This Protein-Packed Meatless Meatloaf Is Totally Delicious—and 100% Vegan

Photo: Flora & Vino
Meatloaf has been a family dinner staple since ancient Rome, and—without giving you a full-on history lesson—let's just say it's changed a lot since then. (The recipe used to call for animal brains, okay?) It's safe to say that a transformation was very necessary, and a meatless meatloaf recipe makes it worth a bite.

Vegan meatloaf recipes are increasingly popular. But don't let the all-veggie recipe fool you: It's just as packed with protein as the real deal. Lauren Kirchmaier, the recipe developer behind Flora & Vino, created a Lentil Oat Loaf that—between the 3 cups of lentils and 1 cup of oats—offers upward of 165 grams of protein per loaf. "It's super hearty and filling with just oats, lentils, and veggies," she tells me. "It’s also the perfect vegan and gluten-free comfort food main dish for winter."

Even though this meatloaf is primarily made up of lentils and oats, along with flax eggs, bell peppers, carrots, and plenty of spices, it still has a similar taste and texture. "The secret to the best texture is a mix of smashed and whole lentils," Kirchmaier says. "I also found I found sautéing the vegetables first helped to soften them and infuse flavor before adding to the rest of the mix."

After putting your mixture into a loaf pan and topping it with refined sugar-free ketchup, it's ready to bake for 45 minutes. The next thing you know, you'll have a meatless meatloaf ready to devour.

Lentil oat loaf

3 cups cooked lentils
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal + 1/3 cup filtered water)
drizzle of avocado oil or vegetable broth
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
pinch of Himalayan sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup refined sugar-free ketchup

1. Cook lentils for this recipe if you haven’t already done so, following package instructions.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or, alternatively, grease with nonstick cooking spray.
3. While the lentils cook, mix your your flax eggs by adding the ground flaxseed meal and filtered water to a large bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 mins to gel.
4. Heat a saucepan over medium heat with a splash of avocado oil or vegetable broth if oil-free. Add in the diced bell pepper, carrot, and onion and toss. Add in the garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Heat for 7 to 9 minutes, until the veggies are softened and lightly browned.
5. Add half of the cooked lentils to the flax "egg" bowl and smash well with a potato smasher or fork.
6. Add the rest of the lentils along with the old-fashioned rolled oats and cooked vegetables and mix well to combine. Season with Himalayan sea salt and black pepper.
7. Add lentil-oat mixture to prepared loaf pan, pressing and smoothing to the sides to ensure you have an even layer.
8. Spread half of ketchup the ketchup on top. Bake lentil oat loaf for 45 minutes, then top with remaining ketchup before serving.
9. Remove from heat and cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it from pan. Slice and serve warm with additional sauces or extra ketchup, if desired.
10. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to one week and reheat before serving.

Make vegan buffalo cauliflower dip while you're at it:

This healthy vegan West African peanut stew only costs $1 per serving. Then try the vegan green soup that's loaded with fiber and fragrant herbs.

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