This vegan meatloaf recipe has all the flavors and textures as classic meatloaf, plus it’s hearty and satisfying. Truly delicious plant based meatloaf is easy to make and tastes incredible.
This post has been updated from the original that was posted September 14, 2019.
Have you been searching for a vegan meatloaf recipe? Serious but not so random question. I’ve had more requests for a meatless meatloaf recipe than usual.
This is the time of year that comfort food cravings increase so it’s no surprise that people are looking for a healthier version of a classic meatloaf.
I get it, and I’m here for you, with the best plant-based meatloaf recipe out there. Make a batch of vegan mashed potatoes to go with and you’ve got some healthy childhood nostalgia…coming soon to a plate near you!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Mashed beans: Fiber rich and a wonderful source of plant based protein, this bean combo holds it all together. I used kidney beans and chickpeas, you can use any combo of beans you have on hand or even use cooked lentils.
- Veggies: Sauteed onions, carrots and celery with all the classic meatloaf spices to build flavor. Substitute with leeks, fennel, parsnips or any combination.
- Ground oats and ground flax: gluten-free and vegan binders that help hold it all together.
- Tamari, almond milk and vegan worcestershire: Even with plant based meatloaf, you want to make sure it doesn’t dry out. This combo makes the vegan meatloaf moist and flavorful. Substitute with any plant based milk and use low sodium tamari.
- Glaze topping: my favorite part! A combo of apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, and coarse whole grain mustard give this meatless meatloaf just the right tang.
Why you’ll love this vegan meatloaf
- Tasty: so flavorful…especially that homemade tomato glaze.
- Perfect texture: moist, but not mushy!
- Hearty and satisfying.
- Fiber rich.
- Wholesome: made with real, whole foods ingredients. Nothing fake.
- Vegan and gluten-free so everyone can enjoy it.
- Meal prep friendly. Reheats like a dream and freezes beautifully.
Don’t be intimidated by the amount of time mentioned in the recipe notes. Most of it is passive time, waiting for your tasty meatloaf to cook…..so go ahead, help your kids with their homework, fold the laundry, meal prep for tomorrow, return a phone call, relax with a book….whatever it is you NEED or WANT to do while you wait for your delicious meatloaf to cook itself!
How to make Vegan Meatloaf
Preheat oven to 375
Step 1: First prep the veggies. Dice onions, celery and carrots. Press the garlic and measure the spices.
Step 2: Saute diced veggies, spices and garlic in a heavy skillet. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until veggies are tender.
Step 3: Meanwhile, rinse and drain beans. Add to a large mixing bowl.
Step 4: Mash beans using a potato masher or a fork.
Step 5: Add the almond milk, vegan worcestershire, tamari, tomato paste, ground oats and flax to the bean mixture. Mix with a fork until everything is well incorporated.
Step 6: Add the sauteed vegetable mixture to the bowl and mix until fully combined.
Step 7: Prepare a loaf pan by lining with unbleached parchment paper.
Spoon bean mixture into prepared loaf pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth and compress, making sure there are no air pockets. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 30 minutes.
Step 8: Spoon bean mixture into prepared loaf pan.
Step 9: Use an offset spatula to evenly distribute into pan. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 30 minutes.
Step 10: Use a fork or whisk to mix together tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper to make the glaze. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly onto partially baked bean mixture.
Step 11: Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Let it cook in the pan for 10 minutes and then carefully lift the parchment to remove. Sprinkle iwth fresh herbs, slice and serve.
Meal prep and Storage
- Make ahead: Make the batter. Press meatloaf into prepared loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap or foil. Store in the fridge overnight or the freezer for up to 3 months. OR make the entire meatloaf, including the glaze and baking and follow storage and reheating directions below.
- Storage: Cooked meatloaf can be covered tightly and stored in the fridge for 5 days, or freezer for 3 months. A glass loaf pan with lid makes it easy to store.
- Freeze: Freeze uncooked or cooked meatloaf, in airtight freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, bake as directed, including instructions in recipe card to make glaze and bake that in too.
- Reheat: Reheat already cooked meatloaf in preheated 350 oven for 25 minutes.
Debra’s Pro Tips:
- A combination of chickpeas and kidney beans will give the color and the texture of ground meat, adding tons of fiber and plant based protein.
- When mashing the beans, leave some chunks and make some more pasty for varied texture in the finished meatloaf.
- If you’re not into the tomato glaze, whip up a batch of my easy vegan gravy to top the meatloaf instead.
- Line your loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper for easy removal.
- Let the meatloaf cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
What should I serve with Vegan Meatloaf?
Generally, vegan meatloaf uses mashed beans or lentils, crumbled tofu or seitan in place of meat. Those are often combined with grains like rice or quinoa for a complete plant-based protein.
Rolled oats, ground oats, crushed crackers or crushed chips are good substitutes for breadcrumbs in meatloaf.
Egg is not a necessary ingredient in meatloaf, but you do need something that will bind everything together. Ground flaxseed is a plant-based binder that also contributes omega-3 fats and fiber to this recipe.
Did you know commenting and rating recipes is one of the best ways to support your favorite food bloggers? If you made this recipe, please consider a five star rating below and leave a comment. Also, please share your photos on instagram by tagging me @dkhealthcoach and using the hashtag #debraklein
Vegan Meatloaf Recipe
- 1 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion small dice
- 3 carrots small dice
- 2 stalks celery small dice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 (14.5-oz)cans kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 (14.5-oz) can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 3 Tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Tamari
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup ground oats
- 3 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ½ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons whole grain dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 and line loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil over medium heat and saute the onion for 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil and the carrots, celery, paprika, cumin, thyme, salt, cayenne and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir constantly for one minute.
- Using a potato masher or a fork, in a large bowl, mash the beans. Stir in milk, worcestershire, tamari, tomato paste, oatmeal and flax. Mix well, then stir in the cooked veggies until well incorporated.
- Press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Push down to be sure there are no air pockets. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- While meatloaf is cooking, make the glaze in a small bowl. Whisk together ingredients and set aside.
- After 30 minutes, spoon glaze onto meatloaf and spread evenly over top. Bake for additional 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before lifting gently from pan.
- Sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro on top before slicing and serving.