Lentil and Sweet Potato Loaf

by Gena on December 27, 2011

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Happy Tuesday! It’s a bleak and rainy day here in NYC, but I’m looking forward to a steamy hot vinyasa class at Yoga to the People in a few moments, then dinner downtown.

So yesterday, I promised you the recipe for my sweet potato and lentil loaf, which was a hit at Christmas dinner this year! Before I get to that, though, some photos from a recent lunch at Peacefood Cafe.

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Coconut, Lemongrass, and Kabocha Squash Soup

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Raw Nori Rolls

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Asian Greens Salad with Tempeh

The raw sushi were mine, and the salad was split. I swear, Peacefood just keeps getting better: more options, more raw items on the menu, more patrons. It is the coziest and most adorable lunch spot, and I can’t believe how lucky I am to have it right around the corner!!

Back to the lentil loaf. This is not the first lentil loaf I’ve ever made—it’s kind of a ubiquitous vegan dish—but it is the first lentil loaf I’ve been compelled to blog about. It’s hearty, the texture is spot-on, and it’s relatively easy to prepare. Beyond that, it’s full of nutrition in the form of oats, lentils, and sweet potatoes. This is comfort food at its finest, and it is heavily satiating! A great recipe for when you need something that will stick to the proverbial ribs.

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Lentil Sweet Potato Loaf (vegan, gluten free if you use certified GF oats, soy free)

Serves 10

1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt (+more to taste)
2 3/4 c vegetable broth (or water)
1 c lentils
1.5 cups grated sweet potato
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 cup organic tomato paste

Organic ketchup (optional)

1) Heat coconut oil in a large pot, and sautee the onions and celery until soft and the onions are browning — about 8-10 minutes.

2) Add lentils and vegetable broth to the pot, along with grated potatoes.

3) Cook mixture on a simmer until broth has absorbed and lentils are very tender–about 30 minutes.

4) Stir in oats and remove mixture from heat. Add spices and season with salt and pepper to taste. Texture should be very thick, but pliable. If you think it needs to be drier, add some more oats; if it’s too dry, add a little water.

5) Press mixture into a loaf pan. Brush with ketchup if desired. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife finds it firm. If the top starts to brown, cover with foil midway through.

Check out the texture! Pretty spot on, if I do say so myself:

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The loaf also makes for some pretty superb leftovers!

On that note, I’m off. But before I go, I wanted to call attention to my brand spankin’ new FAQ’s page! Right up there, next to my recipes. This tab includes answers to all of my most frequently asked questions, from “what juicer/dehydrator/blender do you recommend” to “why don’t you practice food combining anymore” to “what are some good vegan dishes to serve at dinner parties” to “can you recommend a good nutritionist or health coach?”

Read, enjoy, and feel free to leave feedback if there are other burning questions that you think are universal enough to make good additions!!!


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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon December 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm

This looks delicious! Does it matter what kind of lentils you use?


Gena December 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Nope! I think brown or green will be fine; if you use puy lentils, you may have a different texture.


Hannah December 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Ah lentils and sweet potatoes are possibly two of my favorite foods! The ingredient list looks relatively short so this looks pretty epic. Definitely will be making this ASAP as the rest of my family made a real meatloaf (ew) and maybe I can prove that this is much tastier!


Ilana December 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm

gena, lately i’ve been compelled to bookmark every recipe you’ve been posting. your palate is pretty much identical to mine and you’re cooking everything i want to eat right now. so insane and delish…cannot wait to make this loaf.
also you just reminded me i miss YTTP 38th st, and a hot vinyasa class sounds de-lish right now.


Gena December 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm

My new favorite studio in NYC. Hands down.


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm

The texture does look incredible! Perfect for a clean start to the new year. Pinned to try ASAP. :)


Hannah December 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Looks fabulous, Gena! And it’s so wonderful to sense your more relaxed and light-hearted frame of mind coming through these posts :)


Ali December 27, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Yum! That meal at Peacefood looks so great! As does your lentil loaf. I served my grandparents some spiced lentils with grated beets and carrots today, and it was also a hit! Can’t wait to check out the new page!


Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com December 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Everyone in my family loves lentils and I’ve done tons of delicious meals with them, but never thought of making a lentil loaf before. It sounds very good!


Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! December 28, 2011 at 12:36 am

I love lentil loaf! This one looks so so good, I wish there were more holidays, so I could make it for my family and turn them onto the wonder that is good vegan food :-)


Jes Suazo December 28, 2011 at 12:50 am

I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m always looking for meals that appeal to the non-vegans and I think this one will be a hit!


Gena December 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

It went over really well with my non-vegan friends.


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 28, 2011 at 6:14 am

Great job on the lentil loaf…It looks wonderful.

And awesome work on the FAQ page. I put mine up about 12 months ago but expanded it and covered the most common questions I get and fine tuned it to how I have it now about 6 mos ago and it has save me so.much.time with email replies to people….I can just send them the link, and it’s all right there. You just saved yourself tons of time and freed up many keystrokes. Congrats!


karmalily December 28, 2011 at 8:41 am

I love lentil loaf, but I never thought of adding sweet potato. It sounds delish!


Marlena Torres December 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

Gena, that looks so so so good, and I’ve been so recipe – lazy lately. I will be making this for dinner.

I hope you had an awesome holiday!


Gena December 28, 2011 at 10:15 am

I fall into the salad 3x daily trap when I’m busy too! But cooking just snaps me out of a funk and makes me so, so happy.


Marlena Torres December 28, 2011 at 10:26 am

I have a feeling this recipe is going to make me so, so happy. :)


Marlena Torres December 28, 2011 at 10:26 am

oops, meant to reply to your previous comment! hah!


Christine (The Raw Project) December 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

Wow, this loaf looks wonderful! I actually haven’t tried a lentil loaf yet, but this looks like a good one to start with. Your nut loaf was a hit over Christmas here. :-)


melissa December 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I love Peacefoods. I wish they would open a downtown location! This loaf looks so easy and tasty!


Lauren December 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

This is going onmy menu for next week! Baby will love it too! Yum!!


elise December 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm

loving all your recipe posts lately! i have so many holiday meals starred.

glad youre enjoying being back in NYC. soak up the family time. i was so sorry to hear about your grandmother. we are in a similar situation with kyles grandfather right now, so i am sending you extra love.

we need to catch up soon too bc i have no clue how things are going in your personal life. aside from school of course. which is all consuming i know.

happy holidays gena!


Dora December 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm

This sounds lovely! I was planning on making lentil salad for tonight’s dinner, but I think I’ll give this a go instead. When should the tomato paste be added? After adding the rolled oats?


Frugal Vegan Mom December 31, 2011 at 10:05 am

I’m wondering the same thing about the tomato paste – am planning to make this tonight for my parents! Also, do you think quick-cook oats would work ok? Or would the texture be too smooth?


Gena December 31, 2011 at 10:07 am

Yes! Have to fix that in the instructions. After oats, along with spices.


lani January 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

If you don’t use oils, can the coconut oil be eliminated without sacrificing taste? If not, could use suggest a substitute?


Gena January 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Just sautee the veggies in water. If it feels “dry” to you, you could add nut butter in place of oil along with the tomato paste and the spices..


Jesse Fuller January 3, 2012 at 6:10 am

I tried the soup and it was awesome ! Thanks.


Sondi January 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Just made this for supper and it was AMAZING. Thanks for the great recipe!


Gena January 31, 2012 at 7:35 am



AR fans January 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Consistency was the same as a meat loaf, looked like a meat loaf, and tasted better than a meat loaf! We loved it, Gena! Thanks so much for a wonderful dinner!!! :)


Connie Fletcher February 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I’m waiting for the Lentil loaf to finish baking, and boy, does this ever smell great!! I’m so glad to have found this post and this blog!! Thank you for the recipe and for all you do!! I certainly am grateful…………


alison February 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

love this lentil loaf…so easy, tasty and nutritious!! thank you :)


jen April 7, 2012 at 7:51 am

gena new to your blog and loving it!

quick questions! 1) can you grate a sweet potato in a food processor like a carrot? 2) do you know approx weight of sweet potato that would yield 1.5 cups? 1/2 lb? thanks!


Jean September 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

It is delicious, just made my fourth batch and it freezes well too. Great recipe


April September 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me… the lentils and veggies never soaked up the liquid, and it never firmed up in the oven. I covered it in foil and let it bake for around an hour and a half, but the end result was still a kind of lentil mash. I’m disappointed because I was really craving the meat loaf texture… the only things I can think of that I might have messed up on is that I used the water instead of broth option and I soaked my lentils. Would soaking the lentils make a big difference? Any ideas on what I did wrong? I


Gena December 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I’m sorry it didn’t work! I suspect soaking the lentils was a part of the problem, alas.


dharma April 16, 2013 at 8:51 am

Unfortunately it didn’t work for me, either, though I didn’t soak the lentils AND I added about 1/2 cup more oats because the mixture seemed a bit loose to me. I didn’t use any foil because it clearly needed to dry out more.
The flavor was a smidge bland so I think next time I’ll add a little hot pepper… overall a really nice recipe that even my carnivore husband thought was close to excellent, but any other ideas for what I might have done wrong on the texture?
Maybe I didn’t simmer enough broth out of the lentils? Didn’t want them to burn but I guess I could have gone a teensy bit longer. Definitely worth another try!! :)


Kristin October 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I made this recipe last week and it was really good! Thanks for sharing.


Sarah November 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I’d like to make this tonight or tomorrow. Could I use quinoa instead of oats? Or do half and half?


Gena December 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

You know, quinoa won’t give the same texture here, and will likely be a lot more moist. I wouldn’t, in this recipe…


Shannon November 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thank you for a Gluten Free, Soy Free delicious vegetarian dish. It is Thanksgiving dinner this year!!!


Angelli December 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I just made it for the Christmas dinner and is really relly good!!! :) Thank you so much :)


Gena December 26, 2012 at 9:12 am

So did I! Glad you liked it.


Becky December 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Hi! This looks really nice but I can’t eat oats. Is there anything I could use instead or could I leave them out? I really want to try this!


Gina March 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Looks delicious! I would just like to know which kind of lentils you used.


Jennifer Altman October 3, 2013 at 10:42 am

This may be the most delicious vegan recipe that I’ve made :)


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sassygirl November 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

this is a fantastic lentil loaf! have made it twice with rave reviews on
the first attempt. I used french green lentils both times and in the second
loaf (plus one ginormous meatball!) swapped out the rosemary and
celery for fresh sage and one hot thai pepper sauteed with shallots from
the garden. baked all in a lekue square baking pan. it keeps moist while
baking. absolutely d’lish! thanks gena!


Louise James January 5, 2014 at 5:44 am

What kind of lentils was used – superb photos and amazing blog


Gena January 5, 2014 at 8:05 am

Brown lentils, and thanks!


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