Hearty Lentil Mushroom Loaf with Walnuts

by Alena

This simple vegan lentil mushroom loaf with walnuts is a wonderful plant-based main dish the whole family will love! It’s so hearty, savory and really easy to make with only 10 minutes of prep time.

Looking for a scrumptious meatless main the whole family will enjoy? This wonderfully textured lentil mushroom loaf packs lots of nutrients, flavor and plant-based protein in every single bite.

Made with simple ingredients including walnuts, carrots, onion, herbs and spices, this homemade recipe is perfect during the holidays but can be prepared all throughout the year!

Prepare it ahead of time, enjoy it over the course of a few days and customize this lentil mushroom loaf to your liking. It combines great taste with lots of nutrition and easy preparation!

Each serving (2 slices) of this vegan meatloaf offers 19 g of plant-strong protein, 10 g of fiber (that’s ⅓ of what you need per day) and 3.5 g omega-3 — which is twice your daily requirement.

Other meaty vegan favorites on this website include our chickpea loaf, beetroot kidney bean burgers, black bean meatballs and hearty chili sin carne!

You can also browse our plant-based Thanksgiving recipes or protein-packed vegan dinners for more ideas.

white plate with two slices of Lentil Mushroom Loaf next to some parsnip fries and a green salad for a vegan thanksgiving dinner

Recipe overview

Here’s what we love about this lentil mushroom loaf!

  • Protein-packed and filling
  • Made from budget-friendly ingredients
  • Savory, hearty and warming
  • Gluten-free & high in veggies
  • Crowd-pleasing meatless dinner
  • Great for meal prep

Perfect especially during fall and winter, you can add different veggies to this loaf and serve it with an array of delicious sides — more on that below.

different sized bowls on a grey surface with ingredients for a vegan lentil loaf such as lentils, oats, flax and mustard

Ingredients needed

  • Brown Lentils — the plant-strong protein star of our vegan meatloaf.
  • Mushrooms — they offer great texture & earthy flavors!
  • Oats — to absorb any excess liquid and add some more texture.
  • Walnuts — for the crunchy and rich texture plus some added omega-3.
  • Carrot — we’re all about hiding a few delicious vegetables here and there, after all.
  • Onion & Garlic every good savory recipe needs some of that strong flavor!
  • Flavorings — this recipe calls for oregano, parsley, salt, red chili flakes, mustard, soy sauce & a few more.

You can play around with many of these components to make this lentil mushroom loaf perfect for your needs!

In terms of equipment, this recipe requires a pot, non-stick pan, small bowl, food processor and loaf pan.

baking dish with parchment and vegan lentil loaf with red topping and a wooden spoon

How to make this lentil mushroom loaf

Cook the lentils

Cook your dry lentils according to package instructions. Once all of the water has been absorbed, set them aside to cool for a few minutes before placing them in the food processor.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sauté the veggies

Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to a non-stick pan and cook in a splash of water while stirring frequently.

After a few minutes, add the carrot and soy sauce. The latter will add a wonderful savory and deep flavor to your lentil mushroom loaf!

Sauté for a few more minutes until all of the liquid has evaporated.

Combine the ingredients

Add your cooked and slightly cooled lentils to your food processor alongside the sautéed veggies and the rest of the ingredients for the vegan loaf batter.

Pulse a few times to incorporate everything and be sure not to over-process the mixture! It should still be textured and a bit chunky, not smooth and homogenous.

Transfer it to your prepared loaf pan and pack it down firmly to make sure it stays together. 

Add the glaze

In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the homemade glaze. Alternatively, you can use store-bought ketchup or even BBQ sauce if you like!

Spread it evenly on top of your lentil loaf mixture, then place the loaf pan into the oven.

Bake and enjoy

Bake your lentil mushroom loaf for 45 minutes until the glaze starts to brown on the edges and the loaf is firm in the middle.

Remove the vegan loaf from the oven and set it aside to cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan and cutting it into slices.

hand holding a knife and slicing vegan meat loaf on a chopping board

Storage & reheating

This lentil mushroom loaf tastes best the day you make it but it’s also super delicious when reheated for a quick lunch or dinner over the next couple of days!

Once completely cooled, store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to around 5 days.

Sliced lentil loaf can be frozen when put between parchment paper so that the slices don’t stick together and then put into freezer-safe containers.

When reheating your vegan meatloaf, get as many slices as you like and put them back in the oven for about 8 minutes at 350° F.

Serving suggestions

Our vegan lentil loaf can be the star at your Thanksgiving table where it can be offered alongside dishes such as:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Vegan Mac and Cheese
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Cranberry sauce

For an exact recipe, check out our vegan Thanksgiving dinner bowl!

We enjoy it with our roast pumpkin feta salad, spinach fig salad, sweet potato arugula salad, homemade baked root veggies or some steamed veggies for a leftover weeknight dinner sometimes.

white plate with green salad, two slices of lentil loaf and a fork next to some parsnip fries

FAQs & tips

How to prep ahead

You can cook the lentils a few days before making this recipe or just buy canned lentils instead. You can also sauté the veggies and make the glaze ahead of time so that you just need to throw everything together, add the glaze, and bake your lentil mushroom loaf!

Can I use canned lentils?

We’ve made this recipe with canned lentils as well as kidney beans before, yes. You’ll need around 15 ounces or 420 grams of cooked legumes for this recipe.

Success tips

Be sure that the batter is not too sticky or wet, so drain the sautéed vegetables and lentils well before adding everything into your food processor.

If necessary, use more oats to help soak up the excess liquid!

We also recommend that any veggies you’re using in this vegan meatloaf should be chopped finely or even grated!

Suggested swaps

Feel free to add other veggies like celery, zucchini or bell peppers in this recipe! Be sure to finely chop and sauté them first.

Adding some liquid smoke or vegan Worcestershire sauce brings out the umami flavor and if you cannot have walnuts, use another nut or ¼ cup tahini instead. If using nut or seed butter, add more oats to achieve the right texture!

You can also cook your lentils in vegetable broth and use spices like sage, fennel or smoked paprika.

vegan lentil loaf on a wooden chopping boards with two slices cut off

More hearty vegan recipes

Bring more plant-based goodness to the dinner table and try these recipes next!

Did you make our vegan lentil mushroom loaf? Share with us in the comments below, give this recipe a rating and Pin it here!

hearty vegan lentil loaf with red glaze on some parchment paper on a wooden chopping board

Hearty Vegan Lentil Mushroom Loaf

Yield: 8 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This simple vegan lentil mushroom loaf with walnuts is a wonderful plant-based main dish the whole family will love! It’s so hearty, savory and really easy to make with only 10 minutes of prep time. Try it as a meatless main for the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown lentils, dry (190 g)
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups button mushrooms (150 g), chopped
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly crushed (100 g)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon parsley dry
  • ½ teaspoon oregano, dry
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt

For the Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Cook lentils according to package instructions. 
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  3. In a non-stick pan, sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms in a splash of water, stirring frequently. 
  4. After a few minutes, add the soy sauce and carrot. Keep cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Transfer the cooked lentils along with the sautéed vegetables and the rest of the ingredients for the loaf into a food processor.
  6. Pulse a few times to incorporate and be sure not to over-process the mixture! It should still be textured, not smooth.
  7. Put the lentil mushroom batter into your prepared loaf pan and pack it down firmly to make sure it stays together. 
  8. Combine all ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and mix together. Spread it over the top of your lentil mushroom loaf, then place it into the oven for 45 minutes.
  9. Once this time has elapsed, remove the lentil loaf from the oven and set it aside to cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan and cutting it into slices.

Notes

  • Once fully cooled, you can store any leftover lentil mushroom loaf in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat at your convenience.
  • You can use any sweetener of your choice for the simple glaze or just use ketchup instead of making your own glaze.
  • You can make this lentil loaf super savory by adding a touch of liquid smoke to the batter!
  • Make sure the lentils have absorbed all of the cooking water, otherwise your vegan meatloaf will become mushy due to the excess liquid.
  • When using canned instead of home-cooked lentils, make sure most of the liquid is drained and feel free to skip the flax seed because no binder will be needed.
  • Find lots of tips and serving suggestions in the article above.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 slices
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 153mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Please rate & share if you like this!

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Alena sitting in a cafe with a bowl of fresh plant-based food and a glass of coffee in front of her

About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

18 thoughts on “Hearty Lentil Mushroom Loaf with Walnuts”

    • Hi Ellie,
      thanks for your question! You can just omit the walnuts in the lentil load and add a bit more lentils, oats, or even veggies, instead. Same goes for the flax seeds, though they work as an egg substitute and I haven’t tried making this recipe seed-free so far – let me know how it turns out if you do that!
      Awesome to see that you’re looking for lower fat versions of recipes, btw. I’m the same way usually but wanted to offer something more “rich” for the whole family (including meat eaters) during the holidays. Hope that makes sense.
      Warm wishes,
      Alena

      Reply
  1. Days are getting shorter and greyer… not all your readers are in the northern hemisphere – here in Australia we’re in the middle of a heat wave!

    Reply
  2. This was realy delicious. All my family loved it! I added a small sweet potato. I don’t have a food processor, so I do it by hand. Tourns out great! Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Can you substitute another nut for walnuts? My husband suddenly became allergic about a year ago, but no other nuts affect him. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hey Michelle, great question! Can your husband eat pecans or almonds? I think both would work as a replacement. Perhaps even omitting the walnuts altogether would work :)

      Reply
  4. Hi Alena,
    I’m wondering if applesauce could be used as a replacement for the sugar and flaxseeds? We have nearly everything in the house to make the recipe except the flaxseeds, and my family is likely to suggest “just using an egg” if we have to them, /but/ we have nearly a whole case of applesauce, so I’m hoping it’s an easy switch.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey Denise,
      thanks for the question! I think I remember making this lentil loaf without any flax at all — a common replacement would be chia seeds, although they aren’t much more commonly found compared to flax. So, either just omit or use 1 tsp of applesauce if you want to try that swap! I’d be so curious to know how to turns out :)
      Just so you know, there are some lentil and nut loaf recipes without either flax or applesauce so it should work.
      Best wishes!

      Reply

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