Embark on a culinary journey with “The Best Vegan Meatloaf,” a plant-based twist on the classic comfort food that defies expectations and redefines the art of vegan cooking. This delectable creation offers a savory and satisfying experience, showcasing that cruelty-free alternatives can be just as hearty and flavorful as traditional meatloaf. As we delve into this culinary masterpiece, get ready to discover the perfect union of plant-based ingredients, herbs, and spices that come together to craft a meatloaf that’s both nostalgic and innovative.

At the heart of this Vegan Meatloaf is a commitment to wholesome and plant-derived ingredients. A harmonious blend of lentils, mushrooms, oats, and an array of herbs and spices forms the foundation of this cruelty-free delight. This recipe transcends the notion of substituting meat with plant-based alternatives; instead, it celebrates the unique textures and flavors that vegan ingredients bring to the table. The result is a satisfying loaf that mirrors the comforting qualities of traditional meatloaf without compromising on taste.

Crafting the perfect texture is an essential element of any meatloaf, and this vegan rendition is no exception. The combination of hearty lentils, sautéed mushrooms, and oats creates a robust yet tender consistency that rivals the traditional meat-based counterpart. Each slice promises a delectable mouthfeel, proving that vegan meatloaf is not merely a compromise but a culinary triumph in its own right.

The Best Vegan Meatloaf is a testament to the versatility of plant-based cooking. It serves as a canvas for creativity, encouraging home cooks to experiment with various herbs, spices, and even different protein sources to suit their taste preferences. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or someone exploring plant-based options for the first time, this meatloaf offers a familiar yet innovative entry point into the world of compassionate and delicious dining.

Beyond its culinary merits, The Best Vegan Meatloaf stands as a symbol of ethical dining. By choosing plant-based ingredients, this dish becomes a statement of compassion, demonstrating that satisfying, home-cooked meals need not contribute to animal exploitation. As awareness of ethical and sustainable choices grows, this vegan meatloaf becomes a delicious ambassador for a lifestyle that aligns with both conscience and palate.

As you embark on the journey of crafting The Best Vegan Meatloaf, revel in the process of creating a flavorful masterpiece that transcends expectations. From the savory aroma that fills your kitchen to the hearty and satisfying bites, this dish invites you to savor the joy of cruelty-free comfort food. Join us in celebrating the innovation, compassion, and culinary delight that converge in The Best Vegan Meatloaf—a testament to the evolving landscape of plant-based cuisine.

Gut Health:
Plant-based diets are often associated with improved gut health due to the high fiber content from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to better digestion and overall well-being.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Many plant-based foods have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help in reducing inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is associated with various health issues, and a vegan diet may contribute to its prevention.

Sports Performance:
Contrary to the misconception that vegan diets lack protein, many successful athletes follow plant-based diets to enhance their performance. Plant-based proteins can support muscle building and recovery.

Reduced Risk of Foodborne Illnesses:
Plant-based diets eliminate the risk of foodborne illnesses associated with the consumption of undercooked or contaminated animal products.

Economic Impact:
A vegan diet can be more economical as plant-based protein sources tend to be cost-effective compared to some animal products. It may be a budget-friendly option for individuals or families.

Mindful Eating:
Adopting a vegan lifestyle often promotes mindful eating. Being more conscious of food choices and sources can lead to a healthier relationship with food and a greater appreciation for the environmental impact of dietary decisions.

Preservation of Biodiversity:
The expansion of animal agriculture often leads to habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity. Choosing a vegan diet supports the preservation of ecosystems and the protection of various species.

Culinary Diversity:
Veganism introduces individuals to a diverse range of cuisines and ingredients from around the world. Exploring plant-based cooking can be a culinary adventure, embracing flavors and techniques from different cultures.

Reduced Antibiotic Resistance:
The use of antibiotics in animal farming contributes to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Opting for a vegan diet can be a way to reduce the demand for such practices and promote responsible antibiotic use.

Cruelty-Free Beauty and Personal Care:
Veganism extends to beauty and personal care products. Choosing cruelty-free, vegan alternatives ensures that your lifestyle aligns with ethical choices beyond just dietary preferences.

The Best Vegan Meatloaf

A classic style vegan meatloaf recipe made with a base of chickpeas. Unlike some vegan loaf recipes, this one is not mushy. It has a slight smoky flavor and makes for a beautiful centerpiece dish for any holiday or Sunday family dinner.

Prep Time10minutes mins

A classic style vegan meatloaf recipe made with a base of chickpeas. Unlike some vegan loaf recipes, this one is not mushy. It has a slight smoky flavor and makes for a beautiful centerpiece dish for any holiday or Sunday family dinner.

Prep Time10minutes mins

Servings: 10 servings

Calories: 286kcal

Ingredients

Vegetables for Sautéing

  • 1.67-3.33 tablespoons olive oil OR water for oil free
  • 1.67 small onion, diced small
  • 3.33 small carrots, diced small
  • 3.33 celery stalks, diced small
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

For the Rest

  • (3.33) 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3 cups)
  • 1.67- 2.5 cups breadcrumbs*
  • 3.33 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3.33 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3.33 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 0.42 cup ketchup
  • 0.83 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional, but good

For the topping

  • 0.56 cup ketchup
  • 1.67 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray a 9 inch loaf pan with oil, or line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  • Saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in the olive oil or water over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Add the chickpeas to a large bowl, and mash with a potato masher (or fork). You do not want them to be completely pasty or mushy, but well broken up. Alternatively, use a food processor, but be careful not to over blend them and make them totally mushy. Pulse a couple of times if using a food processor.
  • Add the cooked veggies and all the remaining ingredients to the chickpeas. I have found 1 cup of breadcrumbs to be enough, but if the mixture seems really moist, add an extra 1/2 cup. Stir with a large wooden spoon until very well combined. 
  • Press the loaf mixture in the prepared pan, pushing down evenly with your hand. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce for the topping.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the foil, spread the ketchup topping evenly on top of the loaf and bake for another 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the oven.
  • Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before slicing if you can, it will hold up better. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired before serving.

Notes

  1. You may substitute gluten-free or whole wheat breadcrumbs if desired. The amount needed depends on how moist or dry your chickpeas are. I have found this varies depending on the brand. Use 1 to 1 1/2 cups.
  2. Make sure to find vegan Worcestershire sauce. Most have anchovies in the ingredients. Annie’s brand has a good one you can find at most natural food stores. You can also order it online.
  3. Find liquid smoke near barbecue sauce in most grocery stores. You can leave it out, but it adds a great “smoky” flavor. One bottle will last you a long time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 843mg | Potassium: 600mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3598IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 4mg