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Vegan Lentil Walnut Pate: Perfect Party Food

This is the perfect party food plus it’s good for you!

Did you know that walnuts, which even look like little brains, are really good for your brain function?  Yep, true.  The Omega-3 fatty acids, among other nutrients, support good brain health and with dementia a growing public health threat, we need all the healthy brains we can get.

This walnut-lentil pate, which even meat lovers will praise, makes brain food a delicious treat all year-round and is yet another recipe that makes use of lentils – truly one of the best all around foods for versatility. We love it for holiday parties and so do our guests. This makes about six cups, which can be chilled in smaller dishes and replaced as needed.

You will need to make this at least 4 hours before serving, preferably longer (overnight or all day is ideal) to allow it time to set and chill.  Serve with warm crusty bread, crackers, pickles, veggie sticks or try it in a sandwich with lettuce and tomato.

Enjoy with good company, a glass of your favorite beverage and some pickled vegetables for a delicious and nourishing treat!

Lentil Walnut Pate: Perfect Party Food


  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon thyme leaves or I teaspoon fresh thyme (we've also used sage for a slightly different but also yummy flavor)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

How to Make It

  1. In a small saucepan, cover washed lentils with about 2 inches of water.  Add bay and thyme and bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer until done, about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Drain lentils, reserving cooking liquid and set aside.
  3. In a medium saute or frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil and cook the onions slowly until they sweat and become slightly translucent. It is important not to rush this step to bring out the sweetness of the onions. They should not be too browned.
  4. In a food processor, chop walnuts to a fine consistency. Add lentils, onions, and salt along with ½ cup of cooking liquid.  Process until smooth but not pasty (like a pate).  If too thick, add more cooking liquid.
  5. Add pepper to taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  6. Spread in a ceramic or glass dish and coat top with remaining olive oil and garnish with fresh herbs (thyme, parsley or sage are fine).
  7. Chill for at least 4 hours, preferably longer.

This is a great spread for parties, picnics, sandwiches, dipping. Some people call it mock chop liver but we prefer to call it delicious.