Skip to Content

Homestyle Vegan Meatloaf

When we are going to a family gathering and need to take a dish or two, this homestyle Vegan Meatloaf is always my first go-to. During the holidays, you can bet it will be on the menu.

vegan meatloaf on silver plate with mashed potatoes and gravy

There’s just nothing more comforting than delicious savory vegan meatloaf served with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy. At my house, it doesn’t have to be a holiday or a special occasion.

We love this vegan meatloaf because it’s…

  • Firm & not mushy
  • Makes a great main dish
  • Savory
  • Bursting with flavor
  • Hearty
  • Affordable
  • Delicious

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.

vegan meatloaf stacked on crumpled up brown paper bag on wooden background

How to 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°F. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper or a deeper loaf pan.

Cook bulgur according to package directions. Cooks on the stove or in a rice cooker in about 15-minutes. I really like to batch cook bulgur in my rice cooker and freeze it for use in other recipes like this, spaghetti, lasagna, and nachos.

cooked bulgur in pan on wooden table

Though it calls for bulgur, a number of people have told me that they’ve subbed with buckwheat groats, quinoa, brown rice, and barley and it still comes out good.

Dice the veggies–onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, carrots, and walnuts. One tip here is that a blender or food processor makes it easy to make bread crumbs. It’s also great for chopping walnuts.

diced vegetables on cutting board

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.

oats, breadcrumbs, bulgur, and veggies in stainless bowl

Press into prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Poke holes all over the top with a finger then spread a thin layer of ketchup over the top with a spatula.

If you would like to make your own ketchup for this recipe, check out my 10-Minute Vegan Ketchup recipe.

I suggest using a baking pan rather than a loaf pan that is deeper so this will firm up nice for you.

vegan meatloaf in pan on white background

Bake for 60 minutes. I broil mine for the last 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 it 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.
  • Though it calls for bulgur, a number of people have told me that they’ve subbed with buckwheat groats, quinoa, brown rice, and barley and it still comes out good.
  • 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 suggest using a baking pan rather than a loaf pan that is deeper so this will firm up nice for you.
  • 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.

Vegan meatloaf side dishes

This vegan meatloaf recipe also pairs well with my garlic mashed potatoes and easy 10-minute brown gravy.

brown gravy being poured over mashed potatoes close up

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

vegan meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy on silver plate

This recipe is absolutely delicious! It is adapted from Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes.

This same basic recipe is what is used to make my Vegan Meatballs recipe that is fabulous served with marinara and pasta. Another variation of the meatballs is to coat them with bbq sauce and serve as an appetizer.

Your Questions Answered:

  • Q: Can tomato paste be used in place of ketchup? It sure can! However, it won’t be as flavorful as ketchup, especially for the topping, in my opinion.
  • Q: Can I use gluten-free bread crumbs? Absolutely! Gluten-free bread crumbs will work just fine.
  • Q: Can I prep this in a loaf pan and then cook the next day? Yes, prepping ahead is actually a great idea.
  • Q: Is vegan meatloaf freezable? Yes, freezing this meatless loaf is a great idea. I like to make a double batch so we can eat one immediately and freeze one for later.

Originally published October 2014

Other vegan recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

vegan meatloaf on silver plate with mashed potatoes and gravy

Vegan Meat Loaf

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

When we are going to a family gathering and need to take a dish or two, this No-Meat Loaf is always my first go-to. On Thanksgiving, you can bet it will be on the menu.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Cook bulgur according to package directions. Cooks on the stove or in a rice cooker in about 15-minutes.
  3. Dice the veggies--onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, carrots, and walnuts.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes. I broil mine for the last 5 minutes, just to get that browned top.
  7. Helpful Hint– a blender or food processor makes it easy to make bread crumbs. Also great chopping walnuts.

Notes

Though it calls for bulgur, a number of people have told me that they've subbed with buckwheat groats, quinoa, brown rice, and barley and it still comes out good.

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 7g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

Vegan Plant Based Starter Kit
Plant-Based Starter Kits $27
plant based meal delivery service collage for mamasezz and eatplantbased terri
vegan meatloaf photo collage for pinterest
vegan meatloaf pinterest collage
vegan meatloaf pinterest collage

Mary

Sunday 5th of December 2021

Love this recipe! I changed bulgur to quinoa, added a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms, chopped 3 big leaves of kale. Made bread crumbs from Dave’s organic bread. Worked it real good with my hands. Definitely will make again. Froze a couple slices to see how it does. Thinking might make meatballs and freeze individually on baking sheet then bagged. Love this website! Thanks!

Terri Edwards

Monday 6th of December 2021

Hi Mary- YAY! I'm glad that you loved the recipe, and I really like the additions you made for yours. :)

Sandy

Sunday 21st of November 2021

What measure of dry breadcrumbs instead of fresh would you recommend?

Terri Edwards

Monday 22nd of November 2021

Hi Sandy- I think 3/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs should be about right.

Melody Sieglitz

Sunday 21st of November 2021

Hi there so excited going to make this today! Wondering if I can sub in gluten free oats and 1 cup brown rice or 2 cups of brown rice and no oats what would work best? I cannot have bulgar

Terri Edwards

Monday 22nd of November 2021

Hi Melody- I would think that substituting the brown rice for the bulgur in the same measurement (2 cups cooked) would work just fine. The texture will be different of course, the be flavor should still be great. Good luck!

Deborah

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

We love this recipe as no-meat balls but I'm wondering if it can be made with the same cooking time in loaf pans instead of a 9x13 pan? Also, would one recipe fit into a loaf pan or should 2 pans be used?

Deborah

Saturday 20th of November 2021

@Terri Edwards, Thank you, Terri. :) An absolute wonderful recipe.

Terri Edwards

Thursday 18th of November 2021

Hi Deborah- I'm so glad you love the recipe made into vegan meatballs! I am confident you could use two loaf pans to make it, but you'll likely need to increase the cooking time by about 5-10 minutes. It won't be as firm since the loaf pans are deeper than a baking dish, but it should still taste delicious.

Jill Willrich

Thursday 15th of July 2021

This is so good. Thank you for this recipe.

Terri Edwards

Friday 23rd of July 2021

Hi Jill- I'm so glad that you liked it!

Skip to Recipe