Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

408 comments

Lentil Loaf 4 2   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

Out of all my favourite vegan recipes, this lentil loaf ranks in my top 10. This is a big deal, considering I’m in love with no less than 3,000 foods at any given moment. The original loaf recipe hails from talented chef and author, Terry Walters. I’ve enjoyed playing around with the recipe countless ways since I first made it in 2011. There’s just something about the combo of hearty, stick-to-your-ribs lentils, shredded carrots and sweet apple, chunky celery, toasted walnuts, and a sweet tangy glaze to finish it all off. It’s total comfort food to me.

I find myself eating the cold leftovers for breakfast in the morning. It gets crumbled over salads, stuffed into wraps and buns, and more recently thrown onto pasta sauce over a bed of spaghetti squash. I once ate half a loaf in the span of about 8 hours. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I guess it could be worse! To complicate matters, Eric is also a huge fan and we often find ourselves vying for the last slice…

Lentil Loaf 1 3   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

The only issue I have with the recipe I made a couple years ago is that it’s quite labour intensive. For this version, my goal was to simplify the recipe without compromising the flavour and texture. I also played around with different ingredients and amounts. I’ll be sharing my 3rd trial with you today – it’s actually my new favourite out of all of them I’ve made. Make sure to see my notes below for a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

Lentil Loaf 2 3   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

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Adapted from 2011 recipe, which was adapted from Terry Walters.

Yield: 1 large loaf or various mini loaves

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
  • 3 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup peeled and grated sweet apple (use a firm variety)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried thyme)
  • salt & pepper, to taste (I use about 3/4 tsp sea salt + more Herbamare)
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

 

Balsamic Apple Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple butter (or unsweetened applesauce in a pinch)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

 

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Rinse and strain lentils. Place lentils into pot along with 3 cups of water (or veg broth). Bring to a boil and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 40-45 minutes. Stir frequently & add touch of water if needed. The goal is to over-cook the lentils slightly (see pictures in post). Mash lentils slightly with a spoon when ready.

2. Toast walnuts at 325F for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 350F.

3. Whisk ground flax with water in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Now add in the diced celery, shredded carrot and apple, and raisins. Sautee for about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.

5. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste.

6. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. Whisk glaze ingredients and then spread half on top of loaf. Reserve the rest for a dipping sauce.

7. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. I usually wait until loaf is cool before slicing.

Lentil Loaf 5   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, RevisitedLentil Loaf 4   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

I used to have a problem with my lentil loaves falling apart on me. I’ve since discovered that it really helps to over-cook the lentils a bit, so the consistency of the lentils is doughy, almost like mashed potatoes. As you can see in the photos, the lentils are the perfect consistency to bind with the other ingredients.

Lentil Loaf 6   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, RevisitedLentil Loaf 1   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

In addition to playing around with the ingredients, I also switched up the sizes of the tins/pans:

Trial 1: I made 4 mini loaves (the green and red ones).

Trial 2: I used a muffin tin. I got about 16 portions out of the batter which was great, but I made the mistake of using paper muffin liners and they completely stuck to the paper. Next time I will grease the tins well and not use paper liners. I also cooked them a bit too long (40 mins at 350F) and they dried out more than I’d like.

Trial 3: I made 2 medium-sized loaves using 9×5 loaf tins and baked for about 45 minutes or so. Keep in mind you can also use one big loaf tin too!

Lentil Loaf 2   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, RevisitedLentil Loaf 2 2   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, RevisitedLentil Loaf 1 41   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, RevisitedLentil Loaf 3 2   Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

The loaves freeze well too. Just make sure to fully cool the baked loaves before wrapping and freezing.

If you are looking for a nut-free version, you might want to try using toasted sunflower seeds. I probably wouldn’t use a full cup of seeds, but maybe 1/2-3/4 cup. For a gluten-free loaf, use GF oat flour and breadcrumbs and of course be sure to check all other ingredients.

As for serving suggestions, this loaf is great paired with applesauce, sautéed greens, and mashed/roasted potatoes.

With any luck, I might have a few left for our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. If you are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, have a wonderful holiday!

Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes? Check out my Thanksgiving Recipe round-up here, featuring high-protein garlic mashed potatoes, holiday salad, pumpkin garlic knots, and more.

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{ 408 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne October 5, 2012

I made this last Christmas and LOVED it – but agree with others – took lot of time. Since Fall began I have been thinking about it again – thanks so much for posting this.
Happy Thanksgiving – this is the first year in awhile we have not been in Ontario on this weekend celebrating with our friends. We were in Montreal last weekend so could not travel again (from NY) – was GREAT to be in Montreal as there were several vegan restaurants. So wonderful to have more than just salad to choose from on a menu (I live in rural, meat eating country!) Have a great holiday weekend!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2012

Thanks Suzanne!! Sorry to hear you aren’t in ON, but it sounds like you had a wonderful time in Montreal. Do you have a fav vegan restaurant there?

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Aimee October 5, 2012

Dang! Now I want to make this instead for my Thanksgiving meal this weekend. Hmmmm, I’m already making your original recipe but oh man the apple addition really piques my interest.

Happy Thanksgiving! And I loved your pics of Whistler…and Victoria….and Vancouver. But mostly Whistler because it’s where I live. I’m so glad you enjoyed yourselves in BC.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2012

Living in Whistler, you say? Hmm I might have to come live with you for a couple months! hah

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 5, 2012

I think this is probably one of my favourite vegan recipes – ever!! Like you, I love the nuttiness of it and am dying to crumble some over a salad. It’ll just be my mum and I celebrating Thanksgiving here at my house this year, and we have a ginormous turkey to cook, but I might have to make this as well and enjoy it in the weeks to come! (You can only have turkey for so many meals in a row!)

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Samantha October 5, 2012

This is one of my top ten favs of your recipes for sure….. I have served this at many holiday dinners to many happy omnivours!I appreciate some of the prep work being taken out.. I will give it a whirl! I never did mind the work that went into it though because I found I could make the ‘batter’ a day or two in advance and just bake the day off the dinner. Either way, you should now I have accepted many gushing compliments on your behalf for the walnut lentil loaf!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2012

I’m happy it’s gone over so well for you and your guests Samantha. Great to hear the batter can be made ahead too. That always saves a few headaches on busy food prep days.

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Anna October 5, 2012

Hi! If could you use real eggs instead of the flax eggs? How many should I use? Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2012

Hey Anna, I really have no idea. You might want to read through the comments in the original post to see if anyone mentioned using real eggs. Goodluck!

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Anna October 6, 2012

A quick follow up, I think it turned out great! I made a double batch with 3 eggs, red bell pepper, spinach, corn, and peas instead of celery, and reduced the bread crumbs. Can’t wait to try it!

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Hollie October 5, 2012

I love the idea of single servings made in a muffin tin. You might want to try the company If you care Unbleached muffin liners they are amazing!!!! I have not tried it with this recipe but they have not failed me yet… even with tricky stick vegan muffin recipes. Just an idea, Happy Thanksgiving:)

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy October 5, 2012

hellooooo fall deliciousness!!

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Cher @ Weddicted October 5, 2012

This looks and sounds delicious! It would be a great thing to prepare to have through the week.
Often for dinner, I cook a couple of sides (say, steamed brocolli and roasted potatoes) and some sort of protein for my husband (chicken or whatever; he eats meat) and I have edemame or tofu or something. This would be a nice switch up!

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Sharon October 5, 2012

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I’ve been looking for a lentil loaf recipe! I’m gonna make this this weekend!

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Victoria October 6, 2012

Hi Angela, I have been a long time reader but have been rather reticent in my comments. I adore your blog and philosophy and over the years you have quietly nudged me in the direction of veganism with your wonderfully crafted recipes, now so that I am wanting to make the ‘big switch’ to veganism myself. I was wondering if you recommend any books and/or websites that could give me more information of switching my diet and the ethical/environmental effects? Many love, V.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 8, 2012

Hey Victoria, Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m so happy to hear you are considering the switch – congrats! As for my fav books, I’ve enjoyed In Defense of Food, Crazy Sexy Cancer, Omnivore’s Dilemma. Food Inc movie. Ive also heard good things about The China Study and Eating Animals.

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char eats greens October 6, 2012

I need to make this loaf…especially for freezing purposes! I need to start making things for when the baby gets here and have it ready to go sitting in the freezer. I remember seeing your loaves last year and thinking how I wanted to make them, so I’m glad you’re putting it right in my face again to do ;)

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers October 6, 2012

I just bought lentils for the first time, I’m excited to use them!!! Your loaf seems amazing! Do you think it would freeze well? My Husband and I don’t have the same taste in food, so I don’t think he would eat it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 6, 2012

yup it does freeze well. Just make sure it’s fully cooled before wrapping it up. Enjoy!

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Catherine October 6, 2012

This looks awesome. Just to follow up on this point – if I bake it, let it cool and freeze, when it comes time to rewarming it to serve, is there a temperature and time you recommend for rebaking it?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 7, 2012

I was lazy and just warmed leftovers on a skillet :) however if you plan to re-bake it later on the oven, I would suggest cooking it for a bit less time (the first time) just so it doesnt dry out. For reheating anything around 300-350 should do the trick. Enjoy!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 6, 2012

I made a version of this based off Terry Walters’ recipe too and I loved it! I haven’t made it since then though… I need to change that!

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lizforaday October 6, 2012

As usual that looks very appetizing. I think I can actual do this recipe from where I am. Thanks. :)

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Jennifer Hanna October 6, 2012

This recipe looks too interesting to pass up. I want to try it today but I don’t have any walnuts. Do you think that pecans will work? Was also thinking about substituting dates for the raisins since I have this thing about eew raisins. Love your site keep up the good work!

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Moni @ {Meals Meals} October 6, 2012

Yum! I can’t wait to make this Ang. Now even simpler too–thanks!!

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kristle October 6, 2012

this will be perfect to make mini loaves to freeze for busy days! do you think oat bran would work instead of the breadcrumbs though?

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kristle October 9, 2012

just wanted to let anyone know this works fine with oat bran! the glaze is sooo sweet & yummy, its hard to believe there’s only a tbsp of maple in there!

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Kim October 6, 2012

I am REALLY excited to make this, but I have two questions. 1. What can I substitute for the flax/water combo (can’t afford a bottle just for the one recipe) 2. Is it OK to use regular flour instead of oat flour? I pretty much have the other ingredients on hand so want to have my first try making it as cheap as possible in case I mess up!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 8, 2012

Hi Kim, I dont know of another vegan sub for the flax egg (perhaps a chia egg though). As for subbing flour, Im sure you could, although you might need a bit less white flour since it can tend to make things a bit dry. goodluck!

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Lisa October 6, 2012

Wow. I tasted this in progress and it is so good. My loaf and mini-muffin like loaves are in the oven now. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving dinner. It did take awhile to put together but it was kind of fun to make. Next, the sweet potato casserole. What an amazing website you have and you are in my area!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 7, 2012

Thank you so much Lisa! Happy Thanksgiving :)

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Stephanie @ Snacking on Sunshine October 7, 2012

Angela is there any way to use canned lentils here? I have a ton of them to use up!!
x

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 7, 2012

probably! I would drain, rinse and then cook them in the pot until they achieve the same texture as shown in the photo. Let me know how it goes!

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Mike October 7, 2012

I have made both. Both are yummy. The original stayed intact for me better than the second, which we found to a bit crumbly. I think I will stick to the original. Thanks for all your hard work. Love your site.

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Amanda October 7, 2012

Oh wow… This just made me hungry all over again! Can’t wait to try it!

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Ellie @ healthy belly ellie October 7, 2012

I just made this loaf yesterday! It was is so good! Even my meat-eating boyfriend loved (and he is picky!)… It was definitely worth it! Thanks for the great recipes, I’ll post the pics up on my blog soon and link them back to here :)!

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Alexandra October 7, 2012

Just made this for my Thanksgiving dinner. It’s delicious! I think my non vegetarian family will love it too!

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Elizabeth October 7, 2012

I made this last night and it was delicious! Every bite filled with texture and flavor. I could take a bath in that glaze!

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity October 7, 2012

This looks awesome!
Love the patty cake ones :)

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Gwen @Simply Healthy Family October 7, 2012

Perfect addition to next weeks menu! Especially since I think I have most of the ingredients.

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Gwen @Simply Healthy Family October 7, 2012

I’m curious, have you ever tried using quinoa flakes instead of traditional bread crumbs?

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Emily @ www.main-eats.com October 7, 2012

BEAUTIFUL! As always!

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Grace October 7, 2012

Hi Angela. I have been reading your blog for a while now and just started to read your blog from the very beginning. Your blog keeps me up late at night (in a good way). I love your blog and it makes my day. Thanks for your positivity! A MN loyal fan.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 8, 2012

Hi Grace, Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so honoured you enjoy it so much!

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lani October 8, 2012

OMG! I just finished making this with 1/2 cup of walnuts instead and it is INCREDIBLE..thank you so much. This is going on my favorites list. Are you willing to share what your other top favorites are, and share recipes? (hint,hint)

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melissa October 8, 2012

Can regular lentils be used or do they have to be green? Thanks

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Skylor (@SproutLifestyle) October 8, 2012

I’m never quite sure how to use lentils in a way that I really love. This loaf sounds like it may be the ticket!

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Karen October 8, 2012

OMG! This is sooooo delicious. I just made it. I have been looking for a good loaf recipe. Thank you, thank you , thank you! I used a large loaf pan and it came out perfect. I will double the glaze recipe next time so there is plenty for after it cooks. The mixture held together very nicely and I’m thinking of adding some Italian spices next time and making some meatballs. What do you think?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 9, 2012

I had the same thought to try as meatballs – I tried one and it dried out a bit (esp. not having the glaze, but maybe next time I will still brush them with glaze). I think I will have to play around with cooking time!

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Karen October 9, 2012

Oh, thanks for letting me know. Did you bake or saute it?

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Gina Cormier October 8, 2012

Thank for a great recipe! Quick question, my loaf was very ‘wet’ and almost mushy. Any suggestion? I am cooking at altitude.

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Carrie October 8, 2012

I didn’t have raisins (because they are yucky). I used craisins. The picture makes the loaf look, um, yucky…but it was super tasty! The leftovers are mellowing in the fridge and I bet they will be even better then the original! The apples butter in the sauce…to die for!

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Fiona October 8, 2012

This ties for one of my favorite loaves now! I simplified this recipe even more in a lot of ways, by using frozen bagged carrots, peas, and corn instead of celery and carrot, I skipped the sautéing part and just mixed the raw onion and garlic with the mixture, I skipped the walnut toasting part and just added it in, I did all my chopping in the food processor, I used the food processor to grate the apple and used an apple instead of apple butter in the sauce and just processed it til it was slightly chunky. I used the processor to process a slice and a half of bread for my crumbs. Even with all these shortcuts, it still took ages and working full-time I would not make this again on a weeknight. It would have to be a dinner for company or something. But at least I have lots of leftovers! My Eric and I loved the sauce on top too – I might make more next time!

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Christina October 8, 2012

Angela –

I made this recipe for my meat-loving parents this evening (along with a side of roasted brussel sprouts…mmmm) and it was such a hit. My dad even confessed to not missing the meat! Thank you so much for sharing these recipes… You’ve really inspired my family and I to make positive changes in our lifestyle.

-Christina

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 9, 2012

Hey Christina, Wow that is so great to hear!! So glad it was a hit. :) Thanks so much for your kind words, goodluck with all your changes!

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Shauna October 9, 2012

YUM!! Wow, this was so good! It will be a new staple, I do believe. Perfect for when you are craving some comfort food. It was a bit flax-y for me, so I might put less next time, but that is probably just a personal preference. Thank you for this!!!

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Adam October 9, 2012

Hey, great looking recipe I want to make right away! Quick question, though: is there something I can use for the bonding agent besides the flax/water glue? I am very allergic to flax (like I turn entirely red allergic), and I imagine there are some substitutions. Ground chia, maybe?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 9, 2012

Hey Adam, I’m sure a chia gel would work too. Chia absorbs more water than flax though so you probably don’t need to use as much ground chia as flax. Goodluck & let me know how it goes!

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