This vegan meatloaf is easy to make and super tasty! It has a deep & savoury flavour and comes with a great gravy recipe too!
By popular reader request, here is a fantastic vegan meatloaf recipe. It's a favourite in our house for sure and when I crave comfort food it really hits the spot, especially when served with a pile of creamy vegan mashed potatoes and my roasted red cabbage.
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.
How to make vegan meatloaf
Vegan versions of recipes like meatloaf can be just as tasty as non-vegan versions and don't have to be complicated to make. My Beyond Meat Meatloaf is so easy to make and this Vegan Meatloaf is really straightforward too. Here's how it's done:
- 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.
- 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.
- Make the really quick, super tasty vegan gravy while the vegan meatloaf is cooking.
- Rest the meatloaf for a few minutes before slicing.
How to serve
I have included a recipe for a quick and tasty gravy to make as an accompaniment to this Vegan Meatloaf but you could make my vegan red wine gravy instead.
A couple of thick, hearty slices make the perfect partner to vegan yorkshire puddings, crispy roast potatoes or vegan mashed sweet potato. And some vegan green bean casserole on the side will take your meal right over the top!
Or a huge, fluffy pile of vegan 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!
Try skipping the gravy and serve the meatloaf with my homemade vegan BBQ sauce instead. Brush some on the top before baking and serve it on the side too.
What to do with leftovers
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.
How to make 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.
Planning your holiday meal?
DOWNLOAD MY VEGAN THANKSGIVING DINNER MENU, SHOPPING LIST AND TIMELINE HERE!
It makes Thanksgiving effortless. All you have to do is print it out, shop from the shopping list, then make it the recipes while following my time line.
I also have one for Christmas too!
DOWNLOAD MY CHRISTMAS DINNER MENU, SHOPPING LIST AND TIMELINE HERE!
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
Vegan Meatloaf with GravyAuthor:
For the vegan meatloaf
- 1 small onion , finely chopped, golf ball size
- 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 198g / 1 cup cooked split 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 / ½ 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 / ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- 1 cup / 108 g bread crumbs , made from a stale loaf of bread, or use panko crumbs, or gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 90 g / 1 scant cup flour , all purpsoe, 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 / ½ cup water , you might not need any at all
For the gravy
- 2 medium onions , chopped
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons tamari , or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch (or just regular all purpose flour)
- 480mls / 2 cups vegetable stock (I like to use mushroom stock) , (or blend 2 cups of water and 3 small mushrooms)
- 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.
- 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.
This recipe was originally published on April 15th 2016 and updated with new photographs and a video on Sept 6th 2018.
Patty Koopmans says
so very delicious!!!! will make this again along with the gravy!! i did swap the bread crumbs for my ground pork rinds. thank you so much for sharing this...
Elaine Harvell says
Does this meatloaf freeze well.
I swapped the bread crumbs for oats and the nuts for pumpkin seeds. Really lovely.
Hi, I'm interested in swapping out the bread crumbs for oats too. Did you use the same amount 1C/108g? And was it regular rolled oats or quick oats? Thank you so much :)
It's my first time making this for my meat eating family and I and we all can't stop licking the loaf tin and spatula clean hahaha. So delicious! It will be a regular in our household from now on. Thank you!!
PS. I've also got your Irish Stew recipe cooking in the slow cooker for tomorrow. Can't wait. LOVE your recipes.
Melanie McDonald says
Thank you Kirsty! I'm so pleased you're enjoying it. I hope the Irish Stew is a hit too!
You show oats in the video but no oats in recipe?
Melanie McDonald says
It's an old recipe which has been improved and the oats are no longer in it. The videos are really expensive to get made so it hasn't been updated yet. Follow the written recipe and the meatloaf will be great.
What do you mean by golf ball sized? The size of the onion. That would be a tiny onion.
Melanie McDonald says
I mean approximately golf ball sized. I often have ones that size in my bags of onions. It doesn't have to be absolutely exact. You can cut a piece from a bigger onion.
Yum yum yum! Delicious! Thank you!
Signe K. says
I have made this recipe several times; it was our Thanksgiving entree. I will say that it takes me a bit longer than as estimated here, since there are so many ingredients and some prep involved with some of them. Well worth the time! It is a delicious loaf and thank you for the recipe!
I just made this for Thanksgiving and it was (and still is :) divine. Paired with the vegan mashed potatoes and a couple of cranberry based salads it was one of the best holiday meals I’ve ever had! Thank you SO much for your recipes. 💕
Melanie McDonald says
Thank you Carol. I'm really pleased you enjoyed it so much!
Fantastic! I used 2 cans of reg lentils to speed up the process -I didn't feel like cooking 2 types of lentils from scratch. It was delicious.! One loaf makes quite a lot! I was skeptical about the quantity at first as a loaf pan isn't really very big and, I'm kind of a big eater!🤣 We will be enjoying our leftovers in different ways (probably as a sandwich filling cold as well as reheating) over the up-coming days. Yum yum! Thanks!
Hi want to use canned lentils to speed up process as well and just wanted to clarify that you used 2 full cans (15 oz) of lentils drained right? Thank you so much!
This was so so delicious. Foodgasm level. Had it with mashed potatoes, peas, double the gravy and some lingonberry jam. So so good.
Jackie S says
I made this today and it was so tasty. I’ve never managed to make a decent vegan gravy before but this recipe was foolproof and really good. As a fellow Brit I appreciated the weight measurements as I can’t get my head round cups. And the best thing is plenty of leftovers so tomorrow’s dinner is sorted. Thanks for sharing your recipe xx
A Virtual Vegan says
So pleased you're enjoying the recipe Jackie! The leftovers always taste even better!
Tastes so good!! Although I followed the recipe to a Tee, it still came out soggy in the bottom. When I took the parchment paper out, there was water on the bottom of the pan and I even cooked it a bit longer than recommended. Wondering what I did wrong...
A Virtual Vegan says
A couple things spring to mind... First you didn't make it in a silicone pan did you? They don't cook anything as well as a metal one and often make things a bit condensationy or wet. It's because they don't radiate heat like metal.
Or maybe you slightly overcooked the lentils and they were a bit water-logged?
Glad you enjoyed it regardless though!
Whats the pink/purple stuff? And is there a recipe for it somewhere..... Thanks ?
A Virtual Vegan says
It's just steamed red cabbage. Nothing fancy.