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Vegan lentil loaf

Are you sick of cookies yet? All I seem to be seeing on people’s blogs lately are cookies. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing the recipes, but I just don’t have a sweet enough tooth to be particularly excited by them. I was offered a cupcake at a party last night, and when I declined the girl looked horrified and told me I was absolutely mad for turning down free cake. Aside from the fact that I don’t generally accept cake from strangers, I just don’t get that excited by sugar (apart from chocolate, but that really deserves a food group all of its own). However, she later went on to say that she often says ‘hashtag lol’ in actual, face-to-face conversation, so I think that pretty much discredits anything she has ever said.

Aaaanyway, I thought I’d share another vegetarian Christmas dish today, just in case you’re a bit fed up of sugar. If my veggie en croute wasn’t your thing, perhaps you’ll prefer this lentil loaf.

This loaf is entirely vegan, but it’s so firm and substantial that you won’t miss the meat for a second. This is another recipe where I, as a vegetarian, would describe the texture as quite meaty, but my meat-eating boyfriend said that wasn’t quite accurate, so I’ll leave it up to you to decide. It was really filling, and one or two slices are plenty, so this loaf would be great to feed a crowd.

I love the way you get little dots of colour through the loaf – cubes of orange carrot, flecks of fresh green parsley, and just a touch of purple from the red onion. If you want to mix this up a bit with different herbs or some additional vegetables, go ahead! Make it your own.

Obviously, any meal of this type isn’t complete without a smothering of gravy – vegan, of course. It helps to keep the loaf moist, gives the vegetables a bit of extra flavour, and really ties the meal together.

I’ve just realised that I served my veggie en croute with skin-on mashed potato and broccoli as well. I swear I do sometimes eat other vegetables too; I just like these because they’re so easy to whip up. If you want, you can go the whole hog (the whole tofu?) and have this loaf with roast potatoes, broccoli, carrots, green beans, sprouts, and everything else that a Christmas dinner wouldn’t be complete without.

Vegan lentil loaf

Serves 6

1tbsp oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1/4tsp ground cumin
1/4tsp medium curry powder
1/4tsp cayenne chilli pepper
1/2tsp paprika
150g red lentils
900ml vegetable stock
Black pepper
1/2tsp dried oregano
1/2tsp dried thyme
~100g rolled oats
3tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a saucepan, and cook the red onion, garlic and carrot over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the next 4 ingredients (the 4 spices), and cook, stirring constantly, for a further 1-2 minutes.

Add the lentils and stock, and season well with black pepper and the dried herbs. Simmer for around 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Stir regularly. Add the fresh parsley, and stir in as many oats as you need to bring the mixture to the correct consistency (you may need slightly more or less than the 100g suggested). It should be moist, but sturdy enough to hold its shape solidly rather than filling the container. Mix well.

Lightly grease a baking dish or loaf tin, and spoon in the lentil mixture. Spread out until smooth.

Bake at 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F) for 30-40 minutes, and then gently turn out onto a baking tray. If needed, grill (broil) for a few minutes to crisp up the top. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, before carefully slicing.

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Diane M.

Thursday 13th of February 2020

I'm making this right now. Your site is exactly the cooking I need for my British vegetarian hubby. I like the fact the recipes are EASY and quick because I often have to make 3 dinners. Thanks.

Becca @ Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

Friday 21st of February 2020

Thanks Diane, glad you found me! :)


Friday 3rd of November 2017

Is this able to be frozen?

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Saturday 4th of November 2017

I haven't tried freezing it myself but I think it's worth a try - I can't think why it wouldn't work :) Let me know how you get on!


Monday 16th of January 2017

I made the vegan lentil loaf this morning, taking care with the consistency of the mix. I also added some tumeric and two extra garlic cloves. I narrowly avoided disaster when I took the loaf out of the oven, after testing it first with a metal skewer to see if it was done, only to find that it wasn't completely done when I turned it out of the loaf tin onto my cooling rack. The bottom was sloshy and I lost a little of it. However, I quickly put it all back in the tin, smoothed it over the top and it has turned out brilliantly. When I looked at the pictures of the loaf slices I could see that they are thin. Therefore my problem was putting too much mixture in the tin, so next time I will make 2 small ones, or halve the ingredients,

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Monday 16th of January 2017

Ah yes, I think I did use quite a wide tin for mine! Sorry, should have been clearer - I've learned a lot about writing recipes in the last 4 years! I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway :)

Wendy Stauffer

Sunday 15th of January 2017

The broth cooking with everything called for in it was amazingly tasty. The spices went together so well. Seems like a fantastic base for a great soup also. I made this with French lentils and I really messed it up. Nothing stuck together. So I believe that the red lentils would be what I need to do as you have called for.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Monday 16th of January 2017

Ah yes, red lentils cook down a lot more than other lentils - they go quite mushy, so they help to stick everything together into a loaf. I hope you enjoyed it anyway, even if it wasn't really a loaf!


Tuesday 16th of August 2016

Is this supposed to be like JD Wetherspoon's Sunday Lentil loaf? I visited England last summer and tried that and have been looking EVERYWHERE for a copycat recipe.

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Wednesday 17th of August 2016

Not specifically no! I don't see many copycat recipes here in the UK to be honest, I think that's more a US thing! I don't think I've ever had the lentil loaf at Wetherspoons but you could definitely try this and let me know how it compares :)