Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

399 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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{ 399 comments… read them below or add one }

stubbs November 3, 2012

SO GOOD. Made into 12 muffins and cooked about 30 minutes using 325 convection oven.

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Susie November 3, 2012

I just wanted to share a meal I made using leftover lentil loaf. I made the lentil loaf a week or so ago and made two mini loafs, and tucked one away in the freezer. I pulled it out tonight and it looked soggy, so I put it in the oven to reheat and it was fine. I had leftover baked sweet potato, so I took a tortilla, I used ancient grains, and heated it up in a skillet. I sliced the sweet potato, the lentil loaf and a dolop of mango chutney and put that on half the tortilla and heated it up until crispy, then folded it over. Tuck in some kale for crunch and color. It was SOOO GOOD!

Now I want to make more lentil loaf so I can make the tacos again! Thanks!

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Gina November 4, 2012

Made this this weekend and LOVED it. It’s right up there with the Lightened up Protein Power Goddess Bowl….two of my new faves:)

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Tina November 10, 2012

Hi Angela, You are so talented and should be very proud of your work and this beautiful site. For the lentil loaf I was wondering if I can use cornstarch and water instead of ground flax seed? Thanks

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 12, 2012

Hi Tina, I’m sorry I have no idea how it would turn out using cornstarch. I recommend sticking with the ground flax if possible. Goodluck!

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Tina November 12, 2012

Hi again, it turned out great with the cornstarch. Everyone loved it, thanks so much for the recipe. May I suggest that you make a section on your site with what cooking utensils you use and recommend. Thanks from Tina and I love your humor by the way!

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gyenyame November 13, 2012

When you freeze them, how do you prepare them when ready to eat? I am excited to try these!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 13, 2012

I usually let them thaw at room temp and heat it in the oven until warmed through. Sometimes I throw a slice on a skillet to warm it up too.

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Joan November 15, 2012

Hi Angela,
I am making the lentil, apple, walnut loaf for us for Thanksgiving. We also are making a turkey for the traditionalists! We have one oven. Is it possible to make the loaf the day before and reheat it while the turkey is resting? Thank you so much.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 16, 2012

Hi Joan, I can’t see why that wouldn’t work! I would undercook the loaf slightly when cooking the first time around (maybe 10 mins less or so?) just to make sure it doesnt dry out when reheating in the oven. You might want to read through the comments as well because someone may have reported back about doing this. You’ll have to let me know how it goes!

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Shari November 15, 2012

This is fantastic!!! I made a half recipe of this tonight as trial run before Thanksgiving. I omitted oat flour and breadcrumbs, and instead used about 1/3 cup regular rolled oats for
1/2 of the recipe. I also topped it with chipotle ketchup (no-sugar ketchup + 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce + a little of the adobo sauce from the can.) This addeda wonderful smoky, spicy layer of flavor! I’m definitely serving this on Thanksgiving! Thank you soooooo much!

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Shannon C November 16, 2012

Thanks for the recipe. I tried it last night and I can vouch for the fact that it tastes even better today. I don’t really like super sweet things so I subbed raw cranberries for the raisins and added some grated jalapeno, left the glaze as is. This was really really good, not to mention healthy and filling. As leftovers I’m liking it with a little mustard.

I’ve made and enjoyed a couple of your recipes now, so consider me a fan!

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Odette November 17, 2012

Hi Angela!

I am planning on making this loaf for Thanksgiving. However, we are going to be travelling and I plan on taking it with me already made. What is the best way to reheat it once I get to the place where I will be serving it? In the oven as a whole or in pieces in the microwave?

Thanks!!

Odette.

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Bev November 18, 2012

Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe. I am making my first ever vegan Thanks Giving. I was very worried about what I would make until I tried this. It is perfect.

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Bev November 18, 2012

Just want to add the change I made was to use 3 TB chia seed soaked in 1/2 cup water to make “chia goo”, instead of the soaked ground flax. It was pretty thick so a little more water, or less chia might be better but overall it worked very well. The second time I made it I used one TB molasses in the glaze instead of maple syrup so it would not be so sweet.
I also had to cut the walnuts in half because I am on a fat restricted diet. It was still great. I like it so much I just had a piece for breakfast!

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Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie November 19, 2012

I included this yummy looking dish in my Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up this year – Keep up the good work.

http://moicontrelavie.com/2012/11/17/mclv-mange-thanksgiving-recipe-round-up/

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Juliana November 19, 2012

Made this tonight……so yummy!!

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Lauren November 19, 2012

This was absolutely amazing! I made this about a month ago… gone in no time! LOVED it!

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Chloe November 21, 2012

Dear Angela,

I’ve been following your site for a while, but am just commenting now. Thanks for this recipe. I made it last night, and did what a commenter said by making it the day before. The ‘batter’ is so tasty I wanted to eat it right there. We are hosting thanksgiving tonight (I live in Europe now) and really think this will be a hit. That and the spiced red lentil soup we made as well. Thanks again, really inspiring stuff here. Also, I thought the recipe looked like a lot of work, but this was quite simple. Thanks!
-Chloe

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2012

I’m so glad you are trying the recipe, I hope you like the finished product too. Enjoy!

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Rebecca November 21, 2012

I made this and it is delicious! I used chopped up dates instead of raisins (because I was too lazy to go to the store) and it turned out perfectly. Thanks!

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Melanie November 21, 2012

Just tried this recipe tonight and it was fantastic!! Rave reviews from all that tried it. I even forgot to add the flax&water combo to it and it was still very tasty (and held together well). Thanks for creating and sharing such a wonderful recipe. Can’t wait for that cookbook…

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Becky November 22, 2012

Quick question: do you serve this warm or cold? I made it last year but for the life of me I can’t remember! Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 22, 2012

You can serve it either way! I prefer it warm for a holiday meal but its also amazing cold for leftovers.

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DJ Wilhoite November 22, 2012

I just found your site recently and I wish I would have found it sooner!!! I cooked this today and it was awesome!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 22, 2012

Im so happy to hear that! Thanks for letting me know.

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Sarah Rossall November 23, 2012

Wow! BEST lentil loaf I have ever had…this was a big hit at Thanksgiving, even for the meat-eaters! I will definitely make this again! It made a little more than could fit in a bread/loaf pan so I ended up making 4 extra mini loafs in a cupcake pan, just oiled it with olive oil and it didn’t stick. I also used cashews + pecans instead of walnuts. I’m not sure the parchment paper is necessary if you oil the pan well instead, so next time I’m going to try making the big loaf without parchment paper. Thanks so much for this awesome recipe! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

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Kelly November 23, 2012

I have been working towards a vegan diet but I have always fallen back into eating cheese / dairy / eggs after a few months. I was bored with the recipes I had. The ones I found online were often super complicated or too time consuming (I have two small kids). Your site has completely changed my outlook. Every recipe I have tried so far has been amazing. My kids love the food, I love the food, even my husband who likes to eat meat loves the food. The variety of recipes you have here is amazing. Thanks to this site I see no need to go back to my old ways of eating dairy or eggs. I like these recipes much more and feel great about eating this way. Thank you and keep up the amazing work! I will be buying your book when it’s ready!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2012

Hey Kelly, It’s a pleasure to meet you. I appreciate your kind words about the blog so much! Thanks for trying them out. :) I’m so grateful!

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Hannah November 26, 2012

Just made this and it turned out exactly like the pictures, thank you so much!

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Afton November 27, 2012

Made this last night, and we had it for lunch today. I loved it, and so did my 17 month old daughter! I made them in a muffin tin, so we have a bunch left in the freezer for quick lunches.

I also made your vegan gravy. I’ll admit, I was very wary because the ingredients seemed so random, but it was seriously my favorite gravy I have ever had. Thanks!

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Julie November 27, 2012

Hi Angela,
I just made this last night- It was amazing! Both myself and my husband loved it- I think I chopped the veggies too fine, not as much crunch… lession learned.
I had a thought, maybe a wee bit of roasted corn? What are your thought on maybe adding a bit, that woud give a little texture?

Thanks for the great blog, keep the recipes coming…
(also love your happy trails cookies!)
Julie

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 28, 2012

I think corn would be really good!

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Cathy December 1, 2012

Wondering if you use fresh or dried bread crumbs. Thanks!

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Mary White December 1, 2012

Sounds delicious! Can you make this recipe and freeze it before baking? I have to bring a it to an out of town dinner and would like to make it days ahead of time.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 3, 2012

Hi Mary, What some do is prepare it (but dont cook it yet) and place it in the fridge in the loaf pan all wrapped up. Cook it the day of fresh if possible. It does freeze well too, so I’m sure that would be fine, but then you’d have to figure out how to reheat it ensuring it didn’t dry out. Let me know how it goes!

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Saraheve December 2, 2012

Made this last night..loved it!!! The balsamic and the apple go so well together! I felt full and yet not heavy :) Excellent!!

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Lindsay December 7, 2012

This sounds soooo good! I was wondering, do you know the nutritional facts for the recipe though?

Thank you!

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Rachael December 8, 2012

I’ve tried this with sunflower seeds and it works out perfectly! Thanks for the great recipe :)

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Laura Swink December 12, 2012

I made this tonight – it’s great! Me and my husband are trying to eat more vegetarian meals, and I must admit that I made this as a “side dish” because the last two lentil loaves we had weren’t very good – and I wasn’t going to let my husband go hungry because I wanted to try again…..but he admitted, this is very very good and the time spent making it is worth it.
It’s a keeper!

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Zandar December 14, 2012

Just found my vegan option for Christmas dinner, thanks very much for the recipe!

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hong mei December 18, 2012

Made this for dinner last night and it was a hit! Thanks for the amazing recipe!

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Ally S. December 19, 2012

This was great! Thanks so much. It was labor-intensive (2 hours prior to the baking, but I’m slow at chopping, etc.) but worth it. It made a large amount, and of course I was nervous it wouldn’t hold together, or something – but it was perfect. Heavy, juicy, held together, really really good. Definitely the best veggie loaf I’ve made. And I loved the glaze. I used “fruit-sweetened” ketchup from the health food store, so it wasn’t too sweet. A nice touch.

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Kimberly O December 22, 2012

Love this idea, I’ll be making it for a vegetarian Christmas meal!! If you freeze this dish, do you reheat it from frozen, or let it thaw? Or maybe I should just refrigerate it…I am planning on making it 3 days ahead of time!

Thank you so much, I can’t wait to eat this!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 24, 2012

Hey Kimberly, You can prepare it, put it in the pan – but dont cook it – and just keep it in the fridge. Allow it to come to room temp and then cook as normal. I hope this helps! I expect you could also freeze it, I would read through the comments as Im sure others have reported back about this. goodluck!

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Vivian December 22, 2012

Can I substitute chia seeds instead of the flax? And if so, do I have to grind them up or do you think it’d be fine as is?

Thanks!

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Morgan December 22, 2012

Can I use something besides Ketchup? It literally makes me gag but I want to try this.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 24, 2012

hmm what about tomato paste or tomoato sauce?

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Vivaroo December 23, 2012

I’ve cooked this for our Christmas Eve family dinner tonight. Smells delish and can’t wait to taste. Having it along with a roasted pumpkin salad, and other salads my family brings, summer here. I’ve never heard of apple butter so made up a quick apple sauce using cidar & spices and when I have more time (and apples) will try the apple butter. Merry Christmas, so glad I found your blog.

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susan December 24, 2012

Can I make this ahead of time? Im looking for things that can be done the night before. Thanks and Merry Christmas

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Sarah December 27, 2012

Hey, I made this for christmas and really liked it but it was a little mushy, and im starting to think i did something wrong with the lentils. was i supposed to let them absorb all 3 cups of water and then mash them? (thats what i did) or was i supposed to cook them a little less and drain some water?

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