I’ll admit; I’ve always been a bit of a meatloaf skeptic. Loaves are for bread. Why serve meat in the shape of bread? Is this really necessary? I have a lot of questions about meatloaf.
Regardless, whether you love it, hate it, or it just leaves you existentially confused, meatloaf is a home-cooking classic. Every mom and grandmother seems to have a go-to meatloaf recipe, and no household is complete without this classic homemade dinner.
In my quest to finally overcome my skepticism and embrace meatloaf, I’ve been trying out a bunch of variations on the traditional recipe. Turns out, a lot of my reservations about meatloaf go away when the meat does, too. I’m not vegan, but this mushroom lentil loaf is a delicious vegan “meatloaf” recipe that actually has me totally on-board with meatloaf for once.
Meatloaf, But Hold the Meat
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just not sold on the idea of ground meat shaped like a loaf, this mushroom lentil loaf is a tasty, meatless twist on classic meatloaf.
I’m a huge fan of anything with mushrooms. They add a perfect, earthy flavor to this lentil loaf. If you’re a mushroom lover, this recipe is a great place to start, especially if you’ve never tried lentil loaf before.
This vegan meatloaf recipe also gets flavor from plenty of other veggies, including onions, carrots, peas, and, of course, green lentils. Meanwhile, spices like thyme and oregano, along with Worcestershire and tamari sauce, help this mushroom lentil loaf achieve a classic, savory meatloaf flavor, without the meat.
Ketchup vs. no ketchup on meatloaf was always a big source of contention in my house. But if you’re team ketchup, finish this lentil loaf off with the classic taste you remember by topping it off with some no-sugar-added ketchup.
Why We Love Lentils
There’s just no way I can talk about this vegan mushroom lentil loaf recipe without spending a second or two on the wonders of lentils.
High protein, high fiber, and low calorie, lentils are really the ideal food. The high protein content makes lentils a great substitute for meat, which is partly why lentil loaf is such a popular variation of meatloaf.
Many people worry that a vegan or vegetarian diet could put them at risk for a protein deficiency, but recipes like this one are a great example of how easy it really is to maintain a high-protein and plant-based diet.
Meanwhile, nutrient-dense lentils also boast a variety of other vitamins, minerals, and health benefits.
Whether you’re a meatloaf lover or a bit of a skeptic, this mushroom lentil loaf is a delicious vegan twist on a homemade classic.
Yield: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1/6 of finished loaf | Calories: 369 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 60 g | Fiber: 10 g | Sugar: 5 g | Protein: 21 g | Cholesterol 0 mg | Sodium: 420 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 3 |
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups green lentils, cooked
- 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons no sugar added tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
- 1 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (not ground)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup peas, cooked
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat, once hot, add the onion carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Cooke for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
- Transfer the cooked vegetables to a food processor along with 1 cup of the lentils, 3/4 cups of the oats, tomato paste, soy sauce, Worcestershire, thyme, and oregano. Pulse until the mixture is well blended but still a little chunky.
- Transfer the processed mix to a large bowl and gently mix in the remaining lentils, oats, and peas. Mix just until combined. Form the mix into a loaf shape onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until firm. If desired, top with no sugar added ketchup.
Not a huge mushroom fan? You can still enjoy savory, vegan lentil loaf. This easy lentil vegetable loaf has all the best qualities of lentil loaf, sans mushrooms.