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Easy Family Friday Food – Cheese and Lentil Loaf

This  is our family’s Sunday roast of choice. The children also insist that there must be one on the Christmas table but I cook it in a ring mould then to make it look more festive. The original recipe can be found in the Cranks Recipe Book which my husband already owned when I met him, and which I have adapted considerably over the years (the recipe not Mr TS….although…!). This quantity serves the 6 of us (with a variety of appetite size) and is plenty for 4 adults. It freezes REALLY well uncooked or cooked so I cling wrap any left over and pop it in the freezer. It will keep well in the fridge for 3 or 4 days and is great mashed up with some mayonnaise and spread on a bagel!


400g red lentils

1 litre of water

Large onion, diced

100-150g cheddar, grated ( I vary this according to how cheesy I want it)

1 heaped teaspoon Marmite

2 – 3 tsps sun-dried tomato pesto (or 1 tsp sun-dried tomato and chilli paste)

2 tsps dried mixed herbs

2 free range eggs, lightly beaten

Breadcrumbs (about 50g)


  • Cook the lentils in the water with the Marmite added until they are soft and you have a rough lentil puree with all water absorbed. (You may need to add more water, keep an eye on them, lentils can be unpredictable little devils and either boil over suddenly or dry out!)
  • Stir in the tomato paste and dried herbs, the cheese, onion and the eggs and add enough breadcrumbs that the mixture is stiff but not rigid!
  • Spoon into an oiled and base lined 2 lb loaf tin and level the surface
  • Cook on the middle shelf at 200°C for about half an hour until firm and smelling delicious!
  • Serve with roasted roots, gravy and veg or boiled potatoes and salad. I sometimes wrap the mixture in puff pastry with a lattice top and I also use it as the filling for veggie sausage rolls!

This is a really good protein meal for kids and the Marmite is a good source of B12. If you serve it with broccoli and potatoes and follow it with a good fruit salad (using orange juice as the liquid) you will have a really well balanced meal. I have yet to meet a visiting child who doesn’t love it and the veggie sausage roll version goes down very well at school Christmas parties.

If you have a vegetarian family friendly Friday filler you’d like to see featured on Fab Food email us and we’ll be in touch!


  1. This looks lovely! And certainly something we would all enjoy. I think it will be making an appearance at our table pretty soon. My mum makes a spinach and almond roast that is her staple at large family meals, the toddler chose that over a slice of beef and mushroom pie the other week!

  2. I think this could be the answer to tomorrow night’s dinner, as I have lentils, onions, eggs and cheese but not much else in!

  3. Tried out this recipe this evening, but halved it…very tasty and very cheap to make!

    • Hooray! I always cook in bulk because there are so many of us and it freezes so well if people’s appetites are small!

  4. Wow, thought this might need garlic or chilli or both but decided to try it as it is and adapt next time, no need a very quick and easy recipe, I halved it and used a 1 lb loaf tin and had some left over and made veggie sausage rolls with some left over puff pastry. Fantastic recipe and lovely cold with some chutney Thank-you this recipe is on our monthly menu!

    • That is brilliant! I’m so pleased, thanks for letting us know! :-)

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