Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

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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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{ 397 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily@Milly'sMeals October 9, 2012

wow I cannot wait to try this..might just have to do it tonight.

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Angela October 9, 2012

Made it for thanksgiving this year, along with your pumpkin pie. Yummy!!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 9, 2012

Thanks for letting me know, so glad you enjoyed it!

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Danyelle October 9, 2012

Hi Angela! I LOVE your site, and I’ve made several of your recipes, and i’m never disappointed. I made a thanksgiving version of this loaf yesterday to bring to my mother’s house, and it was a BIG hit! I made a cranberry/blueberry reduction glaze for the top, and it was amazing. i’m defiantly making this again, thanks for sharing! (can’t wait for your cookbook!)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 9, 2012

That is so great to hear! Thank you for letting me know. That glaze sounds amazing!

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sarah@thesweetlife October 9, 2012

I’ve been bringing a lentil loaf to thanksgiving for the past 6 years…never the same recipe because I like to try new things. I think I’ll be making this one this year, looks so good!

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Stacy October 10, 2012

Just wanted to say that I made this last night and WOW! I used French green lentils and left out the raisins (hubby hates). Even my picky 2 year old liked it. This is going into rotation permanently! Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 10, 2012

Thanks for letting me know Stacy! Glad you all enjoyed it :)

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Lorinda October 10, 2012

I had Thanksgiving up at a cabin this year with some friends of friends and tried your loaf for the first time. I used two smaller loaf pans and baked one ahead of time and froze the other ‘raw’ for another time. Even after a couple of days in the fridge the pre-baked loaf was fantastic! Everyone else at the dinner asked if they could give it a try and it was a huge hit. I was asked (profusely) to share the recipe. I was feeling really uncomfortable being the only vegan in a group of people I barely knew and you knocked their socks off–thanks so much!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 10, 2012

Wow that is awesome!!! Dont you love when vegan food is a big hit like that? Thanks for letting me know how it went.

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Noa October 10, 2012

Hi! your blog is really lovely and useful. I’m a vegan too and I’m writing you from Israel,where vegan recipes are not likely to be found at all.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 10, 2012

Lovely to meet you Noa!

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Regina M October 10, 2012

I just made this. It is so good. The only changes I made were that I minced the raisins and I replaced the apple butter with mustard. Delicious.

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Susan October 10, 2012

Angela,

I made it for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I followed it to the T, well almost I didn’t have certain things so I substituted:

Panko for breadcrumbs
Oregano and majoram for dried thyme
3/4 cup of carrots because I ran out!

I also cooked the lentils for a bit over an hour. My meat eating husband loved it! I look forward to having it for lunch…and dinner!

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Nic@diningwithastud October 10, 2012

What a great recipe! Hubby LOVED meatloaf and we’ve just turned vego so I might have to make this for him haha

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Chris October 11, 2012

The glazed lentil walnut apple loaf. Can it be made
with no nuts or seeds? I have heart issues and
cannot have either.
Thanks…I so love your website and reading
your charming and humorus blogs.

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Fran October 12, 2012

This is FANTASTIC!!!!!!

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Heather October 12, 2012

Try red lentils!! I used them with the same amound of water and they turned into much more of a paste that held everything together.

Awesome recipe! I made this for thanksgiving and everyone loved it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 12, 2012

Thanks for the tip Heather!

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Jade C October 14, 2012

Hi Angela :)
I just made this last night and have now made extra “glaze” for a sauce. I will be testing it on my Gran later. She has been vegetarian for many years but never has anything like this – always sticking to eggs, cheese, chips, and chocolate!! ((actually that’s about all she eats if I think about it!!)) So I hope that she’ll appreciate this :). I’ll let you know later!! And I plan to try out other recipes of yours, for her :).
Jade C

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Tracey October 15, 2012

I am completed addicted to this lentil loaf. I’ve tried both your lentil recipes and this one was quite a bit easier without sacrificing any flavor. I did substitute cashews for the walnuts on this loaf since I didn’t have any in the house and it tasted equally delicious. Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 16, 2012

Im so happy to hear that Tracey! Enjoy :)

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Melissa October 16, 2012

Is that corn in the picture??? I don’t think there is corn in the recipe? Either way, I just made the recipe as is and it is DELICIOUS!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2012

haha that does look like corn!!! I had to go look myself. Weird. Nope no corn in the recipe, but maybe it is part of the onion or something? Anyway, Im so glad you enjoyed it!!

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Julia October 17, 2012

This was awesome!! I made a loaf and had enough left over to try out a Flower shaped bread mold. I’ve been eating flower shaped loaf on salad all week! mine came out a little too moist, but it was too much water in the lentils. Thanks for the recipe.

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Briana October 17, 2012

I am currently planning on obliterating my grocery store’s stock of all the ingredients to make this loaf (I do hate that word though). This was absolutely delicious. I didn’t have ketchup or apple butter but our garden happened to supply us with tons of apples and tomatoes so this recipe took a while to make (had to make the ketchup and apple butter first!) but it was so worth it. Also, I had to use mixed nuts but it was still the bomb. Planning on making it again for our vegan Thanksgiving day party. And probably before that too. Rock on.

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michelle October 17, 2012

I made this loaf tonight and followed the recipe exactly. I made 2 small loaves and it was delicious. I served it with mashed sweet potatoes coconut oil and my husband loved it.

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Chris October 18, 2012

By far the best lentil loaf I have ever eaten!
Normally I like some condiment or chutney with it.
This needs none of that!
I made 2 loaves with the recipe and each was 4
portions. So I have 8 meals of protein and it freezes
great! I simply put each portion in foil.

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Dianne October 18, 2012

Oh my goodness, this looks SO GOOD!!! I’m wondering if there is something that I could substitute for the nuts. My son has a nut allergy, so we don’t even have them in the house. :-( I am really anxious to try this and hoping that something else can be used. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated! :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 19, 2012

Maybe you could use sunflower seeds? I would use much less though.

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Jan October 18, 2012

Not sure if I can get Green Lentils here where I live – would it work just as well if I substituted them with Brown Lentils? Never made a Lentil Loaf before, so am really keen to try this!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 19, 2012

Yes I think brown lentils would work well too :)

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Kate Cahill October 18, 2012

I am making this right now. I switched the Apple Butter for Traders Joes Fig Butter. Mine is not done yet, but the glaze does taste amazing!

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Kara October 18, 2012

Just made this last night. It turned out amazing. My non-veg husband ate TWO pieces and said it was good. My friends at work did a double take because they swore it was “meatloaf”. They could not believe it was vegan. This is definitely my go to Thanksgiving “main course” option this year. Oh and I served it with the last few green beans from my garden and the last potatoes I dug up :(. Can’t wait till next season to grow those items in my backyard.

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Abra Pappa October 18, 2012

This looks super delish! and a fantastic swap out for meatloaf. I will try for sure. Thanks!!

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Esther October 21, 2012

Never add salt or tomato products to lentils until they are soft and cooked. Salt will prevent the outer shell of the lentil from becoming perfectly soft!!
Lovely looking loaf- I will be making it today!

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michelle October 21, 2012

I made the loaf this weekend and it was awesome! We had it for dinner and then again for lunch on Saturday. My husband loved it and especially liked the left over sauce served with rice and veg. My mother is a vegan and I can’t wait to share this.

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Jamee October 22, 2012

Love. Love. Love. Seriously, every single recipe of yours I’ve tried has turned out perfectly–I’m telling you, flavor soul mates we are! I made this today and brought it to my brother’s birthday with our family and it was a huge hit. My very omnivorous family is slowly warming up to the idea that no animal products doesn’t have to equal dry, bland, unsatisfying dishes. The only one who didn’t like it was my brother, ha! He’s weird. I followed the recipe exactly except for subbing the celery with green bell pepper, since that’s what I had on hand. It’s soooo delicious, and I’m glad I have leftovers to eat for the next few days. Thank you yet again, Angela!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2012

Hey Jamee, This is great news, thank you!

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Megan Azevedo October 22, 2012

I made this and my husband named my version “Mush Loaf” :-( Any ideas what I could have done wrong or ways to make it more dry and less mushy? We loved the flavors and think it would have been pretty great if I hadn’t somehow messed it up!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 23, 2012

Hey Megan, Try baking it longer next time and/or adding more breadcrumbs. Also, if you haven’t already you might want to test your true oven’s temp to make sure it’s accurate. That can throw off cooking times.

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Jessica October 22, 2012

for those not doing grains – I omitted the flour and breadcrumbs and it still came out DELICIOUS! Still added eveything else the reicpe calls for. Plus cinnamon and pecans instead of walnuts. So yummy!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 23, 2012

That’s great to know, thanks for sharing!

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Lea October 23, 2012

Hey Angela
So I decided to try this recipe. I didn’t roast the walnuts. I was a little rushed so I used a mini food chopper for the onions,celery and carrots. I didn’t make your glaze cos I had leftover sweet and sour sauce and used that. I baked it all up in large silicone muffin tins (made 6), thinking the whole time I am not going to like this….it was sooooo gooood!! Sooo stick to your ribs good. Can’t wait to share this with my meat loving brother who is trying, grudgingly ,on doctor’s suggestion ,to go veg.
Thanks again for another winner!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 24, 2012

Great news – so glad you enjoyed it!

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Megan October 25, 2012

I made this last night for dinner and used a single large loaf pan…it took forever to cook. Ended up cutting off the ends and pan searing them so we could eat….the rest was super mushy and raw tasting. All said and done, I doubled the cooking time for a 5×9 loaf. This was totally my fault and nothing to do with the recipe because I didn’t plan to adjust the cooking time for a single loaf up front. Learn from my mistake…if you want a single large loaf plan to cook it for at least 60 minutes and maybe closer to 80 depending. Angela, thanks…this is fantastic (for lunch today and dinner tonight) will definitely be making on the regular!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 25, 2012

Thanks for the tip Megan! I will add a note to the recipe :)

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carolyn October 25, 2012

This lentil loaf is pretty much my favorite meal now…and I have to say that I just got an idea…lentil loaf baked in muffin pan, with pureed mashed potatoes piped on top as the “frosting”. Or squash!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 26, 2012

Love that idea!!! Wow

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Christie October 25, 2012

Do you have any tips on warming the frozen loaves? I made two small loaves and froze one (delicious!) and now I’d like to eat the second :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 26, 2012

In the past I have just let it that in the fridge or on the counter, but I suppose you could speed things up by cooking it at a low heat in the oven?

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Kimberly October 29, 2012

I stumbled across your website and oh, I’m so glad I did! My naturopathic doctor put me on a very strict anti-inflammatory diet for my allergies and I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to find recipes that actually contain ingredients I’m allowed to eat! Your website has so many recipes I can enjoy w/ only having to cut out or substitute just a few ingredients (sometimes none! or just 1 or 2).

Can’t wait to try this Lentil Walnut Loaf! Only have to cut out the ketchup and balsamic in the glaze, but that’s okay!

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Alison October 30, 2012

This is my new favorite recipe! The walnuts and celery gave it such a great texture, and that glaze! It was perfect. I ate the last of it on my sandwich for lunch, and now I’m so sad it’s all gone. Thank you for creating such delicious recipes. Because of you, my boyfriend thinks I’m a fabulous cook. Ha! :)

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Lisa November 1, 2012

I have a mini loaf tin that holds 8. Can I use that? Would I just use nonstick spray or use the parchment paper? Do you spray the parchment paper if that’s what you use?

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Lauren November 1, 2012

I made this last night and it is awesome! I substituted whole wheat flour for oat flour because I couldn’t find oat flour in my supermarket.

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Lisa November 2, 2012

I made this last night using my mini loaf pan . Came out perfect! I baked them at 350 for 25 minutes! I will definately make these for Thanksgiving for the vegans!!

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Lisa November 2, 2012

I forgot to mention I ground oats in the food processor for oat flour!

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