Vegan Thanksgiving Lentil Loaf
This festive vegan lentil loaf, with pumpkin and sweet potato mash, vegan gravy, and cranberry pear sauce is perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Servings 4 people
For the Vegan Lentil Loaf:
- 1.5 cups brown lentils
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1 large carrot, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond or soy milk
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- black pepper
For the Mashed Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Casserole:
- 1 small Hokkaido squash (about 35 oz), cut into small pieces
- 16 oz sweet potato, cut into small pieces
- 7 oz potatoes, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup walnuts or Brazil nuts, chopped
- red pepper flakes
For the Vegan Gravy:
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot, cut into small pieces
- 2 celery stalks, chopped into small pieces
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/3 cup dry red wine (use a vegan brand)
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- black pepper
For the Cranberry Pear Sauce:
- 1 cup cranberries
- 2 tablespoons coconut or brown sugar
- 2 pears, cut into medium-sized chunks
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 can pear halves
First, cook the lentils according to the instructions on the package. Then put about 6 tablespoons of the cooked lentils aside. You'll need them later on to give the lentil loaf a bit more texture. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Then add the chopped carrots and cook them for another 3 minutes. Put all ingredients except the spices into a blender or food processor and blend until you have a sticky but chunky mixture. It's very important that you make sure to not overdo it, so you still got some texture.
Add the remaining lentils and season with thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
Place the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure to let the parchment paper overlap the loaf pan, so it's easier to remove the lentil loaf once it's done. Bake the vegan meat loaf for 60 minutes at 350°F. Let the lentil loaf cool down for a bit in the loaf pan before serving it. I highly recommend making the lentil loaf the night before and reheating it on the next day (at 350°F for about 20 minutes). This way it will be much firmer.
Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Mash:
In the meantime, make the pumpkin and sweet potato mash. Cut both into small cubes and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until soft. Mash with a potato masher and add the vegan margarine, salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
For the nut-oat topping, chop the walnuts or Brazil nuts into small chunks and roast them in a small pan for about 2 minutes. Then add the oats and some more vegan margarine. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pour the mashed sweet potato and pumpkin into a baking dish and sprinkle with the nut-oat topping. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 °F.I highly recommend making this lentil loaf the night before and storing it in the fridge overnight. This way it will be much firmer and all you have to do on the next day is reheating it in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 °F.
Sauté the onion and the garlic for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the carrots and the celery and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it becomes slightly brown. Then stir in the flour and deglaze with red wine. Allow to evaporate. Then add the vegetable broth. Season with oregano, paprika powder, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Pour the gravy through a sieve using a ladle. Put it back into the pot, so you can heat it up once the rest is ready to eat.
Cranberry Pear Sauce:
For the cranberry pear sauce, cut the pears into medium-sized cubes. Put them into a small sauce pan together with the cranberries.
Add the water and coconut or brown sugar and cook for about 15 minutes until the cranberries are popped and the pears are soft. To give it some more flavor, add some ground ginger. The sauce is supposed to thicken to a jam-like consistency. Serve the cranberry pear sauce in canned pear halves.
- You can easily make the lentil loaf ahead. I always love preparing at least some parts of the holiday meals ahead. Just put it in the oven to reheat before you're serving it.
- The lentil loaf is also really delicious with fettuccine and mushroom gravy. Or it can be enjoyed cold with a salad or on a sandwich.
- You want a sticky but still chunky mixture for the lentil loaf. It's very important that you make sure to not overdo it, so you still got some texture. So don't blend it for too long!
- Make sure to let this lentil loaf cool down for a bit in the loaf pan before you slice it. This way it can firm up a bit.
- I highly recommend making this lentil loaf the night before and storing it in the fridge overnight. This way it will be much firmer and all you have to do on the next day is reheating it in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 °F.
- Properly stored it will keep up to 5 days in the fridge and 8 weeks in the freezer.
- If you want you could also wrap this lentil loaf in puff pastry. Just prepare the loaf the day before and on the next day wrap it in store-bought vegan puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake it for 30 minutes at 350 °F.
Calories: 645kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 1247mg | Fiber: 30g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6465IU | Vitamin C: 16.1mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 8.8mg