When we are going to a family gathering and need to take a dish or two, this home-style vegan meatloaf is always my first go-to. During the holidays, you can bet it will be on the menu.
We love this vegan meatloaf because it’s…
- Firm & not mushy
- Makes a great main dish
- Bursting with flavor
Variations of vegan meatloaf
There are many different versions and variations of vegan meatloaf. One of the most popular is probably a lentil loaf, which I like. However, lentil loaves never achieve the texture that reminds me of the meatloaf my mom used to make when I was a kid.
That’s why I absolutely LOVE this home-style vegan meatloaf that reminds me of my childhood, especially when it’s paired with mashed potatoes and gravy. A couple of the secret ingredients are bulgur and crushed walnuts.
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Healthy ingredients in vegan meatloaf
- whole oats
- green bell peppers
- seasonings and spices like Dijon, sage, and thyme
How do you make vegan meatloaf?
This vegan loaf is very easy to make and can be ready to put in the oven in only about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper or a deeper loaf pan.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (including the fully-cooked bulgur). Mix with a spoon, or do like I do and use your hands to mix thoroughly.
Press into prepared dish. Poke holes all over the top with a finger, then spread a thin layer of ketchup over the top with a spatula.
Bake for 60 minutes. I broil mine for 5 minutes, just to get that browned top.
InstantPot Cooking Instructions: Add 1-1/2 cups of water. Cook in a springform pan and place on a trivet. Set to Manual High for 25 minutes. Instructions from follower Pamela Hawkins who used a 6 quart IP.
Tips for making vegan meatloaf
- A blender or food processor makes it easy to make bread crumbs. It’s also great for chopping the walnuts.
- I save old loaf bread ends and freeze them for making this vegan meatloaf.
- The bulgur can be soaked in warm water for 30+ minutes and not cooked if you prefer.
- For mixing these ingredients, I love using my hands and kneading. That’s how I used to make the traditional meatloaf and how I still like to do it.
- I highly recommend making the recipe exactly as listed the first time. If you prefer to tweak it later, do that on the next batch.
- Some people have used buckwheat groats in place of the bulgur to make it gluten-free. I haven’t done it personally but have been told it’s a good option.
RECIPE CARD BELOW
Goes well with mashed potatoes and gravy
This vegan meatloaf recipe also pairs well with my garlic mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.
In addition to the mushroom gravy recipe link above, I also have an Easy Vegan Brown Gravy recipe that only takes about 10-minutes to make. It’s super simple and SO savory.
Follower comments & feedback
I made a pan of this the other day. After it cooled, I cut into single serving pieces, bagged and put in the freezer. This way all I have to do is thaw and reheat and add my sides!
I had some tonight for dinner with a side of veggies and a sweet potato. It was awesome!
Note: I replaced the soy sauce with 1 Tbsp. Braggs Aminos and left out the sage and thyme because I didn’t have any on hand!–Peggy
The No Meat Loaf was wonderful. Before we became plant-based, we loved meat loaf and have missed it. This version is the best! Looking forward to the no meat loaf sandwiches from left overs! Thanks so much.—Linda
What is bulgur?
One of the great things is the texture. This loaf has the consistency of a traditional meatloaf, without any mushiness at all. The bulgur gives it a wonderful full texture, and the fire-roasted tomatoes with spices give it an explosion of flavor! For those that are avoiding gluten, buckwheat groats can be substituted.
Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that is cooked exactly like rice in about 15 minutes. (Follow package directions). I like to make a big batch of it and store in the freezer to use in recipes like tacos, stews, chili beans, etc. because bulgur adds a ground beef texture and soaks up flavors of dish you’re preparing.
Nutrition in bulgur
Eating bulgur wheat may help to alleviate chronic inflammation, thereby protecting against some diseases. In a clinical study published in the February 2008 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” researchers found that people who consumed higher amounts of betaine, a metabolite found in whole wheat, had lower concentrations of homocysteine, a marker of chronic inflammation that has been linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes.–LiveStrong
This recipe is absolutely delicious! It comes from Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes.
Other recipe options
- 2 cups cooked Bulgur
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs (about 2-3 slices of bread)
- 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice (fire-roasted diced tomatoes add a lot of flavor)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 3/4 cup carrots, diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 3 Tbsps. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. dried sage
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- sea salt, to your taste
- 1/2 cup ketchup, plus enough to top the loaf with before baking
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper or a deeper loaf pan.
- Combine all ingredients in large bowl (including the fully-cooked bulgur). Mix with spoon, or do like I do and use your hands to mix thoroughly.
- Press into prepared dish. Poke holes all over the top with finger, then spread a thin layer of ketchup over the top with spatula.
- Bake for 60 minutes. I broil mine for 5 minutes, just to get that browned top.
- Helpful Hint– a blender or food processor makes it easy to make bread crumbs. Also great chopping walnuts.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226 Total Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrates: 41g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 11g Protein: 7g
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