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!

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Ingredients
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)

Instructions
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)

NOTES

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Comments

  1. I am so making this on the weekend.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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)

  5. 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!

  6. If I have lentils and rice already cooked, do you have an idea of how much I might use?

  7. 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 :)

    • 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! :)

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

    • 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.

  11. 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.

  12. We had this loaf as our Christmas Dinner. It was great! When the weather’s warmer, I plan on trying the mix as veggie burgers.

  13. 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….

    • 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. :)

  14. Looks good. Can I use long grain rice?

  15. I am definitely going to try this!! Thanks for another stellar recipe.
    XOXO
    Ashley

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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!

  20. 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?

  21. 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.
    Kris

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

  23. 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!!

  24. 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!

  25. 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!

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. Can this loaf be prepared ahead 3 days kept in loaf pan and then baked?

    • 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. :)

  29. 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!

  30. 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!

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

  32. 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!

  33. 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!

  34. 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!

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