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Magical Lentil Loaf

This totally plant-based lentil loaf recipe is full of flavour, fibre and wholesome ingredients. It is incredibly memorable from the variety of spices, a total crowd-pleaser!
Oct 10, 2019 | Joy McCarthy

When I was a kid, my mom used to make an amazing meatloaf. I know it's not every kid's ideal meal, but damn it was tasty, and I loved it! It was so juicy, full of flavour and always satisfied our bellies. I remember the crispness of the crust like it was yesterday. My brother liked it too, and it was an effective way for my mom to get him to eat something healthy with hidden veggies. He was NOT a fan of veggies, and he used to hide them behind the fridge. I remember giggling about this when I was a kid and knowing his little secret.

I've created a totally plant-based version of that meatloaf with inspiration from my mom, and adapted a few ingredients from another recipe on the blog - Not Your Mama's Meatloaf . The sauce on this loaf is essential.

lentil loaf sauce ingredients

It is bursting with flavours from cinnamon, ginger and cloves which are warming to the core and incredibly rich in antioxidants.

Sauce for lentil loaf

You'll be so happy if you've got leftovers of the sauce so you can use it for dipping. And if you love this sauce, you're gonna LOVE my Best-Ever Homemade BBQ Sauce which is insanely good.

lentil loaf sauce

Beyond the sauce, this Magical Lentil Loaf has so much flavour in it from super healthful ingredients. Made from all simple and wholesome ingredients, this loaf is packed with nourishment!

Lentils are what replaces the meat that you'd have in meatloaf. But they are a wonderful addition because not only are they super easy to prepare but they are superfoods in their own right.

ingredients for lentil loaf

Health benefits of lentils

dry green lentils

  1. Gut-friendly fibre: Lentils lead the pack in terms of how much fibre they contain. Half a cup of lentils has 7-8grams of fibre, that's more than spinach or kale. Fibre is essential for blood sugar balance and as nourishment for the microbiome. Eating high fibre-foods like lentils can reduce the risk for heart disease, reduce IBS symptoms and relieve constipation
  2. Good source of folate and magnesium: Many North Americans are deficient in both these nutrients as people continue to eat the Standard American Diet full of processed foods, sugar, salt and bad fats. Folate, a B vitamin is heart-health-friendly as it helps to lower levels of homocysteine. This is important as it can damage artery walls and is considered a risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium is the master anti-stress mineral and it's nature's own calcium channel blocker. This means that when enough magnesium is present veins and arteries can breath more easily and studies show it reduces the risk of heart attacks. 
  3. Boost of energy: Lentils being a source of both iron and blood sugar balancing fibre I just mentioned helps to maintain good energy levels. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells and is integral in energy production and metabolism. 
  4. Great source of plant-based protein: If you've read my recent post about choosing the best protein powder then you'll be happy to know that you can ditch the protein powder for the day if you plan on making this Magical Lentil Loaf because it is PACKED with protein. In fact, just half a cup of lentils is nearly 10 grams of protein.

Lentil loaf

This recipe is...

  • Gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free
  • Plant-based / vegan
  • Rich in gut-friendly, and blood sugar balancing fibre
  • Oozing with flavour and soul-satisfying
  • Very easy to assemble

More on the egg-free part... You've likely noticed that I use eggs in most of my baked recipes. I know many of you do not eat eggs or have kiddies with allergies, which is why I decided to make this totally egg-free. The flax egg works perfectly to bind everything together.

lentil loaf ingredients in blender

I love how easy this recipe is to put together. Green lentils cook pretty quickly and easily, and then you just have to sautee some of the veggies. Toss it all into your blender or food processor and give it a whirl!

lentil ingredients in blender with sauteed carrots

Then just spoon it into your loaf pan and flatten it with a spoon. Magic really!

lentil loaf before cooking it

Here is the recipe for my Magical Lentil Loaf just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving!

Lentil loaf with salad

Mains & Sides
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  • 1-1/2 cups dry green lentils
  • 3-1/2 cups water
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (5.5oz / 156mL) can tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Rinse lentils with water in a wire mesh strainer. In a large pot on the stove, bring lentils and 3 1/2 cups water to a soft boil and reduce temperature to low and cook lentils for 15-20 minutes until soft, but not mushy. Drain any excess water once finished cooking.
  2. In a large fry pan, heat olive oil to medium and add onions and 2 garlic cloves (reserve the other two for the final step). Sauté for 3 minutes. Add carrots and sauté for five more minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine flaxseeds and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to make a "flax egg".
  4. Transfer sautéed mixture and cooked lentils to a food processor or high power blender. Add the almond flour, tamari, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, dried Italian seasoning, sea salt, flax egg and remaining two garlic cloves to the food processor.
  5. Blend for 60 seconds until well combined. It should be a consistency that will hold together if you form a patty.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, combine the glaze ingredients with a whisk until fully combined.
  7. Pour mixture into loaf pan and coat the top with some glaze. Bake for 30-40 minutes and remove from oven and coat with more glaze. You should have some left over for serving. Bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.
  8. Pull out of the pan and slice into 2-inch thick slices. Serve with glaze.
  9. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Serves 6

You could serve this alongside a big beautiful salad like my Juicy & Crunchy Kale Salad or my Roasted Cauliflower Salad - perfect for the season!

lentil loaf

And then have my no bake pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice cake for dessert!

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving weekend in Canada or not, I hope this Magical Lentil Loaf brings magic to your lunch or dinner plate! I'm certain if you make this for dinner that you'll be looking forward to lunch the next day too with those yummy leftovers.

lentil loaf

Enjoy friends!

Joy xo

Cindy   •   October 10, 2019

Will be making this for my veggie daughter this weekend! Would it be ok to substitute brown lentils?

Joy McCarthy   •   October 11, 2019
Chantale   •   November 6, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   November 7, 2019

Ania P.   •   October 11, 2019

Hello Joy, do you think I can prep it in the evening, leave it in the loaf pan in the fridge overnight and bake it the next day?

Joy McCarthy   •   October 11, 2019
Ania P.   •   October 15, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   October 15, 2019
ANIA P.   •   October 15, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   October 15, 2019

Rita Rosol Shields   •   October 15, 2019

Can I use canned lentils and would that be two cans?

Joy McCarthy   •   October 15, 2019

Anna   •   October 15, 2019

I’m going to make this! Could I sub a gluten free flour like Bob’s Red Mill for the almond as my daughter has a bit allergy? Thanks

Joy McCarthy   •   October 15, 2019

Stacy D Huffhines   •   October 15, 2019

Have you tried making this into patties for burgers?

Joy McCarthy   •   October 15, 2019

lisa B.   •   October 23, 2019

This is absolutely amazing!!! Thank you for creating such an joyous meal!

Joy McCarthy   •   October 23, 2019

Ann   •   October 23, 2019

What do you recommend as a substitute for the almond flour (due to nut allergy)? Also, I find cloves very strong, do you think the recipe would work without that ingredient? Thanks

Joy McCarthy   •   October 24, 2019
Ann   •   October 24, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   October 24, 2019
Joy McCarthy   •   October 24, 2019

Jan   •   November 4, 2019

I'm eating it right now! I like it. Took me a bit of time to get all the things together, and I'm never sure if I'm going to like cinnamon and cloves and ginger in a savory dish, but this works. Great sauce, even tho I subbed some of our homemade tomato jam and also applesauce for maple syrup as we don't do refined sugars right now. I'll make it again, and I bet it's even better tomorrow once it's been chilled and the flavors have blended together even more.

Joy McCarthy   •   November 5, 2019

Marlo   •   November 27, 2019

Any suggestions for substitutes for almond flour?

Joy McCarthy   •   November 28, 2019

Deb nettesheim   •   January 5, 2020

Made this last night I served it to my meat loving husband , not telling him the base about ingredients He devoured it and especially responded to the warm spiciness When I told him it was lentils , not meat , his jaw dropped. We have decided to try a path of less meat this 2020 starting with the two week challenge Thank you ... this liar was delicious and heartwarming ( in more ways than one )

Joy McCarthy   •   January 6, 2020

KD   •   January 13, 2020

Hi there, Made the loaf and it smells delish!!! The only issue I had is that it’s really moist and didn’t firm up. When I boiled the lentils I only added 2 1/2 cups of water as I misread it. Not sure what went wrong? I reduced the temperature, Covered it with foil so top doesn’t burn and kept baking it hoping it would firm up more. Waiting to see if that works. Thanks for your help...

Joy McCarthy   •   January 14, 2020

Tanya Barber   •   March 29, 2020

This looks delicious ! I don’t babe green lentils on hand but I do have red ones ! Will they work ?

Joy McCarthy   •   March 30, 2020

Laura C.   •   December 10, 2020

Just made this tonight and it's really good. I made your chopped kale and beet salad from Joyous Detox to go with it and it's great! Thank you for all the fabulous recipes

Joy McCarthy   •   December 14, 2020

Anna   •   January 19, 2021

We enjoyed this for supper. Used an egg instead of flax/water because I have an abundance of eggs:)

Joy McCarthy   •   January 20, 2021

Deb nettesheim   •   January 19, 2021

Loved this - so full of spicey flavour and lots left over for lunches the next day or another dinner. My whole family loved it with the crunchy kale salad . It’s a tad bit of work so suggest a weekend time to make and save the leftovers. Thanks !!!

Joy McCarthy   •   January 20, 2021
Joy McCarthy   •   January 20, 2021

Laura   •   January 6, 2022

I made this tonight without Tamari or glaze for my 8 month old daughter and she could not get it in her mouth fast enough!! Love it!

Joy McCarthy   •   January 7, 2022

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