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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.

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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!

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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!

Patty

Friday 4th of June 2021

I don’t understand where the cholesterol could come from? There is nothing animal or dairy here.

Terri Edwards

Friday 4th of June 2021

Hi Patty- You are correct, there is no cholesterol at all in this recipe. The numbers in the nutritional information card are pretty close together and sometimes look like they are part of the category beside them.

Sunny Joy

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

This looks like just the recipe I've been looking for! I've done one lentil oaf and couldn't get the texture quite right, so I'm glad you mentioned that difference. (I gave up on loaf-making.) I'm ordering the Bob's Red Mill Bulgur today. One question: For the breadcrumbs, the only bread I've been using for a while now is Ezekiel, and I'm never sure that it's the best for breadcrumbs because with all the seeds and no flour, it might not absorb/bind? So I'm hoping you might have a thought about Ezekiel bread for crumbs. I don't mind buying another type of bread in this case. Thanks a lot. And I'll definitely come back and comment on the loaf when it's done. :)

Terri Edwards

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Hi Sunny- I've actually used Ezekiel bread for the breadcrumbs many times, and it works great. I do hope you'll love this recipe and can't wait to hear what you think!

fizz dean

Monday 10th of May 2021

can i omit the soy from the recipe

Terri Edwards

Monday 10th of May 2021

There's actually no soy in this recipe.

Kathy

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Having tried half a dozen loaf recipes, I was a bit skeptical that I could find one that satisfied -- but this was easily the best version! Despite my leaving the oats out (I don't care for them in a loaf) it still held together well and had great flavor. Definitely the go-to loaf now! Thanks, Terri.

Terri Edwards

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Hi Kathy- YAY! So happy to read this. It's good to know that it still works without the oats. I never would've thought of that. Thank you!

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