Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf
December 27, 2011

Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf | The Full Helping

Happy Tuesday! It’s a bleak and rainy day here in NYC, but I’m feeling warm cozy just thinking about this lentil and sweet potato loaf. It’s my vegan spin on traditional meatloaf, and it’s so comforting and hearty.

This is not the first lentil loaf I’ve ever made—it’s kind of a ubiquitous vegan dish—but it is the first lentil loaf I’ve been compelled to blog about, because so far it is the most successful. In the past, I’ve had a hard time getting the texture of the loaf just right, without using too many ingredients or having to go through a laborious number of steps.

The texture of this loaf is spot-on, and it’s relatively easy to make, if more time consuming than some of my usual fare. 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 heavily satiating! A great recipe for when you need something that will stick to the proverbial ribs.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf | The Full Helping

Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf
Recipe Type: main dish, entree
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10-12 slices
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and 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 cup low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup uncooked brown or green lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sweet potato
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Ketchup (optional, for glazing)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly oil a loaf pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large pot. Add the onions, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and clear, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes.
  2. 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 heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer until lentils are very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from heat.
  3. 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 become thick. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Press the mixture into a loaf pan. Brush with ketchup if desired. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then remove the foil. 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.
Notes
Leftover loaf slices will keep 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!

xo

Categories: Gluten Free, Main Dishes

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    75 Comments
  1. 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!

  2. 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!

      G

  3. 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.

  4. 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!)

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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!! 🙂

  10. 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!

  11. 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…………

  12. 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!!! 🙂

  13. 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..

  14. 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?

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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!