Easy Vegan Lentil Loaf

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I’ll admit, I sometimes find lentil loaves a little dry, and a little bland – but this easy vegan lentil loaf is anything but! It couldn’t be simpler to make (basically: cook the lentils; mix; bake; eat), and it packs huge flavour. Plus, it’s soft and moist in the middle, and perfectly crispy around the edges. It’s perfect served with some mashed potatoes and a bit of gravy!

A slice cut from a vegan lentil loaf on a board.

This simple vegan lentil loaf would make an amazing vegetarian main course for Christmas or Thanksgiving – or just any other cosy Sunday lunch throughout the year.

The recipe makes a good sized loaf – enough for about 6 people, so it’s just the thing to serve to guests, and carve up in the centre of your dinner table. Everyone loves a centrepiece, right?

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s an easy recipe that you can make any day of the year, but it also feels special enough for a celebration (perhaps Christmas dinner!).
  • The flavours in this vegan lentil loaf are wonderful – although you could easily adapt the recipe to use different spices, or different vegetables, if you prefer.
  • Any leftovers keep really well, and can easily be reheated in the microwave.
  • We vegetarians don’t need to miss out on the usual roast dinner trimmings, like roast potatoes and gravy – this lentil loaf will sit alongside them beautifully!
A slice of vegan lentil loaf on a plate with mashed potato, broccoli and gravy.

🥗 Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe. You’ll also need a few cupboard staples, like oil, salt and pepper. See the printable recipe card below for detailed ingredient quantities.

Ingredients for vegan lentil loaf with text overlay.
  • red lentils. Unlike some other kinds of lentils, red lentils cook down nice and soft, and they bring a lovely moist texture to the loaf.
  • oats
  • red onion
  • carrot – I grated my carrot into the loaf mixture, but you could dice it nice and small instead, if you’d prefer a chunkier texture.
  • garlic
  • veggie stock – I used a stock cube, but jelly stock or liquid stock would be fine too.
  • herbs and spices – dried thyme, smoked paprika, curry powder and ground cumin. The flavours are delicious, but will still blend in nicely with the other elements of your meal.
  • fresh chives

Becca’s Top Tip

If you’re planning to serve your lentil loaf in a different way, feel free to play around with the spices you include. For example, you could try using your favourite Tex-Mex spices, and serve the lentil loaf with some crispy potato wedges and salad instead.

🔄 Ingredient Changes

Feel free to make this recipe your own – it’s really easy to customise with extra vegetables. As long as you don’t add so many extras that they stop the loaf from holding together properly, you should be fine.

You could try adding:

  • grated courgette (zucchini)
  • frozen peas
  • frozen sweetcorn
  • sautéed mushrooms (finely diced)
  • chopped green beans
  • sautéed diced peppers

Different combinations of vegetables will bring different flavours and textures to the lentil loaf, so why not try something new each time!

🔪 Equipment

The only ‘unusual’ equipment you’ll need to make this vegan loaf is a loaf tin (it’s kind of in the name) – nothing too crazy, but it’s something you probably don’t use every day, and you may not already have one if you’re new to cooking.

My loaf tin measures around 9 x 5 inches, and it’s made of metal (rather than ceramic). I find metal tins are best for spreading the heat around the whole loaf, and giving a nice crispy crust.

Here’s a metal loaf tin with great reviews on Amazon UK – or, here’s a set of two on Amazon US.

A metal loaf tin on a white background.

📋 Instructions

Here’s how to make this recipe – see below for the printable recipe with detailed ingredients and instructions.

Collage showing carrots and red lentils cooking in a saucepan.

Step 1: Begin by cooking the carrot and onion with all the spices, then simmering with the red lentils until it’s all cooked down into a seriously tasty mixture.

Collage showing oats being added to red lentils.

Step 2: Mix in some oats, to thicken up the mixture.

Collage showing vegan lentil loaf before and after baking.

Step 3: Spread the mixture into a well oiled loaf tin, and bake until crispy.

Vegan lentil loaf served on a black slate board.

Step 4: Carefully turn the lentil loaf out onto a board. As you can see, the front corner of my loaf crumbled ever so slightly, but generally this loaf holds together really well! The metal tin definitely helps to give a crispy crust, which makes the loaf more stable.

A slice of vegan lentil loaf with mashed potato, broccoli and gravy.

Step 5: Slice, and serve.

Becca’s Top Tip

If you’ve got a bit left after your meal, thin slices of leftover lentil loaf make a really amazing vegetarian sandwich filling!

💭 Recipe FAQs

Can I use brown or green lentils instead of red?

No, you need red lentils for this recipe. They cook down to be a lot softer than brown or green lentils, which helps to hold the loaf together, and also gives the loaf its soft, moist texture.

Is lentil loaf healthy?

Everyone’s definition of ‘healthy’ is different, but this vegan lentil loaf is high in fibre and protein, and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, so that makes it a pretty healthy option in my view.

Can I prepare the lentil loaf in advance?

Yes! Just prepare the mixture and transfer it to the loaf tin, then store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. It will take slightly longer to bake if it’s cold from the fridge.

How can I reheat leftovers?

I prefer using the microwave to reheat leftover lentil loaf. It does lose a little of its crispiness this way, but it’s quick and convenient, and makes sure the loaf doesn’t dry out.

Aerial shot of a vegan lentil loaf with a slice cut off.
A slice of vegan lentil loaf.

Easy Vegan Lentil Loaf

An easy vegan lentil loaf that couldn't be simpler to make, and ends up moist and full of flavour! Perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving.

If you’ve cooked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a star rating!

4.67 from 36 votes
Print Pin Comment
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, diced fairly small
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 200 g (~ 1 cup) dried red lentils
  • 1 litre (~ 4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 150 g (~ 1 1/2 cups) rolled oats
  • Small bunch fresh chives, chopped

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan (not frying pan), and add the diced onion, grated carrot and minced garlic. Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened.
  • Add the smoked paprika, curry powder, thyme, cumin and black pepper, and cook for a further minute or two. If you’re planning to use low sodium stock, you might also want to add a little salt.
  • Next, add the red lentils and the veggie stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook for around 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the lentils are soft. Towards the end of the cooking time, preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4 / 350°F).
  • Next add the oats and chopped chives, and mix thoroughly to combine. The mixture should be moist, but not runny.
  • Thoroughly oil a metal loaf tin (mine measured 9 x 5 inches), and transfer the mixture to the tin. Smooth out the top of the mixture until flat.
  • Place in the centre of the oven and cook for around 40 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning out the loaf and slicing.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Lentil Loaf
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 40
% Daily Value*
Fat 4.4g7%
Saturated Fat 0.6g3%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 12mg1%
Potassium 500mg14%
Carbohydrates 41.6g14%
Fiber 13.8g55%
Sugar 2.3g3%
Protein 12.6g25%
Calcium 52mg5%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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4.67 from 36 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




71 Comments

  1. This was a very tasty loaf & very easy to make, but a bit too mushy for me, personally. I found the mixture very watery before baking, so immediately added another 1/2 cup of oats & it still turned out mushy. I used old-fashioned oats which I’ve been told is equivalent to rolled oats. If I should make this loaf again, I would reduce the broth from 4 cups to 3 cups.
    For broth, I used 3 & 3/4 cups water + 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

  2. Absolutely delicious! Mine was a bit mushy , I probably should have let it simmer a little longer. I will definitely be making this on a regular basis. Thank you do much for the recipe!5 stars

  3. This loaf is perfectly seasoned and very tasty! But the recommended baking time seemed very insufficient when I did it; even after 10+ extra minutes at 350 and then several minutes broiling, it didn’t fully take on the desired texture. But with more heat, it’s delicious.4 stars

  4. Absolutely Delicious!!!!
    Now a staple in my weekly prepping I am in love with this lentil loaf!!!
    Recently having a heart attack I am now hard core about plant based, and recipes I can modify easily or with no oil, no salt, no fat and no cholesterol.
    I was so impressed with the incredible ease of this recipe and the flavour!!!!
    I freeze the loaves already sliced after they are cooked and I am set.
    You won’t be disappointed!
    #favouriterecipealert5 stars

  5. Came out perfect !
    Tasty and the edges were crispy .. the middle moist .. I used a tspn of Madras curry with the other list of spices and added a few frozen peas to the red lentil mixture before adding the oats.
    My boyfriend and I enjoyed it with vegan garlic mash & steamed broccoli .. The taste of the vegan loaf reminded both of us of Indian samosas , which we both love ♡5 stars

    1. Brown lentils will definitely give a different texture and might not hold together quite as well. I’d be tempted to add an egg to help it bind, and maybe mash the lentils a bit after they’re cooked. Let me know if you tried it!

  6. I have a question before I get started on this. I’d like to add an egg for extra protein and to help be sure it firms up. Do you have a suggestion of what point that would be best? If I don’t hear from you I’m going to add it immediately before the oatmeal. I’ll stir it in really fast so it mixes in (hopefully) before it has a before it has a chance to harden into clumps from the heat.
    I’m giving 5 stars ahead of time because it sounds so good and healthy.5 stars