Vegetarian Meatloaf

Overhead photo of a partially sliced vegan meat loaf on a white rectangular plate

Nothing quite says comfort food the way meatloaf does, and you’re going to love this simple recipe for our super tasty vegan meatloaf! Packed with protein and flavor, serve it as-is with a hefty side of mashed potatoes and corn, or top it with tomato sauce and serve it with a side of pasta and garlic bread. Any way you serve it, it’s an amazing family dinner. Oh, and it makes great sandwiches!


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I have always loved meatloaf. And when I went vegan I knew I just had to veganize this comforting and classic favorite of mine. So, I did.

Our high protein vegan meatloaf is an easy recipe made of a combination of TVP and vital wheat gluten. This combination gives it that meaty ground beef feel with a texture that holds together and doesn’t fall apart when you slice it. This is no lentil loaf! 

Add the familiar spices and flavorings, bake it, and let it cool. And there you have it, vegan meatloaf!

Serve this vegan meatloaf as part of a weekday family dinner, as a vegan Thanksgiving platter, or make a mountain of meat loaf sandwiches for game day or a potluck. 

Any way you slice it, you’re sure going to love the meatless meatloaf recipe!

Why is This the Best Vegan Meatloaf?

  1. Our vegan meatloaf with TVP tastes just like the classic version you grew up loving. Lots of vegan meatloaves don’t hold up in the flavor department, but this one does.
  2. It isn’t mushy! Thanks to the addition of the gluten, this meatloaf is perfectly sliceable and doesn’t fall apart.
  3. It’s the ultimate comfort food meal. Especially with a mountain of mashed potatoes.
  4. The recipe can easily be made gluten free by subbing chickpea flour for the VWG!
  5. Leftovers are absolutely perfect for delicious meatloaf sandwiches.
Overhead photo of all the ingredients you need to make a TVP meatloaf in separate bowls

What is Vegan Meatloaf Made Of?

Our vegan loaf is made using a combination of TVP and vital wheat gluten seasoned to classic perfection. 

The rest of the simple ingredients you need are:

  • Olive oil
  • Onions, minced – I like to use white or yellow onion for this recipe. Avoid using red onion.
  • Fresh garlic cloves – minced
  • Spicespaprika, ground mustard, dried basil, onion powder, salt
  • Ketchup – Try not to use anything too sweet. We like Organicville.
  • Gravy Master – This is a brand of browning sauce found in grocery stores in various parts of North America. Similar brands are Kitchen Bouquet, Savoie’s, Spur Tree, and Sarson’s. They can usually be found in the grocery store aisle containing the bbq sauce, liquid smoke, etc.
  • Vegan-friendly dehydrated onion soup mix – We usually use Lipton. Always check the ingredients list as some brands, like Knorr, contain milk or actual beef fat.
  • Flax eggs – This is just a mix of ground flax and water
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • TVP crumbles (textured vegetable protein) – These are deydrated plant-based meatless crumbles made from soy.

Substitution Options for TVP Meatloaf

If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the ingredients in this vegetarian meatloaf recipe, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the listed ingredients may lead to a difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!

For the olive oil: You can use a different oil like sunflower, avocado, or refined coconut oil. I do not recommend trying to make this without the fat component the oil adds to the final product. 

For the onions: You can use dehydrated minced onion instead of fresh. But I find this gives a different flavor to the finished result.

For the fresh garlic cloves: As a general rule, 8 garlic cloves equals 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. So for this recipe you would use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. If all you have is garlic salt powder, omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the recipe.

For the Ketchup: Try switching up the flavor profiled a little by using vegan barbecue sauce or steak sauce instead of ketchup.

For the Gravy Master: You can sub either soy sauce, Bragg’s liquid coconut aminos, or vegan Worcestershire sauce mixed with a little molasses (optional). You can also use a steak sauce like A1 or the like. Read ingredients of any unfamiliar brands.

For the flax eggs: Replace the flaxmeal with chia seed or use your favorite vegan egg substitute replacer like Neat Egg or Just Egg.

For the vital wheat gluten: If you aren’t able to tolerate vital wheat gluten you can use chickpea flour for a vegan gluten free meatloaf option.

A grid with 5 photos showing the process of making vegan mealtoaf

How to Make Our Vegan Meatloaf Recipe

This vegan meatloaf is so easy to make and very similiar to our other TVP recipes for TVP meatballs and TVP burgers!

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. First you want to saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Then add the paprika, ground mustard, basil, onion powder, and salt. Stir well to coat and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Next, you’ll add the TVP, onion soup mix, ketchup, Gravy Master, and water. Stir well to combine them all together. Turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid, and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring a few times throughout.
  3. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl  and let it cool for about 10 -15 minutes while you mix the flax egg in a small bowl and let them set. When the TVP mixture is cool enough to handle, mix in the vital wheat gluten and flax eggs and knead well for one minute.

How to Cook This No-Meat Meatloaf

  1. Spray your meatloaf pan with nonstick spray or oil. Press the meatloaf mixture into the pan well. (No empty spaces, press down well.) Press it firmly so it’s tight and compact, but don’t overly squish it
  2. Bake covered with a lid or aluminum foil at 350℉ for 40 minutes. Then, remove the covering and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes.
  3. Let the vegetarian meatloaf cool at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing. The meatloaf firms up really well overnight, so this is a great recipe to make ahead or meal prep! 

Mini Vegan Meatloaves

You can also make individual sized mini meatloaves using your Souper Cube silicone containers. 

Not only are they great for freezing leftovers, but you can also bake right in them! 

Note, the Souper Cubes plastic lid is not oven-proof.

Overhead photo of a plant based meatloaf with four slices arranged in front of the partially sliced loaf

Veggie Meatloaf Tips & Tricks

  • Be sure to let the meatloaf cool for at least 20 minutes before attempting to remove it from the pan or slicing it.
  • Make it the day ahead for a deeper flavor and the absolute perfect sliceability.
  • Try using  vegan-friendly bbq sauce or steak sauce instead of ketchup for a different flavor vibe.
  • Make a meatloaf “glaze” for the top. Mix ketchup or tomato paste with a little bit of molasses or brown sugar and brush on the top after you take the foil top off. Bake for the final 15-20 minutes.
  • You can put a couple strips of parchment paper at either end of the loaf pan to help in removing the finished product when it’s cooled.

How to Serve Vegan Meatloaf

  • Serve with vegan gravy, homemade mashed potatoes, and peas or corn.
  • Topped with some marinara and vegan mozzarella. Serve it with a side of pasta and garlic bread for a great twist. 
  • As a classic meatloaf sandwich. Or skip the pasta and serve it on the garlic bread as an Italian meatloaf sandwich.

How to Store Leftovers 

Whether refrigerating or freezing, always store leftovers in well-sealed, airtight containers.

In the refrigerator: Store properly sealed leftovers in the refrigerator. Leftover meatloaf will be best for up to 5 days.

In the freezer: Freeze leftover vegan meat loaf in freezer safe bags for up to 6 months. I like to slice the entire loaf and freeze individual slices in one and two person portion sizes.

How to Reheat Leftover Meatloaf

From the refrigerator: Reheat in the microwave at 75% power for 3-4 minutes until warmed through completely. You can also reheat in the oven at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes.

From the freezer: You can allow the leftovers to defrost completely and follow the directions to reheat from the fridge. If you are reheating from frozen, defrost in the microwave at 50% for 4-5 minutes. Flip, and heat at full power for 1-2 minutes until warmed through.

Overhead photo of a half-sliced vegetarian meatloaf on a rectangular white plate topped with tomato sauce, minced herbs, and dehydrated onions.

More Great TVP Recipes

I hope you enjoy this vegan meatloaf as much as we do! 

And when you try it, let us know what you think! Did you serve it classic or Italian-style or give it a more American vibe with mashed potatoes?

We’d also love for you to leave a review and star rating on the recipe below. It makes such a huge difference in getting more people to find our recipes!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Plant Based Meatloaf

Overhead photo of a partially sliced vegan meat loaf on a white rectangular plate

Nothing quite says comfort food the way meatloaf does, and you’re going to love this simple recipe for our super tasty vegan meatloaf! Packed with protein and flavor, serve it as-is with a hefty side of mashed potatoes and corn, or top it with tomato sauce and serve it with a side of pasta and garlic bread. Any way you serve it, it’s an amazing family dinner. Oh, and it makes great sandwiches!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup minced onions
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Gravy Master*
  • 1 packet vegan-friendly dehydrated onion soup mix
  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 Tbsp water)
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2.5 cups TVP crumbles (textured vegetable protein)
  • 1.5 cups water

Instructions

  1. Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil on medium high heat for 1 minute. Add paprika, ground mustard, basil, onion powder, and salt. Stir well to coat and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add TVP, onion soup mix, ketchup, Gravy Master, and water. Stir well to incorporate. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring a few times throughout.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, and let this mixture cool for about 10 -15 minutes while you mix the flax eggs in a small bowl and let them set. When the TVP mixture is cool enough to handle, mix in the vital wheat gluten and flax eggs and knead well for one minute.
  4. Spray meatloaf pan with nonstick spray or oil. Press meatloaf mixture into the pan well. (No empty spaces, press down well.) Bake covered at 350℉ for 40 minutes. Then, remove the lid and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes.
  5. Let cool at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing. The meatloaf firms up really well overnight, so this is a great recipe to make ahead or meal prep! 
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge or 8 weeks in the freezer.

Notes

Gravy Master Options

*If you can’t find Gravy Master, you can sub either soy sauce, Bragg’s liquid aminos, or vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce

How to Reheat Leftovers

  • From the refrigerator: Reheat in the microwave at 75% power for 3-4 minutes until warmed through completely. You can also reheat in the oven at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes.
  • From the freezer: You can allow the leftovers to defrost completely and follow the directions to reheat from the fridge. If you are reheating from frozen, defrost in the microwave at 50% for 4-5 minutes. Flip, and heat at full power for 1-2 minutes until warmed through.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

About 2 slices

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 636mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 7gSugar: 8gProtein: 39g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.

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