This hearty vegan meatloaf has the best texture and it's so flavorful! It's loaded with vegetables and lentils, it has a delicious meaty flavor, and it can be served with a tangy tomato glaze or mushroom gravy. This comfort food meal is sure to become a family favorite!
I've been working on perfecting this homemade vegan meatloaf recipe for years. The first time I made our favorite vegan meatballs, I thought, "wow, this would also make a great base for vegan meatloaf!" This loaf is loaded with oats, lentils, and quinoa for the perfect texture + mushrooms and a variety of seasonings and condiments that add so much flavor!
This mushroom lentil loaf is moist, but not mushy, and it won't fall apart or crumble when sliced. Slather it in tangy tomato glaze or mushroom gravy and serve it with scalloped potatoes and green peas for a veganized version of a classic comfort food dinner any night of the week. It also makes an impressive main course for your Thanksgiving feast or Christmas dinner!
Tools You'll Need
- Medium-Sized Pot
- 13-Cup Food Processor
- Parchment Paper (I love this one because it's unbleached and chlorine-free)
- 9-inch x 5-inch Loaf Pan (I use this one because it's aluminum-free)
Ingredients & Substitutions
This vegan meatloaf is made with a combination of fresh vegetables and pantry ingredients. Let's go over the most important ingredients and substitutions if you need them.
- Mushrooms - Cremini mushrooms add so much flavor! You can substitute white button or portobello mushrooms.
- Lentils - Lentils add texture, flavor, and plant-based protein. Green or brown lentils can be used 1:1 instead of french lentils. Don't substitute red lentils because they're too soft and mushy once cooked.
- Vegan Worcestershire - This ingredient adds a delicious tangy flavor to the mixture. Make sure that you use vegan worcestershire sauce (this is my favorite!), not all brands are vegan.
- Sunflower Seeds - You can substitute pumpkin seeds or walnuts for sunflower seeds if necessary.
- Old Fashioned Oats - Oats are used to give the loaf the perfect texture. If you don't want to use oats, you can substitute the same amount of breadcrumbs.
- Ground Flaxseeds - This is what holds the vegan meatloaf together. You can substitute ground chia seeds if necessary.
How to Make Vegan Meatloaf
First, cook the lentils and quinoa together in one pot (Photo 1). Drain any excess water and then let it cool for a few minutes before adding them to the food processor. In a small bowl, stir together the ground flaxseed and water and put it in the fridge to thicken for 10 minutes (Photo 2).
Pour the cooked lentils and quinoa into a large food processor. Add the onions, mushrooms, garlic, oats, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce, flax egg, and dried seasonings (Photo 3). Put the lid on and pulse until the mixture is well combined and slightly chunky, but not pureed (Photo 4).
Line an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper before you add the filling so it's easy to pull out later (Photo 5). Scoop the filling into the pan and use a spoon to smooth it out evenly (Photo 6). Bake the mushroom lentil loaf for 30 minutes.
While the vegan meatloaf is baking, make the tomato glaze or mushroom gravy (Photo 7). After 30 minutes, remove the loaf from the oven and spread half of the tomato glaze over the top (Photo 8). Reserve the rest for serving. Put the loaf back into the oven to cook for 20 more minutes.
Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes to set up before you lift it out of the pan. Slather the rest of the tomato glaze on top and slice it into 1-inch wedges to serve.
- Make sure that you use ground flaxseed, not whole flaxseed, to make the flax egg. If you only have whole flaxseeds on hand, you can use a blender or coffee grinder to break down the seeds.
- Try not to over-blend the meatloaf mixture. The texture should be slightly chunky and not pureed.
- Line the loaf pan with parchment paper so it goes over the edges. Then you can pull it out easily after it's done baking. No sticking and less cleanup!
- Let the vegan meatloaf sit for 10 minutes after it's done baking, this will help the texture to set up.
What Goes With It?
You can slather the vegan lentil mushroom meatloaf with tomato glaze or my favorite vegan mushroom gravy. Both toppings are delicious, you really can't go wrong with either option.
I like to serve the vegan meatloaf with some type of potato (mashed, scalloped, or baked) and a vegetable like green peas or roasted broccoli. Any of the following recipes will make a delicious side dish.
- Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
- Roasted Lemon Turmeric Cauliflower
- Roasted Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts
- Creamy Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
A tasty way to serve leftovers is to cut the loaf into slices, warm it, and then use it as the "meat" in a sandwich. Add butter lettuce, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, vegan cheese, and mustard. Or you could crumble it up and use it as a filling for tacos or sprinkle it on top of a pizza.
How To Store It
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
You can freeze a whole vegan meatloaf that's been cooked and cooled first, or cut it into 1-inch slices before freezing. When you're ready to eat it, put it in the fridge to defrost for 24 hours and then bake it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until it's hot all the way through. Add half of the tomato glaze halfway through baking and reserve the rest for serving.
When reheating an entire loaf, you can test to see if it's hot all the way through by sticking a knife in the center and holding it there for 10 seconds. Pull the knife out and carefully touch the tip, if the knife is warm then the meatloaf is hot all the way through.
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes, you can assemble it the day before, cover it, store it in the fridge, and then bake it fresh the next day.
Yes, you can freeze a whole cooked and cooled vegan meatloaf or you could freeze slices for single servings.
Yes, you can use (1) 14 oz can of lentils instead of cooking fresh lentils. Make sure to drain the lentils very well so it won't make the loaf mushy.
It's ok! It will still taste good if you accidentally over blend the filling. It might be slightly mushy in the center, but you can try stirring in an additional ½ cup of oats to give it more texture.
No, don't use a blender because it will puree the filling and make the loaf mushy. If you don't have a food processor, your best option is to dice the vegetables very small, slightly mash the lentils with a fork or potato masher, and then stir it all together in a large bowl. The texture might be a little bit chunkier, but it will still taste great!
Want More Vegan Meat Recipes?
Vegan Lentil Mushroom Meatloaf
- Medium Saucepan
- 13-Cup Food Processor
- 9x5-inch Loaf Pan
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup uncooked french lentils rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa rinsed and drained
- 1 small red onion diced
- 3 medium garlic cloves minced
- 6 oz cremini mushrooms diced
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free old fashioned oats
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 6 tbsp water
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp Italian seasonings
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp salt (add more to taste)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Tangy Tomato Glaze
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
- In a medium saucepan, boil 3 cups of water. Add the lentils, set a timer for 12 minutes, and then reduce the heat to medium. When the timer goes off, add ¼ cup of quinoa to the pot and give it a stir. Set the timer for 12 more minutes and let it cook until all the water has been absorbed.
- Let the mixture cool down for a few minutes before you add it to the food processor. If there is any water left, make sure to drain it out before you add the mixture to the food processor.
- While the lentils and quinoa are cooking, chop the veggies and make the flax egg. Make the flax egg by stirring together the ground flaxseed and 6 tbsp of water in a small bowl. Put it in the fridge to thicken for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour the cooked lentils and quinoa into a large food processor cup. Add the diced onion, diced mushrooms, minced garlic, oats, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, tomato paste, vegan worcestershire sauce, flax egg, Italian seasonings, dried basil, dried parsley, salt, and black pepper. The food processor will be pretty full once you add all of the ingredients.
- Put the lid on and pulse it on High for 1 minute, stopping every 20 seconds to use a spoon to scrape down the sides. Continue blending until all of the vegetables have broken down and everything is combined. The mixture should be a little bit chunky. Be careful not to overblend it and puree the filling. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf-shaped pan with a piece of parchment paper. Let the edges stick out of the pan so you have handles to pull the loaf out of the pan. Scoop the lentil filling into the pan and use a spoon to smooth it out evenly all the way to the edges.
- Bake the loaf for 30 minutes. While the vegan meatloaf is baking, make the tangy tomato glaze or mushroom gravy. To make the tomato glaze, mix together tomato paste, pure maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lentil loaf from the oven and spread half of the tomato glaze over the top. Reserve the rest for serving. Put it back into the oven to cook for 20 more minutes.
- Carefully take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. This resting time will help the vegan meatloaf to setup. To take the loaf out of the pan, grab both of the parchment paper handles, lift it up, and transfer it to a large plate or cutting board. Spread the rest of the tomato glaze on top and then slice into 1-inch wedges.
- Store leftover slices in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or you can freeze them for a future meal. Freezing instructions for slices or a whole loaf are in the Notes below.
- If you don't have a food processor, you can dice all of the vegetables, slightly mash the lentils, and then mix it by hand in a large mixing bowl. The texture might be a little chunkier than if you had used a food processor, but it will still be delicious.
- Make sure that you line the loaf pan with parchment paper that goes over the edges, so you can pull it out easily after it's done baking. It won't stick and easy cleanup! If you don't have parchment, you can spray or rub it with oil.
Loved this recipe. Made it for an Easter Sunday dinner for two friends and we all enjoyed it. Thank you.
I just put the half amount of glaze on top halfway through, them made a simple runny sauce of passata, diced onion and minced garlic, instead of mushroom gravy. It worked very well.
I'm so glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank you, Gaynor!