Old-Fashioned Lentil Loaf

  • Servings : 12

Providing heartiness, protein, and lots of familiar flavor, this loaf makes a great main dish, accompanied by a side of potatoes and green veggies.


  • 4 cups (940 ml) water, plus more for sautéing
  • 2 cups (385 g) brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup (180 g) ketchup, divided
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) bread crumbs, Italian-style or plain
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) finely chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons (1 to 2 g) finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon (1 g) dried thyme
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) tamari soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (no anchovies)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C, or gas mark 4). Lightly oil a 4 x 8-inch (10 x 20 cm) loaf pan.

Step 2

Place 4 cups (940 ml) water and lentils in a large-size saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed, 50 to 60 minutes. Check lentils after 30 minutes; add more water, if necessary. You want the result to be thick but with lentils cooked down to a soft texture, so add water sparingly.

Step 3

Meanwhile, sauté onions and garlic in enough water to coat vegetables so they don't stick to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, until onion is soft. Transfer to a large-size bowl.

Step 4

When lentils are done, remove from heat, and let stand for at least 30 minutes. They will thicken up even more. When completely cool, combine with onion/garlic mixture, and add 1/4 cup (60 g) ketchup, bread crumbs, walnuts, parsley, thyme, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Thoroughly combine all ingredients. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Step 5

Press mixture firmly into prepared pan, and spread remaining 1/2 cup (120 g) ketchup on top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Step 6

Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

This dish is even better the next day!

Nutritional Info

Per serving:

  • Calories

  • Fat

    2 g
  • Cholesterol

    0 mg
  • Protein

    11 g
  • Carbohydrates

    29 g
  • Fiber

    11 g
  • Sodium

    428 mg
The Vegan Table
Reprinted with permission from the author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
Photograph © Wanda Embar.

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