Saturday, December 30, 2017

Recipe: Mushroom and lentil loaf

For nearly 10 years now, I have brought a version of this loaf along to our family Christmas lunch. I'm very lucky that my family makes many of the festive sides vegan-friendly, but if I want something substantial to eat, I need to bring it along. For awhile, one of my cousins was vegetarian, so I became the default supplier of the main part of the meal for the 'picky eaters'. I don't mind, and over the years, people have started to ask for portions of the loaf too - no more serving myself a slice then putting it away to save room on the table, no sirree!
I posted a couple of my practice meals online in the lead up to Christmas, and had quite a few questions so I thought I better finally type up the recipe. It started from a long ago recipe I found online, but I have since tweaked what I do so much, it wouldn't be recognisable in any way to the original.

It's delicious, scales well, is very flexible and forgiving, and best of all, can be made ahead and then just popped in the oven on the day. Winning! I often make multiple at the same time because if I'm going to do one, I might as well make a few, and who doesn't like to share food right?
The original recipe called for a specific ratio of cooked brown rice and cooked French lentils. I have since simplified that for myself by mixing equal amounts of the uncooked and rinsed grain/pulse in the rice cooker and then using the amount I need once cooked. I think it tastes equally good this way and makes my life easier too.

Mushroom and lentil loaf
printable link

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (any will do, I tend to use button as they're so readily available)
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2 3/4 cup cooked brown rice/lentil mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (Coles brand is vegan for Australia)
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard
  • fresh parsley, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (mine was made from the stale crusts of my sourdough loaves)  
  1. Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Line a small loaf tin with baking paper and set aside. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, molasses, liquid smoke, and about 1/3 of the minced garlic. Set aside.
  3. In a fry pan over medium heat, add some olive oil and 1/2 cup onions. Sauté 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add a little more olive oil to the pan, and sauté celery, carrot, the remainder of the garlic, salt and pepper over low heat. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. In a food processor, pulse rice and lentils until they combine nicely but are not complete mush (about 10 times), then transfer to a large bowl. Again in the food processor, pulse cooked vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, remaining soy sauce, mustard, parsley, cornflour, and 1/3 of the tomato mix about 10 times, then add vegetable mixture to rice and lentils. Fold in reserved sautéed onions and mushrooms, breadcrumbs, and the 1/2 cup raw chopped onion. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
  5. Assembly time! Press half the mixture into the loaf pan and spread with half of the tomato topping. Add the rest of the mixture into the pan and press it down (wet hands help) and coat with the remainder of the tomato topping. Cover with foil. At this point you can stop, and put it in the fridge to be cooked later. If you do this, let it come to room temperature first. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered until the top is browned. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 20 minutes before serving. 
  • This is one of my favourite dishes and always makes me think of Christmas. Served hot from the oven and cold as leftovers for lunch, both ways are delicious. When I can't face eating it anymore, I freeze individual slices ready to pull out for making sandwiches or quick meals when needed.
  • It's very forgiving - you can add more carrot and celery or change the ratio of rice/lentils if you prefer. Sometimes I've been lazy and just mashed with a fork instead of getting out the food processor and that works well too.
  • It's great if you happen to have gravy (everything is amazing with gravy!) but it doesn't really need it.
  • You could leave out the Worcestershire sauce if you wanted, and maybe add a bit more soy sauce instead.


  1. I agree everything is amazing with gravy - love a good loaf this looks excellent. I love not only having a loaf at dinner but all the leftovers - we finished our christmas nut roast last night in spag bol

    1. I think one of my favourite things about Christmas is all the leftovers. What a genius idea to use the nut roast in spag bol. Yum!

  2. Thanks so much for dropping by my blog! I added you to my sidebar so I hope to visit often and comment! This mushroom and lentil loaf looks and sounds great! It's been a long time since my last veggie loaf attempt only because I really failed the last time I tried to do one! LOL! Might have to try your recipe at some point! Thanks for sharing!

  3. It's great that you are slowly converting your family. I can certainly see why others would want this - it looks delicious.

    Wishing you a belated happy Christmas and very happy start to 2018!



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