I’d forgotten how absolutely yummers lentil loaves can be. That is until I was combing through my recipe collection for not only a main dish for Thanksgiving, but for something that I would also be able to slice for fast, hearty sandwiches.
Honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve made one of these loaves, defaulting usually to my World Burger recipe from the Plant-Based Blueprint for veggie burgers, sandwich fillers, and salad sides.
[pullquote]Lentil loaves are one of the best plant-based standbys there is. [/pullquote] They make a hearty staple and are an excellent transition-to-plant-based-eating choice because they pinch hit so well for the traditional American meat loaf. The lentil loaf recipes I’ve used in the past usually include some rolled oats, nuts, carrots and/or celery and onions – that goes as well for the variation I’m sharing with you today.
I came across this lentil loaf variation in my recipe notebook and for the first time I cooked it in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper – and it came out beautifully! It made the whole process from loaf to slicing board so tidy – next on my wishlist is a silicone pan for even greater ease. I doubled this recipe to make two full bread-pan sized loaves (one’s gone already!). I sliced and served leftovers the next day with baby spinach, grated carrots, and sliced beets with a sweet balsamic dressing (photo). My recipe is very similar to Chef Aj’s Hearty Lentil Loaf. To help with your preparation, you can watch the episode of The Chef and the Dietitian linked below to see a lentil loaf being made on video.
I first cooked the lentils and carrots in my Instant Pot, cooking them separately. The lentils took only about 20 minutes. As for the carrots, I peeled about four giant carrots, quickly cut them into chunks, and pressure cooked them in the Instant Pot for four minutes.
Savory Lentil Loaf
1 1/2 cups cooked green or brown lentils
1 cups cooked carrots or sweet potatoes
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely ground
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats, coursely ground
1 large sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 bunch parsley
2 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic granules
1 six- oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Coarsely grind the oats and nuts in food processor or blender.
- Coursely puree the cooked lentils in food processor or blender
- Coarsely puree the carrots or sweet potatoes in food processor or blender
- Chop the vegetables with knife or food processor
Stir (translate: knead!) everything together in a large bowl. I like to process the tomato paste with the lentils to provide more even flavor coverage before the lentils are added to the ‘mix it all together’ bowl.
Place in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper or silicone baking pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 – 60 minutes.
Savory Lentil Loaf slices easily for sandwiches – note picture above right. Fortunately I had just baked a loaf of bread – or at least my bread machine had!
Holiday Recipes from The Chef and The Dietitian
Watch lentil loaf being made on video! Darn close to my recipe, this in from Chef Aj and Julieanna Hever will show you step-by-step how to make a lentil loaf PLUS many other recipes – twice bake sweet potatoes, spinach waldorf, and more.
Have you a lentil loaf secret ingredient to share? Please do so in comments below!