Vegetarian “Meat” Loaf

vegetarian meatloaf recipe

About once a month, I sit down and begin to brainstorm food post ideas. I always take into consideration upcoming holidays and other food worthy events when my making list. However, my favorite recipes to come up with are healthy spins on classic, sometimes even comfort food, dishes. I have shared quite a few here on the blog, including Buffalo Cauliflower, Zoodle Mac & Cheese and Cauliflower "Potato" Salad. I was trying to think of a comfort food that would be easy to spin into a healthier dish when I instantly thought of one of my favorite restaurants: Founding Farmers. With several locations around the Washington, D.C. area, the restaurant features farm to table dishes with an expansive vegetarian section. One of the vegetarian dishes is the "Many Vegetable Mushroom Loaf". *Side note: I would highly recommend Founding Farmers if you are ever visiting the D.C. area!
Since meatloaf is one of our favorite winter dinners, I thought I would try a play on the Founding Farmers menu item: vegetarian "meat" loaf.
healthy meatloaf recipe

Vegetarian "Meat" Loaf

To be completely honest with you, when I first started off, I had no idea what I was doing. I made a list of hearty ingredients that could be added to help give this vegetarian loaf a similar texture to the classic meatloaf. Some of the items include mushrooms, chickpeas and panko. I have made homemade veggie burgers in the past, so I tried to work from some of those recipes. Afterall, this "meat" loaf is a larger veggie burger in a different shape!
I know Richard was skeptical when I told him we were having Vegetarian "Meat" Loaf for dinner. He is quite the meat lover and I think he thought it was a classic meatloaf with vegetables! After he took a few bites he asked if there was any meat in this loaf to which I explained that it was Vegetarian "Meat" Loaf. Much to my surprise, he loved it and asked the question about the meat because he thought he tasted ground beef! Check out the recipe below. These vegetables really come together to create a consistency and texture that’s pretty similar to the traditional meatloaf. And even a similar taste!
vegetarian meatloaf
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Print Recipe
Vegetarian "Meat" Loaf
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray meatloaf or baking dish with cooking spray. Mix the chickpeas, onion, garlic, red and green pepper and mushrooms in a food processor until chopped. Work in batches if necessary. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the egg, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix until completely combined and form into a loaf. Place in the baking dish and cook for 40-45 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the ketchup, Dijon mustard and vegetable broth (or water) in a small bowl. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush the ketchup mixture onto the loaf. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow the vegetarian loaf to sit for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!