering the surplus water in your flax egg from 3 tablespoons to only 2 tablespoons subsequent time. Actually, should you’re utilizing canned lentils, you might need to go forward and do that from the beginning.

Vegan meatloaf (vegan lentil loaf) with tomato glaze, sliced and served on a white plate.

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📋 Recipe Card

Vegan Meatloaf

This traditional vegan meatloaf, loaded with walnuts, lentils, carrots, shallots, and savory spices for a mix of flavors that’s positive to impress. Topped with a barely candy tomato glaze, it’s the right vegan or vegetarian entree. The leftovers make nice lunches too!

Prep Time20 minutes

Prepare dinner Time40 minutes

Whole Time1 hour

Course: Principal Course

Delicacies: American, Vegan

Food regimen: Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 10 slices

Energy: 180kcal

  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and put aside.

  • Chop garlic cloves, onion and carrot in very small items.

  • Sauté garlic and 1 tbsp olive oil in a big pan over medium warmth till aromatic. Then add onion and carrot and sauté for 4-5 minutes or till onion is translucent.

  • Chop shallots and add it to the opposite greens. Prepare dinner for 2 extra minutes.

  • Place the cooked greens in a giant bowl and add 2 cups of the cooked lentils. Utilizing a hand blender, puree the vegetable/lentil combination till it kinds a easy paste. Then add walnuts and mix once more. This may be executed with a meals processor as effectively.

  • Add all of the spices, the remainder of the lentils, breadcrumbs, the flaxseed egg, 1 tbsp olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and salt and stir to mix.

  • Switch the combination to the ready loaf pan, urgent with a spoon to get a compact loaf.

  • For the glaze, whisk all of the substances collectively and unfold it with a spoon excessive of the loaf.

  • Bake for 40 minutes at 350 levels F, or till golden brown on the sides.

  • Be certain your lentils aren’t moist once you mix them with the remainder of the substances! That may end in a soggy meatloaf!
  • Should you don’t have a meals processor or hand blender, you’ll be able to chop the walnuts superb with a chef”s knife and use a potato masher to mash the lentils with the opposite substances in a big mixing bowl.
  • When mixing the substances for the lentil loaf, mix till the substances are nonetheless barely chunky – you don’t need it to be totally pureed.
  • Be at liberty to make additional glaze! It’s enjoyable to make use of as a dipping sauce for the meatloaf as soon as it comes out of the oven (that is particularly enjoyable for youths!)
  • If you wish to add some warmth, attempt including some cayenne, crushed crimson pepper, or chipotle chili powder into the lentil combination earlier than baking.
  • Be at liberty to make use of pre-steamed or canned lentils as a substitute of dry to save lots of time.

Serving: 1slice | Energy: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 8g | Fats: 8g | Saturated Fats: 1g | Sodium: 644.5mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5.5g



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