VeganMoFo: Home-style Vegan Meatloaf

VeganMoFo: Home-Style Vegan Meatloaf

With cooler weather settling in, it’s time to bring on the comfort food. Inspired by the Chickpea Cutlets recipe in Veganomicon, I made “meatloaf.”

When I first mixed up a batch of the Chickpea Cutlets, it reminded me of when I had to help my mom make dinner as a youngster. One of my jobs back then was to mix together the ingredients for meatloaf. It looks surprisingly similar.

For this meatloaf version, I changed up some of the spices and added onion, celery, and carrots. I also shaped them into mini loaves. Mini food just looks so cute. But really, it was to make sure that the center firmed up and doesn’t come out too mushy.

Home-style Vegan Meatloaf
Makes 4 mini loaves
Adapted from the Chickpea Cutlets recipe in Veganomicon

1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup water
Ketchup for glaze

Heat sauté pan to hot, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sauté onion until translucent, then add the carrots and celery. Cook for about 2 minutes; set aside and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Place in a large bowl, and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients including the cooked vegetables. Mix together and knead for a few minutes until strings of gluten have formed and everything sticks together in a big ball.

Divide the ball into 4 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small loaf. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and lightly oil. Place the loaves on the tin foil and brush both sides with oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn over and glaze the top with ketchup. Bake another 10 minutes until firm. Cut into slices and serve with wasabi mashed potatoes or your favorite sides.

vegan mofo logo

49 Comments so far

  1. KT on October 13th, 2009

    You’re right, mini foods are always so adorable. :P I’m for SURE going to try these! I have yet to find a vegan “meat”loaf recipe that really wowed me.

  2. jeni treehugger on October 13th, 2009

    Mmmm yummy, what an awesome combo. Mini foods get me every time. They always make me feel like a giant.

  3. IR on October 14th, 2009

    If you are unable to tolerate the gluten, do you think that this will work the same? If not, what else could I use? Thanks.

  4. Lisa (Show Me Vegan) on October 14th, 2009

    what a cozy meal!

  5. Whitney @ Lettuce Love on October 14th, 2009

    Now that I am a vegetarian, one of the few food that I miss is meatloaf. It was such comfort food when I was a kid. Looks great!

  6. Carrie on October 14th, 2009

    That looks great!

  7. JoLynn-dreaminitvegan on October 14th, 2009

    What a great idea for a loaf!

  8. Jes on October 14th, 2009

    So weird, I was talking about making vegan meatloaf today. I like the chickpeas in this one, it might be the first one I try!

  9. chow on October 14th, 2009

    Thanks everyone for your comments. :-)

    IR – I just starting working with vital wheat gluten myself. I don’t think there is a substitute for it. I believe it’s what holds the loaf together and gives it that texture. I don’t know what else you could use instead. Sorry. :-(

  10. Andrea on October 15th, 2009

    The meatloaf looks good but it’s the wasabi mashed potatoes I find myself staring at longingly.

  11. Mo on October 15th, 2009

    That looks phenomenal!

  12. trina on October 15th, 2009

    I have totally been craving meat loaf! Thank you!

  13. KiKi on October 19th, 2009

    oh, gotta try!
    Thanx for sharing!!!

  14. [...] Inspired by This recipe and this one [...]

  15. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SharonTK and Jerry O'Donnell, Vegan Mainstream. Vegan Mainstream said: VeganMoFo: Home-Style Vegan Meatloaf [...]

  16. Shari - Skandi Vegan Chick on May 11th, 2010

    Great photo…it really makes this recipe look appealing (which isn’t easy to do with brown, loaf food!). Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’m making this tonight with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans!

  17. [...] loves meatloaf and has been requesting it all week, I decided to give vegan loaf a try. I used this VeganMofo: Home-style Vegan Meatloaf recipe from Chow Vegan to begin my experimenting.  First thing to note, I had to substitute the [...]

  18. savvy on July 14th, 2010

    This is a great recipe! Yours were much cuter, but they hit the spot. My friends and I actually used it for our vegan (youtube) cooking show- don’t worry, we posted a link to your recipe.
    Here’s a link to the episode:

  19. [...] Walnut Loaf, Renae of i eat food’s riff on VeganDad’s meatloaf, and Chow Vegan’s Home-style Vegan Meatloaf, just to name a few. And for over a year now, since a friend and I got a hankering for meatloaf [...]

  20. Goldie on December 11th, 2010

    Yey! We are ganna make this tonight! Thanx

  21. Calista on January 17th, 2011

    Just made this last night. Very tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  22. Tara on March 30th, 2011

    Loaf is in the oven right now! I’m so excited to dive in… I tasted a little bit mid-way cooking and I think it’s going to be a winner!

    I made it into a large loaf combining all 4 mini loaves into one – Baked it for 25 minutes, took out it, decided it didn’t need to be flipped, but a ketchup/hot sauce glaze on top and in for another 20 minutes.

    Serving this with a creamy dressing green salad!

    Thank you for the recipe!!! :)

  23. mif on June 23rd, 2011

    Do you know if these can be frozen?

  24. chow on June 23rd, 2011

    mif – I haven’t actually tried it yet there’s never any leftovers. But the chickpea cutlets which this recipe is adapted from, I have frozen those so it seems like they can be frozen.

  25. j-ha on August 30th, 2011

    It was delish! Thanks for a great recipe!

  26. Sarah on September 16th, 2011

    I am gluten-allergic. Can you think of anything that can be substituted for the vital wheat gluten? I have an alternative I use for bread crumbs but I’m not sure what to replace for the gluten. Any thoughts? I would love to try this recipe!

  27. chow on September 16th, 2011

    Sarah – That’s a tough one to substitute as I think the wheat gluten is what holds the meatloaf together and gives it its texture. I don’t know what would be similar. I’ve tried other loaf recipes without wheat gluten but it’s not the same. :-(

  28. Lara on September 21st, 2011

    Just made this tonight with mashed potatoes and gravy. I used a homemade bbq sauce for the tops instead of ketchup. They came out really good, thanks for sharing! I love your blog, btw!

  29. Cheryl Pirtle on November 10th, 2011

    Wow, that looks great! Re gluten…I had a friend who was gluten intolerant. He used vegan egg substitute for recipes that needed “glue”. Might be worth a try.

  30. [...] New England Turkey Meatloaf Vegetarian Gluten Free Vegan  [...]

  31. Laura on December 31st, 2011

    How long would I cook this if using in one loaf pan? Thank you! The recipe looks and sounds delicious :))

  32. chow on January 2nd, 2012

    Laura – I haven’t tried it in one loaf pan before so I don’t know how long it would take. I made them into mini loaves to make sure the centers would firm up and not be mushy. I guess I would just bake it for the 30 minutes and then keep checking to see if the center is firm.

  33. Phil on September 18th, 2012

    Also re: gluten, I used 2 Tbs of ground flaxseed soaked in 3 Tbs warm water for about 5 minutes. I tossed that into the mix and that binds the loaf really well. Works for veggie burgers too!

  34. All is Well « The Jen West Quest on September 19th, 2012

    [...] here in Birmingham, which has a big selection for vegan eaters.  For dinner we are making vegan meatloaf, inspired by my friend Tina.  Going vegan, even for only 48 hours, has freaked me out a little.  [...]

  35. DeDeNYC on December 24th, 2012

    WOW!!! These little loaves are just delightful! I was looking for something a little more “loafy” than the typical lentil loaf, and these did the trick. Made them for Christmas Eve dinner, along with baked corn and rice pilaf. Delish! They really remind me of “mom’s meat loaf,” in that the addition of vital wheat gluten gives it that “loafy” consistency that mom brought about by mixing eggs, ground beef, and bread crumbs–but without the cruelty!!! I will definitely be making these again. Happy holidays everyone! : )

  36. Stephanie on December 28th, 2012

    Love it! I’m into salt, so added a bit to taste before mixing with the V.W.G. (despite the soy). Otherwise, a great vegan meatloaf. Thanks!

  37. Joan on January 3rd, 2013

    Ground flax seed soaked in warm water becomes glutinous and is often used as a vegan substitute for eggs in baking. They might work well as a replacement for the vital wheat gluten.

  38. Gervase on January 13th, 2013

    This is my third time with this recipe. Fantastic if you are looking for substantial food in winter. I’ve been using the wheat gluten, but it’s a little pricey if you are on a budget. If I run out I might just try it without and see if it results in a began sloppy joe!

  39. Guilla on January 24th, 2013

    Hi, I live in Mexico City and it is really hard to find wheat gluten, I want to make this recipe because it sounds delicious but there is just no wheat gluten anywere around here… what can I substitute with? Please advice, Thank you! :)

  40. chow on January 28th, 2013

    Guilla – I haven’t tried it without the wheat gluten, but a few people in the comments mention using a vegan egg substitute like ground flaxseed with water to act as the binder. Maybe you can try that?

  41. Lauren on January 31st, 2013

    Just ate mine! Yum! My carnivore boyfriend liked it too!

  42. Amaranth on February 22nd, 2013

    Wow, this looks so very very delicious!!!

  43. Casey on March 15th, 2013

    Just made this and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  44. Mahalakshmi on October 5th, 2013

    A great alternative for the gluten-sensitive:

  45. Mahalakshmi on October 5th, 2013

    And one more gluten-free:

    BTW, thanks, I LOVE your Home Style Vegan Meatloaf (among others) and personally have no gluten issues!

  46. linda on December 28th, 2013

    This looks great…can’t wait to try. I will probably use oats or brown rice in place of vital gluten…as a binder.

  47. lia on June 4th, 2014

    Orgran makes a gluten substitute with pea protein that worked great in my chickpea cutlet attempt.

  48. […] Home Style Vegan Meatloaf […]

Leave a reply