Lentils can be used as a hamburger substitute in many recipes. I’ve made this lentil loaf several times since this post was first published. I’m glad to be able to finally take new photos. You’ll find one of the originals in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
The idea for lentil loaf came from Pinterest, of course (see the pin here). I was pleasantly surprised to see it had been posted by Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet (affiliate link). I love the use of sunflower seeds as well as all the vegetables. This particular loaf is egg and gluten free, thanks to the use of besan flour.
We’ve used besan flour before to make besan pudas and we used it as a binder when making zarangollos. As you’ll recall it’s a flour made from chickpeas. When I first came across this ingredient I thought it was kind of exotic, but it’s actually popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East and used in all sorts of traditional recipes. Since it’s grain free, it’s used a lot in gluten free and paleo recipes. For this particular recipe it’s used as an egg replacement. Feel free to use an egg if you prefer.
2015 Edit to Add: Sometimes when I make this the mix seems to be too wet. When this happens I’ll add some breadcrumbs to help tighten things up.
- 2 cups cooked lentils (or a 15 ounce can)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup minced onions
- ½ cup shredded zucchini
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons besan flour mixed with ¼ cup water (or one egg)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- Cover a small baking sheet with foil and grease the foil.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine well. It's okay if the lentils get a little mashed. Use your hands, it's fun!
- Shape the mix into a loaf on the foil lined baking sheet.
- Brush the loaf with a little olive oil, ketchup or barbecue sauce and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until the loaf is firm.
If you prefer, shape the mix into patties and fry as for White Bean Patties.
2015 Edit to Add: We served the lentil loaf this time with some peas and potato/carrot mash. After the post was originally published, one of my readers suggested trying them in a sandwich with cheese and spinach. We’ve done it, and it makes for a tasty sandwich.