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This Lentil Meatloaf is made with oats instead of breadcrumbs and is one of my absolute favorite healthier comfort foods to serve when I'm craving something hearty. It's gluten free, oil free, nut free, and packed with 17 grams of protein per serving! Try it in place of a holiday roast or on a cooler weeknight!

Serve with my Mashed Potatoes and Air Fryer Green Beans for a complete meal!

Slices of meatloaf up close.

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Over the years I have tried several versions of vegan meatloaf and I usually find they have one of two problems:

  1. Too mushy.
  2. Too dry and crumbly.

Vegan loaves made primarily with lentils and nuts usually lean towards too dry and loaves made with chickpeas lean towards too wet and mushy.

My solution? A loaf made with a combination of lentils and chickpeas for the perfect texture.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Using oat flour instead of bread crumbs keeps this loaf gluten free.
  • Homemade ketchup makes this loaf refined sugar free and enhances the flavor immensely!
  • The combination of french lentils with chickpeas creates the best veggie loaf texture!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients necessary for meatloaf recipe with labels.
  • lentils and chickpeas – The combo of these two make for the best, hearty meaty texture!
  • garlic and onion – I highly recommend using fresh onion and garlic and taking that extra step of sautéing it before baking it in the meatloaf. It gives it so much flavor that you just can't get from a powdered version.
  • carrots – Optional, but I love adding diced carrot to my meatloaf. You can also do half carrot, half celery, if desired!
  • oat flour – Helps give this meatloaf structure and is a great, gluten free substitute for traditional breadcrumbs.
  • Italian parsley – I love adding fresh parsley to meatloaf because it makes it taste so fresh and flavorful. You can skip, if necessary but I highly recommend it when possible.
  • vegan WorcestershireEssential to a super flavorful vegan meatloaf. I highly recommend the brand Annie's for a great vegan version. I've enjoyed it more than generic brands I've tried.
  • liquid smoke – Optional, but great for mimicking the flavor in real meat. I really like the Lazy Kettle Brand.
  • tomato paste, maple syrup, tamari, and apple cider vinegar – Ingredients in my super simple, homemade ketchup glaze. I don't recommend substituting it with real ketchup as real ketchup is too sweet.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the homemade ketchup glaze! Whisk together the tomato paste, maple syrup, tamari, and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  1. Mash together the COLD (or at minimum, room temperature) lentils and chickpeas! This can be done with a potato masher, a fork, or my favorite method (that also happens to be the fastest): blitzed in the food processor.

    If using the food processor, just be sure that you don't overdo it and turn the lentils and chickpeas into a paste. You wan't it to be combined into a meaty consistency but still retain shape and texture!
  1. Add in the oat flour, vegan Worcestershire, parsley, Old Bay seasoning, liquid smoke, homemade ketchup glaze, and black pepper and mix to combine!
  1. In a large skillet, sauté together the garlic, onion and carrots until soft and tender, about 5-7 minutes. I usually sauté in a tablespoon of avocado oil, but if you'd like to keep this loaf oil free, sauté in 1 tablespoon of broth or water.

    Once soft, add them into the meatloaf mixture and mix to combine.
  1. Transfer the meatloaf to a parchment lined 9×5 loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Meatloaf mixture pressed into a loaf pan.
  1. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven, add the remaining homemade ketchup glaze to the top of the loaf, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Meatloaf topped with homemade ketchup glaze.
  1. Once baked, allow to cool in pan for a minimum of 15 minutes. Then, remove loaf from pan and slice and serve while warm!

FAQs

How do I make oat flour?

Making oat flour at home is easy! Simply add your rolled oats to a food processor and blitz until a breadcrumb texture is reached. I prefer making oat flour for this recipe in a food processor over the blender because a blender makes it too fine and dries out the meatloaf.

Where can I buy vegan Worcestershire sauce?

You can find vegan Worcestershire sauce at most grocery stores! I prefer the brand Annie's. I find it to be the most flavorful. It is worth it to find it for this recipe because it adds so much flavor and cannot be substituted!

I am not gluten free. Can I use breadcrumbs instead of oat flour?

Yes, use 2 cups of breadcrumbs in place of the 1 1/3 cups oat flour. Oat flour is much more absorbent than breadcrumbs, which is why less is required.

Meatloaf slices on parchment paper.

Tips for success

  • Make sure the lentils and chickpeas are at minimum at room temperature when mashing together. If they are warm, they will be over mashed and form a paste.
  • Ere on the side of caution when mashing the chickpeas and lentils. It is better for them to be under processed than over processed.
  • Make sure the meatloaf cools for a minimum of fifteen minutes in the loaf pan after baking. If you remove it too soon, it will be more difficult to slice.
  • This loaf makes for great leftovers! I almost enjoy it more as leftovers.
  • Try this meatloaf with my Almond Milk Mashed Potatoes! It's the perfect combination.
Sliced meatloaf on parchment paper and topped with parsley.

More Main Dish Ideas

Home-Cooked Roots Logo

Lentil Meatloaf Recipe

5 from 16 votes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Cost: $7.33 per recipe / $0.92 per serving
This lentil meatloaf is one of my absolute favorite healthier comfort foods to serve when I'm craving something hearty. It's packed with protein from the lentils and chickpeas and is topped with the best homemade ketchup. Try it in place of a holiday roast or on a cooler weeknight!

Ingredients
 

Meatloaf

  • 1 sweet onion finely diced ($0.84)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced ($0.24)
  • 1 cup carrots diced ($0.06)
  • 2 cups cooked green lentils cooled to room temperature or cold ($0.48)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas rinsed and drained, equivalent to 1 1/2 cup if cooking from dry beans ($0.75)
  • 1 1/3 cups oat flour ($0.35)
  • 1/2 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce I prefer the brand Annie's ($1.68)
  • 1/2 cup homemade ketchup glaze
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley ($0.09)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke I prefer the brand Lazy Kettle ($0.15)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning ($0.09)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper ($0.01)

Homemade Ketchup Glaze

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, lightly grease the loaf pan to ensure the meatloaf won't stick.
  • Whisk together 1/2 cup tomato paste, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons tamari until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large cup food processor, combine 2 cups cooked green lentils and 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas. Pulse until combined, making sure there is some remaining texture and the lentils and chickpeas are not over processed (see photos in post for reference). Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
  • To the same bowl, add the 1 1/3 cups oat flour, 1/2 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup homemade ketchup glaze, 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke, 1 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Using a spatula, mix to combine. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add 1 sweet onion (diced), minced 4 cloves garlic and 1 cup carrots (diced) and sauté until soft and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Once sautéed, transfer the onion, garlic, and carrots mixture into the mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients. Using a spatula, mix to combine.
  • Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes on middle oven rack.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the loaf, top with the remaining ketchup glaze, then bake for additional 15 minutes.
  • Let the meatloaf cool for a minimum of 15 minutes in the loaf pan before slicing and serving.

Storage Instructions

  • This loaf makes for excellent leftovers. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freezing Instructions

  • This meatloaf can be frozen both cooked or uncooked, though I prefer freezing it uncooked (it is most moist this way). To freeze uncooked, press the loaf mixture into a 2 cup Souper Cube tray (it will fill both 2 cup sections).
    Leave the ketchup glaze off of the top and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, allow the meatloaf to defrost at room temperature for about 1 hour, then bake and top with glaze as usual.
    I bake this meatloaf in the Souper Cube square baking dishes but you can also bake it directly in the silicone Souper Cube trays.
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Notes

  • Make sure to use cool lentils and chickpeas or they will over process easily into a paste.
  • The recipe calls for 2 cups cooked lentils. When cooking lentils from scratch, this is equivalent to about 3/4 cup dry lentils.
  • If you use a food processor to dice the onion and/or carrot, it will release a lot more of the moisture in these foods compared to dicing with a knife. This will yield a more moist loaf and may require a 10-15 minute longer bake time. 
  • How to make oat flour: Blitz rolled oats in a food processor until a fine texture is achieved – not a powder, but not large chunks either. If using a blender, pulse until correct texture is achieved. Avoid blending into a super fine powder – that makes for a drier meatloaf. 
  • If you would like to substitute the oat flour with breadcrumbs, use 2 cups breadcrumbs. 

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 324mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 16g

Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Did You Love This Recipe?

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5 from 16 votes

This recipe was originally published November 8, 2019 and was republished on October 20, 2021 to include an improved recipe, new recipe photos including step by step instructions, frequently asked questions and tips for success.

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5 from 16 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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14 Comments

  1. Sad Consumer says:

    Really disappointed that it doesn’t say to cook the lentils first anywhere in the recipe. So many wasted ingredients.

    1. The recipe card said,”2 cups green lentils, cooked and cooled.” I am sorry you missed it. I also show cooked lentils throughout the step by step process of the recipe and mention several times to use cold lentils so the consistency is not mushy. Lastly, I confirm for another reader that the measurement is for cooked lentils below. I will add an additional note, but I am not sure what more I can do!

  2. What do you consider a serving? How thick a slice?

    1. I usually get about 8 slices per loaf. If you scroll up a bit in the post there is a photo where I have sliced the loaf for a visual. I hope that helps!

      1. I made the lentil loaf tonight. Flavor is fantastic. I think mine is a little too moist so either need to bake longer or slightly less liquid. Will make again!

      2. Oh yay! It can definitely be on the moist side straight from the oven. Feel free to add additional oat flour- that will help!

  3. 5 stars
    This is the best vegan meatloaf recipe I’ve made. Thank you for sharing your yummy recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Incredibly delicious. My favorite meatless loaf. I water sauteed the veggies and only used 2T Annie’s worchestire. I used sugar free natural ketchup because I was out of tomato paste. This will be the only recipe I’ll make❤️

    1. Hi, Kim! I’m so happy to hear this! Thanks for sharing your swaps you used, I am sure someone else will find this helpful.

  5. Peggy Polo says:

    Can I use regular brown lentils?

  6. Jennie Arnold says:

    For the lentils, is that amount before cooking or after?

    1. Nicolette says:

      Hi, Jennie! The measurement is for cooked lentils.

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