A hearty vegan meatloaf made from quinoa, lentils, and mushrooms brushed with a ketchup glaze. A great vegan entree to serve for the holidays or any ol' day!
Meatloaf may not automatically come to mind as the most “veganizable” dish. However, this recipe totally proves that wrong! I won’t go so far as to say that I’ve perfected this recipe, but it’s pretty dang good! I’d love to hear what you think, so please let me know in the comments if you try it out!
This is a great comfort food meal that might just take you back to being a kid! It works perfectly as a weeknight dinner and is also an amazing “meaty” addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas spread.
When you need a warm, hearty, tasty, and nutritious meal, I wouldn’t be surprised if this vegan meatloaf becomes your new go-to!
This vegan meatloaf recipe is bursting with flavor and contains a lot of nutritious ingredients!
- Brown lentils – Did you know that lentils are actually edible seeds in the legume family? Not only are they a great vegan option for a “meaty” texture, but they’re incredibly healthy too! Brown lentils are the most common lentil and you should be able to easily find them in major supermarkets or more health-oriented grocery stores.
- Bay leaf – Bay leaves are great to keep on hand because they provide a certain je ne sais quoi to a lot of great recipes, like this vegan meatloaf and soups such as minestrone!
- Parsley, smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, black pepper, celery salt – These seasonings, in addition to their nutritional benefits, really help take the flavor of this dish to the next level!
- Salt – If you try to be health-conscious like me, it can be tempting to skip or reduce the salt, but don’t! Adding even a little salt really helps bring out the other flavors.
- Quinoa – Did you know quinoa has been eaten for thousands of years in South America and is technically more of a seed than a grain? It has substantial nutritional benefits, including protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium folate, iron, and more!
- Egg replacer – You can use a store-bought egg replacer (such as Bob’s Red Mill or Ener-G), or check out a wide range of options you might already have at home right here!
- Onion and garlic – Onion and garlic belong to the allium family. Allium vegetables are rich in organosulfur compounds, which research shows may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure!
- Bella mushrooms – Also known as crimini (or cremini) mushrooms, or brown mushrooms, baby bella mushrooms have a more robust taste than white (or “button”) mushrooms. These mushrooms are a great source of fiber, potassium, and phosphorous!
- Brown sugar – You can substitute other types of sugar, but brown sugar works well for this recipe. Just be aware that many white and brown sugars (at least in the U.S.) are not vegan-friendly. This is due to bone char. Luckily, you can find vegan-friendly white and brown sugar online if not in your preferred grocery stores.
- Tomato paste – Tomatoes provide umami, a savory flavor that some consider to be the “fifth taste.” In addition to the glaze, it helps give this recipe that classic meatloaf flavor!
- Worcestershire – Worcestershire sauce has ancient roots that take it back to fermented fish sauce eaten by the Romans. As such, many modern-day Worcestershire sauces contain anchovies. Make sure you get a fish-free vegan one (like Annie’s brand) or you can try making your own!
How to Make Vegan Meatloaf
- Add the lentils, bay leaf, and 2 cups of water to a pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover the lentils and allow them to simmer for 40 minutes until they're cooked through.
- In another pot, bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add the quinoa and allow it to boil for 5 minutes. Then, turn off the heat, cover, and let the quinoa sit for 20 minutes until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Mix your egg replacer with water and set it aside to thicken.
- Add the cooked lentils and quinoa to a large minx bowl. With a silicone spatula, fold in the onion, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, tomato paste, brown sugar, baking powder, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, celery salt, chili powder.
- Then, fold in the breadcrumbs, flour, and "egg," until just combined. Be careful to not overmix so your meatloaf doesn't end up too dense.
- Pour mixture into a greased 8x4 loaf pan, and cook for 50 minutes. While the meatloaf is cooking mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl to make the glaze.
- After 50 minutes, remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the glaze evenly over top. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Allow the meatloaf to cool for 10 minutes, before slicing into 8 equal slices. Enjoy!
Do I have to mix by hand?
No, you don’t! That said, I personally chop up the veggies as small as possible and mix by hand because it keeps the mixture from being over blended. If you use a food processor, your mixture can easily get too blended and that leads to a dense, soggy loaf, which no wants 🙁
Can I make this gluten-free?
Absolutely! Simply swap out the breadcrumbs for gluten-free ones! You could also use ground rolled oats if you prefer.
What should I serve with meatloaf?
I personally love a veggie side like maple roasted carrots and a starch like sweet potatoes! This vegan meatloaf would also be great for any vegans during the holidays as a hearty "meat" option.
What if I’d like my meatloaf a bit chunkier?
Easy! Simply add some diced celery, carrots, bell pepper, or onions to add more texture!
Can I swap in different lentils?
You can give it a try, but I can’t personally vouch for it! Brown lentils work best because they have the right color to replicate traditional meatloaf, plus they have a nice earthy, elemental flavor that works well for this recipe.
How should I store this vegan meatloaf?
This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. After that, you should probably freeze it. It should be good in the freezer for a couple of months. If you end up going that route, I recommend freezing it in individual slices. They make for a great addition to a sandwich!
Why this Recipe will be your New Go-To
I won’t be surprised if this vegan meatloaf recipe becomes your new favorite! This is a perfect dish as the temperatures start to drop. It’s cozy and earthy (thanks to the lentils and mushrooms) and pairs well with other hearty classics like mashed potatoes.
- Delicious – This dish will take you back to your childhood with its hearty and tasty ingredients!
- Nutritious –Thanks to the main ingredient of lentils, as well as many of the complementary ingredients such as mushrooms and all the spices, this dish packs some good nutritional punch! Lentils are high in protein and fiber, which means that this dish will keep you fuller longer than traditional meatloaf!
- Versatile - If you have leftovers, a slice makes for the perfect “meaty” sandwich!
- Perfect for cooler weather – Thanks to the cozy and earthy ingredients, pulling this out of the oven will be a real joy as the temperatures begin to drop!
Let me know if you try this vegan meatloaf, and if you do, I would love it if you left a rating and review below! This would be a great vegan entree to serve for any holiday celebrations like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Make sure you are also following along on Instagram and Pinterest for more food inspiration.
Find more vegan entrees below:
- Broccoli Leek Soup
- Shepherd's Pie with Beyond Beef
- Greek Lemon Soup
- Beyond Sausage Paella
- Pumpkin Soup
- Spicy Asian Stir Fry
- Mediterranean Buddha Bowl
- Grilled Tofu Burger
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Tofu Poke Bowl
- Pumpkin Pasta