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Vegan Meatloaf



Vegan Meatloaf on a white platter
Photograph by Isa Zapata, Food Styling by Mieko Takahashi

In a world of processed meat substitutes, this vegan meatloaf feels decidedly old-fashioned. Made with hearty, wholesome ingredients like pinto beans and brown rice, it’s proof that simple actually is best. A few clever choices make this faux meatloaf extra appealing: Deeply caramelized mushrooms and onions are rife with umami and sweetness, while brown rice brings nubby texture, subtly evoking ground meat. (White rice doesn’t have quite the same sturdiness as brown, so don’t be tempted to swap it in.) Vacuum-sealed bags of precooked brown rice are widely available and extra convenient. The oats and beans are powerful binders, yielding a loaf that slices beautifully. You can enjoy any leftovers by browning slices in an oiled skillet for crispy slabs that are excellent in sandwiches.

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What you’ll need

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    1 hour 30 minutes

  • Yield

    8 servings



½ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. organic sugar
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt

Meatloaf and Assembly

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, trimmed, sliced ½" thick
2 medium onions, sliced ½" thick
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. soy sauce, preferably low-sodium
2 Tbsp. vegetable bouillon paste (preferably Better Than Bouillon)
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
2 8.8-oz. packages precooked brown rice or 1¾ cups cooled cooked brown rice
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed
¾ cup quick-cooking oats


  1. Glaze

    Step 1

    Stir ½ cup ketchup, 2 Tbsp. organic sugar, 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. hot chili sauce, and ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt in small bowl until combined; set glaze aside.

  2. Meatloaf and Assembly

    Step 2

    Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°. Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, trimmed, sliced ½" thick, and 2 medium onions, sliced ½" thick, tossing occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. ketchup and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, preferably low-sodium, and cook, stirring often, until soy sauce is evaporated and ketchup has darkened in color, about 2 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.

    Step 3

    Transfer mushroom mixture to a food processor. Add 2 Tbsp. vegetable bouillon paste, 1 Tbsp. garlic powder, 2 tsp. dried oregano, 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, 2 tsp. yellow mustard, and 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt; pulse, scraping down sides as needed, until mixture is finely chopped and almost a paste. Transfer to a large bowl.

    Step 4

    Add two 8.8-oz. packages precooked brown rice or 1¾ cups cooled cooked brown rice to food processor and pulse until grains are about the size of sesame seeds; add to large bowl with mushroom mixture. Add one 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed, to food processor and pulse, scraping down sides as needed, until a coarse purée forms; add to large bowl. Add ¾ cup quick-cooking oats to large bowl; mix with a rubber spatula until ingredients are evenly distributed.

    Step 5

    Transfer meatloaf mixture to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and form into a roughly 10"x5" log; smooth surface. Brush half of reserved glaze over top and sides.

    Step 6

    Bake meatloaf until glaze looks matte, 20–25 minutes. Brush remaining glaze over. Bake until glaze is set, surface is tacky, and a tester or paring knife inserted into the center of meatloaf comes out hot, 20–25 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

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  • Decent flavor but consistency was too moist. I tried baking it longer…then slicing and broiling it but it didn’t seem to help.

    • Anonymous

    • 3/9/2024

  • The guts of this recipe are good, albeit complex. As another reviewer mentioned, too salty. It’s difficult to dial in the salt on something that calls for soy sauce and salt. I’ll preface by saying, I do not shy away from salt—but I’d cut the salt in half. Not sure how many folks use low sodium soy sauce, but that’s not typical in my kitchen. I used rolled oats, and spun them in the food processor after the rice was prepped. Used some left over Rio Zape beans in place of the pinto. I used jasmine rice, because it was what I had. The texture was great, I didn’t have any issues of it being too wet as another user wrote. Had I went with my gut, and cut the salt back, it would’ve been pretty great. We muscled through half the loaf, then composted the rest.

    • Chrisp

    • 5/11/2024

  • Good

    • Jane

    • India

    • 6/25/2024

  • I liked this recipe veery much. The one draw back was it is entirely too salty. I'm a plant based vegan so I don't use oil. If I make ths again, I would not add any salt, use 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce and start with only one tablespoon of the bullion and taste before adding anymore. I would consider roasting the beans in the hot oven for 10 ,imutes to dry them a bit, because my loaf was too moist. I think those adjustments would make this a wonderful dish.

    • Nancy P

    • Albany, NY

    • 1/19/2024

  • Could we just call this veggie loaf? I'm happy to eat meatless, and don't need to pretend otherwise. It tastes fine. This is a great recipe for using leftover takeout rice beyond fried rice. Use low sodium boullion and soy sauce. Next time I'll improv with Middle Eastern spices and a tahini sauce.

    • Anonymous

    • CC, PA

    • 2/1/2024

  • The taste was surprisingly good. I would have rated it higher, but as with most epicurious recipes too much salt, and took a long time to prepare and bake (Actually took longer then an hour)

    • Anonymous

    • Ridgway CO

    • 2/21/2024

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