Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

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Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

Hey guys, sorry it was a bit quiet on here last week, we were getting ready for and working our (Hero Design Studio) Pop-Up Shop over the weekend. It went super well and I can’t wait to share some photos from the event with you guys. I am a bit behind on recipe posting from being so busy last week, so look for lots of new recipes this week!

I am super duper excited to not only share this new recipe with you, but to also be the guest blogger at Healthful Pursuit today! If any of you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you will probably remember my extreme excitement about 2-weeks ago when I finally got this Lentil “Meat” Loaf recipe right. I had messed around with a few different versions, but no matter how delicious my loaves tasted, they just didn’t want to stay together, they ended up being a crumbly, sloppy mess on the plate when I would serve them. I finally got it figured out and I couldn’t wait to share it with anyone who would listen, it’s that good.

Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

When Leanne, from Healthful Pursuit, contacted me to share a recipe on her blog with her readers while she is on an incredible trip to India, I was in the middle of experimenting with this recipe, so I knew this was the one to share. Plus, knowing it would be out there in front of even more people, it gave me an even more incentive to try to get it right and perfect.

Leanne’s blog has always been one of my favorites, I found her through her comments on my blog about a year ago and I was always so inspired by what she was making in her own kitchen. In addition to having a similar approach to health and well-being as I do, as a Holistic Nutritionist, Leanne, also has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to foods, eating and our health. Finding Healthful Pursuit brought a wonderful new breath to my cooking and has affirmed all of my decisions about food. I promise after just one visit to HP, you too will be adding it to your bookmarks.


Gluten-free + Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf

This Lentil “Meat” Loaf pretty much sums up so many of my feelings for food. It is healthy, comforting, satisfying and you won’t feel like you are missing out on a thing when you eat it. It is hearty without being heavy and it is packed full of foods that are great for you. In addition to all of that, the most important thing to me is that it stayed together when I sliced it and it looks beautiful, instead of a lumpy pile on the plate 🙂

This lentil loaf is almost a little meaty and is sure to satisfy even the meatiest of meat-lovers in your family, I promise. My hubby, Mark, LOVED it. He even made up a song for it. Reheat a slice or two of this loaf up in a cast iron skillet to get it a little toasted on the outside and toss it on your favorite gluten-free (or not) bread, with a little more BBQ sauce and some pickled red onions for a delicious “meat” loaf sandwich. The perfect hearty and healthy lunch.

Spicy Vegan BBQ Sauce

In addition to the loaf, I also made a delicious and spicy vegan BBQ sauce to go on top. You could certainly use your favorite store bought BBQ sauce, but I urge you to try making your own, even if just one time. It is much easier than you think, you can skip all the gross refined sugar or corn-syrup laced store brands and you can tweak the ingredients to have a taste that is all your own. My BBQ sauce is a tad bit spicy (you can make it as spicy as you’d like), a little tangy and just a tad bit sweet. I love it.

This recipe was originally shared on Healthful Pursuit.

[print_this]Gluten-Free and Vegan Lentil “Meat” Loaf
Makes about 8 slices

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons boiling water
2 cups cooked green lentils, cooled and split into 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup
1 cup mushrooms, diced
2 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, split in half
1/2 cup almond flour
3/4 cup spicy vegan BBQ sauce (see below)

Preheat the oven to 375º. Add the ground flax seeds to a small bowl, pour the boiling hot water over and stir to combine well. Set aside and allow it to thicken and cool.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5-8 minutes until the onions are tender. Add in the mushrooms and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender, add in the thyme and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce, stir to combine and turn off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, if it needs it.

Process 1 1/2 cups of the cooked lentils and1/2 cup of the oats in the food processor until smooth (some whole bits may remain, that’s ok). Spoon the mixture into a large bowl, add in the remaining lentils and oats, plus the flax “egg”, almond flour and vegetable mixture. Stir really well to combine. Then get your hands in there, just like you would with a regular meat loaf or meatballs, and make sure it is mixed and mashed together really well.

Spoon the mixture into a parchment paper lined 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, (leave a bit of the parchment paper hanging over so you can easily lift the loaf out when it is cooked). Using your hands, you really want to press it in good. Brush on the remaining 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce over the top.

Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes at 375º. Cool in the pan for about 5, pull the loaf out by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper and lifting up and allow it to cool for another 5 to 10 minutes on a cooking rack. Slice and serve.[/print_this]

[print_this]Spicy Vegan BBQ Sauce
Makes about 1 quart of sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon celery seed
24-ounce jar of strained (or crushed) tomatoes (or a 28-ounce can)
7-ounce jar of tomato paste (or a 6-ounce can)
2 tablespoons Sriracha (if you don’t like spicy, you can skip this, add less or use just a pinch of two of red pepper flakes instead)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is slightly tender, add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine, reduce the heat to a medium-low and allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often. Taste the sauce and make sure you don’t want more of anything, you may want it more sweet, spicy, sour, salty. I like my BBQ sauce tangy and smoky, so I added another 1/4 cup of vinegar and another teaspoon of liquid smoke. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for a few minutes, then puree until smooth in the food processor or blender.[/print_this]

Did you make this recipe - or any others from the TY archives?

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43 Responses

  1. Danielle says:

    Looks great! Though I am not the biggest fan of BBQ sauce – though your sauce does look good! If I were to leave out the BBQ sauce… Do you think the recipe would still if more liquid was added? (Ie. more boiling water)

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks Danielle, I would just add in some ketchup or crushed tomatoes or something. You could even add in mustard. You’ll be able to feel if the mixture is too dry and crumbly and yeh, worst case you can always just add in some water.

  2. just found your blog thru leanne’s webpage. i can totally relate to your digestive issues. it’s been a 3+ year battle for me and i am finally starting to find some relief after cutting out the sugar and gluten too. have your symptoms completely dissipated now?

  3. Nidia Lopez says:

    Beth!!! this looks sooooo good!! i will DEFINITELY be making this, this weekend, and I will post a picture on instagram to show you!!! thank you!!

  4. Meesh says:

    Holy yum! This looks delicious 🙂

  5. Pre says:

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to check out the recipe. And VEGAN bbq sauce?! I can seriously eat bbq on EVERYTHING. You’ve given me a project for the weekend..yay!


  6. That BBQ sauce is amazing, and I like to make my own too…commercial varieties can have some nasty ingredients! I am betting the flax egg did your binding for your loaf…but looks really good too! thanks for sharing with us again (AFW)!

  7. This lentil meatloaf looks really delicious Beth. Love that it is gluten-free + vegan.

  8. Liz V says:

    We are a family of lentil lovers! I’m defo trying this tonight! Looks amazing!

  9. This loaf looks seriously good, Beth! I love lentils and, I might add, barbecue sauce. 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up to The GFE Virtual Gluten-Free Support Group. I love how you displayed the big badge … it’s a thrill to see it in use this way!


  10. Daily Deal says:

    Healthy meat loaf! These would be a wonderful treats for our next party.

  11. Megan says:

    Love your blog and I’m making this tonight! I’ll blog it and cite you when I’m done. Looking forward to keeping up with your cooking xx

  12. Wow. Need to try this! Been looking for a good vegan loaf for a while! Very cool that Leanne (from Healthful Pursuit) went to India. I’ll have to read about that while I’m fetching the recipe.

  13. […] will be adding to my dinner table on an on-going basis. One of those lovely dishes is a recipe from I made Beth’s Lentil “meatloaf”.  Please do check out her site, she has many […]

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  15. Superdeliciousness! This looks so yumful, especially with your BBQ sauce! I remember as a kid my mom made really good meatloaf, but it was even better the next day in a sandwich too. Your lentil loaf and spicy sauce will make a fabulous and filling sandwich, perfect for chilly Fall weather. Many thanks for sharing the recipes!

  16. sziszazi says:

    I don’t get it. Mustard includes GLUTEN… So… Why You add mustard into the sauce???

    • tastyyummies says:

      Mustard doesn’t include gluten. Some brands may contain it, but mustard by-in-large does not contain gluten. I have never seen it in any of the brands I purchase.

  17. Tess says:

    This all looks amazing! I’m always looking for meatless varieties on dishes. I do eat meat but I’m more likely to have all this in the pantry than ground beef or turkey in the fridge!

  18. Susan says:

    I really want to make this…. but…. can I sub chia for the flax? And did you find a second to the oats, I have found I am sensitive to them. I am on a gluten-free plus no oat trial. I am loving the lentil soups I have been making, it would be nice to have a meatloaf/burger recipe to use them in as well. I LOVE your blog 😀 thanks for all the recipes!

    • tastyyummies says:

      yes chia should work great instead of the flax. As far as the oats go, you could try using buckwheat flour and or buckwheat flakes. You could also try sorghum flour, too. If you try it out, please let me know how it comes together for you. Thanks.

  19. Becca says:

    I made this recipe, but replaced the oatmeal with pumpkin seed flour. I replaced the oatmeal because I’m 11 years past gastric bypass and have long term complication of Hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. Which means! No starches for me. I use pumpkin seed flour, which I make in the house and because we are currently living in Guatemala it is cheap and easily available. All that to say, the recipe was a success! The loaf held together very nicely even with my changes. The next time I will probably drop the temp and cook it a little longer and slower to help dry out the loaf a little more. I’m quite confident that the oatmeal absorbs more liquids than the pumpkin seed flour! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  20. Driz says:

    I don’t like barbecue sauce can I use tomato sauce? What about soy sauce or teriyaki sauce?

    • tastyyummies says:

      Driz, you can use whatever you’d like 😉 It will obviously change the flavor but I think it will still be good.

  21. HeidiK says:

    Hi from Finland!
    I’m drooling here, this loaf looks yummy. I have looked a good vegetarian”meat”loaf recipe for some time now. I will try this today, just on my way to grocery store to get the ingredients.

    Only obstacle is those cup-measures, I’m every time so confused with them- haha. I think one cup is like 2,4 dl?

  22. Catherine says:

    Hi, can we freeze it?

    • Beth @ Tasty Yummies says:

      Hmm I suppose it’s worth a try, but I have never done so myself, so I cannot say for sure. I am not one for freezing much so I don’t have a ton of experience. Sorry.If you try it, please let me know how it comes out for you.

  23. Melanie says:

    I made this last night and it was fabulous, thank you! Even my lentil hating husband thought it was ok. (That is glowing praise from him for a vegan lentil based dish, by the way.) I’m looking forward to having leftovers for lunch today. Yum!

  24. Lisa Byfield says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Ground beef meatloaf was a comfort food from my childhood and this is the perfect meatless alternative!

  25. Savita says:

    What could I use to replace the almond flour? My child is allergic to nuts. Thank you!!

  26. Jennifer says:

    I made this tonight with a homemade sweet BBQ sauce. It had a good flavor and stayed together. It did squish down a bit when I sliced it, but it is a vegetable loaf.

  27. Penny says:

    I can’t wait to try this meatloaf. I was wondering though, can the mushrooms be left out or replaced and what do you suggest for a replacement? I’m not a fan of mushrooms.

    Thank you!

    • Beth @ Tasty Yummies says:

      Penny, you can try with out the mushrooms, though the texture may be a bit lacking. I don’t really have a recommendation for a replacement, you could try finely diced eggplant or something, maybe?

  28. Jason says:

    Made this today and it’s wonderful, thank you. I’m going to freeze it for Christmas day.

  29. sondra mcdermott says:

    I have tried a lentil loaf before and it was dry instead of being moist. I am going to try yours.

  30. Shari says:

    Can you make it up the day before and cook it the next day? Or, is it good the next day?

  31. Leah says:

    I am considering making 3 loafs at once to freeze 2 prior to cooking. Has anyone frozen the pre-cooked loaves? Any issues?

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