It’s the time of year that we all start craving hearty, warm comfort meals. The days get shorter and greyer, mornings are super chilly, and we just want to curl up on the sofa after a good day’s work. In our house, that means popping some satiating plant-based goodness into the oven… and lately, we’ve been really into making our own lentil loaf or vegan meatloaf.
Let me first confess that this might not be your super quick, everyday dinner recipe.
This lentil meatloaf needs some good 45 minutes in the oven - but on the upside, this means your kitchen and surrounding rooms will get warm and cozy, too!
Even though we love having our daily salads, at some point it’s time to move away from cold dishes and make some space for warming food to fill our tummies.
We especially love making these kinds of hearty meals when we have non-vegans over for dinner. Or just bring them to social gatherings that allow for this occasion.
And with the holidays and all those celebrations coming up, why not prepare a delicious, fiber- and protein-packed meal for everyone?
No need to mention how super healthy and vegan it is - we tend to find that it makes the food suddenly appear way less tasty to people. That’s just how the mind works, I guess.
But seriously, the nutrition for this lentil loaf is so amazing!
Each serving offers 19g of plant-strong protein, 10g fiber (that’s ⅓ of what you need per day), 3.5g omega-3 (that’s around double what you need per day) and the omega-3 to omega-6 balance is 1:4 - which is exactly what many health organizations recommend and what has been shown to support heart health and reduce overall mortality.
Here are all awesome benefits of this vegan lentil loaf at one glance:
There are even a few veggies in there, too. And it's always a good idea to increase the amount of vegetables on your plate. Some other veggies that can work here are zucchini, mushrooms, or bell peppers.
If you want to have a well-rounded plant-based meal, featuring this vegan meatloaf as the star on the plate - we recommend serving it with some baked starches like parsnips and a simple green salad.
You can get as basic or fancy as you want here, of course! All our recipes are very adaptable to make plant-based eating fit your personal style.
If you’re not super keen on parsnips or cannot find them at the store, feel free to just swap it for some white potatoes or even sweet potatoes.
The nigella seeds, also called black cumin or black onion seeds, in this recipe add a special touch and deep flavor to this dish. No worries if you don’t have or don’t like them! You can simply omit the nigella seeds or add some celery seeds, cumin seeds, black sesame or even oregano to the baked fries.
Even once the holidays are over, this vegan meatloaf can be prepared on a lazy Sunday and enjoyed as a quick lunch or dinner throughout the week. The leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5-6 days.
Our serving size of 2 slices is just a suggestion, by the way - because of the higher amount of protein and healthy whole fats, one slice can already be pretty filling. A perfect way to balance out this calorie density is by having a few greens on the side, just like we show in this recipe.
Anyway, now you know how we make the holidays a festive, delicious, and healthy occasion in our lives while also supporting the physical wellness of our family members.
Let’s not keep you hanging, though, and just share with you this wonderful vegan lentil meatloaf with baked parsnips and a simple green salad!
Simple & Wholesome Vegan Lentil Meatloaf
This hearty and nutritious vegan lentil loaf is perfect as a delicious plant-based addition to any holiday meal or winter day! Our menu comes with parsnip fries and a green salad for perfect balance.
For the Lentil Loaf
- 1 cup brown lentils, dry (190g)
- 2 tbsp rolled oats
- 2 tbsp ground flax
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly crushed (100g)
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 yellow onion, grated
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp parsley, dry
- ½ tsp oregano, dry
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- Pinch of salt
For the Glaze
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
For the Parsnip Fries
- 2 medium parsnips, cut into strips
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- Pinch of salt
For the Salad
- 1 large bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach (60g)
- 1 cucumber, cut into thin slices
For the Dressing
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Add the lentils into a medium pot, cover with 2 cups water and bring to boil over medium heat. Turn the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the lentils absorbed all the liquid (about 20 minutes). Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 175C/350F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Add the lentils into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse three or four times to incorporate (don't over-process because you don't want to obtain a puree but a textured mixture).
Transfer the mixture into the loaf pan and pack it down firmly to make sure it stays together. Mix the glaze ingredients into a small bowl, then spread the mixture on top of the loaf. Put in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Within 20 minutes before the loaf is ready, add the parsnip strips onto a baking sheet, season with salt and add into the oven next to the loaf.
While the loaf and parsnip are in the oven, mix the salad ingredients into a bowl. Add the dressing ingredients into a small jar, lid carefully and shake well to obtain a smooth liquid.
Remove the loaf from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes before serving, then cut into slices.
To assemble a plate add two lentil loaf slices, a quarter of the salad mixture, and a few baked parsnip fries. Drizzle the salad with Dijon dressing, sprinkle Nigella seeds onto the fries and serve.
You can swap the parsnips for white or sweet potatoes.
If you don't like nigella seeds or cannot find them, can simply omit them or add some celery seeds, cumin seeds, black sesame or even oregano to the baked fries.
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.