Roasted Shitake and Walnut Lentil Loaf

Delight your vegan and plant-forward guests this holiday season with a robust main dish that will be the star of the show. The roasted shitake mushrooms and walnuts add a hearty texture and the glaze provides an elegant finish. Serve on a decorative platter garnished with cranberries and sprigs of fresh rosemary.

  • Author: Lori
  • Prep Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50-55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Units Scale
  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils
  • 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon “no chicken” or vegetable base
  • 3 cups water
  • 5-ounce package sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin is best), divided
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 3 medium shallots, skins removed
  • 3 large or 4 medium stalks celery
  • 2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 grinds of black pepper, more to taste
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup vegan breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds (flax meal)
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion


  • Glaze
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  • Garnishes
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Fresh cranberries



  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Spray or coat a loaf pan lightly with olive oil.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

Cook the Lentils

  • Rinse lentils in a fine mesh colander.
  • Bring lentils and water to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in bouillon base. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer cooked lentils to a colander to drain any excess liquid.
  • Return lentils to saucepan and allow to cool, uncovered. Excess moisture will be absorbed by as they cool.

Roast the Mushrooms and Walnuts

  • While the lentils cooking, roast the mushrooms and walnuts. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add mushrooms and walnuts to a small bowl and drizzle with oil and coconut amino. Toss lightly with a large spoon or spatula until they are evenly coated.
  • Spread evenly on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F.


Make the Loaf

  • Finely chop shallots, celery, and carrots by hand or in a food processor on pulse. You want them finely chopped but not minced to add texture to your lentil loaf.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet.
  • Add vegetable mixture and press the garlic cloves into the pan.
  • Cook over medium low heat until veggies are tender, about 5 -7 minutes. Add more olive oil as needed.
  • Combine the dried herbs and spices in a mortar and grind with pestle until thoroughly mixed. Add to veggie mixture, continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until spices are fragrant.
  • Transfer 1/3 of cooled lentils from saucepan to a large mixing bowl.
  • Using a food processor – or pastry blender or potato masher – process or gently smash the remaining 2/3 of cooked lentils, then add to the large mixing bowl with the 1/3 cup of cooked lentils.
  • Add the cooked veggie mixture to the bowl of lentils.
  • Roughly chop the roasted and cooled mushrooms and walnuts by hand or in food processor by pulsing 2-3 times and combine gently with lentils and veggies.
  • Add flour, breadcrumbs, coconut aminos, flax meal, and dried minced onion to lentil mixture. Use a pastry blender or large spatula to combine ingredients gently yet thoroughly.
  • Transfer to the prepared loaf pan and firmly press mixture into all four corners, then smooth the top. Place a small sheet of parchment paper on top of loaf mixture and use the bottom of a glass to press evenly into pan. This will ensure your loaf holds together after baking.
  • Prepare the glaze by whisking together the ketchup, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar. Spread half of the glaze on top of loaf, reserve the second half to drizzle over slices when serving.
  • Bake lentil loaf for 50-55 minutes at 325 degrees F.
  • Remove from oven when edges are slightly brown and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • If you want to remove the entire loaf from the pan, let cool 15 minutes and then very gently invert onto one large dinner plate and then carefully flip over onto your serving dish.


  • I recommend using organic produce whenever possible.
  • Substitute portobello mushrooms if you don’t have shitake…although I highly recommend shitake for the best flavor!
  • Substitute pecans or almonds if you don’t have walnuts.
  • Substitute low sodium soy sauce or vegan Worcestershire sauce for coconut aminos.
  • Substitute agave for maple syrup.
  • Omit the glaze and serve with Shitake Mushroom Gravy.
  • Use a cupcake pan instead of loaf pan for individual servings. Bake 40-45 minutes at 325F.
  • Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Slice, wrap in airtight packaging, and freeze for up to one month.

Keywords: lentil loaf, roasted mushrooms and walnuts, vegan holiday entrées, plant-based lentil loaf