This inviting plant-powered meat-less loaf was created by the amazing Nava Atlas. It’s a true American classic and is featured in her excellent new book: Plant-Powered Protein: 125 Recipes for Using Today’s Amazing Meat Alternatives.

Nava recommends using a plant-based “beefy” ground (that’s more moist than crumbly) to achieve a cohesive texture and will make the finished loaf easy to slice. Or if you prefer, Nava has provided us with a whole-foods “beefy” variation made with beans and walnuts!

As for the glaze, it’s optional, but Nava highly recommends it. Serve this snazzy loaf with your favorite vegetable sides—mashed potatoes and something green—for a traditional plate. Yummy! Pretty photos by: Hannah Kaminsky. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Nava!

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ABOUT THE RECIPE:

Serve this Classic Vegan Meat Loaf created by Nava Atlas with your favorite vegetable sides—mashed potatoes and something green—for a traditional plate.

SERVES 8 T O 10

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PLANT PROTEIN OPTIONS:

• Plant-based beefy ground (not crumbles)
OR
• 1 (15-ounce) can red beans, drained and rinsed, mixed with ½ cup finely ground walnuts (if using this option, increase bread crumbs by ¼ cup)

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INGREDIENTS:

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
• ½ medium bell pepper, any color, very finely chopped
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 16 ounces plant-based beefy ground (see Plant Protein Options, above)
• 1 cup tomato sauce
• 2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning, such as mesquite or smoky maple
• 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
• 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
• 1 cup fine bread crumbs
• Freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Glaze (Optional)
• 3/4 cup tomato sauce
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup
• 1 teaspoon barbecue seasoning

4

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Oil a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper if desired.

Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic and continue to sauté until the onion and garlic are golden, about 8 minutes.

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In a large mixing bowl, combine the skillet mixture with the remaining ingredients. Work together thoroughly with a large spoon or clean hands. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Using your hands, spread the mixture to all corners of the pan and pat the top smooth. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

To make the optional glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir. Spread evenly on top of the partially cooked loaf. Bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the loaf looks firm and you can see browning around the edges.

6

Remove from the oven and let the loaf stand for about 15 minutes. Loosen the loaf around the edges with a knife. Invert onto a plate or cutting board, then invert again onto a serving dish. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 to 10 slices.

Ingredients

Directions

1

ABOUT THE RECIPE:

Serve this Classic Vegan Meat Loaf created by Nava Atlas with your favorite vegetable sides—mashed potatoes and something green—for a traditional plate.

SERVES 8 T O 10

2

PLANT PROTEIN OPTIONS:

• Plant-based beefy ground (not crumbles)
OR
• 1 (15-ounce) can red beans, drained and rinsed, mixed with ½ cup finely ground walnuts (if using this option, increase bread crumbs by ¼ cup)

3

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
• ½ medium bell pepper, any color, very finely chopped
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 16 ounces plant-based beefy ground (see Plant Protein Options, above)
• 1 cup tomato sauce
• 2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning, such as mesquite or smoky maple
• 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
• 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
• 1 cup fine bread crumbs
• Freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Glaze (Optional)
• 3/4 cup tomato sauce
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup
• 1 teaspoon barbecue seasoning

4

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Oil a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper if desired.

Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the bell pepper and garlic and continue to sauté until the onion and garlic are golden, about 8 minutes.

5

In a large mixing bowl, combine the skillet mixture with the remaining ingredients. Work together thoroughly with a large spoon or clean hands. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Using your hands, spread the mixture to all corners of the pan and pat the top smooth. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

To make the optional glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir. Spread evenly on top of the partially cooked loaf. Bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the loaf looks firm and you can see browning around the edges.

6

Remove from the oven and let the loaf stand for about 15 minutes. Loosen the loaf around the edges with a knife. Invert onto a plate or cutting board, then invert again onto a serving dish. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 to 10 slices.

Classic Vegan Meat Loaf By Nava Atlas

Excerpted from the book PLANT-POWERED PROTEIN: 125 RECIPES FOR USING TODAY’S AMAZING MEAT ALTERNATIVES by Nava Atlas. Copyright © 2020 by Nava Atlas. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved. Photos by: Hannah Kaminsky

Nava Atlas is a vegan cooking expert and the author of many bestselling cookbooks, including 5-Ingredient Vegan, Vegan on a Budget, Wild About Greens, and Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Nava also creates visual books on women’s issues and runs two websites, TheVeganAtlas.com and LiteraryLadiesGuide.com. 

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