Vegan Lentil Salisbury Steak

entrees | October 23, 2017 | By

 Lentil brown is the new black.

This is hands down one of my most favorite things I have ever created. I have been playing around a lot with using different beans and legumes as protein replacement, and I had a thought of one of the most comforting meals I used to have as a kid. My mom used to make Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy. Then I realized, that mashed lentils look very similar to beef. Add some seasonings, and Ta Da! Vegan lentil Salisbury steak. It is so freaking good.

To give this Salisbury steak the perfect texture as well, I used vital wheat gluten to make it “meaty” and bread crumbs to mimic an actual Salisbury steak. It takes about 5 minutes to put these together. Considering I suppose that your lentils are already cooked. Although, lentils cook much faster than most dried beans and legumes. However, if you are short on time for cooking lentils, Trader Joe’s has fully cooked lentils in their produce section!

Now on to another very important part of this dish, the mushroom gravy. It is optional of course, but I definitely recommend it. Not only is is delicious, it really makes this whole dish come together to fake out any meat eater. Also, it is so quick and easy, and fool proof, I don’t know why you would skip it! 

If you don’t fall madly in love with this meal, I would be very surprised. Serve it with some potatoes and something green, you know, to make it look healthy and stuff! 

It is really the perfect fall and winter comfort food. However, even though it looks heavy, it is not, and would be a great meal all year. Vegan lentil Salisbury steak is a very real thing, and it is a very important turning point in our lives. 

Vegan Lentil Salisbury Steak
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Lentils mimic Salisbury steak so beautifully in my vegan take on this classic dish. Smothered in mushroom gravy, it is so delicious, super easy and filled with protein! 

Course: Main Course
Author: Lauren Hartmann
Lentil Salisbury Steak
  • 2 C. Cooked Lentils
  • 1 C. Vital wheat gluten
  • 1 C. Bread crumbs, vegan
  • 2/3 C. Vegetable broth
  • 1/4 C. Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 Tsp. Olive oil
Mushroom Gravy
  • 2 tsp. Olive oil
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Vegan butter
  • 3 Tbsp. All purpose flour
  • 2 C. Vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp. Sage, dried
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Make the Salisbury steak first. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the cooked lentils. Using either a potato masher or fork. Mash the lentils until they are almost all mashed, leaving a bit of texture. 

  2. Now add all the remaining Salisbury steak ingredients to the bowl except the olive oil, that is for cooking them. Start to stir to mix the wet and dry together, then using your hands, continue to mix until fully combined. Then knead together the mixture for a minute or 2 until if forms a nice dough ball. 

  3. Now taking large balls of dough, roll then flatten to look like steak. Repeat until you have formed all the dough into "steaks". 

  4. Heat the olive in a cast iron skillet or non stick pan on medium high. Now add the steak to the pan, as many as you can fit. You can do it in batches. Cook the lentil steaks on each side for 2-3 minutes until brown and cooked through. 

  5. Remove the steaks from the pan, and set aside while you make the gravy. 

  6. Now make the gravy, heat the olive oil in the same pan on medium high, add the mushrooms and garlic. Saute for a few minutes sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Saute until soft and a bit brown. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. 

  7. Reduce heat to low. Now add the vegan butter and flour. Whisk together and cook for 1-2 minutes to make a roux. It should be a bit thick and paste like. 

  8. Now add the veggie broth, whisk to combine. Simmer until it has thickened 2-4 minutes. Now add the mushrooms back to the pan, and the spices. Stir. Taste and adjust seasonings. 

  9. Now either add the steaks back to the pan and cook with the gravy for a minute, then serve. Or put the steaks on a serving dish, and cover with gravy! Serve with veggies and carbs! 

Recipe Notes

I used green lentils, but any lentils will do. 



  1. Ashley

    October 24, 2017 at 5:53 am

    HOw much veggie broth?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      October 24, 2017 at 10:59 am

      It’s listed in the recipe, it’s 2/3 Cup!😄

    • Lauren Hartmann

      October 24, 2017 at 7:45 pm

      I realized you meant in the gravy and I somehow missed that! I fixed it, it is 2 cups!:)

  2. Jen

    October 24, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Which type of lentil do you recommend? Red, green or other?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      October 24, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      I used green lentils, but I think whatever your favorite kind is will do!😊

  3. Anne

    October 27, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I am salivating for Salisbury! Any idea approx how many steaks this makes (of size similar to your photos). Also have you tried freezing them?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      October 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Yes! So delicious! This recipe makes about 8 steaks. Maybe more if they are smaller. So, it can definitely feed a crowd. I have not tried freezing them, but, I think it would work. Then just reheat in a skillet. I hope that helps!

  4. Sheena

    October 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Do you think this could work with tinned lentils? Drained and rinsed?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      October 30, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Absolutely! I think that would work and save some time!😁

  5. Nicole Bizjak

    November 2, 2017 at 12:27 am

    I cooked this recipe and made three variations of it. I doubled the recipe, made the Salisbury steaks, lentil “meatballs” rolled in panko crumbs, and stuffed mushroom caps with the same filling- all with the mushroom gravy.

    The mushroom caps were a nice variation to your recipe. I started by sprinkling the meatballs with the Panko crumbs, but I found it was easier to roll small meatballs in Panko crumbs first and stuff them in baby Bellas. I baked the for around 18 minutes at 350 until the crumbs were brown.

    I love your site. Thanks for the inspiration on my new plant-based journey!

    • Lauren Hartmann

      November 3, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      Yay! That all sounds amazing! This makes me so happy!

  6. Susan

    November 3, 2017 at 4:00 am

    I’d like to use a whole grain flour for the gravy. Do you know which would be a good choice? White whole wheat? Brown rice flour? Or another one?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      November 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      I think whole wheat would work great!

  7. Beth Purdon

    November 4, 2017 at 8:54 am

    My husband has celiac disease, is there a substitute for vital wheat gluten?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      November 4, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      There really isn’t any replacement, it gives it the “meaty” texture and helps it stick together. I would recommend using extra gluten free bread crumbs and maybe a flax egg and making Salisbury steak meatballs. That way you can just make them small and they would have a better chance of holding together, and still be delicious. They will be a different texture, but I bet still amazing! I hope that helps!

  8. Cara

    November 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    What could I use instead of vital wheat gluten? Garbonzo flour and flax seeds?

    • Lauren Hartmann

      November 4, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      There isn’t really anything that replaces vital wheat gluten, it gives it a “meaty” texture and helps it hold together. I do think that trying garbanzo bean flour could work and adding flax seed would help to hold it together. It just won’t be the same texture, but I think it would still taste good!

  9. Kimberly

    November 7, 2017 at 12:36 am

    This was delicious!! I served it with mashed garlic potatoes and lima beans. This is a keeper!!
    I am wondering how you got your gravy so dark? What type of pan do you use? Thank you!

    • Lauren Hartmann

      November 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! That sounds amazing! I love lima beans. I always use a cast iron skillet for gravy and sauces. Also just to make any protein crispy too! I have been using veggie stock from Trader Joe’s a lot recently. It is pretty dark. Also, if you want to make it a bit darker, you can use some soy sauce to replace some of the salt you add!

  10. Amy

    November 8, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Any idea how I could make this gluten free. It looks sooooo good!

    • Lauren Hartmann

      November 8, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      I have had a lot of questions about this, so I think I will try to test something out. I was thinking about replacing it with a gluten free flour and a flax egg. It will not be the same texture, because there really isn’t anything that replaces vital wheat gluten. However, I was thinking that replacing it and using gluten free bread crumbs, it might hold up well and still taste amazing. I would give that a try, and I will let you know what conclusions I come to!

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  12. Things2Eat

    November 15, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    for the lentils – do you want 2 cups of cooked lentils, or 2 cups of dry lentils, cooked? Thanks!

    • Lauren Hartmann

      November 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Sorry about that, I think I will change it to cooked lentils rather than lentils, cooked. The measurement is of cooked lentils, so the 2 cups should be measured after they are cooked.


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