Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes: Lentil Meatloaf w/ Caramelized Onions

November 18, 2016
As I was looking at my calendar the other day, I was shocked to realize that Thanksgiving is next week! My very favorite holiday is creeping up on me quickly, and there is menu planning to be done. While planning what to make for the holidays, I always try to create dishes that are healthy yet decadent. My family eats a standard American Thanksgiving meal, meaning heavy on the animal products, so I have to ensure that vegetables make a strong appearance on the dinner table. For a while, I have been wanting to create a meatloaf recipe and thought this would be the perfect time. For this creation, I decided to reinvent the Lebanese dish Mujaddara. This simple dish of lentils and rice topped with caramelized onions is flavorful and makes a great meatloaf. To serve this dish, I topped it with the caramelized onions and a drizzle of tahini. It is a great reinvented dish that adds a little variety to your Thanksgiving table.
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes: Lentil Meatloaf w/ Caramelized Onions

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes: Lentil Meatloaf w/ Caramelized Onions

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 1 loaf = about 5 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 1 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup oats, ground
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • to taste sea salt
  • Topping
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped
        graphic for recipe card


1. Heat half the oil in a pan, add the onions and the balsamic vinegar, cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until caramelized. (Please note that the caramelizing process will take about 40 - 50 minutes, so you can put the rest of the dish together while they cook).
2. In a large pot, add the lentils, rice, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until lentils are soft.
3. When the lentils and rice are done, take half of the mixture and add to the food processor. Process slightly, so it is ground up but still a bit chunky. (I found that this helps the mixture stay together better.)
4. Place the mixture into a bowl. Season with garlic, cumin, and sea salt.
5. In a small bowl, mix the ground flax with 4 tablespoons of water.
6. Add the ground oats and flax to the mixture and stir well to combine.
7. Press the lentil mixture into a greased loaf pan, top with the chopped almonds. Bake at 375°F for 20 - 25 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and serve topped with the caramelized onions and a drizzle of tahini.

Also by Kathryn: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac n' Cheese

Related: Spaghetti and Vegan Meatballs

How to Plan an Awesome Meatless Thanksgiving Menu

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Photos: Kathryn Farrugia

Kathryn is a vegan cook and nutrition consultant based in Los Angeles. She uses yoga in the park, runs by the beach and hikes through the mountains to connect and inspire creativity that she brings to her dishes. She is determined to make the world a healthier and happier place one meal at a time. Read more at ZENutrition or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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