A hearty baked quinoa and lentil meatloaf smothered in sweet ketchup glaze is the easy dinner you need! This recipe is easy to make and a total crowd-pleaser.
This easy vegan meatloaf uses lentils and quinoa to give it a hearty, toothsome texture. And the super simple sticky ketchup glaze makes it appealing, even to kids!
Can lentils replace meat?
This is an interesting question that I have heard quite a few times. The answer is yes. And no. Here's what I mean.
Yes, like meat, lentils are a great source of protein. A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein. Unlike meat, though, lentils contain lots of dietary fiber. That same cup gives you 16 grams of fiber, which is more than half of the fiber you need for the whole day!
As far as taste and texture are concerned, I wouldn't say that lentils taste like meat at all. They do have a toothsome texture, but it's not the same chewiness you get from meat.
If you're looking for a vegan meatloaf that tastes like meat, this lentil loaf isn't for you. But if you're looking for a vegan loaf recipe that's easy and deliciously satisfying, I encourage you to make this recipe!
I use a few tricks in this recipe to make not just the cooking part but the cleanup super easy. Let's get into how you make this lentil meatloaf in record time.
The first trick we need to talk about is lining your loaf pan. To do this, just grab a piece of parchment paper, and press it into a loaf pan. The paper will want to pop back out, and that's okay. It will stay in place when you press the loaf in.
The parchment paper prevents sticking and makes cleanup as easy as wiping the pan with warm, soapy water.
Now, it's time to make some cashew meal. Grab your cashews, and pulse them in your blender until they reach the consistency of cornmeal. This should only take a few seconds.
Then, you add the rest of your lentil-quinoa loaf ingredients to a large mixing bowl with the cashew meal.
Use cooked quinoa (leftover, cooked from scratch, or from frozen), minced onion, nutritional yeast, ketchup, flax meal, soy sauce, and canned lentils.
Using canned lentils instead of cooking them from scratch saves you a ton of time and having to wash another pot!
Mix and mash the loaf ingredients together until they form a sticky dough. Then, spread the dough into your loaf pan.
Making the glaze
No simmering needed to make the glaze that crowns this lentil loaf! Just mix together ketchup, brown sugar, and a touch of salt.
Spread the glaze over the top of the dough that you pressed into the loaf pan. Now, you're ready to bake until the loaf is cooked through and the glaze is nice and sticky.
Which lentils are best for lentil loaf?
Because you want your lentil meatloaf to have a hearty, toothsome texture, brown or green lentils are best.
Unlike other lentils -- like red or yellow -- brown and green lentils retain their shape after cooking. If you use mushy lentils, you'll get mushy lentil loaf, so definitely stick to the brown or green lentils that the recipe calls for.
This recipe uses canned lentils to save on cooking time, and typically cans labeled just "lentils" contain brown lentils.
How to serve, store, and reheat
Once the baking time is up, let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before you pop it out, slice, and serve.
I like to serve this with cauliflower mashed potatoes or olive oil mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli. You can roast the broccoli on a sheet pan in the oven during the last 20-25 minutes of baking.
Store any leftover quinoa loaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for three to four days.
To reheat, slice the leftover loaf onto your plate, and warm in the microwave for one to two minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.
You can also serve the leftovers sliced into vegan meatloaf sandwiches! Spread vegan mayo onto toasted bread, add some pickle and onion slices and fresh lettuce, then pile on slices of warm or cold lentil loaf. Yum!
Quinoa Lentil Meatloaf Recipe
For the Ketchup Glaze
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
For the Quinoa Loaf
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 15- ounce can of brown or green lentils - (drained and rinsed)
- ½ cup minced sweet onion
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Make the Ketchup Glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, and sea salt. Set aside.
Make the Quinoa Loaf
- Preheat the oven to 350F, and line your loaf pan with parchment paper (NOT wax paper).
- In your blender, puree the cashews into a flour. Think the consistency of cornmeal.
- Combine the cashew meal with the quinoa, lentils, onion, nutritional yeast, ketchup, flax meal, and soy sauce. Mix well, then spread into your loaf pan, smoothing out the top with your fork or the back of a spoon. Slather the Ketchup Glaze over the top.
- Bake for one hour, then let the loaf cool for 15 minutes on the counter before you gently pop it out of the pan with the parchment paper and serve.
Tastes just like a traditional meatloaf texture and all. I would omit the salt since the ketchup was already salty and I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. Definitely saving this recipe since I’ve tried so many other vegan meatloafs and wasn’t as happy as this one!
I'm delighted that you enjoyed it, Julie!
Hey Becky! This looks amazing and I’ve been looking for more meatless ideas for my little guy who was just diagnosed with EOE. We can’t do cashews or nuts really, but is there something else we can sub for the cashew in the recipe? Thanks so much!?
Oh yes! Can he do sunflower or pumpkin seeds? Either would work find.
Big hit tonight! Real comfort food and even won over the picky eater in the house who normally doesn’t like lentils OR quinoa. I’d for sure make it all again!
Thank you, Jessica! That is wonderful to hear, and I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment and a review, too!
Delicious! I didn't have cashews but did have walnuts. i always cook too much quinoa so this is a great way to use it up.
I added some chili sauce to the glaze mix.
Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite
That kid is a crack up! Love that he's your ketchup model. Looks delicious.
Haha thank you! He makes us laugh every day.
I'm so trying this, Becky! I'm a huge fan of lentil loafs, but I've never thought of using quinoa. What a great idea! :-)
The Vegan 8
Oh, this looks so good! I love veggie loaves, never tried one with quinoa though!
Thank you, Brandi!
Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen
This quinoa loaf looks like such comfort fooooood!
Thank you, Ceara!
My mom use to make meatloaf all the time growing up and to me, it's kind of a comfort food that I can no longer eat. Maybe now I can.
Enjoy it, Nicole!
K, first, LOVE the pic of your wee boy with the ketchup. Soooo cute. I swear our girls think ketchup is a food group. :-/
Anyhow!!! This looks delicious, Becky, and I think just saying "sticky ketchup glaze" would get any kid excited about dinner. Adults too.
Haha thank you! Pretty sure Darrol agrees with your girls about ketchup. His fave!
My boys are with all of your kiddos too! They eat ketchup on everything and I know they would love this! Thanks for another great recipe Becky!!!
What is it with kids and ketchup? Haha!
Linda @ Veganosity
If all it takes is ketchup to get your little one to eat that delicious loaf, then go for it!
Vanessa @ VeganFamilyRecipes
I first saw this loaf on instagram. I love the idea of it and can't wait to give it a try;) My kids will love the glaze on it ;)
Thank you, Vanessa!
Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day
This looks so delicious! I admit I love ketchup. And I want to take that kid shopping with me.
Ha! He is pretty fun at the store.
Mary Ellen @ VNutrition
Ooh, that does look really good! I like non-gmo on the French's label too. :)
Yesss! Me too!
I love a good veggie loaf too. My kids seem to always turn up their nose when I say we are having "meatloaf", but if I honestly made the same exact thing in burger form, they would devour it. Kids!! And, yay, to real sugar and not heavily processed crap! :)
Kid pickiness is so hard to navigate!! Solidarity, sister.
When you simmer the lentils on the stove, do you keep a tight lid on them? Thanks!
You can keep them partially covered.
This loaf sounds so delicious and I don't have a recipe like it. You can smear that sticky Ketchup glaze on any of my loaves!
Yeah! I want to try the glaze on other stuff for sure!
This looks so hearty and comforting, and I love that glaze!
Thank you, Dianne!