Roasted almond and lentil loaf with caramelised onion gravy

This roasted almond and lentil loaf recipe creates a wonderfully hearty vegetarian main that's perfect for Christmas. Serve with a delicious caramelised onion gravy

  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in Food magazine issue 55.
Follow Food on Facebook, Instagram and sign up to their e-newsletter.


  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, grated and squeezed to remove excess liquid
  • 1 cup cooked green or brown lentils (boil 1/3 cup lentils until tender, about 35-40 minutes, or use canned lentils)
  • 4 slices bread, made into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 egg
Caramelised onion gravy
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 1/2 large brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 cup water


  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and whizz to a fine crumb.
  • 2
    In a frying pan, heat the oil and gently cook the onion, thyme, sage, rosemary, celery and carrot until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the lentils, breadcrumbs, roasted almonds, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and egg. Mix together until well combined.
  • 3
    Grease a loaf tin and line with a strip of non-stick baking paper wide enough to cover the base of the tin and long enough to overhang a little on either side. Pack the mixture firmly into the tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes until dark golden and firm.
  • 4
    While the loaf is cooking, make the gravy. Heat the butter and oil in a medium-sized saucepan. When they are sizzling, add the sliced onions and cook, stirring often, until they are a dark gold colour – this will take about 10 minutes over a gentle heat. When the onions are evenly coloured, add the brown sugar and continue cooking the onions until they are a rich caramel colour. Stir in the balsamic vinegar then add the flour.
  • 5
    Gradually mix in the water, stirring continuously to ensure a lump-free gravy. Set aside. When the loaf is cooked, loosen it and turn it out onto a serving dish, remove the baking paper and serve the loaf in thick slices with the warm caramelised onion gravy.


  • You can substitute other nuts, such as peanuts for the almonds, or use a mixture. - Mini loaf tins can be used to make individual serves – be sure to grease them well and line them.