Lentil Sweet Potato Loaf
4.18 from 58 votes

Vegan sweet potato lentil loaf is nutritious comfort food at its finest. It’s made with protein-packed lentils, sweet potato, and rolled oats. This is a great dish to freezer or make ahead for holiday gatherings!

Freshly cut slices of vegan lentil sweet potato loaf, served with a side salad for a meal.

This isn’t the first lentil loaf I’ve ever made, but it is the first I’ve wanted to blog about, because it’s the most successful so far. In the past, I’ve had a hard time getting the texture of the loaf just right. This time, things worked out!

The texture of this loaf is spot-on: dense, sliceable, but not gluey. Beyond that, it’s full of nutrition in the form of oats, lentils, and sweet potatoes.

This is comfort food at its finest, and it is satisfying! I think it’s a perfect option for vegan holidays. Especially if you’re looking to serve a main dish. Something that feels special, rather than a collection of side dishes.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf | The Full Helping
Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf | The Full Helping
4.18 from 58 votes

Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields: 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (substitute a few tablespoons of vegetable broth)
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 3/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (dry) green or brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sweet potato (1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, grated)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup ketchup, for glazing


  • Heat the oil or broth in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the thyme, rosemary, coriander, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, broth, lentils, and sweet potato to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer until lentils are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from heat.
  • While the lentils cook, preheat your oven to 350F and lightly oil (or spray) a nonstick, 8. 5 x 4. 5 x 2. 75 inch loaf pan.
  • Stir the oats and tomato paste into the pot. The oats will absorb most of the remaining moisture in the lentil/sweet potatoes, and the mixture will thicken. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  • Press the mixture into a loaf pan. Brush the top of the loaf with the ketchup, if desired. Cover the loaf pan with tented foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and then bake for another 20 minutes, or until the loaf is firm and the ketchup is darkened in color. Allow the loaf to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


Leftover lentil and sweet potato loaf can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf | The Full Helping

The loaf makes for some pretty superb leftovers, and if you want to want to slice it and serve it on toast with some ketchup or hummus, that’s not a bad idea at all 🙂

I hope you love this homey vegan recipe. Let me know what you think!


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Categories: Recipes, Main Dishes
Method: Oven, Stovetop
Ingredients: Lentils, Sweet Potato
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, No Oil, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Holidays

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    An excellent option for the vegan guests at my holiday table.
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. It looks wonderful. Do you have any idea how many calories are in a serving? Thanks.

    • Thank you, Cindi! I don’t publish calorie counts for my recipes at this time, as that information can negatively impact those who have disordered eating and eating disorders. But you can certainly calculate the information by plugging ingredients into a program such as MyFitnessPal or LoseIt!

      I hope you enjoy the loaf 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    The husband came home with a bag of sweet potatoes (I usually buy just one here and there). Well little did he know that I had been slipping in a vegetarian night one night a week (he’s a big meat eater). Zero complaints on this one and he said he’d eat it again! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Charity! No, I wouldn’t recommend it. They have a much longer cooking time, and my guess is that they’ll end up hard/unpleasantly chewy in the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Made it tonight for me and my wife. Both think it’s one of the best not meat loafs we’ve had.
    Herbs are just right and do not over power the dish.
    It does take a little while, but for us the work is worth it, as we now have enough for another 3 meals. Plus who doesn’t enjoy spending time in the kitchen.

  5. 5 stars
    Our teenage son HATES lentil loaf. Mucho complaints so I decided to look for a different one and found this recipe. He LOVES it and even has seconds. He’s a real pain to feed and has recently gone from vegetarian to vegan making him even harder to feed! So I’m very glad I have this recipe to fall back on.

  6. Tried this tonight, do not make, lots of work, smells great as veggies cook. Came out of oven as a liquid tasteless soup.

    • I think you forgot to put the oats in. If they were put in they soak up all the liquid.

  7. 5 stars
    A delayed rating, but I have made this recipe loads of times and I love it! Leftovers go Sliced into the freezer for emergency lunch or dinner, the quantity is perfect for this vegan in a non-vegan household – others will have a little on their plate while I get plenty and some lunch and dinners for weeks after. Perfect!

  8. 5 stars
    Have made this the past few Christmases and I’m making it again this year. It’s always a hit – even with my toddler! Great that you can make it in advance and pop it into the oven for the final stage on the day. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve made this in the past and pulling out again for this year’s gathering. I was wondering if you could make it in advance and bake it the next day or if it’s better to bake it now and then reheat it when it’s time to eat?

  10. Hi – making this tonight and boy does my house smell awesome! I tweaked it a bit and added some chopped walnuts to add texture and also a bit of ritz crackers to add some “thickness” to the mix. It’s cooking now in the oven and smells delish .. am excited to try it! If for any reason it’s not perfect, I’ll do it again (and again) until I get it right! Oh – btw – I used canned lentils and I’m sure that is not a problem, right? Thanks so much & cheers.

  11. Is there a way to make this loaf using CANNED lentils so I can modify the recipe for LOW FODMAP? THANKS!

  12. Made this for Christmas and even my meat-eating family loved it! It’s my second attempt at a lentil loaf and this definitely turned out better than the first. Texture is actually surprisingly similar to meatloaf (great for the meat lovers), and the taste is delicious. Will make it again!

  13. Delicious. Made it for Rosh Hashana, for the vegans in the group (including me!). Have a couple of questions: can you tell me the approximate amount, in ounces or in cups of celery, onion and carrot you use in the recipe, as they vary so greatly in size. My loaf came out a little soft, even after letting it cool, before slicing.
    Thank you for this amazing recipe. Btw, All the non-vegans ate it and there wasn’t much left for me!

    • Eydie,

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed this for the new year! Typically when I make it it’s 1 cup of each vegetable, and I think that’s usually about 4-5 ounces of each, though next time I make this I’ll measure the weight. I hope this helps and that the loaf firmed up as it cooled!


  14. This is a really nice recipe, enjoyed by vegan and non-vegan members of the family alike for a Sunday family get-together meal. However, you wonderful recipe writers out there need to be aware of your international ‘audience’. To quote Wikipedia: “Today, most of the world prefers metric measurement by weight” as opposed to volume measurements. What should have been 15 minutes preparation turned into approaching 2 hours by the time we had converted into grams every single different substance. What a system! So, please can metric measurements be given as well. This should be part of your job as the recipe writer, not the cooks. Also where dry weight quantities are stipulated, as in the lentils, some cooks will be using prepared tins of pulses (very popular here in Europe). So, again something to think about in avoiding the need for further tricky conversion.

    • I am American and I have a similar, but opposite, problem of time-consuming conversion of metric measurements to volume measurements when using recipes written by non-American cooks. It seems that recipe-writers write from the perspective of their own culture, and I don’t have a problem with that. It really doesn’t take 2 hours to do the conversions: maybe 10 to 15 minutes at most. The conversions can easily be looked up online.

  15. Just made this (in muffin form, as I don’t currently have a loaf pan – it made 12 muffins) and it’s delicious!! I love how exceptionally simple, yet incredibly flavourful the recipe is! So many lentil loaf recipes I’ve seen call for 100 ingredients and so many steps. This one was so easy (and tasty!)

  16. this is a fantastic lentil loaf! have made it twice with rave reviews on
    the first attempt. I used french green lentils both times and in the second
    loaf (plus one ginormous meatball!) swapped out the rosemary and
    celery for fresh sage and one hot thai pepper sauteed with shallots from
    the garden. baked all in a lekue square baking pan. it keeps moist while
    baking. absolutely d’lish! thanks gena!

  17. Hi! This looks really nice but I can’t eat oats. Is there anything I could use instead or could I leave them out? I really want to try this!

  18. I just made it for the Christmas dinner and is really relly good!!! 🙂 Thank you so much 🙂

  19. Thank you for a Gluten Free, Soy Free delicious vegetarian dish. It is Thanksgiving dinner this year!!!

    • You know, quinoa won’t give the same texture here, and will likely be a lot more moist. I wouldn’t, in this recipe…

  20. Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me… the lentils and veggies never soaked up the liquid, and it never firmed up in the oven. I covered it in foil and let it bake for around an hour and a half, but the end result was still a kind of lentil mash. I’m disappointed because I was really craving the meat loaf texture… the only things I can think of that I might have messed up on is that I used the water instead of broth option and I soaked my lentils. Would soaking the lentils make a big difference? Any ideas on what I did wrong? I

      • Unfortunately it didn’t work for me, either, though I didn’t soak the lentils AND I added about 1/2 cup more oats because the mixture seemed a bit loose to me. I didn’t use any foil because it clearly needed to dry out more.
        The flavor was a smidge bland so I think next time I’ll add a little hot pepper… overall a really nice recipe that even my carnivore husband thought was close to excellent, but any other ideas for what I might have done wrong on the texture?
        Maybe I didn’t simmer enough broth out of the lentils? Didn’t want them to burn but I guess I could have gone a teensy bit longer. Definitely worth another try!! 🙂

  21. gena new to your blog and loving it!

    quick questions! 1) can you grate a sweet potato in a food processor like a carrot? 2) do you know approx weight of sweet potato that would yield 1.5 cups? 1/2 lb? thanks!

  22. I’m waiting for the Lentil loaf to finish baking, and boy, does this ever smell great!! I’m so glad to have found this post and this blog!! Thank you for the recipe and for all you do!! I certainly am grateful…………

  23. Consistency was the same as a meat loaf, looked like a meat loaf, and tasted better than a meat loaf! We loved it, Gena! Thanks so much for a wonderful dinner!!! 🙂

  24. If you don’t use oils, can the coconut oil be eliminated without sacrificing taste? If not, could use suggest a substitute?

    • Just sautee the veggies in water. If it feels “dry” to you, you could add nut butter in place of oil along with the tomato paste and the spices..

  25. This sounds lovely! I was planning on making lentil salad for tonight’s dinner, but I think I’ll give this a go instead. When should the tomato paste be added? After adding the rolled oats?

    • I’m wondering the same thing about the tomato paste – am planning to make this tonight for my parents! Also, do you think quick-cook oats would work ok? Or would the texture be too smooth?

  26. loving all your recipe posts lately! i have so many holiday meals starred.

    glad youre enjoying being back in NYC. soak up the family time. i was so sorry to hear about your grandmother. we are in a similar situation with kyles grandfather right now, so i am sending you extra love.

    we need to catch up soon too bc i have no clue how things are going in your personal life. aside from school of course. which is all consuming i know.

    happy holidays gena!

  27. Gena, that looks so so so good, and I’ve been so recipe – lazy lately. I will be making this for dinner.

    I hope you had an awesome holiday!

    • I fall into the salad 3x daily trap when I’m busy too! But cooking just snaps me out of a funk and makes me so, so happy.

  28. Great job on the lentil loaf…It looks wonderful.

    And awesome work on the FAQ page. I put mine up about 12 months ago but expanded it and covered the most common questions I get and fine tuned it to how I have it now about 6 mos ago and it has save me so.much.time with email replies to people….I can just send them the link, and it’s all right there. You just saved yourself tons of time and freed up many keystrokes. Congrats!

  29. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m always looking for meals that appeal to the non-vegans and I think this one will be a hit!

  30. Yum! That meal at Peacefood looks so great! As does your lentil loaf. I served my grandparents some spiced lentils with grated beets and carrots today, and it was also a hit! Can’t wait to check out the new page!

  31. Looks fabulous, Gena! And it’s so wonderful to sense your more relaxed and light-hearted frame of mind coming through these posts 🙂

  32. gena, lately i’ve been compelled to bookmark every recipe you’ve been posting. your palate is pretty much identical to mine and you’re cooking everything i want to eat right now. so insane and delish…cannot wait to make this loaf.
    also you just reminded me i miss YTTP 38th st, and a hot vinyasa class sounds de-lish right now.

  33. Ah lentils and sweet potatoes are possibly two of my favorite foods! The ingredient list looks relatively short so this looks pretty epic. Definitely will be making this ASAP as the rest of my family made a real meatloaf (ew) and maybe I can prove that this is much tastier!