When I was little, my mom cooked the BEST meatloaf in the world. Although this was before we all became plant-based, I remember a meatloaf sandwich in my lunch box the next day.
Despite everyone in the family wanting their meatloaf sandwiches covered in ketchup, mine was covered in yellow mustard. So, to bring back my magical childhood, I created this vegan meatloaf recipe. Unfortunately, most vegan meatloaf recipes come out dry and, honestly, gross.
This new recipe I've developed cracked the code - which I've coined Vegan Meatloaf with Lentils! Lentils are the secret.
Although I have been lactose intolerant all my life, I always wondered if I was also allergic to meat. In today's world, though, becoming vegan and learning about the right nutritional needs your body needs is as easy as taking a simple test.
Did you know there are specifically tailored tests that not only test if you are allergic to meat and other foods, but if you are already vegan, you can try which nutrients you are missing in your current food plan? It's easy! Here is one such vegan nutritional test that can guide you in better understand your own dietary needs.
Despite being made of lentils and vegetables, vegan loaf tastes just like mom used to make. Not only does it have the texture and flavor, but this vegan meatloaf with lentils is loaded with vegetables and high fiber lentils to make it much better than the mom's version.
Mistakes I Made Making Vegan Meatloaf With Lentils:
Of course, creating vegan meatloaf took a lot of trial and error. In fact, my multiple failures always produced a dry loaf or a wet and crumbly loaf.
Also, my other loaves stuck to the pan and tasted bland. Finally, my lentils were either too wet after cooking, making my loaf soggy look back at my mistakes.
Another mistake I made was over blending the mixture of vegetables and lentils, again causing an overly soggy loaf. Ironically, I found cooking the vegetables before making the loaf was better than leaving the vegetables raw.
Instead, I suggest using lentils that are fully drained and not overly cooked. Or use vacuum-sealed pre-cooked lentils from the produce section.
Trader Joe's, for example, sells pre-cooked vacuum-sealed lentils, which work perfectly for this recipe. Sometimes, a shortcut like this saves a lot of time.
Looking back, I suggest sautéing the vegetables before making the loaf, reducing the amount of water released while cooking. Not only does this make the loaf sturdy, but it also sticks together better when removing it from the pan.
Furthermore, I use a silicone bread pan to prevent sticking. If you don't have a silicone bread pan, you can use parchment paper, so the loaf lifts easily from a bread pan.
Finally, Solving The Vegan Meatloaf with Lentils Dilemma:
Finally, after many trials, I mastered the vegan meatloaf recipe. First, I focused on combining and amounts of flaxseed meal, bread crumbs, and quick oats.
As simple as that sounds, it has been a struggle for me. But once I figured it out, the better my results.
Since my mom always served mashed potatoes with her meatloaf (sadly not vegan meatloaf), I decided it would do the same.
So, I served my Vegan Mashed Potatoes on the side. As a kid, we used to dip our meatloaf in the mashed potatoes.
When I watched my husband dip his vegan lentil loaf in his mashed potatoes, it brought a smile to my face.
After some thought, I realized this mixture is a great lentil loaf and makes meatballs for vegan spaghetti and meats. Or use vegan meatloaf inside red or green peppers for stuffed peppers.
If you are single, another great idea is to put the lentil loaf into muffin pans for single servings and freeze the individual servings for future meals.
What ingredients are in Vegan Meatloaf?
- Prepared brown lentils (I used Trader Joe's)
- White or yellow onion
- Red pepper
- Tomato paste
- BBQ sauce of choice
- Yellow mustard
- Flaxseed meal
- Fresh parsley
- Quick oats
- Whole wheat bread crumbs (I used Dave's Bread and made my own), but prepared bread crumbs is fine
How to make lentil meatloaf
First, saute the minced garlic, chopped onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms in a large skillet.
While sauteing the vegetables, combine all the other ingredients into a food processor with a large blade. Then add the sauteed vegetables and pulse until ingredients are combined.
However, avoid over pulsing. The texture should appear thick and chunky.
Next, prepare a loaf pan. To cook without oil, use parchment paper to line the loaf pan. This process also allows for removing the lentil loaf once it cools, as well as easy cleanup.
Other pans for cooking
- Use a silicone loaf pan instead of a standard loaf pan with parchment paper
- Or, line a baking sheet and use your hands to form a loaf on the baking sheet
- Another alternative is using a large muffin pan for individual meatloaves
- Mini loaf pans are a cute way also to make individual lentil loafs
- Be aware, however, if using muffin pans or small loaf pans, cut the cooking time in half
Next, transfer the processed lentil mixture into the prepared pan and cover with aluminum foil and bake.
Now, remove the aluminum foil, spread additional barbeque sauce over the top of the meatloaf (optional), and bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered for 10 more minutes.
Allow cooling for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing. And, if desired, make this vegan meatloaf a day ahead of time and reheat, or eat cold on sandwiches. Hot or cold, this lentil loaf doesn't disappoint.
What's a good binder for vegan meatloaf?
Ground flax, breadcrumbs, and oats are good binders in various vegan recipes. These will keep your meatloaf together instead of using eggs.
What are the most popular base ingredients in making vegan meatloaf?
The most popular base ingredients in making vegan meatloaf are lentils, beans, quinoa, tofu, brown rice, and tempeh.
If you are a former meatloaf fan from the past, try this Vegan Lentil loaf Recipe because it's over the top delicious!
OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY...
- Vegan Goulash
- Vegan Lentil Meatballs Oil-Free
- Lentil Chili Recipe
- Vegan Lentil Tacos
- The Best Ultimate Vegan Lentil Black Bean Burrito Ever
- Vegan Cornbread Recipe
- Coney Sauce
- Drunken Noodles Recipe
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂