Lentil & Rice Loaf

This flavorful loaf is perfect for the holidays, or anytime you want a hearty main dish. It can be made with fresh or dried herbs. Make two loaves while you’re at it and freeze one for leftovers. This is delicious topped with Creamy Mushroom Gravy!


1¾ cups water
½ cup brown-green lentils
½ cup short-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons dried poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 medium onion, chopped
5 medium white or brown (cremini) mushrooms
1 large rib celery, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic (about 5 medium cloves)
¾ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaf (or 1½ teaspoons dried, rubbed sage)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (or ¾ teaspoon dried)

1. In a medium saucepan on high heat, combine water, lentils, rice, poultry seasoning, and granulated onion. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer, and cook covered for 45 minutes. When done cooking, remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes with the lid still on. (Prepare your remaining ingredients while the rice and lentils are cooking.)

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard size loaf pan (9 by 5 by 3-inch) with parchment paper (see photo below) and set aside (or use a silicone loaf pan).

3. In a medium skillet on high heat, add 1 tablespoon of water. When the water begins to sputter, add the chopped onion, mushrooms, and celery, and cook stirring for about 3 minutes, adding water just as needed to prevent sticking. Add the garlic, and cook stirring for an additional 2 minutes, until the vegetables have softened (adding water as needed). If you’re using dried herbs, stir them in with the garlic (if using fresh herbs, add them in next step). Remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl combine the oats, tomato paste, nuts, and if you’re using fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage) add them now as well. When the cooked vegetables, and rice and lentils have cooled for about 10 minutes, add them to the bowl and stir until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

5. Place half of this mixture into a food processor. Pulse about 3 times, then scrape down sides; pulse another 3 times, so it gets blended but is still somewhat chunky. Spoon this into the loaf pan. Place the remaining mixture into the food processor and repeat pulsing in the same way. Add this second half to the loaf pan. Press down firmly and into the corners. Shape the top flat or with a slight rise down the middle.

6. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the top is browned and the edges are crispy looking. Remove and let cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve as is or with Mushroom Gravy or homemade ketchup.

Preparation: 55 minutes (including cooking rice and lentils)
Cooking: 55 minutes (baking loaf)
Makes: 1 standard loaf (about 10 ¾-inch slices)


Herbs: During the holidays I like to use fresh herbs in this recipe, especially fresh sage, as its aroma and flavor are very “holiday.” But fresh herbs aren’t always practical, so feel free to use the measurements for dried. Or even a mix of fresh and dried.

Rolled oats: I like quick oats in this recipe, but if you only have “slow” oats, just pulse them a bit first in the food processor.

Blending: I’ve also made this loaf without using the food processor at all (just mixing everything in a bowl) and it still bakes up well and tastes great, it’s just more on the chunky texture side.


Above: Cook until the top and sides are browned, as shown. The longer the cooked loaf cools, the firmer it will be and easier to slice.


Above: The loaf pan is lined with parchment paper (see this post for instructions on how to line a pan with parchment). I used a ceramic pan, but you can also use metal, glass or silicone. Press the uncooked loaf “dough” into the pan firmly before baking.


Above: Lentil & Rice Loaf Served with steamed cabbage, celery, kale and yam, with red onion and grated pistachios on top.

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  1. Lynn says

    Your timing is impeccable, Cathy. Thanks for posting this! I’ve been searching for a salt-free, sugar-free lentil loaf and wasn’t having much luck. I can’t eat oats though so I think I’ll try quinoa flakes.

  2. says

    Can this be cooked and then eaten cold or at room temperature the following day?
    I’d love to try it for a Shabbat lunch, but has to be cooked before Shabbat. or can it be cooked by placing the loaf pan in a crock pot with some water and keeping the whole thing warm until the following day?

  3. Chris Wallace says

    Thanks, Cathy. I make a version of this often but will try yours next time… I always trust your combination of herbs and spices… looks perfect! :o)

  4. Patt Keane says

    Thank you for such a lovely simple loaf recipe without unusual flours or balsamic or barbeque sauce. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this and will make it tomorrow and already have all of the ingredients on hand. I’m looking forward to leftovers for sandwiches, too. Thanks again!

  5. Giselle says

    This recipe looked tasty, so I made it and it is now in the oven. I am now in search for a gravy with no mushroom…(hubby doesn’t like mushrooms)… any suggestions?

    I will serve it with mash potatoes and broccoli.

    Thanks for the loaf recipe :)

    • says

      Hi Giselle, I wonder if you just left the mushrooms out, if that would still be a good gravy. I think it would still be flavorful. It wouldn’t have that brown look. You could add some chard (with stems) to it, which seems to turn brown when blended. Let me know how it all goes! :)

  6. Jill says

    This was fabulous! And cold the next day is just as good. I record my food diary on MyFitnessPal and I was wondering if you had any nutritional info available. I had to choose a vegetarian generic entry that recorded lots of fat (prob from oil or butter- neither which I used).

  7. says

    Made this on Saturday and loved it. I didn’t blend it in the food processor as I like things a little chunkier and it held together well. I used fresh herbs and pecans. Delicious flavor and great texture. The outside got a little crisp. Was also very good the next day as many have already mentioned. A bonus was that it was pretty simple to make too! Five stars.

  8. Jo Ellen Ackerman says

    Made this last night and my husband and I loved it. I knew I’d seen your instructions about lining the loaf pan, so did a search and found it. Super helpful. My husband will be attending one of Dr. McDougall’s lectures in February, and may try to stop into True North. How do you like Santa Rosa?

    • says

      Thanks Jo Ellen! I just added that link to the loaf recipe (about cutting the parchment paper); thank you for noting that. :) I like Santa Rosa a lot. Maybe I’ll see your husband at McDougall’s. I usually do one demo during the programs.

  9. Susan says

    Made this as a pot luck contribution to my Standard Canadian Diet family Christmas Eve dinner.
    It was well received , I thought it was FANTASTIC!!
    I doubled the recipe,and also brought along cranberry sauce made with oranges and dates..also a hit.
    Thanks so much Cathy…and all the best in 2014.

  10. shirley morris says

    OK, so it seemed that cooking the rice and lentils needed more water…did anyone else have this problem? It’s been in the over for the full length of time now and it still very wet…any help? I did add more water to the lentils and rice because all the water had boiled dry….

    • says

      Hi Shirley, a couple thoughts… did you have a tight-fitting lid on it? It needs a lid to keep the water from cooking off too quickly. If you did use a lid, it may not have been snug enough(?). Also certain types of pots cook differently (thinner, light-weight pots/pans will cook off more water; heavier-duty will keep it in better). But adding more water is fine; just turn it off when the lentils and rice are tender, or they can be a little al dente since they will be cooking more in the oven. There shouldn’t really be any water left in the pan, such as when you cook rice. If there’s any water left when they reach tenderness, just drain it off. Also, when beans or lentils are somewhat old, I’ve found they don’t cook as well/as fast. If this batch doesn’t work out, try buying some fresh lentils. Hope that helps. :)

  11. Nic says

    Hi, I can’t seem to find poultry seasoning here in NZ, was wondering what flavours it entails so I could replace with similar? Cheers Nic

  12. Kim says

    Hello Cathy

    Thank you for your website! I am from the Netherlands and just watched FOK, the movie.
    I want to go plant-based right away and your site is going to help me so much! So thank you very much for helping and inspiring me. Wishing you all the best from the Netherlands, Kim.

  13. Blair Reid says

    I have made this several times and it always turns out great and tastes delicious. I also make my own mushroom gravy with pieces of mushrooms in it for additional flavor and heft. Yum!
    Great for next day sandwiches too!
    Blair – MD

  14. Julie says

    Lentil loaf and mushroom gravy is fantastic! It turned out exactly like the picture. Held together great. We even had leftover lentil loaf sandwiches.. Thank you so much for you wonderful plant based recipes!

  15. Mike says

    Hi Cathy, rice & lentil loaf looks great but are there any risks with the rice when eating cold the following day or would it only be a problem if reheated?

  16. Kris McCormack says

    I made this last week, and it was absolutely delicious. Made both the mushroom gravy and the tomato ketchup recipe… If you have leftovers, this loaf makes a great sandwich on thin, dense, German whole rye bread with Cathy’s ketchup recipe.
    Cathy, you really are a culinary genius! i cannot wait for your cookbook.

  17. Diane says

    Cathy I’m attending a “True North alum” potluck on the 15th and am making this dish– can’t wait!

  18. says

    This is a huge hit at the party I brought it to last night. Thankfully I doubled the recipe and made a double batch because it was quickly consumed at the party and we are happy to have our own loaf at home! I made it with black “Forbidden” rice, and served it with the homemade ketchup (I also put some of it on the top of the loaf while cooking). Very satisfying– thank you, Cathy!!

  19. Doreen says

    After reading the positive comments about this Lentil & Rice Loaf, I decided to try it. My husband was surprised how good it tasted! We always love having leftovers for lunch. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

  20. says

    Just made this for dinner and it was delicious! My mother was a bit worried about a new recipe idea, especially since we had guests over. They ended up asking for the recipe!

    I changed it up a bit though, didn’t blend it, and had to add a bit of almond flour to thicken it up. Thank you for this great idea!

  21. Jim McGuire says

    We loved this loaf! — the second time we made patties out of some of the mixture and had delicious grilled burgers the next day! They held together well and cooked in about 8 minutes.
    Jim & Flo

  22. cindy gallagher says

    Tried this tonight, we really liked it. I cut back on the spices to a little more than half. Thanks for the recipe.

    • says

      Three days may be a little close; maybe freeze it in between, thawing it to room temp before baking it. I’ve not done this but it may work. Let me know if you try it. :)

  23. Teri says

    Hi, I made this tonight with your mushroom gravy recipe (I did add a little miso paste and tamari to the gravy, just to add a little saltiness– I’ve only been WFPB since July, so I’m still transitioning off salt). 2 thumbs up! I’ll probably make this for Thanksgiving. Thank you for posting your recipes! They’re such a big help!

  24. joanne says

    I’m going to make this tonight.. it’s my first lentil loaf. Can you tell me how long leftovers will last in the refrigerator after it’s cooked? Also, can leftovers be frozen? How long will it keep in the freezer? Thanks!

  25. joanne says

    You suggested making 2 loaves and freezing one for later.. Is it better to freeze the loaf before or after cooking? Thanks again!

  26. Sunny says

    Thanks – that looks sturdy and delicious! We dont celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, but I’m already sourcing ideas for the big one – Christmas!! Being legume sensitive I will sub some local heirloom black badger peas. And ‘cos it’s the season for feasting, I think I will add some chopped cashews and possibly soaked sunflower seeds too. Great inspiration!

  27. Karen says

    I made this today. I was amazed at how flavorful it was to us, despite being salt-free, because we are not salt-free. Very nice!

  28. Rayanne says

    Very easy recipe, it came together well. I couldn’t use the Cuisinart because of broken bowl (replacement arriving Monday!), so it was chunky, went right from mixing bowl to pan, and came out great. Had enough pecans to add 1/4 cup chopped. Delicious.

    Can’t wait to make the gravy. Happy Thanksgiving!

  29. Jen says

    This is great!!! I just made it tonight for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner! Can you reheat it in the oven or should I use the microwave? I don’t want to dry it out. Thank you for this delicious meat alternative!

  30. Mia says

    If I were to add in chestnuts to this, what quantities would you suggest please? Love this loaf, had it last year just fancied a slightly more festive feel! X

  31. says

    Hi there, I just found this recipe on Pinterest and am eager to try it. Question: does it matter the “color” of lentils? I’ve never eaten them before and am working them into my vegan , now GF diet and just grabbed a bag of lightly colored lentils….the bag doesn’t say what “color” they are, does that matter? And thanks for the recipe, gonna try it today…

  32. Ali says

    Hi Cathy, love your website, it’s really helpful for my strict low-sodium vegan diet. However: I live in the UK and cannot find canned tomato paste, and in the tubes it always has salt – can I use tomato puree, or passata, do you think? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Ali, hmm, not sure, but maybe try tomato puree; you could always drain any liquid off of it if it’s too think. You just don’t want the loaf to be too wet before baking. :)

  33. Lynn Waldman says

    Hi Cathy, I’ve only recently discovered your website and I love it! Today I’m making the Beef Stew–can’t wait to try it! But I’m really happy to see your rice lentil meatloaf recipe. I have one that I love but it contains tofu! I’m trying to limit tofu so I really can’t wait to try yours!

  34. Maria says

    Made the lentil and rice loaf today and added 2 flax “eggs” to help it stick together and add some omega 3. It’s a winner! Definitely keeping it in the rotation. Also loved the gravy – I’ve been missing sawmill type gravy, and this fits the bill nicely. I left some mushroom pieces so that it has the appearance of sawmill. Thank you!

  35. Josie Talbot says

    I have been playing with the lentil loaf recipe. My husband was wanting something with barbecue flavor. We live in Texas and missed barbecue brisket. I make the loaf with barbecue sauce and bell peppers. I left out the herbs. My husband loved it. So the second time a made a double batch. I first made 8 burgers which turned out great. The barbecue sauce added too much moisture so I added some oatmeal. My daughter in-law who thinks a plant based diet is crazy ate two burgers. The rest of the of the mix was made into a loaf.

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