When I was little, my mom cooked the BEST meatloaf in the world. Although this was before we all became plant-based, I remember a meatloaf sandwich in my lunch box the next day. Despite everyone in the family wanting their meatloaf sandwiches covered in ketchup, mine was covered in yellow mustard. In order to bring back my magical childhood, I created this vegan meatloaf recipe. Most vegan meatloaf recipes come out dry and honestly, gross. This new recipe I’ve developed cracked the code – which I’ve coined Vegan Meatloaf with Lentils! Lentils are the secret.
Despite being made of lentils and vegetables, vegan loaf tastes just like mom used to make. Not only does it have the texture and flavor, but this vegan meatloaf with lentils is loaded with vegetables and high fiber lentils to make it much better than mom’s version.
Mistakes I Made Making Vegan Meatloaf With Lentils:
Of course, creating vegan meatloaf took a lot of trial and error. In fact, my multiple failures always produced a dry loaf, or a wet and crumbly loaf. Also, my other loaves stuck to the pan and tasted bland. In looking back at my mistakes, my lentils were either too wet after cooking, which made my loaf soggy.
Another mistake I made was over blending the mixture of vegetables and lentils, again causing an overly soggy loaf. Ironically, I found cooking the vegetables before making the loaf was much better than leaving the vegetables raw.
Instead, I suggest using lentils that are fully drained and not overly cooked. Or use vacuum-sealed pre-cooked lentils from the produce section. Trader Joes, for example, sells pre-cooked vacuum-sealed lentils which work perfectly for this recipe. Sometimes, a short cut like this saves a lot of time.
Looking back, I suggest sautéing the vegetables prior to make the loaf, reducing the amount of water released while cooking. Not only does this make the loaf sturdy, but it also sticks together better when removing from the pan. Furthermore, I use a silicone bread pan to prevent sticking. If you don’t have a silicone bread pan, you can use parchment paper, so the loaf lifts easily from a bread pan.
Finally Solving Vegan Meatloaf with Lentils:
Finally, after many trials, I mastered the vegan meatloaf recipe. First, I focused on the combination and amounts of flaxseed meal, bread crumbs, and quick oats. As simple as that sounds, it has been a struggle for me. But once I figured it out, the better my results.
Since my mom always served mashed potatoes with her meatloaf (sadly not vegan meatloaf), I decided it fitting to do the same. So, I served my Skinny Miso Vegan Mashed Potatoes on the side. As a kid, we used to dip our meatloaf in the mashed potatoes. When I watched my husband dip his lentil loaf in his mashed potatoes, it brought a smile to my face.
After some thought, I realized this mixture is not only a great lentil loaf, but it can also be used to make meatballs for vegan spaghetti and meats. Or use vegan meatloaf inside red or green peppers for stuffed peppers.
If you are a former meatloaf fan from the past, try this Vegan Meatloaf Recipe cause wow!