Lentil Walnut Vegan "Meat" Crumble

July 15, 2022
Tired of using tofu or branded meat free patties as an alternative for your Meatless Mondays or daily vegan meals? Try making this lentil "meat mince" and its surprising great combination with walnuts—it is definitely a plant based game changer! With just the right mix of seasoning and easy cooking skills, you'll find yourself trying this recipe in different ways. Serve it with some fresh lettuce wraps, your choice of carbs (a bowl of hot rice or pasta) or even as add on toppings for your nachos with guacamole (perfect for your next Netflix movie night session :p).
lentil walnut vegan meat on a white plate against a brown background

Lentil Walnut Vegan “Meat” Crumble

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 4–5 servings
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  • 1/4 cup walnuts, soaked and rinsed, or sunflower/pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dried green lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • pinch salt & pepper
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Watch and follow along to the video on our YouTube channel!

1. The night before making your recipe, soak your walnuts/ seeds covered with water. The next day, wash and rinse and roughly chop them into mince and set aside for later. 

2. Next, on a hot pan, drizzle your oil and sauté your onion until slightly softened then add in your garlic and mushrooms until fairly charred. 

3. Add the star ingredient, lentils (!) and chopped up walnuts/ seeds. 

4. Drop your tomato paste until everything is fully coated with it. 

5. Add water and soy sauce and boil for 10 minutes on medium heat. 

6. Mix in seasoning (oregano, cumin, paprika, chili, and salt and pepper) and simmer for another 15–30 minutes in low heat until liquid has been reduced. 

7. In that time range, see if you prefer to cook it in a shorter period of time (leaving it to have a bit of bite to it) or for a bit longer (to achieve a more softer texture)* 

8. Serve immediately and enjoy the suggested ways above. 


– If you decide to use the walnuts on the day or forgot to soak it overnight, you can simply cover it with hot water for a minimum two hours or even first thing before preparing your other ingredients (and if you don’t mind a bit of crunch at the end). 

– If you like a more toasted taste profile or want to go that extra “oomph!” effort, you can even toast your walnuts/ seeds on a dry heated pan until fragrant and cooled down before soaking it. 

– You can also use canned lentils, or stick with the dry ones. The packed ones usually come with instructions on how to cook them properly. Some packages would say there’s no need to soak and to cook for some specific time. I would suggest going with whatever your personal preferences are. 

– Storage: if you have some leftovers and don’t think you’ll have it again for a few days, don’t let it go to waste! It freezes well and you can give it a second life to enjoy it in other ways. Try it with Bolognese sauce for your next lasagna or even as a taco filling. It is honestly limitless! 

– If you are hosting a potluck or dinner gathering and want to surprise your guests with this recipe but also remember that one friend who’s allergic to nuts, simply omit the walnuts and just use sunflower or pumpkin seeds entirely. It still works wonderfully.

– Remember that recipes are only guides and you are not bound to any measurements and no one should feel stressed out merely following a recipe (that will only affect your cooking result!), you want it more spicy? Up that spice! You want to add in more texture? Add a bit more walnut crunch to it. Taste along the way and discover what your taste buds are trying to tell you. This way, you’ll find cooking can also be a way to express yourself through the love of food. If that isn’t the beauty and art of cooking… I don’t know what is.

Also by Bel: Vegan Pumpkin Tray Cake

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Photo, video, and video editing by: @BelBrosasFaustino

Bel Faustino
Bel’s curiosity for healthy living started at a young age of 11. From mindful eating to exercise, she always had a sweet tooth struggle and her weakness are desserts. It then took her high school and uni days to find the balance to maintain the healthy lifestyle yet enjoy desserts in a more guilt-free way and veganizing them seems the way to do it. Obsessed with always finding healthier alternatives, she hopes to recreate her favorite non vegan treats and share her recipes through her culture (Filipina born in Macau, S.A.R., China), lifestyle, childhood memories and travels (Southeast Asia, USA, Mexico, UK and more to come!). Follow her journey in Instagram @belbrosasfaustino.


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