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This is the BEST Vegan Lentil Loaf ever! Using both plant-based lentils and your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles, make this Vegan Lentil Loaf healthy but with a “beefy like” texture!
I loved meatloaf as a kid. But when I went vegan, meatloaf was one of those things I thought I had to give up. Not anymore! This Vegan Lentil Loaf satisfies both my adult and kid meatloaf cravings!
Why Use “Faux” Vegan Ground Beef Crumbles?
There are 3 main reasons I choose to add a vegan ground beef product to this recipe:
- Texture: A lot of vegan meatloafs, burgers, meatballs, etc can come out too mushy. That is because beans are naturally, well, mushy. So the vegan crumbless adds back some texture.
- Nostalgia. Hey, sometimes I just crave that “beefy” like texture because it’s what I grew up. So without having to harm an actual animal, vegan mock meats are the answer!
- Creativity. For me I know it’s sometimes fun to cook with mock vegan products them and they also allow me to be creative in the kitchen!
If you are looking fully plant-based vegan lentil loaf (no mock meat products) try this vegan meatloaf recipe!
What can I serve Vegan Lentil Loaf with?
I like to eat my Vegan Lentil Loaf with:
- Potatoes! Nothing is more classic than Meatloaf and mashed potatoes! With this vegan lentil loaf, since it has BBQ sauce, I love pairing it with delicious sweet potato mash, Vegan Potato Salad, or even my Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes recipe on Thanksgiving!
- Speaking of BBQs, this vegan lentil loaf would be a MAJOR HIT alongside some Vegan Baked Beans!
- On the holidays, impress your family and friends with this lentil loaf with some Dairy Free Mac and Cheese!
- Pairing this lentil with veggies like almond green beans, roasted veggies (like carrots, parsnips, etc) or steamed broccoli is also a classic combo!
- At times I keep it light and serve it with a nice garden salad or my Cucumber Chickpea Tomato Salad.
- I have also been known to eat this with homemade vegan garlic bread!
- I topped this with my delicious Easy BBQ Sauce recipe, but you can glaze this vegan lentil loaf with vegan mushroom gravy or even a traditional based ketchup glazed sauce.
How to Make Vegan Lentil Loaf?
*Please read detailed and printable recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions
- Begin by sauteing your onions, garlic, and mushrooms. (Photos 1 & 2)
- Then take half your lentils and put them in a food processor. Pulse a few times until slightly blended together. (Photos 3 & 4)
Mix Together Ingredients
- Add processed and whole lentils to a mixing bowl. (Photos 1 & 2)
- Then add your vegan beef crumbles, seasonings, oats, and breadcrumbs. Mix together until fully combine. (Photos 3 & 4)
Mix Together Ingredients
- Form your mixture into a loaf and brush on BBQ sauce. (Photos 1 & 2)
- Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing and serve it with your choice of sides. (Photos 3 & 4)
Substitution, Cook, & Storage Tips:
- DO NOT use red lentils for this. They are too mushy for this recipe.
- You can substitute the mock ground beef crumbles for 1 cup of cooked rice or 1 cup of ground-up walnuts. It will help give you some texture to the recipe if you are averse to using mock products. I HAVE NOT personally tested this)
- You DO NOT have to use mushrooms if you don’t like mushrooms. Simply omit them.
- In fact, try this recipe with different types of vegetables like carrots or celery.
- Mashed chickpeas would be a great addition to the recipe! It will also help give it a firmer hold.
- Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator 4-5 days once baked. DO NOT store at room temperature.
- If you want to freeze, I recommend freezing pre-baking. Form into a loaf and wrap it up in saran wrap, add to a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 1 month. (Be sure to date it). When you are ready to bake, it can be popped straight into the oven!
Vegan with Curves Star Ingredient:
Lentils are the Vegan With Curves star of this dish! One cup of cook lentils has 18 grams of plant-based protein.
To make this more weight loss (waste/weight release friendly) you could:
- Serve with cauliflower mash instead of potatoes!
- Eat with steamed vegetables or a large green salad.
- Use less BBQ sauce (or whatever glaze sauce you do use). You can even opt for sugar-free versions.
I don’t mean to toot my own horn but…”🔊toot toot!”😂 This vegan lentil loaf is just as good as the classic version WITHOUT the cruelty!
More Lentil Recipes You’ll Love:
- Lentil Meatballs
- Coconut Lentil Curry
- Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Vegan Spaghetti Sauce
Other BBQ Recipes to Try:
"Beefy" Vegan Lentil Loaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste (or fresh minced garlic)
- 16 ounce chopped mushrooms
- 2 cups pre of cooked lentils (app. ¾ cup dried) see notes
- 1 package thawed vegan beefy crumbles (your brand of choice) see notes
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 teaspoon Vegan Worcestershire Sauce see notes
- 1 cube vegetable bouillon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or dried Italian Herbs
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ⅔ cup instant oats
- ¼-½ cup Easy BBQ sauce optional- see notes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grab a pan and place on medium-high heat. Add oil and then butter into the hot pan until the butter has melted
- Next, add your chopped onions, garlic paste, and mushrooms and cook on medium-high heat until veggies are soft and translucent for about 5 minutes. Once veggies are done cooking set aside.
- Take half (1 cup) of your pre-cooked lentils and blend together in your food processor. This will help your loaf bind together. Add your processed lentils to a large mixing bowl along with the other unprocessed whole lentils.
- In your large mixing bowl also add cooked mushrooms and onions, thawed out vegan beef crumbles, ketchup, Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, vegetable bouillon, fresh parsley (or dried Italian herbs), sea salt, black pepper, bread crumbs, and instant oats. Mix together until fully combined, gently smashing together (not too much tho). You can get messing and use your hands for this. It's kinda fun!
- Line your pan with parchment paper for an easier cleanup or lightly grease your baking sheet or loaf pan with oil. Add your mixture to your baking sheet forming it into a loaf (it should hold with no problem). Or add it to your loaf pan and pat down.
- Top with Easy BBQ Sauce or your own personal favorite meatloaf sauce. Put in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Take out and let cool. The longer it cools the more it holds when you cut it.
- Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator 5-6 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month covered. To freeze it, do it pre-baking. Wrap loaf in saran wrap, add to a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 1 month. When you are ready to bake, it can be popped straight into the oven!
- PRE COOKED LENTILS: Use Trader Joes pre cooked lentils in the refriderated section of the store to save time in making the recipe. If not make your own first. You will need ¾ cup dried lentils and 2 ½ cups of water. (NO SOAKING FOR LENTILS REQUIRED) Bring water to a boil and simmer lentils for 25 minutes. Drain well, and pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This helps prevent a mushy loaf.
- MOCK GROUND BEEF: As of present day, there are now vegan ground beef packaged products vs just frozen crumbles. Feel free to experiment with those as they might provide a better bind than the crumbles! Any brand you like will be find. You can substitute the mock ground beef crumbles for 1 cup of cooked rice or 1 cup of ground-up walnuts if you are averse to using mock products.
- MOCK GROUND BEEF BRANDS: Originally this recipe uses Beyond Meat Crumbles BUT I have redone this with Gardien brand and I like that better. Not everyone likes pea protein so I suggest using Gardien, Vegan Morning Star, or Boca. Please note that the size of the the package doesn't matter too much (as each brand varies from 10 to 13 ounces). Whatever brand you use, be sure to use the entire package.
- VEGETABLES: You DO NOT have to use mushrooms if you don't like mushrooms. Simply omit them. Or you can use different types of mushrooms. In fact, try this recipe with different types of vegetables like carrots or celery.
- OTHER BEANS: DO NOT use red lentils. They are too mushy for this recipe. Mashed chickpeas or mashed black beans would be a great addition to the recipe! It will also help give it a firmer hold. (I have NOT personally tested this in this recipe but I know chickpeas and black beans bind together better in general. If using this I wouldn't use more than one 15 ounce can of beans).
- FIRMER HOLD: The longer it cools, the better it will hold. If you want a firmer hold you will have to combine all ingredients inside a food processor. The downside of that is you can loose a lot of that "beefy" texture processing all the ingredients together. So it's all about what you desire the most.
- OPTIONAL: Here I use BBQ Sauce because it is my favorite but if you have your own meatloaf sauce recipe, feel free to use it instead. Or even gravy!
- ADDITIONS & OTHER SUBSTITUTIONS: Here's a secret, if you cannot find Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, use A1 steak sauce instead!
Update Notes: This post was originally published on March 1, 2018, but was republished with step by step instructions, tips, and a video on November 04, 2019.
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