Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 5, 2012

Lentil Loaf-4-2

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…

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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

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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-5Lentil Loaf-4

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-6Lentil Loaf-1

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-2Lentil Loaf-2-2Lentil Loaf-1-4Lentil Loaf-3-2

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.

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kate November 18, 2017 at 11:23 am

This looks amazing! If I make this a few days ahead for Thanksgiving, what is the best way to reheat day of? im just concerned with drying it out.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) November 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Hi Kate, You can make it 1-2 days before (but don’t bake it), and wrap up the unbaked loaf in the pan and refrigerate. Then bake it the day of.
I’m also testing baking it half and half right now…so I baked it for 30 mins yesterday, cooled for an hour then wrapped and chilled in the fridge, and tonight I will bake it 20-30 minutes more. I wouldn’t recommend bakign it fully a few days before and then reheating as it’ll definitely dry overtime.

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Sara November 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Ahh I would love to try this! my boyfriend is a huge “meat and potatoes” fan so he’s been missing meatloaf since I transitioned! haha.
The boyfriend can’t stand raisins…. and unfortunately isn’t fond of dried cranberries either… would you suggest I just omit the raisins or is there something else you would recommend as a substitute?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm

You can just leave them out if you’d like! :)

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Jennifer November 21, 2017 at 7:47 pm

I just made this tonight (Tuesday). I am traveling for thanksgiving…do you suggest I bake it tonight and reheat in the day of? Or wait and refrigerate until the day of and bake that morning. I’m a little concerned about oven space but want to do what’s best to maintain freshness and taste. Thanks! Great recipe I make this every year on T day!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 22, 2017 at 9:22 am

Hey Jennifer, I have tried both and I would recommend refrigerating the unbaked loaf and then cooking it before serving (allowing enough time for it to set while cooling) have a wonderful thanksgiving!

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Autumn November 21, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Do you think some miyoko vegan mozzarella might work in this? Like a stuffed meatloaf, though I might need to process the lentil mixture more maybe?

This vegan mozz is pretty mild tasting, but I’m not sure if it will complement everything else going on here. I bought all the ingredients today so we can make this, your Caesar salad (which we love), and one of your pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) November 22, 2017 at 9:21 am

Hey Autumn, Oh wow that’s a fun idea…I’m sorry I have no idea! Please let me know if you try anything.

have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Margie Camomile November 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm

We made the Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf yesterday. We searched for a Vegan recipe because two out of 7 of our guests for dinner were 100% Vegan. We followed the tip to cook the lentils until mushy, and did add some extra water x2 to let them keep cooking and did start out with 3 cups vegetable broth. Everyone loved it, especially our Vegan guests. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe for us to use!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 26, 2017 at 8:13 am

Hey Margie, I’m so glad the lentil loaf was a hit. Thanks for trying it out!

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Lucy December 11, 2017 at 2:17 am

Do you have any idea what the quantities would be in grams for this recipe? I am so stupid when it comes to estimating cups!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 11, 2017 at 9:07 am

Hey Lucy, I’m actually in the process of converting my recipes…and your comment just made me realize that I haven’t done this loaf yet! So it’s next on my list. :) I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be able to do it but I will try to the next time I make it!

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Lucy December 18, 2017 at 4:21 am

Thank you! I’m still going to try and make it for Christmas!

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Dominique December 19, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Hi Angela! Thanks for this amazing recipe. I love it so much I will make it for my christmas dinner. I hope that you don’t mind that I added it to my latest blog “Vegan Christmas recipes”. You can see it here: https://omdetox.com/21-vegan-christmas-recipes/
Happy holidays!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 19, 2017 at 7:48 pm

I’m so happy you love it Dominique!

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Zoe Ayn January 15, 2018 at 10:31 pm

I love how this recipe can also be used to make vegan burger patties or vegan meatballs. I made a vegan spaghetti and meatballs, with spaghetti squash instead of pasta and this recipe instead of meatballs.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 16, 2018 at 8:58 am

Hey Zoe, Oh good idea!! I’m so happy you tried this. How did you cook the lentil balls?

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Melissa January 24, 2018 at 2:13 pm

So many comments and questions!! The recipe didn’t say to drain the lentils after cooking but logic told me to do so. Also, I think the finished loaf would have a nicer texture if the walnuts were not finely chopped – next time! I used chickpea crumbs as my breadcrumbs and I think it dulled down the overall flavor so I’d try a different breadcrumb alternative or just bump up the seasoning. I think prunes instead of raisins would be a nice try for next time as well. This took quite some time but it provided so many meals for us! I made it in two standard loaf pans, yielding two shallow loaves – perfect for leftovers. I also added 1 tbsp dijon to that super delish sauce. I used the whole quantity on the two loaves, half on each, so I made an extra batch for dipping – and it was also a nice sauce for the roasted potatoes that I served with it.

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Colleen February 24, 2018 at 9:25 pm

I made this tonight and used red lentils, as that is what I had in the cupboard, left out the 1/2 cup water and added the ground flax right to the mix and also used 1 cup of whole oat mixed up in the food processor for a bit and left out the bread crumbs and it turned out so delicious! Next time I will try the green lentils. But I am beyond pleased with the loaf, it’s not only delicious, but held together beautifully AND is pleasing to the eye! It is my favorite vegan recipe to date!

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Aarushi Raut March 31, 2018 at 4:06 am

This recipe looks amazing.

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roz March 31, 2018 at 11:32 am

Can I prep the loaves and refrigerate for baking the next day?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 31, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Hey Roz, Yes it should work fine…you may need to cook it for longer in the oven if the loaf is going into the oven cold though. Or you can bring it to room temp first and then bake as directed. Hope this helps!

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Allie June 4, 2018 at 2:20 pm

This took surprisingly less time to make than I thought it would. Next time, I’m going to try putting half the mixture into the pan, a layer of the glaze and then smooth the rest of the mixture overtop (and top with more glaze of course). The glaze is freakin’ magical. I used maple apple butter I found at the grocery store.

Reply

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