Nov 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Lentil Loaf. Vegan and Grain-free.

Yay!!! I finally got a lentil loaf to be the just way I want it. I’ve tried SO many times with so many different ingredients. Most of them turn out kind of pasty. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about if you’ve had as many bean loaves as I have.

This one has a great texture and is just chock full of nutrients, including kale, chia seeds, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. And all of those wonderfully aromatic holiday flavors… it’s a Thanksgiving party in there!

I just hope I’ve gotten this post up in time for those of you who are still looking for a vegan dinner alternative to turkey this year. There’s still time to shop! 
So without further ado, I present the Thanksgiving Lentil Loaf…


  • 1 cup lentils + 2 cups water (any kind, I used French lentils)
  • 1 pound mushrooms (any kind, I used white)
  • 4-5 kale leaves
  • 1 12 oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and rinsed (see notes)
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 TBS Bragg Organic Spinkle (Sorry, no substitutions here–the flavors are perfect for this loaf. Most health food stores carry it)
  • 3 TBS ground chia seeds
  • 1 TBS Spike salt-free seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 TBS tamari (or to taste)
  • ½ cup dried, fruit juice sweetened cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 TBS fruit-only apricot jam
  • Twist of ground black pepper 


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over the edges a bit.
  3. Cook the lentils with the water on medium heat until all or most of the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  4. Slice the mushrooms, rough chop the kale and water-sauté together until tender and most of the water has cooked off of the mushrooms.
  5. Put the lentils in a fine strainer and push out any excess water with a large spoon.
  6. Place the mushrooms, kale, artichoke hearts, lentils and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until combined but still a little chunky.
  7. Turn the mixture out into a bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan, pushing down so it’s tight and shape into a loaf with a large spoon or a spatula.
  9. Top with a little freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  11. Let the loaf cool for about 15 minutes, then gently lift from the pan with the parchment paper and slide it off onto a serving dish.
  12. Top with your favorite vegan gravy or some homemade cranberry sauce.

Serves 6. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

16 responses to “Thanksgiving Lentil Loaf. Vegan and Grain-free.”

  1. How can a vegan loaf taste like Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing and cranberries all-in-one? I don't know how she did it but it's true! It's looks delicious but it's even better more yummy than how it looks. You're gonna love it! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. Caroline says:

    I am looking forward to trying this recipe Helyn. I have enjoyed minimal success in the past with lentil or bean loaves, the texture was always just a little off as you mentioned! I do hope that you will be posting the recipe for the cranberry sauce pictured. It looks fabulous too!

    • Thanks Caroline! Oh, the cranberry sauce was just a basic recipe (one bag cranberries, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup coconut sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch of cloves.. simmer until the cranberries pop and reduce until it's a sauce consistency. Enjoy!

  3. Hi Helyn. First of all this is my new favorite blog! Second, with this recipe are you supposed to mix the cranberries, currents and jam in with everything else? Or is it supposed to go on top? Thanks!

  4. Beth says:

    This looks fabulous!! I'm the only one at my Thanksgiving table that would eat this, so I am saving this recipe for the week after when everyone is sick of turkey. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Loraine says:

    This looks delicious! How did you get it to look all brown like that without oil? Also, I know you say no subs for the Bragg's sprinkle, but can you recommend a substitute for the Spike? Would Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute work? Thanks!

  6. Beth says:

    has anyone tried this recipe as "meat balls"? would they hold together ok?

  7. Kathleen says:

    I made this today when doing my batch cooking for the week. Very good. Love all the flavors. My only problem is mine is a little crumbly. Did you smash the lentils at all after cooking? Thanks for all the awesome recipes!!

    • HI Kathleen! The lentils do get smashed up a bit on step #5 in the directions. Did you push all the water out the way I described? Then they get pulsed in the food processor with the other ingredients. DId you use the ground chia seeds? Mine held together very well. Wondering what went wrong… :-/

  8. divamover says:

    This looks amazing! I have not yet made anything with almond flour. Other than making the recipe grain-free, are there other flavor or textural properties that are unique to almond flour? I can't wait to try this!

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