Incredible Lentil Loaf Recipe

Boy do I have an awesome recipe to share with you today! On New Year’s Day, I saw the Ultimate Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf on Angela’s blog, and I was totally intrigued. I had to have it. I did a little google search for “Lentil Loaf” and looked at a ton of different recipes before coming up with my own version, which is not vegan and doesn’t have walnuts, but is amazingly moist and delicious. Lentils are a great starting point if you’re trying to make a vegetarian dish to win over a meat lover in your life, because they are so satisfying and delicious, and really do a good job imparting that heartiness into traditionally meat based dishes, like my spiced lentil mushroom tacos and now this incredible lentil loaf. It’s also extremely Weight Watchers friendly, which is always a great thing. This has a few more steps than my usual recipes, but I promise you it’s all worth it. The printable recipe is here.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (or 1 cup cooked)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 slices bread (I used Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Sesame)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried sage (or thyme)
  • black pepper

To start, boil 2 cups of water and add in your rinsed lentils. Bring it back to a boil, then down to a simmer and let it cook for about 30 minutes. (If all the water goes away add a little more – I had to add about 1/3 of a cup extra) Also cook your rice if you’re not using already prepped brown rice. The instant rice I used cooks in 5 minutes – perfect.

While your lentils and rice are cooking, prep your veggies.

Chop the onion and garlic, and peel and grate your carrot.

Also, toast the bread and then pulse it in your processor to make breadcrumbs.

You can also use already prepped breadcrumbs – about a cup.

Now preheat your oven to 350ΒΊ.

Next up – cooking the veggies. Heat up a pan with some nonstick spray, and then add in the chopped onion.

Once that gets soft (about 2 minutes), add in the garlic and let it go for another minute. Then add in the carrot and let it go another minute or two until all the veggies are soft/heated through.

Last, add in the raisins and cook for one more minute.

By now, your lentils should be cooked and all the liquid absorbed. Taste one to make sure they are tender, then transfer them to a large bowl.

You want to mash up at least half of the lentils, and a stick blender works perfectly for this. If you don’t have a stick blender, you can use a potato masher, a ricer, or a food processor. Or a fork. But that will take a long time.

Now you are ready to combine everything and then bake the loaf! Add into the bowl the veggie mixture, the bread crumbs, the beaten egg, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, the dried sage, and black pepper.

Mix to combine until its a uniform consistency.

Now spray your loaf pan.

Then press the mixture down into the pan with your hands so it is packed in there.

Make sure it’s really packed down, and admire your hard work til this point. πŸ™‚

Pop it in the oven for 35 minutes, and when it comes out, the top will be a bit crispy.

If you don’t have a loaf pan, you can make this in any baking dish really, but just keep in mind that the baking time will vary based on the loaf’s thickness.

Finished!

The entire loaf has 28 points+, so if you divide it into 8 servings, it’s 4 pts a piece. If you’re like me and like to eat a lot, you can divide it into 4 large hunks that are 7 pts+ a pop.

This is AWESOME. It is really moist and flavorful, and the raisins in there add a subtle and very welcome sweetness in each bite.

I served my hunk with some leftover roasted sweet potatoes and carrots from last night.

10 pts+ for the whole plate. And, it was seriously delicious. The texture on it is perfect, and the flavors from all of the ingredients work so well together that you will gobble down every last bite. If you’re trying to convert a carnivore to enjoying a delicious vegetarian meal – this is it. Or, if you’re normally a meat eater and would like to explore some healthy veggie options – try it! Make it with some mashed potatoes and gravy if you like and it’ll be a healthified and delicious version of a traditional plate of meatloaf. Or, if you’re just hungry and like to eat – do it! πŸ™‚ I seriously cannot WAIT for leftovers for lunch!

Enjoy!

PS – I lost .8 at weigh in last night, making my total 8 pounds down in 3 weeks! Woohoo!

Are you a vegetarian, carnivore, or something in between? How often do you eat meat? I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want to stay vegetarian or introduce some lean meat back into my life. I don’t really have a good reason for having gone vegetarian in the first place, but now that it’s been almost a year, I’m just rethinking whether I want to stick with it or have a little meat every once in a while.

66 Comments on Incredible Lentil Loaf Recipe

  1. Michele @ Healthy Cultivations
    January 6, 2011 at 8:05 am (7 years ago)

    I struggle with whether to eat meat or not. I tend toward not doing so. For the past three years, I’ve eaten a mostly vegetarian diet — meaning I eat meat maybe five or six times in a year, usually on vacations.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm (7 years ago)

      Yeah I go back and forth too. I can’t decide!

      Reply
  2. Katie Photiadis
    January 6, 2011 at 8:13 am (7 years ago)

    Beth, congrats on your awesome weigh in! 8 pounds in 3 weeks is incredible! As always your food looks delicious =) I really need to buy a food processor though.

    I think it’s interesting that you’re considering going back to eating meat. I enjoy eating meat because of the protein and because it gives variety to my diet. I’m half Italian so I don’t think I could go for my whole life without Italian sausages, yum. Maybe you could eat meat sparingly?

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm (7 years ago)

      You know I got a little food processor from Costco and it was only $25. It’s cuisinart and only 4 cups so you can’t do huge meals in it but it works for small things like veggie burgers and bread crumbs!

      And yes, that would be the plan if I do introduce meat back into my diet – sparingly.

      Reply
  3. Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon
    January 6, 2011 at 8:55 am (7 years ago)

    Congrats on the weight loss! Your lentil loaf looks fabulous–I love making brown rice veggie loaves…I’ll just sub in lentils next time πŸ™‚

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 6 years, and I absolutely love it. There are so many health benefits to a plant-based diet, and unfortunately even lean meat is laced with hormones and other add-ins we don’t need (unless you spring for the free range versions!). It’s a very personal decision though, and it’s not right for everyone, so I’m sure whatever you go with will be right for you πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm (7 years ago)

      Do your brown rice veggie loaves stick together?? I’d love to see a recipe for one!

      Reply
  4. Barb
    January 6, 2011 at 9:05 am (7 years ago)

    Congrats on the 8 pounds! I really need to get a stick/hand blender. They look really handy and convenient for lots of different things.

    I’m a meat eater but I have to say I eat a lot of vegetarian type meals. I was thinking last night that I don’t think I could go vegetarian all the time. My husband usually makes dinner and the chicken breasts he made last night were out of this world!

    Reply
  5. Amy @ Second City Randomness
    January 6, 2011 at 9:16 am (7 years ago)

    Nice weigh-in!

    As you know, I’m sort of inbetween. Simply because I’m on a budget. And meat doesn’t often fit in it.

    I like finding ways to be a “creative vegetarian” at home. But will never give up meat completely- I can’t imagine not being able to order it when out to eat…

    If you reintroduce it, I think you’ll find you crave it less than you’d think. But it’s still nice to have the option. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm (7 years ago)

      Yeah I’ve noticed my grocery bills have gone down QUITE a bit since I stopped eating meat!

      Reply
  6. Liz
    January 6, 2011 at 9:29 am (7 years ago)

    1 – awesome weigh in
    2 – awesome looking recipe! I have a huge bag of lentils so I gotta make this as soon as I get some bread in the house.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm (7 years ago)

      If you have ready-made breadcrumbs you can make it now! It was seriously amazing. I’m pretty proud of this one. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Nancy
    January 6, 2011 at 9:35 am (7 years ago)

    I became a vegetarian last January after reading the book Skinny Bitch. Especially Chapter 4 about how the mass commercial corporations treat and slaughter the animals we eat. I first tried to find meats that had been humanely raised and slaughtered, but that was difficult and very expensive,so I have been meat/poultry free for a year and very happy with it. Feel ALOT healthier and don’t miss it much. Well – the neighbors burgers on the grille in the Summer do kind of tempt me, but then I just pop a veggie burger on the grille and am fine.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm (7 years ago)

      Yeah reading Skinny Bitch while I experimentally gave up meat last February during Lent sort of solidified it. Maybe I should read the book again. πŸ™‚

      Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm (7 years ago)

      I only recently started loving lentils, and now I can’t get enough!

      Reply
  8. Jennifer
    January 6, 2011 at 9:55 am (7 years ago)

    Congrats on the loss!!! That is fantastic.

    I think I might make that this weekend. I’m not so sure about the raisins though. I like raisins but not baked into things. Thanks for the recipe. I need more vegetarian options for lunch/dinner

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm (7 years ago)

      There’s only 1/4 of a cup of raisins in the whole dish, and they kind of plump up. I love them, but if you take it out, the whole dish would have 25 pts+ (since raisins are 3 for 1/4 cup).

      Reply
  9. livetoeatrunforfun
    January 6, 2011 at 9:57 am (7 years ago)

    ummm love this recipe! I’m going to try it tonight..I’m doing an EAT MY PANTRY challenge, and I already have all of these ingredients! It was meant to be.

    Reply
  10. Jacqueline Lewis-Lyons
    January 6, 2011 at 10:43 am (7 years ago)

    I tried the quinoa burgers last night and loved them, so I will be making this lentil loaf very soon. Thanks for the great recipes. I’ve been vegetarian in the past but reverted to meat after tiring of cooking two meals after marriage (one for me, one for hubby). But now I am trying to minimize the meat in our household so I cook vegetarian at least twice a week.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:21 pm (7 years ago)

      I’m so glad you loved them! I just had my last one from the freezer and might have to make them again really soon.. they are just too good!

      If I do go back to eating meat, I imagine I’d only eat it 1-2 times a week, so I will definitely keep up with vegetarian recipes!

      Reply
  11. Marisa @ Loser for Life
    January 6, 2011 at 10:48 am (7 years ago)

    That looks delicious and filling! I made lentil “meatballs” a while back and they were great, too!

    Congrats on your loss this week!!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm (7 years ago)

      Ohh lentil meatballs – great idea! Lentils are so good in normally meaty dishes.

      And thanks for the congrats! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Sydney
    January 6, 2011 at 11:57 am (7 years ago)

    I’m probably somewhere in between. When I do eat meat, I try to make sure it is organic and ethically raised if possible. I semi-regularly eat chicken and will occasionally have pork, and very rarely beef since I just don’t really like it. I do enjoy seafood a lot though and have that on a pretty regular basis. When I stopped being a strict vegetarian, I gained weight fast, so I am a lot more careful about what and how much I eat of it, especially bacon! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm (7 years ago)

      I didn’t know you ever went fully vegetarian! And yes, I’ll definitely have to monitor myself if I go back to meat so I don’t start gaining weight back.

      Reply
      • Sydney
        January 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm (7 years ago)

        Unrelated PS — We drove up to your CSA Farm the other day and it is BEAUTIFUL. And get this: It is right across the road from my favorite winery!!!

        Reply
        • Beth
          January 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm (7 years ago)

          I’m kind of shocked to hear that based on the produce that came out of it! But wine? Yes, please! πŸ™‚

          Reply
          • Sydney
            January 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm (7 years ago)

            I think it was the same one you were getting your CSA from, at least. It was in Bluemont… great country farms?

  13. Katy
    January 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm (7 years ago)

    Glad to see someone else do this recipe! I’ve wanted to try it since I saw it on her blog! πŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm (7 years ago)

      Yeah I saw it and was like oh man, I have to have it. But then I added it up in the tracker and it was 49 for the loaf so I wanted to reduce it but still make it taste as good. I think I accomplished my mission!

      Reply
  14. Amy@ Amy Starts to Run
    January 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm (7 years ago)

    I am totally making this tonight, but am going to try it with craisins since I don’t have any raisins on hand. I can’t wait!

    Congrats on the great weight loss. I’ve started following the new WW program this week (online) and am feeling great about it.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm (7 years ago)

      Awesome! I’m sure it will be great with craisins. You can also just leave out the raisins in you want, or add in some nuts instead. Your call! Let me know how it turns out.

      And yes I am LOVING the new WW system. It’s awesome!

      Reply
  15. Ang
    January 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm (7 years ago)

    I eat everything except gluten and onions. I know there are a lot of gluten free vegetarians but I just don’t want to give up the one food group I know doesn’t make me sick. I try to buy organic/hormone free meat when I can. I live in a rural area so it’s hard to find and grassfed is impossible. We recently found a farm to buy beef from which should be a lot healthier.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm (7 years ago)

      I feel like when you have TOO many restrictions it is way too hard to stick with it and to be healthy because you feel so limited. With someone like you who has dietary intolerances as it is, I completely understand not wanting to give up something that you can eat without a problem!

      Reply
  16. Ang
    January 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm (7 years ago)

    Forgot to say I love the lentil loaf idea and I think I’ll make one to take for lunches next week! Loving the new WW system btw!

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm (7 years ago)

      FYI – it was AWESOME as a lunch. I think I might use some BBQ sauce or some extra Worcestershire sauce on it tomorrow because I can tell its going to get a little dry the longer it sits in the fridge. Totally delicious though and was moist today (the day after I made it).

      Reply
  17. Jen
    January 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm (7 years ago)

    Looks absolutely amazing!!!! Congrats on your loss for the past few weeks, that’s great!

    My plan, if you really want to call it a plan, is to concentrate mostly vegetarian meals with a little meat every once in awhile.

    Jen

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm (7 years ago)

      That’s probably what I would do too. I still haven’t really decided.

      Reply
  18. rc1001
    January 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m a flexitarian I guess. I eat meat right now, but didn’t before, and may not again later on.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm (7 years ago)

      I think flexitarian is what I’ll be if I’m not longer a pescatarian. Believe or not – i really DON’T like labels despite the fact that it might seem like i do. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  19. Monica
    January 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm (7 years ago)

    Congrats on your WW success! You are doing so great and it is so motivating!

    I am a carnivore and tend to eat meat one to two times throughout the day. I love meat and poultry and try to be selective about where I purchase my goods from so it requires a lot of research first.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm (7 years ago)

      I used to eat a lot of meat before I started weight watchers, but then found I could eat a lot less points in beans, tofu, and faux meat products so I started incorporating those into my diet more, with real meat less. The rest is history, but I don’t know what I want going forward!

      Reply
  20. Stephanie
    January 6, 2011 at 4:54 pm (7 years ago)

    I’ve been a carnivore my entire life up until the first of this year. I’m doing a 30 day raw adventure which is going so much better than I expected. I see a drastic reduction of meat consumption in my life once it’s over but will probably not cut it out completely!

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm (7 years ago)

      Wow I’m so interested to hear about your raw adventure! I’m always intrigued by raw diets but I don’t think I could ever do it myself.

      Reply
  21. Mary @ Bites and Bliss
    January 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m a pescatarian so I guess that puts me in between. πŸ˜› This looks delicious!! I used to love meat loaf as a kid and, I’ll admit, have been craving it lately. I’ll have to give this a try sometime!

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm (7 years ago)

      It definitely fulfills the meatloaf craving. It’s kind of weird that its NOT meat to be honest.

      Reply
  22. Caroline
    January 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm (7 years ago)

    8 lbs in 3 weeks is amazing! It makes me want to join weight watchers.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm (7 years ago)

      I highly recommend WW! The weight loss slows down a LOT after the first few weeks though so I’m sure it will even out any day now.

      Reply
  23. greensandjeans
    January 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm (7 years ago)

    I was a vegetarian for 8 years before I decided it was best for me and my body to reintroduce meat into my diet. Granted, I still eat a veg diet about 90% of the time, but having the meat option makes things much easier for me!

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm (7 years ago)

      Yeah I’d probably only eat meat once or twice a week if I do go back but we’ll see. I’m still not sure!

      Reply
  24. Ashleigh
    January 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm (7 years ago)

    That looks delicious! I have a bag full of unopened lentils in my pantry… I’ve been afraid to break em out but maybe I will have to for this! I don’t eat meat, but when I did meatloaf was my favorite!

    Congrats on the 8 pounds

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks! This recipe turned out AWESOME. I would say if you have leftovers to get some BBQ sauce or extra Worcestershire sauce because it dries out a little bit in the fridge.

      Reply
  25. Danielle
    January 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm (7 years ago)

    I eat (white) meat sparingly… maybe a few times a month at most. I usually don’t feel like eating it… it just doesn’t appeal to me… but when it does, I don’t want to tell myself no just because I’m labeled as a vegetarian.

    Reply
  26. MelanieF
    January 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm (7 years ago)

    I’ve been on and off vegetarianism for the past couples of years and I started eating more of a vegan diet lately, especially since starting Weight Watchers a few weeks ago. I am curious to see what a vegan diet does to my body. It certainly is easier to eat that way and lose weight on Weight Watchers πŸ™‚

    Reply
  27. Evan Thomas
    January 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm (7 years ago)

    I made lentil loaf so many times this time last year, but not once since last Winter. That really needs to change. It’s so good! I’ve never tried adding raisins though.

    Reply
  28. emma
    January 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi Sweetie! Your loaf looks delish! Great job on adapting it to suit your diet….and high five for the weight loss πŸ™‚ x x x

    Reply
  29. snackgirlgoeshealthy
    January 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm (7 years ago)

    That looks awesome! I think I’ll try your recipe vs Angelas! Even though hers looks good yours does not have walnut in it!

    I am a vegetarian- this first week of July. We’ll see what happens after! Lol

    I’m just trying it for a fun challenge!

    Reply
  30. Chere Michelle
    February 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh boy I have been looking and looking for a GOOD, solid lentil loaf recipe. I feel like such a cooking failure as I’ve tried so many and they either crumble or are too dry lol…I just hadn’t found the perfect recipe. I can’t wait to try this one. I love how the slices hold their shape…

    Reply
  31. Jill
    March 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm (6 years ago)

    This recipe looks fantastic. I have been vegetarian for 3 months now, and every once in awhile I wonder if it is the right choice. I think it is so. I’m just gonna flow with it, whatever will be will be. Follow your heart! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  32. Noeleen
    December 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm (5 years ago)

    Hey Beth,

    I just found your blog and I love it!! I am not a cook and tried to make your lentil loaf recipe, but it came out very dry. Any ideas? Should I add egg whites or more egg?

    Reply
  33. Shannon
    February 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm (4 years ago)

    This recipe looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to try it. However, what kind of lentils do you use? They look like green lentils in the photo…is this correct?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    Reply

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