Holiday Recipe: Gluten Free and Vegan Lentil Loaf

December 20, 2013

Every year since I started to stay in Los Angeles for the holidays, my kitchen has been host to all “orphan” friends who also were not traveling and I’d put on what is coined “A Very Vegan Christmas.”

I often start planning my vegan holiday menu as early as October and spend three days preparing for the Christmas feast; and I love it!

I know not everyone is like me and enjoys spending days prepping for a meal that will be devoured in most likely a manner of minutes.  For those who prefer something a little more simple, but still complex, hearty and delicious, I give you this lentil and veggie loaf recipe.

This vegan, gluten free lentil loaf is great for a special occasion or any day of the week. If you’re only feeding a couple of people, you can pre-slice the loaf, wrap it in a freezer safe bag or container and have some ready for later meals.  You can also add extra veggies as you desire; the loaf would be great with peas and mushrooms!

gluten free vegan lentil loaf

I suggest serving it with green beans, leafy greens or brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, roasted root veggies, or a cauliflower mash. Remember to top with your favorite gravy as well!  Two of my favorites are my famous savory herb gravy and my white bean and rosemary. It’s also great with a cashew mushroom sauce!

Rinsed lentils ready for cooking.

Lentil and Vegetable Loaf

Serves 6-8. 

Recipe by Christine Oppenheim



1 T olive oil

1 cup onion, finely diced

½ cup carrot, finely diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup red wine, or 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar

½ cup walnuts

2 cups cooked lentils

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

1 Tablespoon tamari

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon yellow or dijon mustard

¼ cup nutritional yeast

2 Tablespoons fresh mixed herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano)

¼ cup fresh parsley

1 cup wild rice or brown rice

¼ teaspoon paprika

dash cayenne

salt and pepper, to taste

Lentil loaf ingredients
1. Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
Sauteed onion, carrot and garlic.
2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onion and carrot over medium heat until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another two minutes, or until veggies start to brown slightly.  Carefully add red wine to deglaze the pan and simmer for a minute or so until it reduces just a little. Set aside.
Lentils and walnuts pureed to resemble pate.
3. Add walnuts to a food processor and grind just enough to create a fine powder, not a paste. Add lentils, tomato paste, tamari, lemon, mustard and nutritional yeast and process until a smooth and resembling a pate. Add herbs and parsley and pulse a few times to incorporate. Transfer to a medium size mixing bowl.
All ingredients combined in a mixing bowl.
4. Fold in the rice, veggies, paprika and cayenne to combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste and remix.
Lentil, veggie and rice mix pressed into loaf pan.
5. Transfer lentil mixture to prepared loaf pan and press evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, or until edges start to brown and pull away from the pan and loaf is mostly firm to the touch. It’s okay if it indents a little when you press it.
6. Let sit for five minutes, then turn pan upside down on to a cutting board to remove loaf; slice as desired and serve with your favorite gravy or sauce.
Lentil loaf removed from pan and ready for slicing.


More Holiday recipes: Broccoli Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Flaky No-Chicken Pot Pie


Photo: Christine Oppenheim

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Christine Oppenheim is a natural foods chef, trained through Bauman College. Residing in Santa Monica, CA, she offers vegan personal chef services, cooking instruction, and holistic wellness coaching. Christine prepares meals that are centered on whole grains and organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables, with a focus on utilizing alternative ingredients to convert classic recipes into versions that are compatible for restricted diets (i.e. gluten free, soy free, no refined sugar). She teaches people how to easily incorporate delicious, healthy, plant based foods into their diets and make simple lifestyle changes to increase energy, control weight, reduce stress and regulate digestion. Follow Christine on Instagram @veggiefixation.


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