Making a “Magic Loaf”: Vegan Meatloaf

I really like Jennifer’s site Vegan Lunch Box, which hopefully you have all seen before via the link in my sidebar. Jennifer blogs what she packs for her son’s lunch everyday, dealing with the changing and occasionally idiosyncratic tastes of kids as well as the fact that they’re vegan and the other kids at school aren’t. To make sure her little “schmoo” isn’t left out, she sometimes gets quite creative with her lunch options, like vegan corndogs, homemade twinkies and vegan meatloaf.
Now, vegan meatloaf may sound like a bit of an odd concept, but I assure you that it can be a good one. And I know a think or two about meatloaf: my regular meatloaf won a contest.

I used an application that Jennifer created called the Magical Loaf Studio, which combines the ingredients of your choice into a meatloaf recipe, or rather, an un-meatloaf recipe. I’ve never tried an automatically generated loaf recipe and this seemed like as good a time as any to start.

I considered using black beans as my protein, but I ended up using a package of Yves Veggie Ground Round, which is a very tasty veg product that I’ve seen at Trader Joe’s and even my regular supermarket. I added a little bit more breadcrumbs than the auto-recipe called for, but overall I would say that the experiment was a huge success. It tasted great and was easy to do. I would describe it as juicy, meaty and very meatloafy. And my loaf made great sandwiches the next day, so I think that the loaf studio has the potential to generate some real winners.

Vegan Meatloaf
(via the Magical Loaf Studio)
1 medium onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 package Yves Veggie Ground Round
1 1/4 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs (lightly toasted or slightly stale)
1/4 cup oatmeal, cooked with 1/2 cup water
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp ketchup
2-3 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper, to taste
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery in a large pan until tender, about 10 minutes on medium-high heat.
Combine vegetables, veggie meat, breadcrumbs, oatmeal and all spices in a large bowl and mix together. If it doesn’t stick together easily, add a extra tbsp or two of dry breadcrumbs.
Turn mixture onto foil-covered pan and pat into a rectangular loaf about 2-in. high.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until loaf is slightly firm to the touch.
Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
Serves 3-4.


  1. Regular Worcestershire has anchovies in it. Did you find a vegan alternative?

  2. There is vegetarian/vegan Worcestershire for sale at specialty stores and places like whole foods.

    If you are not vegan, of course you can just use regular Worcestershire.

  3. wow, this actually looks more apetizing than regular meat meatloaf as it doesn’t look dry and stiff. Well done, I am sure to try this recipe!

  4. Thanks for the great veggie loaf recipe. As a vegetarian, I am always looking for new recipes to try out on the family.
    Love your site!

  5. When I used to eat meat, I never really cared for meatloaf. But, surprisingly, the vegan version sounds fun! The only ingredient that really threw me for a loop was the oatmeal, but no doubt that’d provide some interesting texture to the dish.

  6. J Lo – Actually, the oatmeal works as a binder, helping everything to stick together. I don’t think that it contributes a noticeable oatmeal-like texture or anything.

  7. wait, i can understand egg serving as a binder. But, oatmeal? That’s really kinda cool!

  8. This certainly looks appetizing. I was wondering if the ketchup and sauce actually go in the vegan meat mixture or do you pour it on top of the meatloaf before baking?


  9. Everything goes in, just like in a regular meatloaf. I put some extra ketchup and bbq sauce on for the photo – and because that’s what I like to eat on meatloaf. =)

  10. With something like this, I don’t anyone’s going to look for meat! Wish we had more vegan products here where I live…

    I tried pretending to be allergic-to-red-meat kind of person, but when cooked right and smells so tempting, I give in and become the carnivore I really am!

  11. I’ve been wondering how the Magic Loaf Studio would work out! I never had meatloaf before I went vegetarian, and I haven’t had any sort of faux-loaf since… but I think I might have to give the Magic Loaf a try. Thanks for posting this!

  12. Thanks for posting, I too have seen Jennifer’s magic loaf studio. Glad to see it was tasty.

  13. i love yves ground round and this faux loaf sounds amazing! i’m definitely going to try my own loaf version soon.

  14. What is keeping this “stuck” together? Seems like it would fall apart. It’s a really creative spin on meatless meatloaf.

    Great post!

  15. I am excited to try this recipe. I always grew up eating every type of meat out there. Now that I am a Mother, I want to feed my children better. I’ve grown up on some amazing meatloaves and am looking forward to trying this out. Thank you for the recipe. Looking forward to making it tonight and will definitely re post the out come.

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