Mushroom Lentil Loaf


I’ve always had some pretty, uhh, particular feelings about meatloaf since I was a child… and not in a good way. There was just nothing appetizing to me about a thick slab of dry meat covered in a mysterious, sticky substance. And for good reason.

But, of course, it was one of my grandparent’s favorite meals to make, so there were many, many days where I had to suffer through bite after bite of that dreaded stuff. I’m pretty positive that’s what tainted my feelings towards lentil loaf. And it took until now for me to suck it up and try a more traditional version.


Mushroom Lentil Loaf

Mushroom Lentil Loaf


While my fear of traditional lentil loaf still existed, I attempted to make a different kind of lentil loaf (without that sticky glaze) and the result is still one of the most popular recipes on this blog to date! My Lentil Loaf with Creamy Cauliflower Mash is made with hearty vegetables, green lentils, and brown rice, then topped with a creamy cauliflower mash and homemade vegan gravy.

I absolutely adore that recipe and could have eaten it every week for the next year, but then Kristy Turner’s new book “But I Could Never Go Vegan” came in the mail and I was tempted to try the unthinkable.


Mushroom Lentil Loaf


A traditional mushroom lentil loaf with a maple ketchup glaze. Hmmm— could I do it? It strangely looked really good to me, but maybe that was just her stunning photography. All the ingredients sounded really good together, but could I get past that familiar meatloaf  texture? Or maybe this would be different. Well, as you can see, I dove in head first and made the attempt. And oh… my… goodness… what had I been missing out on all these years!?!

The loaf was tender, moist, and full of these beautiful savory flavors that paired so perfectly with the sweet bite of the ketchup glaze. I ate a slice…. then another…. then another… until I forced myself to stop (with the promise of leftovers tomorrow). Why was I so against this delicious vegan concoction in the first place? Who knows. But, I do know that I found another stand-by to throw into the rotation of favorite weekly meals.

As always, I tweaked Kristy’s original recipe a bit to fit the current stock in my kitchen, but the inspiration is completely from her cookbook. If you haven’t stopped over to her blog, Keepin’ It Kind or checked out her book “But I Could Never Go Vegan” yet, make sure you get on that ASAP!


Mushroom Lentil Loaf

Mushroom Lentil Loaf

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish


  • 2 cups green lentils, cooked (about ¾ cup dry green lentils)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari, if gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (use Annie's Natural brand, if vegan or vegetarian)
  • 1 ¼ tsp thyme
  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats, divided
  • ½ cup almond meal

for the glaze

  • ½ cup organic ketchup
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (I used a little less)
  • 1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


recipe inspired by Kristy Turner's But I Could Never Go Vegan recipe


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cover a baking sheet in parchment paper or foil. In a small bowl, mix together the glaze ingredients and set aside.
Step 2
In a large pan, drizzle olive oil and sauté diced onion over medium high heat until tender. Add in carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté until all the vegetables are tender (5-10 minutes), then remove from heat.
Step 3
Pour the cooked vegetables into a food processor with 1¼ cups of the cooked lentils, ½ cup oats, tomato paste, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and salt and pepper. Process for just a few seconds until the ingredients are combined, but not completely pureed. You want them to still have a chunky texture. Pour the contents into a large mixing bowl, then add in the rest of the lentils, oats, and almonds meal. Stir the ingredients together until they are completely combined and are sticking together well. If the dough is crumbly, add a tbsp or two of water.
Step 4
Use your hands to form the contents into a large ball, then place the ball onto the covered baking sheet. Form the ball into a loaf shape (mine was about 8-10 inches long and 4-5 inches wide). Cover the loaf with half of the ketchup glaze, then bake for 30 minutes. Pull the loaf out of the over and covered with the remainder of the glaze, then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The loaf is done when a form comes out clean. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing, otherwise it will not cut clean.
Step 5
I served mine with mashed potatoes, but it would be great with any kind of grain, starch, or vegetable on the side!





Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


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  1. Hi Liz,
    Recipe sounds delicious…will give it a try. Just wanted to let you know that it is Worcestershire sauce 🙂
    Thanks, Joan

    • hahaha blonde moment from me! Thanks for catching that Joan 🙂

  2. Have you tried using corn meal instead of almond meal? I have corn meal and almond flour but not almond meal!

    • I haven’t tried it in this recipe but I think it should turn out ok— it has a similar consistency. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. Hi Liz,
    I was just wondering if you know of anywhere to buy vegan Worcestershire sauce, as the regular stuff is not vegan, or vegetarian, it has anchovies. Thanks!

    • Yep! Annie’s brand makes a vegan Worcestershire sauce— I probably should have put that note in the post! You should be able to find it at Whole Foods or at your nearest health foods store. Thanks for catching that!

  4. I’ve made a mushroom meatloaf before, but I was kind of disappointed. Seeing this has lentils, that might help soak up some of the excess water that I had trouble with in the mushroom meatloaf. Can’t wait to try it!

    • This is one of my favorite “meatloafs”! I make it almost every week I love it so much. Let me know how you like it!

  5. I wanted to take the time to come over and leave you a comment on this recipe 🙂
    First off.. I know it’s not really a good idea to compare a veggie dish with a meat dish but as a family that does eat meat on occasion you can’t help but do just

    I followed the directions as stated and popped it into the oven and crossed my fingers that all would go well. I allowed it to sit for 15 minutes and began slicing. It went perfect. I plated the dishes and served it with mashed potatoes,gravy and sweet and sour red cabbage..My husband and two teenage sons walked into the room and immediately became excited when they knew it was “meatloaf” for dinner. I kept quiet and allowed everyone the chance to eat. The funny thing is, it honestly took them about 3 or 4 minutes of eating it to actually figure out there was in fact, no meat in that loaf! When they figured it out they went on and on about the glaze on there and how much they liked it and how thick the slices know..just like meatloaf and by the end of the meal we all decided that this was the best meatless meatloaf we had ever tasted!

    The real test though is of course cold meatloaf sandwiches. Would it hold up? I am here to tell you that it did! I saved a slice to use in a sandwich the next day and absolutely loved this cold.

    This recipe was seriously spot on. The flavor is excellent and the amount was perfect. It fed the 4 of us..and that includes forever hungry teenagers 🙂 It stands up to being turned into a sandwich the next day and I can say without a doubt, it will be made at least once a week.

    Thank you so much for the recipe and the clear instructions..Oh! I had about 1/2 cup of sunflowers on hand and tossed those in. That’s how they figured out it wasn’t a real meatloaf 🙂 We all liked the addition of it though so just wanted to let you know that it’s also great with some nuts tossed in 🙂

    • Sonya, you seriously made my day with this comment! Thank you SO much for your detailed feedback. As a reader of many blogs myself, I know that it really takes that extra effort to come back and comment on a recipe, especially with this much detail. So thank you! I’m SO glad you and your family liked it 🙂 This lentil loaf is seriously a staple here in my kitchen. I make it a lot on Sundays and save it for a busy weeknight dinner because it holds up SO well. I’m definitely going to try your sunflower seed addition the next time I make it. That sounds like that perfect crunchy element!

  6. I made this for dinner tonight and my wife and I both loved it! Definitely a keeper. I didn’t have any sunflower seeds so I used all walnuts

    • Thanks so much for your feedback Catherine! I’m SO SO glad you liked it 🙂

  7. I’ve been looking for a great Vegan meatloaf recipe and I just found it. Not a strange ingredient anywhere. Thank you!

    • So glad you like it! Let me know how it goes if you get the chance 🙂

  8. Hi, would I be able to make this and freeze It? If so would I cook it before or After? I would like to make a few and freeze them for later meals.

    • I’ve never tried freezing it before but I think it would be totally fine. Let me know how it goes 🙂

  9. How do you suppose using red lentils in place of green lentils will turn out? I know they always tend to become more mushy than other lentils…

    • I think they would— maybe just cook them a little shorter than usual so they maintain a little more texture. Let me know how it goes!

  10. Well, as is customary for me when I attempt to (somewhat) follow a recipe, the substitutions, additions, and lack of measuring anything render it quite different than the original. However, I thought I’d reply anyway. 😉 Turns out, I didn’t have nearly as many red lentils as I’d thought (less than a 1/4 c) so I can’t exactly say if they worked out or not. As for the other ingredients, some of them were the same but I used what vegetables I had – there are always an abundance of fresh veggies in my kitchen that never go to waste! What’s important though is that the end product tasted delicious, although far from being a structured slice-able loaf! Lol Thanks for the recipe, I like what I’ve seen in your index and I intend on trying some more!

    • Welp— delicious is always the goal! So glad you enjoyed it!

  11. I’m pretty sure I’m right, but I don’t want to assume and ruin what I think will be a delicious dinner! But- when you say “thyme” you mean ground thyme, right? I mistook that in a previous vegan pot pie recipe and OH BOY was it strong hah!

  12. Made this for dinner tonight and it was scrumptious! Used panko instead of almond meal since that’s what I had on hand, and added a couple of tablespoons of smokey bbq sauce to the glaze, but otherwise followed your instructions. It was labour intensive but worth it, and I’m looking forward to leftovers. Thanks! 🙂

    • That sounds incredible!! Thanks so much for sharing your substitutions 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  13. This was absolutely delicious! I totally loved it! In an effort to save time, I used store-bought, vacuum-packed, pre-cooked lentils in the produce section. They worked great. Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  14. Hello!
    I’m curious as to how much celery to add, as the ingredients list doesn’t mention celery, but the directions do. This looks delicious, thank you!

  15. I made this the other day. I didn’t have almond meal so I used Panko breadcrumbs – per another comment. I also added a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, because I had them and thought they would add some good texture. I must say, it was delicious. I ended up making 2 smaller loaves as I cooked a bit more lentils than the recipe called for. I should have cooked it maybe 5 minutes less, but that’s my own fault. I used your glaze on one loaf and bbq sauce on the other – yum! I’ve been trying different ‘non-meat loaf’ recipes, some with lots of nuts, one with tofu and this one is the best I’ve tried. Have you ever added cheddar cheese to the mix? Obviously this would not make it vegan..just wondering.

    • Nice! I’m so glad you liked it! Love that idea of using bbq sauce on top. I’ve never added cheese but I’m sure it would add lots of flavor and creaminess 🙂

  16. Have you tried making this in an actual bread pan? Do you think it would work or turn too mushy?

    • I haven’t before but actually I think it would be fine! Let me know if you get a chance to try it 🙂

  17. I have everything on hand to make this except the almond meal. I do have panko bread crumbs and saw where others substituted it. I am going to try it and ad in some sesame seeds too. Sound so delish and can’t Waite to make it this week. Thanks for sharing and thanks to all who commented with substitutes.

    • I’d love to hear how it turns out! Love the addition of sesame seeds!

  18. I’ve been trying to cook Vegan for 2 years now and have been unsuccessful with ALL of my recipes. But this one…this recipe has given me hope! I baked this along with roasted carrots and it was a HIT!

    • Your comment made my morning!! I’m SO glad you liked it Brittany!

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