Vegan Lentil Nut “Meatloaf”

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Partially sliced loaf of Vegan Lentil Meatloaf resting on a cutting board

Friends, it’s been a long time coming, but my take on a vegan “meatloaf” is here (just in time for the holidays)! And it’s so very delicious. Let’s do this!

Wood cutting board filled with lentils, sweet potatoes, and other ingredients for making vegan meatloaf

This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 ingredients and simple methods. I relied on canned lentils (don’t judge) to save time and dishes! Feel free to do the same and proceed to act like you made everything from scratch (I won’t tell).

Food processor with mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and other ingredients for making Vegan Holiday Meatloaf

The base for this loaf is cooked sweet potatoes, mushrooms, lentils, nuts (we went for walnuts and pecans), and fresh thyme. Tomato paste adds moisture and hearty flavor, coconut aminos or Worcestershire add that “umami” effect, and salt and pepper help round everything out. All that’s left is to stir in some gluten-free bread crumbs for texture and transfer to a loaf pan!

Food processor with freshly blended dough for Vegan Lentil Meatloaf
Mixing lentils into other ingredients for Vegan Thanksgiving Meatloaf

For a glaze – I know it’s so basic – we just went with ketchup! It’s simple, and it outperformed more elaborate glazes! Who knew?

Using a spoon to spread glaze over our Vegan Lentil Meatloaf recipe

We hope you LOVE this loaf! It’s:

Hearty
Satisfying
So flavorful
Comforting
Simple to make
& Incredibly delicious

This would make the perfect entrée or side for the holidays! It’s tasty on its own, but it would be elevated if served with our Easy Vegan Gravy and Perfect Mashed Potatoes! Major swoon.

If you’re into hearty plant-based entrées, also be sure to check out our Smoky BBQ Black Bean Burgers (which inspired this recipe!), 1-Pot Golden Curry Lentil Soup, Black Bean Plantain Enchilada Bake, and The Best Vegan Meatballs!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

White enameled plate with two slices of Vegan Lentil Meatloaf

Vegan Lentil Nut “Meat” Loaf

Incredible vegan lentil “meatloaf” with wholesome, whole-food ingredients like lentils, nuts, sweet potato, and mushrooms! Just 10 ingredients required for this flavorful, comforting entrée.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Vegan Lentil Meatloaf partially sliced on a cutting board
4.65 from 187 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 (Slices)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

MUSHROOMS

  • 1 tsp coconut or avocado oil (if avoiding oil, sub water)
  • 3 heaping cups thinly sliced shiitake or cremini mushrooms
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut aminos or vegan Worcestershire sauce (ensure vegan and gluten-free friendly)

SWEET POTATO

  • 1 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil
  • 2 cups sliced and peeled sweet potato (1/4-inch rounds)

THE REST

  • 2 cups raw nuts or seeds (we prefer a mix of walnuts and pecans // optional: toast in a 350 degree F / 176 C for 10-15 minutes until golden brown before adding to mixture for more flavor)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or sub dried)
  • 2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (rinsed and well drained // we used canned to save time)
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos or vegan Worcestershire sauce (ensure vegan and gluten-free friendly as needed)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (we like Ian’s gluten-free panko* // If not gluten-free, use regular breadcrumbs)

GLAZE optional

  • 1/2 cup ketchup (or skip and serve with Vegan Gravy*)

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a standard loaf pan (or 8×8-inch baking pan) with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Heat a large cast-iron or metal skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and mushrooms and season with a pinch each salt and pepper and the coconut aminos or vegan Worcestershire. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes or until caramelized. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat another large cast-iron or metal skillet (or use the same one as you cooked the mushrooms in) over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and arrange sweet potatoes in as even of a layer as possible. Then cover and cook for 4 minutes or until golden brown on the underside. Flip, add 3 Tbsp (45 ml) water, and cover. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until tender and browned (but not mushy). Set aside uncovered to cool slightly.
  • To a large (at least 7-cup) food processor, add nuts and pulse a few times into a loose meal. Then add sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and thyme, and pulse to combine. Lastly, add lentils, salt, and pepper and pulse to loosely combine but be careful not to purée.
  • Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and add tomato paste and coconut aminos or vegan Worcestershire and stir until a loose dough forms. Then add bread crumbs (we like Ian's gluten-free panko) a little at a time (we used all of the recommended amount) until a thick dough forms. If for some reason it’s crumbly (which may happen depending on the texture of your lentils), scoop half of the mixture back into the food processor and pulse until it’s more finely puréed and then return back to the bowl and stir with the remaining mixture. If for some reason it’s too wet, add more bread crumbs as needed.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more tomato paste for added moisture / tomato flavor, coconut aminos or vegan Worcestershire for depth of flavor, salt for saltiness, or thyme to taste.
  • Transfer the mixture to the parchment-lined loaf pan, spread, and press into an even layer (to avoid a crumbly loaf, tap pan on counter to settle the mixture and place parchment paper on top and press down firmly with a drinking glass or flat bottomed object to pack it well). Then add ketchup glaze (optional but adds plenty of flavor) and spread into an even layer. If not using the glaze, brush the top with a little oil to help the loaf retain moisture.
  • Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and slightly dry to the touch. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes in the pan. Then gently remove and carefully slice and serve.
  • Leftovers keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave or in a 350-F (176 C) oven until warmed through.

Video

Notes

*Vegan Gravy Recipe!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with avocado oil and Worcestershire and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 Slice Calories: 337 Carbohydrates: 31.6 g Protein: 9.5 g Fat: 20.5 g Saturated Fat: 1.9 g Sodium: 622 mg Potassium: 526 mg Fiber: 7.3 g Sugar: 5.3 g

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  1. Melissa Lopez says

    I followed this recipe (almost) TO THE EXACT tee tonight and I am stunned! WOW wow wow. DELICIOUS! This exceeded my expectations and then some! It turned out phenomenal, everything from texture to flavor to nostalgia induced bliss. You out did yourself here my friend! This recipe deserves its rightful praise for how immaculately it hits every single mark of reimagining a vegan version of meatloaf. I mean, this IS grandma’s meatloaf. The ONLY thing I did different was use bella mushrooms instead of shitake and I did make my own homemade ketchup from tomato paste, dates, acv and onion powder. Cherry on the rightful sundae. You were very intentional in describing each step the way that you did and with my first bite I completely understood why each step was so crucial because TEXTURE. Thank you for sharing your brilliance! Anytime I draw a blank when preparing a complex recipe , I ask myself, what would minimalist baker do? And then I quickly search your site to find inspo, and I always do:) Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review, Melissa! We are so glad you enjoy our recipes! xo

  2. Karen says

    This was very good–we all enjoyed it! But I have one beef ? and that’s your labelling on this recipe. At the top of the recipe it says 30 minutes prep time, 30 minutes cooking time, 1 hour total. Down below it says it bakes for 35-40 minutes, and then it needs to rest for 10-15 minutes! I foolishly started an hour before I wanted to serve it, but it was on the table an hour and a half later. Dana, I’m a huge fan, I love your website, and I own your cookbook, but this is an anomaly and it frustrated me. ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen, so sorry for the confusion and thanks for letting us know about the discrepancy! It has been corrected.

  3. Stephanie says

    Amazing!
    Subbed sun dried tomatoes & zucchini for mushrooms (picky family member) and it still had perfect texture. Will make again. Thank you for another great recipe!!!

      • Gail says

        I thing instead of saying 2 cups of round 1/4” thick sweet potatoes u should say how many pounds of sweet potatoes. It hard to measure round in a measuring cup

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Thanks for the feedback, Gail! For the weight measurement, you can click “metric” above the instructions header. Hope that is helpful!

  4. Paige says

    I looked at this recipe multiple times before I decided to make it, but kept putting it off since it was so “different.” I finally took the plunge, and it was AMAZING. I have thought about it multiple times and am wanting to make it again soon. It was easy to make, just a little time-consuming, but it was so worth it. Make this, people!

  5. Kara Tsukerman says

    I’ve been pescatarian too long to remember what real meat loaf tastes like but I can’t imagine it’s any better than this! This is soooo good!! I didn’t make any changes but used raw almonds and macadamia nuts because that’s what I had.

  6. Claire Stacey says

    I made this recipe last night and was very impressed! It was tasty, moist and very filling.
    I added onion and garlic to the mushrooms when sautéing and a couple teaspoons of nutritional yeast when combining all the ingredients.
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  7. Anna says

    I’m hoping to make this for dinner tomorrow, but I don’t have a loaf pan… Do you think I could make the recipe as is but bake in a muffin pan for mini-loaves? I imagine they wouldn’t need as long in the oven, but is there anything you suggest that I change about the recipe to accommodate cooking in a muffin pan?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That might work! We would suggest reducing the baking time, but don’t think it would need any additional changes. Let us know how it turns out!

  8. Arine says

    I made this for the vegan and vegetarian participants for the Marriage Course. Meat lovers had a “regular” meatloaf and the vegans got this meatloaf. It was well received and loved by all. I did add onions, cause I don’t know how to cook without them. And subbed soy sauce for the vegan Worcester sauce. And added some vegan oyster sauce, mad of mushrooms It was great. Thanks.

  9. William says

    The recipe calls for 1/4″ sweet potato rounds, yet in the video the rounds are – at least – two to three inches, which is it? From that point I lost confidence in the recipe.

  10. Katie says

    This is one of my favorite recipes on MB. I actually used half the “dough” to make the meatloaf and the other half to make meatballs for another evening meal. I shaped the “meatballs” , seared them in a frying pan and put them into the oven to bake. Added a spicy tomato sauce and served with spaghetti and it was delicious. Both dishes were a big hit with my meat-loving husband.

    • Joyce says

      Awesome idea splitting the recipe up! We Only have the two of us so this allows for variety I otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Esther says

    Our son & girlfriend wanted to include a vegan option in Christmas dinner and they made this (no glaze) along with the mashed potatoes and gravy. All of their contributions were well received, but I especially loved the meatloaf – so much so that I asked for the leftovers for my lunches that week. It pairs well with all sorts of salads and vegetables and the texture was firm, but not dry/tough and moist, but not mushy. Great with pickles of various sorts as well: olives, onion, beet, etc. As far as I know they made it true to the recipe.

  12. Abby says

    Absolutley loved making this recipe! It was a hit among my family, I am vegan but my family is not so anything that they like that I can make with them and share is a double win! It was easy to follow, simple to make, and so flavorful. I cannot have walnuts so I subbed with raw slivered almonds that I had left over from Christmas baking and it worked perfectly. I only added half the amount of nuts because that is all i had. I kept everything else the same, so if you don’t have enough I wouldnt worry too much about that, it still worked – the recipe is very flexible! I made some mushroom gravy for the side with some left over mushrooms as well.
    Will be making this again, thank you Dana!

  13. Adriana says

    I loved the flavor combination in this recipe. I made a few adjustments…after reading reviews I wanted to avoid the mushy texture so I didn’t blend anything at all. I roughly chopped the mixed nuts and I roasted the sweet potato then just mixed and mashed (lightly) everything together. I also added heaps more thyme, onion, garlic to the mushroom mix. The homemade ketchup was so delicious and a must!! All in all I’ll be making this recipe every Christmas so thank you.

  14. Burgen says

    I’d like to make this but live in Germany and have had trouble finding bread crumbs that I like. Do you have a suggestion for an alternative? Could I cut up bread and leave it out the night before to dry a bit? Or use a combination of cooked rice and raw oats (I’ve seen those used as the filler in other recipes)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The bread crumb method should work! We haven’t tried rice and raw oats but let us know if you do! Might be a bit gummier.

  15. Kim Barton-Bridges says

    This was an outstanding main for the vegans around our Christmas table, and the meat-eaters enjoyed it, too! We added a few shallots and some garlic, just because we love onions and garlic. Didn’t do the glaze as we had mashed potatoes and vegan gravy. This will be a staple or our holiday meals. Thank you!

  16. Emily says

    This was fantastic! It was a bit hard to cut and transfer, as it was a bit soft, but flavor was perfect. I added onion and 4 cloves of garlic to mushrooms, because I don’t know how to cook without them. Ha! I also used leftover whole roasted sweet potatoes, as that’s what I was trying to use up, instead of what recipe calls for. That could be why it wasn’t firmer, but it definitely tasted great!

  17. Peter says

    I made this once and it turned out fantastic! I always look for you recipes when making vegan meals and I’ve always had great success. This will be our main dish for our family Christmas dinner and I can’t wait for the reaction of the meat eaters in our family.
    Merry Christmas

  18. daisy says

    This was made and enjoyed for supper last night.
    The pros are that the texture and the combination of flavors are very good.
    The cons are the length of time and the number of bowls needed to make it. It took me longer than the recipe posts, as I cooked the lentils myself (didn’t know they even came canned!). And Dana now has me spoiled, with most of her recipes needing only 1 bowl or pot. ;0D Since I am really trying to streamline my cooking, this would be made as a special treat once or twice a year and mashed potatoes are the perfect partner.
    Thanks, Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback, Daisy! It is slightly more labor intensive than some of our others, but we think worth the effort =)

  19. Lisa Marsh says

    I made this back in August and I loved it. The only thing is that I am not a lover of mushrooms, can you please tell me what’s a good substitute.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa, We aren’t sure of a substitute for the mushrooms as they are a pretty key flavor. Our only idea would be to try increasing the worcestershire or thyme for more flavor.

        • Chris says

          This was another delicious recipe! I made it for Christmas Eve using eggplant in place of mushrooms and it turned out great! I don’t have a food processor so I ended up chopping the sweet potatoes and eggplant into pretty small chunks before sautéing them. Worked in a pinch ;)

  20. Polly says

    This is SO DELICIOUS! It’s my new go-to “meatloaf” recipe. It’s wonderful as is, and there’s room for tweaks — for example, I cooked up some shallots and garlic that I had on hand and added it to the food processor, along with a drop of Marmite. I’m super excited about the leftovers tonight! Thank you for this!

  21. Maria says

    I made this recipe yesterday and was really pleased with the result. Personally, I think I’d prefer a chunkier texture, so next time I will only blend half of the nuts with the mushrooms and sweet potato and will then just roughly chop the other half and, together with the lentils, will fold those into the blended mixture. But however you get to the result, the flavors are on point and I will definately be making this again.

  22. Jenny says

    This was so great! I made it for thanksgiving and did a trial run the week before. I realized my food processor isn’t big enough but I blended in two batches and it was fine. The first time I made it the sweet potatoes weren’t cooked enough so the second time I made them I cut into smaller pieces and cooked longer. My food processor was able to chop them up without over processing the other ingredients. I also processed for less time the second time I made it and the texture was great. Meat eaters were going back for seconds of that and not the turkey!

  23. Jenny says

    I have a love-hate relationship with lentils, but this recipe made me love them again! I was looking for an easy, good, healthy, “traditionally American” vegan main dish for Thanksgiving, and this was it! I have made so many of your recipes, always with great success, so I expected nothing less than that with this one, and you did not disappoint. I did adjust the seasoning, adding onion and garlic powder, next time I will sauté some garlic and onion with the mushrooms for additional flavor. I can’t wait to try this loaf with the mushroom gravy; I’m going to replace the ketchup with barbecue sauce another time. Thanks again for another great recipe!

  24. Adam Leverett says

    Ive made this but I think it’s going to come out mushy, we’ll see! I added dried fried onions to add some dimension to it and yeast extract instead of Worcestershire sauce. I also added a hint of Romesc sauce, which is common here in Catalonia. Love the way this looks!

  25. Chris says

    Ok so I *have* made this, but I haven’t tasted the final baked product, only the “raw” dough. I’ve baked it ahead for Thanksgiving and it’s in the frig awaiting the big day. But the dough was SOOO delicious, and I’m SO amazed at how nicely it all comes together. I think my family will love it, and I’m thinking it would be great for sandwiches, too. Really lovely combination of ingredients that I would have never thought of!! I used to make meatloaf a lot before we were vegan, and I miss it. This is by far the best vegan meatloaf recipe I’ve found.

  26. Aaron Logan says

    Absolutely delicious! I made this for a friendsgiving this weekend and everyone loved it. The BBQ Whiskey ketchup is essential and next time I’ll likely put it in the meatloaf as well as on top.

    Mine did turn out a little more mushy then I wanted it to. I might skip the processing step for the lentils and go straight to mixing it.

  27. Leslie says

    This was delicious! It’s mushy, probably because I overcooked the lentils and overprocessed them – but the taste is amazing! And it’s great with rice!
    I will make again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Leslie! Yes, we’d recommend processing the lentils less next time and that should help. Thanks for the lovely review!

  28. Lisa says

    I was looking for something to impress my non vegan family and this is definitely a winner! Super savory and flavorful. I substituted with white mushrooms because they were a lot cheaper and that worked just fine.

  29. Lindsey says

    So excited to make this!

    Is this something I could get all prepped to bake the night before, then pop in the oven the next day? Or does it all need to be made day-of?

  30. Katie says

    This was so delicious! It was a total hit for Friendsgiving and it looks like it will make the cut for Thanksgiving too! A little tip for people with smaller food processors (mine is only 5 cups), you can just process the cashews and sweet potato and then mash up the lentils in the bowl for the next step, and it still mixes very well.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and sharing your tips, Katie. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  31. Gina Southern says

    Hello! I planned on making this for Thanksgiving but just found out at my doctors that I have a potato intolerance:( any recommendations for sweet potato substitute in this recipe?

  32. Dorsey says

    This is one of my favorite recipes of all time! It’s complex and delicvious as well as suprising filling. I’ve tried other lentil loafs but they can’t compare to this masterpiece! Delish!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Dorsey. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  33. Christine says

    My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. It was really good the first night, but also make great leftovers – exactly what’s expected with a “meat”loaf. I added extra worcestershire sauce. Will definitely be making this one again.

  34. Danielle says

    For the first time making a lentil “meatloaf”, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make. To top it off, consistency and texture were flawless, and the flavour on point to meatloaf perfection!

    Dana, thank you for this fantastic meatloaf alternative!

  35. Diane says

    I thought this was great and so did my toddler! I just used roasted sweet potatoes I had already in the fridge and it worked great. Thanks again for another great recipe, Dana!

  36. Kim G says

    This was my first vegan meatloaf and I was so impressed. This was seriously good. Only change I made was adding in shallots for a bit more onion flavor and some better than bouillon vegetable base for deeper umami. Haven’t had regular meatloaf in over 11 years but I remember it made me feel like crap after eating it. This was light and filling and I had to remind myself it was made with real healthy Whole Foods so I didn’t have to feel guilty!

  37. Suzy says

    Mine turned out with a really neutral flavor, almost flavorless. Texture was good though. Not sure what I did wrong as there are lots of great reviews on here.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, interesting! Did you make any modifications? I’d always recommend tasting before baking to adjust flavor as needed.

    • estaeheli says

      The recipe said to adjust to taste. You have to do that before cooking it. No meat or eggs, so you can taste test all you want!

  38. Tara says

    I was not a fan of this recipe. I felt it lacked flavor and the texture was way too mushy for my liking. It may have been an error on my part, though I double checked the instructions. I love most all the recipes on this site, maybe vegan meatloaf is just not my thing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear it didn’t go as expected, Tara! It sounds like maybe the lentils got more pureed than pulsed. As for flavor, did you use Worcestershire or coconut aminos?

  39. Allie says

    Hi! Do you have any idea if this can be frozen either before or after baking? I’m pregnant and am looking for healthy vegetarian/vegan recipes I can make ahead of time and freeze for when I won’t be able to cook after the baby comes! Thanks!

  40. Rita Kim says

    Oh my goodness, this is SO GOOD. I tasted the dough while seasoning and I was WOWED by the ‘raw’ dough! I couldn’t wait to taste the finished product and I was not disappointed.

    Next time, I think I’ll prep everything (lentils, sweet potato, mushroom) the day before at my leisure and put em together next day when I want to eat it . It is little time consuming but honestly, the taste is unlike anything I’ve ever had. I don’t even like meatloaf (I eat meat) but will eat this over and over again. Also, I’m gonna impress my newly-vegetarian inlaws with this recipe.

    Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that, but it might work! Just make sure to pulse very carefully and scrape sides with a rubber spatula frequently so it doesn’t end up with a mushy texture!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Wendy. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  41. Molly says

    I’d love to know if I could make these into meatballs! What modifications, if any, would you make to the bake time if I did this?

  42. lauren a says

    this was absolutely delicious. added a lot of extra thyme and some onion as well. was moist, and complex and flavorful but very simple at the same time!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lauren. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  43. Trina says

    I have tried other vegan “meatloaf” recipes in the last 8 years. This one is a keeper. Thank you for sharing this with us. An A1 recipe. Left off the ketchup and made your easy vegan gravy (which is amazing) to serve with the loaf. Yummy!

  44. Heidi says

    I made it as is, but put BBQ sauce on the top. It was delicious and will make again. I did the lentils in my instant pot, and cooked the mushrooms and sweet potatoes while that was cooking. We have yet to make one of your recipes that isn’t da bomb. Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum- love the BBQ sauce addition! Thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review, Heidi =)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing. We are glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  45. Mel says

    Perfect “meatloaf”—savory, a little sweet and the nuts keep the texture interesting! Made per recipe with the addition of half an onion. Super easy—albeit a little time intensive but totally worth the effort. ? ?

  46. Lisa says

    I made this for dinner tonight – delicious. I added a cup of grated carrots so it wouldn’t be crumbly. It was delicious! Great recipe and will definitely make again.

  47. Pammy says

    I tried this, modified with what I had at home (regular tomato sauce instead of ketchup, regular potatoes not sweet, almonds and cashews for nuts) and it turned out very very yummy ! Thanks for the recipe :)

  48. Brigitte Kloosterman says

    The loaf was delicious. Thank you very much for the great recipe. I had company and they loved it
    I used the whole small can of tomato sauce.
    Since I like spicy foods I added cumin and Frank‘s Red Hot sauce and some cayenne. pepper. My friend from Guatemala said the loaf was very tasty.
    Thanks again for this very satisfying and tasty recipe!

  49. Mike says

    Sorry, but nope….didn’t work at all. Followed the recipe exactly…no changes. Didn’t taste good at all. No one ate it. Don’t believe in throwing out food and so will suffer through the rest of the week to finish it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So strange! So many people have had success with this recipe. Assuming you followed the methods, I’m wondering if perhaps your ingredients were not fresh? Would love to help troubleshoot!

      • Mike says

        Thanks for the reply. Followed the recipe exactly including half/half pecan/walnut. Let the green lentils dry enough so they weren’t ‘mushy’. Didn’t use oil to saute the mushrooms. Fairly straight-forward recipe so confused as to what could have gone wrong. Have tried many of your other recipes which have turned out well….so maybe this is just an odd on for me.

  50. MKB says

    I made this recently for our recent camping trip. I cooked and sliced it ahead of time and then just warmed them up in a fry pan or over the campfire. Very flavorful and filling and easy to make with food processor.

  51. Margie says

    Absolutely love this recipe and & so does the whole fam, but it takes me forever to make. Not sure if I’m just really slow at cutting up the mushrooms and potatoes but this to me is not a half hour to prep. Just saying. Today I made mine with Butternut squash because at the last minute I found out we didn’t have sweet potatoes. I’ll let you know how it goes. Added a little brown sugar to make up for the lack of sweetness.

  52. Tracey says

    Buy a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and mix the sauce part of the can (without the peppers) into the ketchup you are slathering on top of the meatloaf. Bake it in a wide, shallow pan instead of a loaf pan for maximum spicy ketchup topping to meatloaf ratio. Toast up some hamburger buns of your liking and put a big fat slice of this meatloaf goodness in between. Sloppy Joe sandwich or meatloaf sandwich? You decide.

    Thank me later.

  53. Layne Madrid says

    I made this with my three month old screaming in my ear. It took forever, I burnt my finger and I knew the kids were going to hate it once it came out of the oven mushy. I even tried to add more bread crumbs after it had baked and baked it again. I think I over blended it. This dish was just to hard to tackle in the season that I’m in. We still ate it and i thought it was really good. Currently pan frying it as a patty so I can make sandwiches with it.

  54. Nicole says

    Delicious!

    I wish the time to cook the lentils had been included in the overall time as that was a bit of a bummer when I realized I needed more time (~45 minutes) than anticipated to make this recipe. (That’s why you should always fully read the recipe first, right?)

    Other than the longer than anticipate time this recipe is great. I’ve been reheating it in the microwave for dinner all week and I think it might actually be getting better with age! :)

  55. Colleen says

    I hate mushrooms and they are in so many vegetarian/vegan recipies. Can you recommend anything else I could use?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Colleen, We aren’t sure of a substitute for the mushrooms as they are a pretty key flavor. Our only idea would be to try increasing the worcestershire or thyme for more flavor.

  56. Caro says

    This receipe was very good. I used what nuts I had on hand raw cashews and almonds and used ketchup and maple syrup for topping. Thanks again for a very good receipe

  57. Joann Khoe says

    Has anyone made this ahead of time and refrigerated overnight and baked the next day.
    If no one has, do you think doing so would jeopardize the meatloaf’s outcome after baking?
    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      It looks like one reader has done so with success and we think that should work well. Hope that helps! If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes.

    • Lauren says

      Hi Joann, I made this delicious loaf the day before Thanksgiving 2018 ,and left off the organic catsup coating until I baked the following day. It was time consuming for me to make, but it was really superb! All was gobbled up. If leftovers, it may need more catsup topping as it dries a bit when reheated.?
      Lauren,
      Cape Cod fan of Dana’s VEGAN Dishes

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for catching this, Sharon! We mention to “ensure vegan and gluten-free friendly as needed,” but it looks like we missed one of the mentions. It has been updated. Thanks again!

  58. Jocelyne says

    Hi, I’ve just made this vegan lentil loaf tonight!
    So, full disclosure, I’ve never made meatloaf in my life, so this was a totally new experience.
    I am a huge fan of this recipe though! Though I processed them, the walnuts add a nice gentle crunch that I really like.

    I only have a mini food-processor, so I ended up processing each ingredient separately and then mixed them together in a bowl until it turned into a dough. As in the instructions I tasted and added seasonings, which included more of all the seasonings, but I’d be more careful with the worcestershire sauce next time– I overdid it. I was très lazy with the sweet potatoes and cut them into smaller pieces to cook and process faster– turned out fine.

    Because I like really well cooked mushrooms, I would sauté more next time along with sliced onion and minced garlic. Now that I know the process, I would also try experimenting with more vegetables, like shredded carrots, or whatever happens to be in my fridge.

    For the glaze, I added a little water to the remaining little tomato paste can and stirred it together with what was left and smeared it on top, it was just enough to cover the top with a thin layer. I then topped it with a very scant amount of brown sugar. Love it! This is a new food I will be adding to the regular rotation.

  59. Lindsay says

    Dana, thank you so much for posting all of your recipes for us. Your excellent meal ideas and combinations have expanded my pallet and made being a Gluten free, dairy free Vegetarian a joy. Again, Thank You!

  60. Melanie P says

    Okay, so I totally used this recipe more as a guideline than specific instructions, but it turned out AMAZING.

    I used all walnuts, subbed some leftover mushroom/lentil/kale soup for the mushroom portion, overly mushy overcooked lentils, and I added what was left in the bottom of a bag of gardein beefless crumble (about 1/2c), and I used some chickpea “bread crumbs” I had left over from another recipe… then baked them in a muffin tin, to make individual portions. Holy baloney. It seriously tastes just like meatloaf like gramma used to make. Good call on the seasonings. The thyme, tomato paste, & worcestershire made it a super meaty/umamibomb. Super delicious.

  61. Sophie says

    I did not have mushrooms and substituted a red onion and an apple. It was DELICIOUS and is a new staple in our house. Our picky kid loves it too. We turned leftovers into taco and sloppy joe filling with lots of fixings. Yum & thank you!

  62. Lara says

    Made this and it was delicious!!! I am not the best cook and accidentally left out the breadcrumbs. Didn’t miss them at all. I could not wait for leftovers lunch today and then had it for dinner again because it’s that good.

    Thank you!

  63. Isabelle says

    I have been gluten free for many years and have just made the leap to becoming vegan. I was extremely weary of finding foods that I could eat, that wouldn’t lack flavor. After some research I came across this recipe and I’m so glad that this was my first vegan gluten free meal. It was absolutely delicious and was full of flavor. I’m glad that I made the lentils because the consistency was perfect. Made myself a sandwich the next day with it and it was amazing. I am staying on the path! Thank you !!!!

  64. Kaitlyn says

    Help! I made this last night with tempeh instead of mushrooms (my boyfriend is allergic) and it was just okay. I’ve never had a MB recipe I didn’t love so I’m SURE it was the substitution. Any suggestions as to what I could use instead of tempeh for a better substitute? I also added onions for the caramelized flavor and garlic because we are huge garlic people. I have a few ideas of how to make it more flavorful with tempeh, but I’d love a better substitute! Thanks for the help!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kaitlyn, sorry it didn’t work out for you with subbing the mushrooms for tempeh. We aren’t sure of a substitute for the mushrooms as they are a pretty key flavor. Our only idea would be to try increasing the worcestershire or thyme for more flavor.

      • Kaitlyn says

        No worries! It definitely wasn’t bad, just didn’t blow me away like every other MB recipe. ;) I’ll definitely make it again and keep playing with the flavors to see what I can come up with.

        • kristy lipscombe says

          This is late as, but if you scrambled the tempeh (squish it up with a fork) then pan fry until brown, chuck in a half cup vegan beef stock until the liquid was all gone, it would work super well.

  65. Jill says

    I followed the recipe exactly, using a loaf pan as it explains. But it was so wet inside and it would not hold together. The texture was so unappealing and moist. Disappointed because this was a lot of work with all the separate cooking and steps.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Jill! Depending on what bread crumbs you use, and whether you opted for fresh cooked or canned lentils, the moisture level will be affected. If you used canned lentils you’ll almost certainly have a wetter texture. You can compensate this with extra bread crumbs in the future but I am sorry it didn’t work out this time around :/

  66. Ashley says

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I added raw onions and crushed garlic to the mix. Would definitely recommend!

  67. Julie O says

    This recipe was so good!!! I loved how accessible all the ingredients were – most of them I already had in my kitchen, which is always a huge plus. I used red lentils because that’s what I already had in my pantry. Not sure if that makes a huge difference, but man did it taste good so I’d totally recommend that. I added some red pepper flakes and cumin to the mix before putting it in the pan. That’s one of the best parts about this recipe – very accepting of almost any spice to jazz it up a bit!

    Thank you Minimalist Baker team!! Will be making this again!

  68. Daniela Villanueva says

    Made this tonight and it was delicious. I just added a bit of carrots because I didn’t have enough mushrooms. Mine came out a bit mushy. Any suggestions?

  69. ANN says

    Hi I am not vegetarian but eat many plant based meals. When I make “real” meatloaf I use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs (I never have those around and have cut back on bread). Would oatmeal work? Or chickpea flour? I love lentils so I am excited to try this recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oatmeal should work, though we haven’t tried it ourselves in this recipe! Let us know how you make out.

      • Lotta says

        I use oatmeal in my veggieburgers so as I did not have any breadcrums, I tried oatmeal and it worked perfect. I did not have Worcestershire sauce either so I took the ingredients from a homemade recipe worcestershire and mixed them in. FANTASTIC ! I will definately do it again. Thanks

  70. SPW says

    I don’t really understand how people measure rigid objects like sliced sweet potato rounds by cups. It seems like the amount of empty space in a cup would be completely dependent on the shape of your measuring glass/cup and the width of the potato, plus some random chance.

    I’d feel more confident that I could pull off a recipe like this if the weights were listed.

  71. Kathleen says

    Wow! This was soooo good! Didn’t make any changes and everyone loved it. I made your vegan mushroom gravy along with it and mashed potatoes and turnip and it was the best meal I’ve had in a while. My mom asked for the recipe. Definitely will be making it often. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!!

  72. Nicole says

    I made this tonight! However the consistency was awesome but all we could taste was walnuts like sooo many walnuts! I am not sure what I did wrong but we unfortunately couldn’t eat it.

  73. Melissa says

    This was DELICIOUS! I have tried many vegan loafs and not only was this the easiest one to make but it is by far our favorite. For any people complaining about the mushrooms- I chopped ours up smaller before sauteeing because my husband doesn’t love mushrooms. Once processed they were broken down and my hubby had zero clue it contained mushrooms, just raved and raved about it. It was good the night of and possibly even better the day after as leftovers!

  74. Elizabeth says

    Hi Dana, I’m a big fan of your site and recipes! I just made this, but I realized too late that I didn’t have any breadcrumbs so I’m hoping once I take it out of the oven it will be okay without them. It smells delicious, but I have to admit–this recipe was way more work than one hour for me. In order to sauté two cups of sweet potatoes at a time, I had to use my large cast iron skillet. However, I could only fit about half in at a time, forcing me to cook them in two separate batches which added time on. Also, I didn’t realize about the lentils having to be pre-cooked, so that added another 30 minutes for me. In total, it’s about two hours of prep and cook time for me!

    • Elizabeth says

      I forgot to add–the food processor also slowed things down. I have a large one, but I found that the walnuts made everything stick together so I had to really work at it for a while. It probably will taste amazing, but it was not an easy recipe to make.

  75. Daryl says

    I had been craving Thanksgiving dinner ever since my family’s lackluster Thanksgiving last year, so I decided that it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself and make a lentil loaf. I’ve always been a big fan of this site, and although it did take me quite a bit longer than 30 minutes, it was well worth the effort. I have difficulty with nuts sometimes so I decided to sub sunflower seeds, and I swapped tamari for the worcestershire sauce. Normally I would have ketchup’d it up because — delicious! — but since I was going for Thanksgiving I decided to leave it bare and slather it in gravy. I made the vegan mushroom gravy from the site as well, and although I added a little too much rosemary, it was still delicious. Oh, and it looks good on a plate, so this would definitely be “company-worthy.” I might even make this and take it to my family’s in November. Would definitely recommend it!

  76. Caitlin Boonenberg says

    I made this! It was delish and I am still eating it this week for lunches. Really easy recipe to follow and delicious even for non vegans. My husband really enjoyed it even though he is not plant based. Keep the yummy recipes coming! Thanks!

  77. Kathy Schaeffer says

    Made this over the weekend. Delicious, although it needs a little more zip. I tried ancho chili powder and that helped. Next time, more spices, too.
    For those looking for an alternative for the breadcrumbs, I used garbanzo-bean crumbs, which are vegan and non-grain. I am going to try ground-up rice crackers some time, too. Definitely will make again.
    While it tasted delicious, I don’t think I got the texture quite right. Even after letting it stand, as directed, it was still a little mushy. I will try more breadcrumbs and a little less pulsing in the food processor next time.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  78. Kelly says

    This “meatloaf” is by far the best vegan dish Ive made!! Already planning on making it again. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  79. Juliet says

    I will start by saying this is the most delicious tasting loaf I have had since going vegan. It is so tasty. That said, I have two conplaints:

    1. Texture: this was a mushy mess. Really hard to eat. I followed the recipe to the word. After watching the video I added breadcrumbs until the consistency matched. Having made meatloaf often as an Omni, I new what I was going for. I was really disappointed. The flavor is so good, so it’s disappointing that it was so hard to eat. I’m gonna plan around with it a bit and see what I can come up with!

    2. Very difficult to make. This is definitely time consuming. Between all of the slicing, sautéing, processing, and reading I could barely keep up. Definitely not an easy recipe.

    Flavor is just SUPERB. Delicious, hearty, and comforting. Texture and difficulty is my only issue!

  80. Morgan says

    My friend and I made this with the cauliflower mashed potatoes, and let me just tell you it was positively amazing. Literally so good and definitely one of our favorite MB recipes that we’ve tried (and we’ve tried A LOT okay). AMAZING MUST TRY!

  81. Heather Kristensen says

    After reading about the texture, I decided to add 1/4 cup flax meal. Although this was a tasty recipe, it still came out more like mushy paste.
    I think if I tried it again I would not mix it in the food processor (except the nuts), I would mash the sweet potato only slightly by hand, I would used canned lentils instead of just made.

  82. Lee says

    Great recipe! I made a few changes – added flax seed to the nut mix and ground it in lieu of breadcrumbs as a binder, added Herbs d Province, a large onion and celery to the mushroom mixture, added some hotsauce for a little kick and blended only half of the total mix cause I like it chunky and kept the potatoes as a topper, like sheppards pie. Wonderful! Thank you!

  83. CM says

    We had a friend bring this to our Christmas dinner. I’m not vegetarian and wasn’t expecting much. It was delicious!!! It didn’t have the texture or taste of meatloaf but it was fantastic and I intend to regularly make it myself. It was sweet and savory, and a nice flavor. Our friend said she followed the recipe and that it was very easy to make.

  84. Evelyn says

    I had the opposite problem as most commenters. The loaf turned out too dry for me and I attribute that to 1 cup too few mushrooms and I made the mistake of cooking 2 cups of dry lentils instead of 1. Perhaps adding extra lentils will make your loaf less mushy.