Spicy Lentil Quinoa Nut Loaf

Vegetarian cooks are often challenged when it comes to serving their most voracious carnivorous friends. I can assure you this loaf will go over well and your diners won't miss the meat, even though combined are lentils, quinoa and toasted cashews along with some spice, and no animals. My husband never eats meat at home as I can't stand the smell and will not tarnish my cookware with dead carcass. He was most delighted as this dish reminded him of meatloaf. Indeed, he declared that he liked this vegetarian version better than the traditional ones. Serve with a dollop of salsa, sour cream or ketchup.

Spicy Lentil Quinoa Nut Loaf

Alongside a vegetable soup and a biscuit or two, and a leafy green salad, you and your carnivorous friends are in for a most satisfying meal.

If you want a gluten-free loaf, add more quinoa instead of the oats.

Spicy Lentil Quinoa Nut LoafSpicy Lentil Quinoa Nut Loaf
Recipe by
Published on February 20, 2011

Hearty, nourishing and delicious spicy vegetarian "meatloaf" made with lentils, quinoa, mushrooms and cashews

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  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils
  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 to 4 fresh green chilies or jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup rolled or steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Rinse the quinoa and soak overnight in a small saucepan in 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

  • Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and combine with 2 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain and chop. Toast the cashews in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cashews are lightly browned.

  • Grease or butter a 9-inch loaf pan and preheat an oven to 350°.

  • Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, mushrooms, and chilies or jalapeños, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are reduced. Add the curry powder, stir for 1 minute, and remove from heat.

  • In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, lentils, sun-dried tomatoes, cashews, onions and mushrooms, eggs, oats, parsley or cilantro, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.

  • Transfer to the prepared loaf pan and press the mixture down evenly. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden-brown on top.

  • Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes to cool. Cut into slices and serve hot or warm.

  • Cover leftover nut roast with aluminum foil and reheat at 300°.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Spicy Lentil Quinoa Nut Loaf

If you like this recipe, you will also be sure to enjoy:
Mushroom Nut Roast in Puff Pastry

Do also check out Johanna's vegetarian nut roast roundup for more creative ideas that are sure to tempt your palate.

On the top of the reading stack: Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij

Audio Accompaniment: Cho Oyu 8201m by Geir Jenssen


MapMaster said...

I grew up on my Mom's meatloaf, and I still crave it from time to time as one of the ultimate comfort foods. But I'd be willing to swear off meatloaf forever for this super healthy replacement.

Priya Suresh said...

SUch a healthy and filling loaf..

Johanna GGG said...

This looks delicious - I am always on the lookout for tasty nut roast ideas - love all the textures in this as well as so much flavour - glad it goes down well with veggies and omnis alike in your household

Unknown said...

wow, love it. Sounds superb.

babylon said...

Such a healthy and filling loaf.

Indian Khana said...

New for me and looks super yum...

Suparna said...

hey Lisa :)
It's been a long time since I've visited ur blog :) but nevertheless, my timing seems really good! the lentil quinoa nut loaf is a complete health package, shall tweak it a bit and try ur recipe:) the look of it makes me really curious :)
Happy cooking!

Unknown said...

Wow That looks uber delicious and healthy - I have been cooking with quinoa a lot lately! bookmarking it!

Anonymous said...

Gotta give it a shot sometime!

eatme_delicious said...

I love trying out different nut loaf recipes so I'm adding this to the list for sure! The ingredients sound awesome - lentils, quinoa, mushrooms, cashews... yum.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else had trouble with the consistency of this loaf? Made it according to the recipe and when we tried to cut and serve, it fell apart. Flavor was really good, but something seemed to be off in terms of texture and binding.

Lisa Turner said...

That's too bad. As you can see from my photos, I had no trouble with this loaf. You may want to try adding an extra egg.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa what can I use as an egg substitute? Looks so delicious I want to make it asap!!

Lisa Turner said...

Well, you can buy egg substitute which people often use if they have egg allergies or if they follow a vegan diet. I don't have experience with it myself, but you may want to research that option. As well, some cooks use bananas - 1/2 size medium banana combined with 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder replaces 1 egg. Also, to replace each egg, you may want to consider 1 tsp baking powder + 1 1/2 TBS water + 1 1/2 TBS oil. I would be curious to hear your results without using eggs.

Lisa Turner said...

Regarding my previous comment, likely you would not want to use the banana substitute for this recipe as I think option is better suited to baked goods.

Anonymous said...

could I make this without nuts for those with allergies and with regular mushrooms for convenience?

Lisa Turner said...

Yes, I think it would be fine without the nuts, though you may want to increase the amount of quinoa and lentils a wee bit. And yes, regular mushrooms would be just fine.

Anonymous said...

I made this without the nuts (on accident though) and it turned out really delicious nonetheless. I can't wait to try it with the nuts!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe, I made it last night, and it is delicious. I will definitely make it again, maybe with a tweak or two. Excellent way to use quinoa. Had the same issue as an earlier poster with it falling apart, so would mash the lentils a bit next time, and also press it more firmly into the tin, rather than add an extra egg. On a pedantic note, it should be "steel" cut oats, not "steal", and you've got the curry powder going in twice ;')

Light Food Desire said...

Recently started using quinoa, and very keen to try this recipe as an eggless version, using flax seed as substitute. Will let you know, thanks

Lisa Turner said...

Yes, do let me know how that works out for you.