This vegan Lentil Quinoa Loaf makes a great thanksgiving main. Nut-free, can be gluten-free. Can be made ahead and is freezer friendly. Vegetarian thanksgiving Loaf. Vegan Recipe.
This is an amazing Lentil loaf with veggies, quinoa and spices. Use whichever spices and flavor additions you have. Mash some of the mixture really well for a sturdy loaf. The loaf can be made ahead and is freezer friendly. Freeze the slices and reheat on a skillet like a burger patty and serve. I made this loaf as part of the Thanksgiving spread, all on the same day. You can read about the menu, this loaf and how everything came together, other recipes from the spread with step pictures here.
This recipe is also in my second book Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen, available worldwide
Vegan Lentil Quinoa Loaf
- 1/2 cup (96 g) brown lentils
- 1/3 cup (56.67 g) uncooked quinoa or use millet or other similar cooking grain
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 1/4 cups (562.5 ml) of water
- 2 tsp oil
- 3/4 cup (120 g) chopped onion
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup (50.5 g) celery finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (64 g) carrots thinly sliced or grated
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) dried oregano
- 1/4 cup (36.25 g) raisins add less for less sweet
- 2 tbsp flaxmeal or chia seed meal
- 1 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce or use a 1/2 tsp of tamarind paste, a tsp of molasses, vinegar and a 1/2 tsp ground mustard to make soy-free
- 2 to 3 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 to 2 Tbsp tamari or use coconut aminos to make soyfree
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 to 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) coarsely ground fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup (54 g) breadcrumbs or use coarsely ground oats or gf breadcrumbs to make gf
- 1/4 cup (60 g) ketchup
- 1 tsp or more hot sauce to taste
- 2 tsp maple
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Combine lentils, bay leaf and water in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Wash the quinoa, add to the pan, partially cover and continue to cook until both are very tender and easily mashed (You want to slightly over cook the lentils). Stir after 10 minutes so they don't stick to the pan. Total 10 to 15 mins . *Drain any excess water, remove bay leaf and transfer to a bowl.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook for 5 minutes. or until translucent
- Add celery, carrots, thyme, oregano, and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Add in the raisins, and mix . Cook for 2 minutes. Take off heat.
- Add the cooked veggies and flaxmeal to the bowl and mix in. Mash the mixture using potato masher or hands, so that atleast half the lentils and quinoa get well mashed. (you still want some whole lentils)
- Add in the sauces, tahini, nutritional yeast, fennel seeds and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add more sauces, herbs and salt if needed.
- Add breadcrumbs or coarsely ground oats and mix in. (To check if the mixture is the right consistency, make a burger patty. If the mixture is too sticky or pasty, add more breadcrumbs. If it is too crumbly and doesn't stick easily, add some wet ingredients or a flax egg)
- Prepare the loaf pan with parchment lined with parchment edges over the pan. Medium bread loaf pan(8.5 by 4.75 inch)
- Press the mixture into the pan. Pack well and even it out.
- Make the glaze and spread over the top of the loaf.
- Cover the loaf with foil and bake at 375 degrees / 190ºc for 25 to 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes. Then let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Or Bake the loaf for 25 minutes and refrigerate. Bake for 15 minutes before serving. To use precooked lentils/quinoa : Use 1 1/4 cup cooked lentils and 1 cup cooked quinoa and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Nutritional values based on one serving
See Step step pictures on this Thanksgiving Menu post.
Vegan Lentil Quinoa Loaf:
Allergen Information: Free of Dairy, egg, corn, nut. Can be made soy-free, gluten-free. Inspired by Dreena’s Nofu Loaf. Makes 1 loaf, serves 3 to 4
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa (or use millet or other similar cooking grain)
1 bay leaf
2 1/4 cups of water
2 tsp oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup celery finely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced or grated
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup raisins (add less for less sweet)
2 tbsp flaxmeal or chia seed meal
1 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce (or use a 1/2 tsp of tamarind paste, a tsp of molasses, vinegar and a 1/2 tsp ground mustard to make soy-free)
2 to 3 Tbsp ketchup
1 to 2 Tbsp tamari or use coconut aminos to make soyfree
2 Tbsp tahini
1 to 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp coarsely ground fennel seeds
1/2 to 3/4 cup breadcrumbs or use coarsely ground oats or gf breadcrumbs to make gf
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp or more hot sauce to taste
2 tsp maple
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
Combine lentils, bay leaf and water in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Wash the quinoa, add to the pan, partially cover and continue to cook until both are very tender and easily mashed (You want to slightly over cook the lentils). Stir after 10 minutes so they don’t stick to the pan. Total 10 to 15 mins . *Drain any excess water, remove bay leaf and transfer to a bowl.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook for 5 minutes. or until translucent
Add celery, carrots, thyme, oregano, and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Add in the raisins, and mix . Cook for 2 minutes. Take off heat.
Add the cooked veggies and flaxmeal to the bowl and mix in. Mash the mixture using potato masher or hands, so that atleast half the lentils and quinoa get well mashed. (you still want some whole lentils)
Add in the sauces, tahini, nutritional yeast, fennel seeds and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add more sauces, herbs and salt if needed.
Add breadcrumbs or coarsely ground oats and mix in. (To check if the mixture is the right consistency, make a burger patty. If the mixture is too sticky or pasty, add more breadcrumbs. If it is too crumbly and doesn’t stick easily, add some wet ingredients or a flax egg)
Prepare the loaf pan with parchment lined with parchment edges over the pan. Medium bread loaf pan(8.5 by 4.75 inch)
Press the mixture into the pan. Pack well and even it out.
Make the glaze and spread over the top of the loaf.
Cover the loaf with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes. Then let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Note: To make the loaf less crumbly, cook the lentils really well. then mash them really well. Larger veggies or lentils in the mixture will make the loaf crumbly. Use finely chopped veggies. Add only enough breadcrumbs to make the mixture like a soft somewhat wet dough and not dry.
To Make Ahead: Cook the lentils and quinoa and add all the seasoning. Mix in and refrigerate. On the day you want to bake. Add in the breadcrumbs, taste and adjust salt and seasoning, pack into a loaf, glaze and bake as in the Instructions.
If for some reason the mixture is not the right consistency or you don’t have a loaf pan, shape the mixture into large patties by hand or by packing into a 3.5 inch cookie cutter. Brush the glaze on the patties. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes.
See Step step pictures on this post. Pictured here with pumpkin cornbread stuffing, spicy cranberry sauce and mashed sweet potatoes.
I hopped over to your site via Gena @ The Full Helping. This loaf just came out of the oven and it smells delicious. I tasted the mixture prior to baking and that was delicious too. Definitely on the right track! I made some substitutions and a few omissions but stuck to the basic idea. This looks to be a wonderful all purpose recipe so I wanted to say thank you. Your site looks like it will be a great reference place for me.
Thank you again,
I made this for the vegans and a meat version for the carnivores at the same time. We all liked this version equal to or better than the meat version. Well done!
Hi. I made this today for Thanksgiving. It was delicious. Very meaty for a vegan meatless loaf. The only mod I made was omitting the tahini, since I did not have any on hand. But still was super flavorful.
I am a huge fan of all of your recipes and love your Indian Kitchen cookbook. I’d love to make this loaf for Thanksgiving but I’m wondering if it will hold together if I fill a loaf pan to the top. It would end up being about twice the thickness of yours. Thank you!
It might be harder to slice it. I would make a bigger pan like a 9 by 11 baking dish for a double or triple the recipe, so that the loaf is just slightly taller. That way it will cook through well and be easier to handle.
Any substitutions for Tahini?
nut butter or omit
I made the mushroom quinoa patties several months ago and this recipe looks very similar, the patties were delicious but the didn’t hold their shape too well. What do you recommend adding more of so the same doesn’t happen to the loaf? Or what am I doing wrong?
Patties and loafs depend on many variables. Sometimes things like extra moisture (quinoa can easily hold extra), larger veggie/bean pieces, not enough mashing etc affect the hold. You have to adjust the mashing and binding(add flour or breadcrumbs), based on the consistency of the mixture. You can add more flour to a small portion, make patties and check if they hold better and so on. This loaf is pretty sturdy if you pack it up well. Loafs cook longer and get sturdier, while patties have less time to cook, so they need to be sturdy to begin with.
The flavor on this was awesome – and yes, the raisins were surprisingly good in it (I chopped them up fine) as well as the fennel. We, too, served them with mashed potatoes, caramelized onion gravy, and green beans with lemon pepper. SO good. But I did have the problem that I always have with lentil loaves that the final product is still mushy. I baked the loaves (I doubled the recipe and made 2 loaves last night) longer for both the covered and uncovered portions. What am I doing wrong? The unbaked consistency looked very similar to your video tutorial (which was great, BTW). I did see your advice on one comment to slice and rebake leftovers, but apart from that – any advice on how to get firmer loaves? Thank you, Richa!
yum, sounds perfect with the gravy and beans! Maybe the loafs are overmashed or the lentils overcooked? There are different types of lentils within brown lentils. Some cook a bit faster and are softer when cooked, while others are sturdier. Green lentils are sturdier than brown lentils, so try those. Cook them to al dente, as they will cook during baking as well. The sturdier lentils will make a chunky texture. You an also add some coarsely chopped walnuts to add texture to the loaf. That wil also break the mushyness if the lentils happen to get overcooked. Hope this helps!
Loved it, great flavor. Just made it for a second time, doubled the recipe this time to make 1 large loaf.
Not sure if I should cool longer or not. Will find out soon.
Thank you so much for sharing.
I believe I will buy your cookbook.
Loved this! Followed everything as exact, minus dried cranberries for raisins. So delicious and so much flavor!
Is brown lentil Unskinned masoor dal?
I live in India and there are so many lentils
Not sure which one you have used
its called Sabut Masoor or just Masoor or brown masoor. Masoor dal is the skinned split version of the lentil. See pictures and hindi- english names here https://www.veganricha.com/indian-dals-names
Thank you so much
I can’t wait to try this recipe out
You have made my gluten free vegan life so interesting:)
Just made this. Fantastic! No fennel seeds or worcestershire sauce in house and did not miss them . Thank you!
Hi sorry what is bar leaf?? I cant translate…
its bay leaf, it has a cinnamony minty flavor. you can omit it.
This was amazing! Best lentil loaf I’ve had yet, and I’ve made a few. Love the variety of flavors that all of the different ingredients bring and the overall healthiness of the dish. The spicy glaze is fantastic, though I could certainly make it without a glaze at all and still really enjoy it. Would likely make lovely meatballs as well. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly using panko for the breadcrumbs (about 2/3 cup total). Added a good amount of salt and some more dried herbs after tasting the mix; the flavors are so wonderful. Loved the raisins in it, though the spouse wasn’t a huge fan of them. Overall the omnivore spouse really enjoyed this loaf, though, and the two of us polished it off in just two days! This is going on my list of ‘do overs’ for sure; thanks!
Just made this and I “had” to make a double batch 🙂 Soooo yummy!!! I couldn’t stop eating spoonfuls of it before it was even cooked in the oven. One loaf is a wee bit smaller than the other 🙂
Made this tonight for dinner….SO good! Thank you! I will be making on a regular basis!
Is there substitute for flax meal? thanks
chia seed meal or omit it.
Looks yummy ???? thank you ! I will make this tomorrow.
This is delicious! Thank you!
Holy. Gawd. I made this for supper tonight, with mashed potatoes, and it was absolutely FANTASTIC. I was somewhat skeptical bout the raisins, so I added only about half of them, chopped very tiny. I have to admit they really made the dish. The glaze was the perfect touch, the texture was spot on, and the smell was heavenly. I loved that I could lick the meatloaf mixture off my fingers after mixing and shaping it,lol! Thank you for this amazing recipe….it Ius my vegan go-to forever!
I was so happy to find a great lentil loaf recipe without walnuts. I QUADRUPLED this recipe for a community meal at my church this past weekend and it was a big hit. If anyone is considering making several at one time, I can tell you it works well. 🙂
I got lots of requests for the recipe, so I have been sharing it all week.
Thank you so much! I’ll definitely be making again!!
Antoniya Koleva Zorluer
Thank you for this amazing recipe! I loved it and it turned out perfect the first time even though I had to omit some ingredients not available here in Turkey like the Worchester sauce. This is going to become one of my favorite vegan dishes!
This was my first time making anything like this. I’m so impressed with the flavor and the texture! It’s so yummy I’m definitely making it again and again!! I did change it a little bit, I used an egg instead of the flax seed egg mixture and added cilantro to the loaf. Thanks for the recipe!!
This recipe is simply wonderful and I make it on a regular basis. Better than “real” meatloaf IMHO. Thanks Richa!
It looks delicious! One question, I already have some cooked lentils so I’m wondering how much I should use for the recipe? How much does half a cup of dry lentils equal when it’s cooked?
yes you can use precooked lentils. You need about 1 1/4 cup cooked lentils and 1 cup cooked quinoa. a bit more or less works fine.
Thank you!! I’m excited to make this ????
can i make this the day before and then re heat in the oven?
yes. you can prebake for 25 minutes and store (refrigerate or freeze). Then bake again for 15 mins and serve.
Thank you so much! This was amazing!
Do you use cooked or dry lentils?
Thanks for clarifying.
yes dry uncooked lentils. If i use cooked lentils, i mention “cooked lentils”.
We had this for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING!! It is the best loaf I have ever tasted (and yes, I have tried many)! This will definitely be going into the regular rotation. I am going to triple batch it next time and freeze two for quick weeknight meals. I am also going to bring this to Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you for this recipe and your cookbook – all your recipes are fantastic!
This looks so delicious!. Can I cook the quinoa separately instead of with the lentils?
yes you can cook them separately. use less water with the lentils or you can drain it later. You need about 1 1/4 cup cooked lentils and 1 cup cooked quinoa.
I made a double batch tonight and it was delicious! I left out a few ingredients, but it was still perfect! I skipped the fennel and the tahini, forgot to put in the flax seed, and skipped the Worcestershire. Instead I added an extra dash of tamari, some hot sauce, a little agave, and a dash of rice vinegar. It was even better cold later on! I plan to make sandwiches with the leftovers. Everyone loved it, and this recipe will be a staple in our family! Thank you!
That was awesome!!! Best lentil loaf recipe I have found so far and can’t imagine how it could be any better. I removed the seeds from the jalapeño as I wasn’t in the mood for heat, left out the fennel cuz I was too rushed to grind some, and used some pre-made BBQ sauce for the glaze. Other than those mods, made as the recipe indicated. Rich, complex flavors and great texture and density. I took a chance and mad a double batch…glad I did!
I just made this–fab!
My only comment is that that optional jalapeño made mine really spicy, so for people sensitive to spice, I would suggest leaving it out and maybe only making the glaze spicy (which I did not do, in light of how spicy and loaf itself turned out). Really it was my own fault, since I’m no stranger to cooking with chilis. You might amend the recipe above to suggest removing the seeds and ribs/pith in order to bring down the spice level, or maybe just only using half.
Overall, great recipe!
I think I can modify this to my dietary restrictions – it looks wonderful. I have a reaction to onions and usually use onion powder. How will this affect the consistency? Should I reduce liquids somewhere?
That should work fine. Onions get cooked, so they dont add much moisture. no need to change the liquids.
Thank you for this recipe. I made this last night using about a cup of oatflour but it still came out mushy. What can I do to save it??
How mushy and what do you mean by mushy? The loaf is like a moist veggie burger kind of consistency. You can slice the loaf and bake the slices for 15 to 25 minutes or until the excess moisture evaporates to desired consistency.
Hi, I am looking for a replacement for the oats my daughter is allergic to GF & all substitutes except quinoa. Can I just add more quinoa ? Or maybe a coconut flour?
yes a bit more of quinoa and lentils should work.
This recipe looks great! I just ordered your cookbook. Is it in it by chance?
Thank you Sheri! The book has mostly new recipes and Indian and indian fusion. This recipe will be in my next book.
What kind of hot sauce do you use?
I need a “Falafel dog” recipe for taking to events for sale.
A chic pea base with binder , spices, a special easy sauce, served on a HD bun.
I have a propane flat top griddle to use at fairs etc so I need a recipe
that is delicious and can be grilled to golden brown and crispy outside and soft inside..
need to freeze the dogs wrapped in parchment paper in bags of
20 or 30.
Try my falafel fingers recipe or other falafel recipe as the base. Add more flour so the mixture is less crumbly. You can also add some vital wheat gluten to make them sturdier. Precook them to atleast half the cook time and freeze. then grill when needed and serve. Make a small batch before committing to the the entire 20, so you know if the patties need to be adjusted with additional flour to make them sturdy. https://www.veganricha.com/?s=falafel
Richa, I LOVE this recipe so much! What a winner!!!
Very yummy! Lots of flavour and good texture. Thanks for the recipe!
I couldn’t find tamarind paste. Can tamarind sauce be substituted? Thanks!
I couldn’t find tamarind paste to make soy free Worcestershire sauce. Can I just use tamarind sauce? Thanks
sure use tamarind sauce.
Thanks! Sorry I posted twice 🙂
I am dying to try this recipe for Christmas Eve, but I’ve read the directions over and over and don’t see anything pertaining to the use of the yeast.
If you’d please respond to clarify, I’d greatly appreciate it.
add it with the sauces
Tracey @ A Taste of Trace
WOW! Just made this last night and I LOVED it! Definitely one of the most flavourful lentil loaves I’ve ever tried! I needed a bit more time and water to cook the lentil & quinoa mix, but aside from that the recipe worked wonderfully for me! 🙂
Awesome! yes the lentil cooking times may vary a bit depending on the type and age of lentils, stove etc.
I made this for Thanksgiving for my daughter. My whole family gobbled it up!
I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and all my meat eating family loved it!! Definitely a keeper recipe 🙂
This recipe looks just like my mother’s meatloaf which is always delicious. And I will be trying next week, thank you so much for sharing. Another one I will be trying this week that I came across earlier, I think your readers may like is Jamaican Quinoa and Peas.
I found it here: https://www.fullfoodblog.com/jamaican-quinoa-and-peas/.
Thanks again for your wonderful blog.
I always make double batch of this and freeze and serve slices for quick meal day.!
where can u get vegan Worcestershire sauce?
you can find some on amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_9?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=vegan+worcestershire+sauce&sprefix=vegan+worcestershire+sauce%2Cstripbooks%2C218 or look for those brand names in local grocery or health stores
Hi- thanks for all of your wonderful recipes- it’s so appreciated. My neighbors- who are from Syria- recently brought over some lentil-onion-bulghur wheat balls that were amazing- but I can’t get the recipe b/c they don’t speak English. I was thinking this recipe could work esp. that I’m trying to be gluten-free, and they have quinoa. Can I make them into balls instead of the loaf?
yes you can make them in flat balls and bake them or pan fry them on stove top.
I wanna try this recipe. If I make them into balls and I preferred to bake them, do I use the same temperature for the oven? Do I also covered them with foil?
yes bake at same temp for 15 to 20 mins. depends on the size of the balls. no need to cover the balls.
Hello,I was wondering how to bake them if I make balls?How many degrees and for how long?Thank you!
you can pan fry or bake the balls. For baking, bake at 400 deg F, place balls on parchment lined sheet. Cover with another sheet lightly and bake for 25 mins, then remove sheet, check if the balls already browning or still very moist. baste with the glaze liberally, then depending on if the balls were already browning or not, bake for another 10 or 20 mins if they were too soft.
Hello from Germany, Sara!
The loaf is in the ofen.
How about just inviting your neighbours over and cook it together!!
Fareeha - faskitchen
Wow.. This is the bestest quinoa recipe I have ever come across. Quinoa mystifies me so much, and I have always wondered how to cook it exoctically.. Well, I guess I dont need to look any further