This takes time and effort, but it will reward you. If you are doing this especially for the one vegetarian or vegan (see below for vegan-friendly alternative) coming to the feast, then you already probably have lots of vegetables to hand anyway. Mix and match the vegetables depending on what you have. You will most likely have lots left over and I find it freezes well. I usually slice it before freezing.


  • 1 tbps olive oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 large onion, 2 sticks celery, 2 garlic cloves, 150g mushrooms  – chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 70g red lentils
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 300ml veg stock
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 150g mixed nuts (walnuts, pecan, brazil, etc), roughly chopped
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100g cheddar, grated
  • Handful parsley, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven 180oc/160oc fan/gas 4. Line sides and base of 2lb loaf tin
  2. In large frying pan heat butter and oil and cook onion and celery until beginning to soften (about 5 mins).
  3. Stir in garlic and mushrooms and cook for 10 more mins
  4. Add carrot and red pepper and cook for about 3 mins, then add oregano and paprika and cook 1 min.
  5. Add lentils and tomato puree and cook for 1 min, then add veg stock and simmer over low heat until liquid absorbed, and mix is fairly dry (about 25 mins). Allow to cool.
  6. Stir in breadcrumbs, nuts, eggs, cheese and parsley and season, and mix well.
  7. Spoon into tin and press down surface.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 mins. Remove foil and bake for further 20 mins until firm when pressed gently.
  9. Allow loaf to cool in tin for 10 mins. Then turn out, remove baking paper, slice, and serve with tomato sauce.

Vegan alternative: omit cheese or use nutritional yeast. Use 12 tsp aquafaba (water from tin of chickpeas/white beans) in place of eggs