For those who long for Mom’s classic recipe, this vegan meatloaf may be better than the real thing, for lots of reasons! By all means, try this with Beyond Meat® Plant-Based Ground (or other plant-based ground brands); or, those looking for a whole foods approach will also find a version using beans and nuts in the recipe’s variations.
When I first spotted Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef® Plant-Based Ground in my local natural foods store and supermarket, I was curious to try it.
Oh my gosh, it does look meaty in the package, almost a bit too much for this longtime vegan. But I understand its appeal, and would much rather people make this than the animal-based recipe.
As someone who balked at meat early in life and gave it up while still in my teens, I wasn’t terribly motivated to make vegan meatloaf in the meat-free ways that it has evolved over the years — nut loaf, neat loaf, lentil loaf, and so on.
A reader favorite: Yet even for someone like me who doesn’t share the nostalgia factor, I have to admit that this classic vegan meatloaf is freaking delicious! And fortunately, many reader agree, as you’ll see in the comments.
Side dishes to serve with vegan meatloaf: Keep it simple with a steamed green vegetable (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans) and a comforting carb like oven fries, onion rings, or baked sweet potato.
You’ll find lots more recipes like this using today’ amazing meat alternatives in Plant-Powered Protein by Nava Atlas.
Quick to put together, baked slowly: Putting this together is super easy and doesn’t take much time, but you’ve got to allow a bit of time for slow baking in the oven.
Go for the glaze! While adding the glaze is optional, it uses some of the same ingredients that go into the loaf and gives the loaf a nice finishing touch. Serve with your favorite vegetable sides for an amazing meal.
Do other plant-based ground or crumble products work? You might be wondering if another type of plant-based ground product can be used in this, in case you can’t find the Beyond Meat® brand.
Some burger-style crumbles are dry and — well, crumbly — so I’m not sure they’d create the same effect. As long is it’s a moist ground style plant-based product, one that, for lack of a better description, is kind of solid and sticks to itself, it should work.
Here are more vegan “beefy” ground recipes:
- Italian-Flavored Beef-less Ground
- Easy Coleslaw & Plant Protein Soft Tacos
- Vegan Korean Beef-less Rice Bowl
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 1/2 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 16-ounce package Beyond Meat's Beyond Beef Plant-Based Ground (or see red bean and walnut alternative in Notes)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning blend (see Note)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats (oatmeal)
- 1 cup fine breadcrumbs (see Note)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Glaze topping (optional but highly recommended)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
- 1 teaspoon barbecue seasoning blend
- Preheat the oven to 375º F.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic and continue to sauté until all are golden.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the skillet mixture with all the remaining ingredients (other than the optional glaze topping). Work together thoroughly with a large spoon or clean hands.
- Transfer the mixture to an oiled 9-by-5-by 3-inch loaf pan (metal is preferable, though ceramic works, too. Glass is less desirable) and pat in. If you think your loaf pan will be sticky, line the bottom with a fitting piece of parchment. Or, if you want to be able to easily lift the loaf out of the pan, cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom, sides, and enough to make "wings" on the side of the pan.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- If you’re using the optional glaze, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir together. After the initial 45 minutes of baking time, spread evenly on top of the loaf.
- Whether or not you're using the glaze, bake for 20 to 30 minutes longer, uncovered, or until the loaf looks firm and you can see browning around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let the loaf stand for about 15 minutes. Loosen the loaf around the edges with a knife. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 to 10 slices. Or if you've made parchment "wings," carefully lift out of the pan and set on an oblong serving plate before cutting.
I made this exact recipe using red beans and walnuts instead of the Beyond® Ground and it tastes almost exactly the same — a whole food option at a fraction of the cost! Simply pulverize 1/2 cup walnuts in a food processor until just about powdered. Add a 15-ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed, and pulse on and off until the mixture has the texture of ground. Then add to the mixing bowl in place of the Beyond Ground. I'll have a separate post for this formulation soon!
Barbecue seasonings are available in the spice section of most supermarkets. One of the best-known brands is McCormick®. Varieties include smokehouse maple, mesquite, chipotle, and there are lots of others. Discover your favorites, and keep a couple on hand.
If you don't have breadcrumbs on hand, you can make them by whirling two slices of whole-grain bread in the food processor fitted with the metal blade. That should make about a cup.
As shown, you can top with some finely chopped fresh herb or greens of your choice — parsley, cilantro, scallions, or baby spinach.
Leftovers make delicious sandwiches!
This is NOT a sponsored post! I like recommending products that I’ve enjoyed in creating recipes.
Beyond Beef® Plant-Based Ground is the product used in this recipe, unless you’ve opted for the version using beans and nuts.
If you like this vegan meatloaf, you might also enjoy …
- Find more ways to veganize your favorite recipes.