BBQ Lentil Loaf Muffins – Plant Based/Vegan

I made these amazing lentil loaf muffins for dinner last night and we wanted to lick the plate clean! Don’t worry mom we didn’t lick our plates – but that’s how you know you have a winning recipe. Since they are baked in a muffin pan you have built in portion control and you don’t have to worry about slicing a loaf and hoping it stays together. This is by far the best tasting lentil loaf we have tried!

BBQ Lentil Loaf Muffins

You most likely have everything in your kitchen right now to make these. Super easy to make with simple ingredients like lentils, oats, onion, tomato sauce,flax seeds, a few seasonings, BBQ sauce and ketchup.

BBQ Lentil Loaf Muffins

Although this isn’t the most attractive photo I wanted you to see how full the muffin tins were. If you let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then slide a plastic knife around the edge they pop right out and stay together. The first time I made this recipe I baked it in a loaf pan. I didn’t cook the onions before adding them to the loaf mixture and the loaf turned out super soft and felt apart when I tried to remove it from the pan. Even so the flavor was amazing so I knew I would try it again. The notes I made were to cook the onions first – drain off any extra water from the lentils and bake it in a muffin tin. Ta – dah – success!

BBQ Lentil Loaf Muffins

I think these would be very kid friendly and a perfect entree choice for those just starting to eat some meatless meals. This is also one of those recipes that would be good to take to a pot luck as these would be enjoyed by everyone – yes even meat eaters! Next time I will double the recipe so we have extras to freeze.

BBQ Lentil Loaf Muffins

    This was my dinner plate – yes it was taken after I had a couple bites of my lentil loaf muffin! Sorry about that. Garlic mashed potatoes with a vegan gravy, oven roasted butternut squash with apples and pecans and fresh green beans. Hubby Tom ate two of the lentil loaf muffins and he said his mouth wanted a third one but he didn’t give into it! A real comfort meal on a very cold night.

Trader Joes All Natural BBQ SauceYou can use any kind of BBQ sauce you like – we happen to enjoy this one. It’s a little sweet with a little heat. No high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. It does contain sugar, salt and molasses but it’s only 45 calories for 2 tablespoons. The recipe uses only 4 tablespoons and that is spread across 10 servings.

BBQ Lentil Loaf Muffins

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup greenish/brown lentils* – I used the ones from Trader Joe’s they are little and I like how they cook
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds mixed with 1/4 cup water (I like the mild flavor of Bob’s Red Mill golden flaxseed meal)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 cup gluten free quick or old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup tomato sauce – no salt added I used Pomi
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Benson’s Table Tasty Salt Substitute or other no salt seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce – no sugar added
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup – no sugar added

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the ground flaxseeds with 1/4 cup water and set aside. The ground flax seeds will absorb the water and become gelatinous and they act as a binder for the loaf.

Rinse and drain the lentils. In a medium size sauce pan bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the lentils, turn the heat down and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the water is absorbed. The cooking time will vary depending on what type of lentil you use so check them at the 25 minute mark and keep an eye on them. Drain off any remaining liquid.

While the lentils are cooking – add a tablespoon of water or vegetable broth to a skillet along with the diced onion, saute for about 5 minutes, add minced garlic and saute another minute or two adding more water or broth if needed to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan. Turn off the heat, add the flax mixture, tomato sauce, seasonings, oats and lentils. Mix well – taste it and adjust seasonings if needed. Remember that a lot of the flavor is coming from the topping.

Prepare a non stick muffin pan by spraying it liberally with non stick spray or use a silicone muffin pan. Fill ten of the muffin cups with lentil loaf mixture – pressing it down gently in the cup so it will stick together.

Mix together the BBQ sauce and ketchup and spread it evenly over the top of each lentil muffin.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Use a plastic or bamboo knife and gently slide it around the edges of each lentil muffin to loosen them from the pan.

* If you want to use precooked lentils like the ones from the refrigeration section at Trader Joe’s you will need about 2 1/4 cups.

Tami’s Notes: Next time add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard to the loaf mixture, double the recipe for extras to freeze.

Yield: 10 lentil loaf  loaf muffins

Serving Size: 1 lentil muffin

Nutritional Information 

Per Serving; 132.7 Calories, 1.1 g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 81.1 mg Sodium, 24.5 gCarbohydrates, 7.6 g Fiber 6.6 g Protein

Recipe adapted from a Lentil Loaf from In Sonnets Kitchen

Nutmeg Notes

I had intended to have more posts up this week but things kept getting in my way. First my wireless computer mouse started having fits and it wouldn’t let me highlight anything and it would double click everything I would click on. That created quite a few challenges. New batteries didn’t seem to make any difference. Hubby Tom let me borrow one his wireless mouses but guess what I am still having issues so it’s either operator error or my computer is acting up!

On top of that my email host shut down my email claiming I was a spammer! They just merged with another company and the new company doesn’t allow anyone to send out over 297 emails a day! My blog email subscribers is way beyond that number so they shut down my email, nothing could go out and I couldn’t receive any emails. I couldn’t post any new posts until I got that situation taken care of which required my son to do his behind the scenes magic. He of course is busy with college classes and working so he had to squeeze it in when he could.

This post will be a test to see if all things are working properly! If you are reading this I guess it all worked.

Holiday Strategy

I was out shopping earlier this week and the parking lots were full, stores were crowed, the check out lines were long and I thought, this really isn’t what I want to be doing! After years and years of setting very high expectations for myself to make sure my family has a wonderful holiday season I have decided to relieve myself of that stress. This new way of thinking really got a jump start last year. It was a year ago this week that I had my foot surgery and I was laid up all during the holidays. What ever I managed to get done before December is all that gone done for the holidays. You know what? We survived and had a nice holiday without the perfect Christmas tree and every room decorated, and with out a ton of wrapped gifts under the tree. We had an easier holiday meal and no one seemed to mind. We were together and that was really all that we needed or wanted.

This holiday season I have decided to continue with that minimalist approach and my mantra is; Do less and Enjoy More! 

For me that means:

  • Putting out just a few Christmas decorations so I have less to put away after Christmas.(I used to decorate my entire house)
  • Less shopping for the perfect gift and giving cash and gift cards instead.
  • I am skipping all the Christmas cards and the Christmas letter I always sweat over getting done. So many of our friends and relatives no longer send cards – people seem to connect on Facebook instead. I might opt for cards every other year.
  • Since we don’t eat many sweets anymore I don’t have to bake the things I used to. Saves time and calories!
  • Declining party invitations that we really don’t want to attend – there are always business invites this time of year when we really don’t have the extra time for that and we have decided it’s okay to say no thank you!

This frees me up to have the time to do the things I want to do – exercise, enjoy healthy meals, watch Christmas Specials, listen to music, go to movies and spend time with my family all without guilt!

Miz Fit Online did a great post on this subject this week titled What Can You Gift Yourself – pop over there and read it for inspiration!

Have a great weekend everyone.


Join the fun and leave a comment!

What about you?

Do the holidays frazzle you or do you enjoy the frenzy and all the prep?



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2 pings

  1. MizCarla says:

    ok while I dooo wanna thank you for linking me and your kind words Im now utterly distracted by wondering if my CHILD WOULD EAT THE MUFFINS???

    1. Tami says:

      The only way to know for sure is to make them for her! 🙂

  2. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    The lentil loaf muffins sound delicious! I think I’ll put them on the menu this week!

    I like your idea of doing less during the holidays. I’ve been feeling really stressed this week and had to remind myself that everything that has to get done will get done eventually and to let go of the rest. It’s so easy to have unrealistic expectations…

    1. Tami says:

      Please be sure to let me know what you think of these lentil loaf muffins Andrea. You are right everything that needs to get done will get done. It’s so easy to let ourselves get overwhelmed this time of year. Once you “choose” to let some things go there is a sense of relief!

  3. Helyn says:

    YUM, YUM! I must try these! They look amazing. Love the BBQ sauce idea for the top! Thanks for the top on the TJ’s sauce. I usually don’t even bother buying BBQ sauce because of the sugars.

    1. Tami says:

      Well there is such a small amount of the BBQ sauce spread across so many servings that I don’t think its all that bad for us! It does taste pretty sweet when you aren’t used to sugar!

  4. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    Coincidental timing since I was just last on my SIL’s blog and she talked about lentil loaf and I commented that I have several recipes yet to try. This sounds good. Last night we had a new one that DH really liked a lot and was sooo easy: http://www.food.com/recipe/brown-rice-and-lentil-casserole-74629

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you for the link Karen – I will check that recipe out!

  5. Lori says:

    I always enjoy the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are too many things to do, though. Our area has sooooo many holiday doings that you can’t do them all.

    1. Tami says:

      Its a busy time of year for sure! I kind of like slowing down and taking it easy instead of having a mad scramble to do it all.

  6. Jody - Fit at 56 says:

    LOVE what you are doing for you this year Tami!!!! It will make t a wonderful one!!! We all need to slow down for sure!

  7. Kristi says:

    It all looks wonderful! I am still pretty new to this way of cooking, can you tell me how you fixed yout squash?

  8. Tami says:

    Hi Kristi,
    I peeled and cubed the butternut squash about 1 1/2 pounds peeld, cored two apples and cut them into chunks, placed them in a 9 x13 baking dish with two tablespoons water and baked it in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes – stir every 15 minutes – then I removed the pan from the oven and added 3 tablespoons maple syrup 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and 3 tablespoons chopped pecans – put back in oven for another 10 -15 minutes or until the squash and apples are soft when poked with a fork.

    Hope that helps. Happy Cooking!

  9. Kristi says:

    Thank you for responding! The squash sounds wonderful–I have really enjoyed your blog.

    1. Tami says:

      You are welcome Kristi. Let me know how the recipe turns out for you – I love getting feedback!

  10. Shannon says:

    I love the idea of making muffins instead of a loaf. The more edges the better! The TJ’s BBQ sauce is in our fridge, too 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      I agree! I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as we do. Happy cooking!

  11. Beth F says:

    We made these for dinner tonight and loved them! 3 of the 4 kids were fans as well. Thanks for the yummy and healthy recipe!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Beth,
      It’s a great feeling to make something that the family enjoys for dinner – 3 out of 4 children giving them a thumbs up is pretty good! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know this recipe was a hit! It made my day. 🙂

  12. Laurie Thomas says:

    These BBQ Lentil Muffins are incredible! I just made a couple batches though & am having a time issue with being able to get them cooked now. (I have had something unexpected come up on my end & only have a short time to cook these). Will these work out to cook in loaf pans? What temp and time do you recommend? Thank you! Amazing site!

    1. Tami says:


      I haven’t tried them in a loaf pan but I think I would bake it about an hour at 350 degrees and check it then to see if it seems firm.

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