Classic Vegan Meatloaf
This classic vegan meatloaf has been in the works here in our test kitchen for months. Using whole food ingredients to get that “meaty” texture has proven to be an interesting challenge. This meatloaf sets up with just the right firmness, texture, and smoky-tomato flavors reminiscent of the classic meatloaf you probably grew up with, but has all the amazing benefits of being fully whole food plant-based, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and refined oil-free. I hope you enjoy every bite and know that the leftovers taste even better the next day!
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- ½ cup buckwheat groats, soaked for at least 6 hours
- ½ cup quinoa, soaked for at least 6 hours
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 oz mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
- 14 ounces black beans
- ¼ cup flax meal
- ½ teaspoon sage
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Bragg liquid aminos
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 deglet dates, or 2 medjool
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup water
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Drain liquid from buckwheat and quinoa and pour into food processor.
- Sauté onions mushrooms and garlic until the onions are translucent.
- Add the cabbage to the pan with the onions and mushrooms and cook until cabbage is wilted, making sure all moisture is reabsorbed.
- Pour into food processor along with remaining meatloaf ingredients and mix lightly.
- Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Add all tomato topping ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Scoop meatloaf mixture into a parchment lined bread pan and smooth top.
- Pour tomato topping mixture on top and smooth.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove meatloaf from pan and place onto a serving plate.
- Will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about 5 days.
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Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 17gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 97mgPotassium: 1221mgFiber: 13gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 471IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 4mg
Sorry Jill, I accidently clicked a lower rating, I meant 5 stars but this website does not allow it to be undone
I tried this and I love the flavors. But am not grooving on the black beans in it. It is throwing the texture and mouthfeel for me. Perhaps I should leave out next time or use an alternative? Other than the beans the recipe is boss and tasty!
I have been vegetarian for 30 years, vegan the past 18 years, and all whole food vegan now for 5 years. I don’t like saying negative things at all, but this is without a doubt the worst ‘meatloaf’ I have ever had. I have had many different vegan loafs in the past 3 decades, and I’ve made probably made more than ten myself. I just made this one, and I feel really disappointed. Even with adding more garlic this is just not good (imho). The texture, the lack of flavor etc. I made double because I was going to bring one to my Mom. I’m not going to do that now after tasting it, and I feel not only that I just wasted money on these ingredients, but also feel I won’t be able to eat it all. And I never waste food. I love your channel, but this recipe was a total bummer.
I have buckwheat groats. Is the what you used in the meatloaf recipe?
Fixed it today for my daughter’s family. Everyone loved it. Nice Easter feast with potatoes and green beans. Asking to have me prepare it again soon!
Do you drain the back beans? I’d prefer to use dried beans that I cook. How much would I use?
Yes, they are drained and 1 can is equal to 1 1/2 cups
Jill, can I sub ferro for buckwheat?
Yes, it is already sweet so that would push it over the top I think
Jill this looks amazing. I will certainly give this a try ! However I don’t use Buckwheat what is a good alternative i will be making this very soon can’t wait ! Thanks
Cooked rice or farrow will work.
Thanks so much the brown rice ill try
I assume 1 cup of cooked rice is the replacement ? Thanks in advance
Thanks for the post. Will bulger work instead of buckwheat?
I’m not clear on the buckwheat. I bought Bob’s Red Mill organic wholegrain buckwheat that is already chopped up small. It’s used to make creamy buckwheat hot cereal. Is this what you mean? I’ll return it if it’s not.
No, I use buckwheat groats
Will oat groats work? I have them.
You mention cooked rice or farro – is the farro meant to be cooked or just soaked?
What would be the substitution?
1/2 UNCOOKED or COOKED farro?
What would be a good alternative for the mushrooms. Allergic to them!
Red or green bell peppers
Thank-you! Still pretty new at this! Thank-you for all you do. I do appreciate it!
Can you give us a nutritional breakdown (calories, protein etc. per slice)?
Sorry, we don’t do that at this point.
Can I use kasha for the buckwheat? Does it get soaked in the same way?
Hmm. That is a good question. I have never used kasha so I’m not sure.
I used 1\2 cup Wolff’s Kasha plus the listed quinoa. Seemed to work fine.
I’m wondering how this recipe would freeze. I’ve tried other plant-based “meat loaves” before and when frozen, they’re very hard and dry when thawed and reheated. If anyone’s tried this, I’d love to know how it turned out. Thanks!
I slice the loaf and wrap the slices in parchment paper and put in a freezer bag in the freezer. I heat from frozen in the parchment paper in a pressure cooker with vegetables. It’s lovely and moist.
Curious if wheatberries would be an appropriate substitute for buckwheat?
No, but cooked farrow or rice would work but the texture won’t be quite as firm.
🙁 I made this. Or at least tried. I printed out the recipe and when we went to the health food store I got Buckwheat. (Eden brand Organic whole grain buckwheat) It has been in the oven 2 hours now and still like paste. Another half hour and I take it out done or not. I am using a disposable aluminum pan so I’m blaming it on that! LOL My husband loves meatloaf so I’m rather disappointed this time but not enough to give up. First try-Failure, Second try-Who knows!
I did make this with brown rice & it was delicious, especially the next day after the flavors really married. I whipped up mashed potatoes to go with it and I have to say that was just such amazing deliciousness! I’d like to try the buckwheat when I make it again soon. I love the tomatoey-ketchupey sauce topping, better than ketchup. Your recipes are sooooooo good. You are my go-to now for main entrees. I want to try some of your desserts soon too. You’re the best!
The recipe calls for 1/2 c buckwheat and 1/2 c rolled oats soaked for 6 hrs. Do you know how those measure after being soaked?
Jill just wondering if I can use oats and get same results? I can’t use buckwheat 🙁 for the meatloaf
It will work but it won’t be as firm.
Hi Jill. Can you suggest an alternative for the flax meal? I’m sensitive to anything but very small amounts. Thank you!
You could use ground chia seeds.
Is the buckwheat the same as the buckwheat groats??
Yes these are the same.
Jill, we are just starting down this path. I have a question about the meatloaf recipe. The recipe calls for Braggs liquid aminos. You didn’t add it in the video. Does this make any difference. Thanks, Marty
It adds a bit of saltiness that really helps the flavor.
Hi. Love your recipes!!
Wondering if the meatloaf can be made with soaking quinoa and buckwheat for only 4 hours?
I think it would still be ok
Made this for the first time the other day and it was amazing. Super easy to do, and tasted so good! I didn’t have any celery on hand so I just used carrot instead and threw it in the pan with the onions to soften. We’ve eaten it on its own with veges, chopped over a salad, and on a sandwich with tomato and avocado – it was delicious every time! I’ll definitely be making this again.
Can I keep this uncooked in the fridge for awhile?
Haven’t tried it so I’m not sure, sorry
Hi — I’ve tried asking this in a couple YouTube comment sections but no luck! Anyway, we’re setting up to make the meatloaf for the first time, and am wondering if toasted groats will work the same as raw? The least expensive groats I can find are toasted, you see…. Thanks Jill.
I think they will still work.
Oh, and another thing… ground sage vs. rubbed sage? Does it even matter?
Hi Jill, am I to understand by one of your remarks that Bob’s Red Mill buckwheat is not a good idea for the meatloaf recipe? Or did I misunderstand?
Yes, it is ground too fine.
Just to let you know, your printed recipe specifies 2 tsp smoked paprika, but in your video, you say 1.5 tsp. That’s a big difference for such a potent spice!
Also, printed recipe calls for 2 tsp. aminos, and in your video you don’t mention it at all.
It’s in the oven now — hubby likes the topping sauce so much he whipped up another batch.
Jill – Thanks for all you do! I printed out the recipe and noticed it doesn’t tell me where it came from. Your brand or name or website should be part of the printed recipe so it is known who created it.
I have been making meatloaf with millet and truly enjoyed it, good texture and taste but always willing to try different methods. I made this recipe Christmas week and it came out beautiful, included the tip about crumbling the parchment paper in a ball. When it was finished I had my side dishes ready and took my first slice which was firm and did not fall apart. But I did not like it, there was not enough flavor and I thought it was mushy. I was going to toss it but thought of the 8 oz of mushrooms and the other ingredients and thought the next day it might be better, it wasn’t. I have been eating it using different sauces to mask the flavor, but on the fourth day I tossed it. Listen guys I was a Chef throughout my career and always looking to try new things, I am making a beef brisket and a turkey out of vital wheat gluten Christmas and I am excited to to do this. I am only saying this to let you know food is my expertise, ran a catering business for years and had great clientele, was not Vegan at the time.
I could not find buckwheat groats in any store near me. I saw that my grocery store had Wolff’s brand “Kasha” Whole Granulation. 100% pure roasted buckwheat. Will give it a try and let you know how it comes out. It has the same appearance as steel cut oats. Apparently Kasha is known across most of eastern Europe.
I made the same mistake many of you made by using buckwheat and not the groats. That needs to be specified in the recipe. Also, why no salt and pepper? Mine is still in the oven, but I am afraid it won’t be very good based on my taste test before putting it in the oven. Seemed rather bland.
Many folks don’t use salt. If you do and want to use it, don’t wait for permission. To say it was bland because there was so salt is tacky, and unkind to someone providing you a free recipe.
HI Jill can i sub brown rice and Oat flour?
Hmmm, that is a good question. Honestly, I’m not sure if it would work.
I am allergic to sage. Can I just eliminate it or do I need to find a replacement?
You can absolutely leave it out.
Hi Jill, I love your recipes! Could I use 1/2 cup millet and 1/2 cup quinoa instead of buckwheat groats and quinoa? and do you think there would be a big difference in taste? Thank you!
I think it would work and the flavor would still be delicious.
Can you substitute liquid smoke for balsamic vinegar?
I used heaps more garlic and salt otherwise may be a bit tasteless for my liking. In the oven now. Hope it’s an success as I am planning to serve it tomorrow Christmas Day.
Would it be ok if the buckwheat and quinoa soaked in water overnight?
can i use oats and rice instead of these?