Meatless Monday “Meat” Loaf

March 5, 2012


Meatless Monday is a trend that seems to be sweeping the nation. In fact, everyone seems to be eating less meat these days and our nation’s meat consumption has fallen dramatically in the past five years.

So, in honor of Meatless Monday, I’ve prepared this “meat” loaf made of lentils and mushrooms. I took inspiration from a recipe found in this month’s issue of Cooking Light. I was pleased with the end result, which (much to my surprise) looked nearly identical to authentic meat loaf. It was also extremely flavorful with satisfying heft to keep you full.

Ingredients: (makes 6 to 8 servings)
Adapted from Cooking Light

2 cups lentils, cooked and drained
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large yellow pepper, diced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
2 Tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon sriracha (or other hot sauce)
1.5 Tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

For the topping:
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon vodka
1/2 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

First, pulse the lentils in a food processor until mushy. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Next, pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Cook the mushrooms in a fry pan on medium high heat with the oil until all the water cooks off. This should take about 12 minutes.


Add the mushrooms to the mixing bowl with the lentils. Wipe out the fry pan with a paper towel and throw in the onions and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender. Add to the lentil mix.


Take this opportunity to lightly toast the panko and walnuts. I did this in a fry pan (separate pans for each) on low heat for just a few minutes, until fragrant.  Then, throw them into the mixing bowl with the lentils, mushrooms and peppers.  Next, add the eggs, parmesan, mustard, sriracha, ketchup, Worcestershire, basil, salt, and pepper to the mix. Combine well.


Press into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes.


While the loaf is in the oven, prepare the sauce. Stir the ingredients together and brush or spoon on the top of the loaf, once it has finished baking. Then, bake for an additional 10 minutes.


Let stand for 10 minutes.


Slice and serve with a bit of basil garnish.


The loaf will have a gorgeous crust on the sides and actually looks almost like the real thing.


Serve with a side salad, kale chips, or mashed potatoes.  Add extra ketchup if desired.

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Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. Lentil, Quinoa, and Mushroom Sliders
  2. Sloppy Joes
  3. Meatless Monday
  4. Lentil and Spinach Parmesan Bake
  5. Lentil “Meatballs” With Lemon Basil Pesto

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

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Jennifer March 22, 2014 at 11:30 am

Do you cook two cups of dry lentils? Or is it two cups once prepared?


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods June 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

Two cups dry.


Jessica May 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Hi there, If I don’t use vodka in the sauce will it still turn out ok? Thanks.


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods May 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm



Kari January 31, 2013 at 10:30 pm

I just tried this recipe and even my hubby (who is definitely not vegetarian!) had a second helping. Thank you so much! Loved it!


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods February 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm

That’s great news! I’m so glad you and the hubby liked it!


sarah November 24, 2012 at 10:19 am

Sounds great, but how long will it last in the fridge?


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods November 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

For best results, no more than 3 days.


Kalea October 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm

The recipe sounds great, but I am cooking for my strictly vegetarian daughter, and Worcestershire sauce is NOT vegetarian, it contains anchovies. There are apparently anchovie free versions, but this is not specified in the recipe.


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods October 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I actually used a vegan brand of worcestershire sauce called The Wizards. You can find it at Whole Foods. I didn’t specify it in this post, but I have written about it before. I’ve now hyperlinked it into this post.


Lauren at Keep It Sweet March 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

This sounds great, perfect for a veg or non-vegetarian!


Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf March 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

Yum! I always wondered if there was a such a thing as vegetarian “meat” loaf. Guess this answers that question! I like that you also use the vegan and organic Worcestershire sauce! It’s expensive, but it beats having anchovies in it!


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 5, 2012 at 10:45 am

I love that brand of Worcestershire sauce, so yummy!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

I recently made my first loaf and couldn’t believe it took me so long to try – they are great hearty meat-free meals!

Love that you used vodka in the topping. Vodka tomato sauces are my favorites. Happy Meatless Monday!


Robert M May 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm

The dish tasted really good. What will the consistency be like? Ours turned out a little mushy yet holding the shape. I ended up putting more bread crumbs than it called for. Any thoughts to make it turn out less mushy?


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods May 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

The dish should be fairly firm. To avoid mushiness, be sure to get as much water off the vegetables as possible. Use a paper towel if you have to. Breadcrumbs also help. Good luck!


Robert M May 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I’m looking forward to making this again. This is much better than hamburger/turkey meatloaf. Thanks for the tip.


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