This Vegan Meatloaf is incredibly easy to make & is sure to please with it’s deep & savoury flavour. Serve sliced & smothered in rich, thick gravy for a truly satisfying meal!
I have received a few emails over the past few months asking if I could come up with a Vegan Meatloaf recipe.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN MEATLOAF
SEE MY VIDEO FOR A VISUAL GUIDE. FOR INGREDIENTS & FULL INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST
Vegan versions of recipes like meatloaf can be just as tasty as non-vegan versions and don’t have to be complicated to make. This Vegan Meatloaf is really straightforward. Here’s how:
All you have to do do is chop the onions, garlic and mushrooms.
If you can I suggest taking the lazy way out and doing all the chopping in a food processor. It’s then super quick and easy.
I have this one and love it:
It holds 14 cups so all fits in. If you have a smaller one you might have to chop in batches but it will still be quicker than doing it by hand.
Then you mix the chopped mushrooms, onions and garlic with all of the other ingredients in a big bowl and press tightly into a loaf pan before baking.
I can’t recommend these USA Loaf Pans enough:
I use mine for recipes like this and for making Whole Wheat Bread and other quick breads and nothing ever sticks, even with very minimal greasing (or none at all if I forget).
Bake the meatloaf and make the really quick, super tasty vegan gravy.
Rest the meatloaf for a few minutes before slicing and serve with whatever takes your fancy.
HOW TO SERVE MY VEGAN MEATLOAF
I have included a recipe for a quick and tasty gravy to make as an accompaniment to this Vegan Meatloaf but if you have any of my Red Wine Vegan Gravy leftover from another meal that also works well.
or a huge, fluffy pile of mashed potatoes and some delicious steamed vegetables, all drizzled with gravy. I have also made it and smothered barbecue sauce all over the top before baking, then served it with more for drizzling. It works so well!
Comfort food at it’s best!
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER VEGAN MEATLOAF
Leftovers are absolutely fantastic when stuffed inside the mushrooms in this Easy Vegan Mushroom Pie recipe instead of the caramelized onions. Seriously, seriously good! I highly recommend you try it!
They are also great sliced thinly in sandwiches or just reheated again and served with potatoes and gravy as before. I could easily eat this a few days in a row.
Leftovers reheat perfectly too. Just wrap individual slices or a wedge of it in lightly greased tin foil and bake in the oven.
This meatloaf is incredibly full of flavour and texture. The mushrooms give it amazing depth but not in an obviously mushroomy way. In fact, my husband who does not like mushrooms happily ate this two nights in a row and thoroughly enjoyed it. He was shocked when I told him that they were the main ingredient.
TASTY & NUTRITIOUS
As well as tasting good, this Vegan Meatloaf is really good for you.
It is totally oil free, gluten free and packs a massive protein punch with 10 grams per slice. (If anyone asks you where you get your protein from, please throw a slice of this in their face!).
CAN I PREPARE VEGAN MEATLOAF IN ADVANCE?
This Vegan Meatloaf recipe be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a few days before baking so is great if you like to batch cook or prepare food at the weekends ready for the week ahead. At holiday time it’s always lovely to have things like this made up ahead so on the day you can enjoy more time with your family rather than in the kitchen.
You can also bake it, cool it and keep in the fridge, then reheat the whole thing in the pan wrapped in tin foil. That way you can bake it in advance then warm it through just when you need it.
To make this Vegan Meatloaf, you need some already cooked red and green lentils. It is important that these lentils are not overcooked as otherwise they will make the meatloaf mushy. Cook them until just tender. I give some more specific instructions in the recipe notes.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
If you did, be a ☆ and let me know what you think by rating it and commenting below. Tag me on Instagram too. I am @avirtualvegan and my hashtag is #avirtualvegan
This recipe was originally published on April 15th 2016 and updated with new photographs and a video on Sept 6th 2018.
Vegan Meatloaf with Gravy
For the vegan meatloaf
- 1 small onion , finely chopped, golf ball size
- 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 198g | 1 cup cooked red lentils (measured after cooked)- do not overcook the lentils. They should be just soft. Red Lentils don't take long to cook at all and if they are overcooked and soggy it will make the meatloaf soggy. For tips on cooking see recipe notes.
- 198g | 1 cup cooked green lentils (measured after cooked)- do not overcook the lentils or the meatloaf will end up soggy. They need to be just tender. For tips on cooking see recipe notes.
- 226g | 3 cups mushrooms , finely chopped (measured after chopping). White, button, cremini (brown) or portobello are all fine to use.
- 62g | 1/2 cup walnut pieces , To make nut-free you can sub the walnuts for half a cup of oats or half a cup of sunflower seeds
- 4 tablespoons | 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1 cup / 108 g bread crumbs , made from a stale loaf of bread, or use panko crumbs
- 90 g | 1 cup oat , rice, spelt or wholewheat flour (see recipe note for how to make oat flour)
- 1 tablespoon Tamari (or coconut aminos , or soy sauce)
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoons pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- up to 120mls | 1/2 cup water , you might not need any at all
- Preheat oven to 370°.
- Make sure the onion, garlic & mushrooms are chopped finely. If you have a food processor you can do this in there with the regular blade.
- Put them in a large bowl then add all other meatloaf ingredients except the water.
- Mix very, very well together. There is a lot of it and it is hard to mix with a spoon so it's much easier to get your hands in there and squidge it all together well.
You need it so that it sticks together nicely when you squeeze it with your hands. If it does this easily then don't add any water. If it's still a little crumby and wont come together add water very gradually until it just starts coming together. I often need no water at all. Definitely don't add more water than it needs or it will make the loaf soggy.
- Lay a strip of parchment paper down the length of a loaf tin with enough length either end to act as handles for pulling the finished loaf out ( my tin is 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches. Any tin roughly that size will be fine)
- Spoon in the meatloaf mixture and pack down really tightly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Keep an eye on it towards the end. You want it to go a bit crusty and brown on the top but not too dark. You can cover it with a piece of foil if it does start going too brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, covered tightly in foil for at least 15 minutes but up to 30 is ok. Then remove and slice.
For the gravy
- Sauté the onion slowly over a low heat until a deep golden brown.
- Transfer to a blender with all of the other ingredients and blend until very smooth.
- Pour into a pan and stir over a medium heat until thickened and piping hot.
- If you prefer your gravy a little thinner just add some boiling water from a kettle and stir well until you get the consistency you like.
- Serve the meatloaf sliced and doused in gravy.
If you wish your loaf to be gluten free use gluten free certified oat flour. Oat flour can be easily made by just blending or processing rolled or quick oats until they are a fine powder.
This meatloaf can even be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a few days before baking so is great if you like to batch cook or prepare food at the weekends ready for the week ahead. Leftovers also reheat perfectly. I wrap them in foil and warm through in the oven.
A few readers have said that the leftovers are extra good if sliced then pan fried until golden. I haven't tried it but it sounds good!
Tips for cooking lentils:
- Don't soak them prior to cooking.
- Rinse in a sieve with fresh water to remove any dust or debris.
- Cook on a stovetop, using 3 cups of liquid (water, stock) to 1 cup of dry lentils. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size.
- Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat to low and simmer until they are tender.
- For whole lentils, cook time is usually about 15-20 minutes.
- For split red lentils, cook time is typically only about 5 minutes.
- Spoon a couple out and taste them to check done-ness periodically and as soon as they are ready, drain and leave to cool.
Any leftover cooked lentils will keep for 5-6 days in a sealed container in the fridge and they also freeze really well.