I’ve made this recipe for lentil loaf a million times. It is a go-to dish that keeps coming back around. Why? It’s true the loaf is moist and flavorful, healthy, and satisfying. It’s true that you can make it with just about any assortment of seasonal vegetables and spices. But the real reason is that the sauce is AWESOME. Seriously. For a family that loves to experiment with new dishes, the fact that we keep coming back to this recipe is a testament to its greatness.
Credit goes to The Simple Veganista and her perfectly proportioned recipe for The Ultimate Vegetable Lentil Loaf. We’ve barely adapted it here. For our tastes, the secret is in the sauce, a simple blend of balsamic vinegar, ketchup and maple syrup, that pairs perfectly with all manner of flavors in the loaf. For this recipe I made it with New Mexico Chili Powder and our new Garlic Salt, but Sassy Steak Spice and Creole Seasoning also work well.
Lentil Loaf with Awesome Sauce
For the Lentil Loaf
- 1 cup black beluga lentils
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow or purple onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon New Mexico Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1/2 cup oat flour or finely ground oats
For the Awesome Sauce
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- In a large pot, combine the lentils and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are just cooked but still moist. Do not over-cook.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the bottom and long sides of loaf pan with parchment paper. Allow the parchment to overlap the long sides so the loaf can be easily removed.
- While the lentils are cooking, prepare the flax "egg" and the vegetables.
- In a small cup, combine the ground flax seeds and 1/3 cup water. Stir well and set aside in the refrigerator.
- In a heavy skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, vegetables and spices. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and the seasonings are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked lentils to a large mixing bowl. Remove 3/4 cup and set aside. Use an immersion blender to puree the lentils in the large bowl.
- Return the reserved lentils to the bowl along with the vegetables, flax egg, oats and oat flour. Stir well with a sturdy utensil.
- Transfer the loaf mixture to the prepared loaf pan, pressing it into all the corners.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients. Top the loaf with 1/4 cup and set aside the remainder.
- Bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serve with Awesome Sauce on the side.
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This genius recipe was barely adapted from The Ultimate Vegetable Lentil Loaf by The Simple Veganista