I was never a fan of meat loaf. Even before I became vegetarian the thought of a large loaf of mixed meat, spices and crusty ketchup turned my stomach. Almost as bad as creamed green bean casserole. But I do love lentils. Maybe a little too much.
Nah… you can never love lentils too much.
This recipe is relatively easy and simple. You can make it in a traditional loaf pan or use a casserole dish like I did. It’s hearty, filling, comforting and vegan… feel free to add other vegetables as it would only enhance the flavor profile. The next time I make this I will probably add red bell pepper, cilantro and corn for a tex-mex feel.
Vegan Lentil Loaf
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked lentils – either green or yellow
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 large yellow onion, or 2 medium – it’s better to have too much than not enough
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped baby tomatoes
- assorted herbs – dill, thyme, Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder or 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat to 375 degrees
In a large pot, cook lentils in water for about 30 minutes. Drain and mash slightly. In a large sauce pan, add olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add onion, tomatoes,a pinch of salt and let cook down for 10 minutes. Add garlic powder (or garlic) and the remainder of the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook for 3-5 more minutes.
In a large pan, mix lentils, rice, onion mixture, ketchup and hot sauce. Taste and season to your liking.
Transfer lentil mixture to baking dish of choice. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Check and see if the top of crunchy. Depending on the depth of your pan will determine the cooking time. I baked mine for 35 minutes but it could have baked for a bit longer for a crustier finish.
You can always top your loaf with ketchup, too.
Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.
I received some emails stating that it fell apart when it was cut. I have made this loaf 2 or 3 times and I admit there was a time or two that it did fall apart. It still tastes amazing… just may be more like a lentil pile instead of a slice.
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