Editor’s Note: This recipe has been updated. Old pictures of original post are below.
I loved meatloaf as a kid. As I got older, I wanted to keep my traditional meatloaf recipe but make it healthier. I can remember watching Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger on Food Network and instead of using ground beef she used ground turkey. I started to use that method and it was still satisfying because it gave me that hearty texture I loved. But when I went vegan, meatloaf was one of those things I thought I had to give up.
Now I have recipes that are full on plant-based vegan “meat” loaf using nothing but beans and grains. And while they are all very yummy, sometimes you just crave that beefy like texture.
This is where vegan meat crumbles come into play.
Why Eat Fake “Meat”!!
You have a lot of what I call “vegan puriest” who turn their noses up at “meat” substitutes (technically meat is NOT synonymous with animal flesh but that is an entire different topic). Now I am a huge advocate of making the majority of your diet plant based whole foods. With that being said the occasional vegan substitutes can have their place in one’s vegan diet in the following ways:
- they can help one transition away from animal flesh
- they can give you a texture similar to what you grew up eating without the harming of animals
- some of them taste really good and can add creativity to your dish
Recipes you can use with vegan crumbles includes almost anything that originally calls for ground beef like…
- sloppy joes
- nachos, etc
I personally use Beyond Meat Crumbles because they are allergy free (no soy or gluten). I am NOT anti soy or gluten free. In fact I love a good tofu or setain dish. But I know a lot of people choose not to consume soy or gluten so Beyond Meat Crumbles solves both of those issues.
Lentils are a staple in a curvy vegan’s pantry. It is packed with protein aka amino acids (about 26% of lentils calories are protein), and it is easy to cook. Beyond Meat crumbles is made from organic pea protein. Pea protein contains the amino acid Leucine which is a top amino acid for muscle growth. So you will be getting a lot of plant based protein with this meal.
Related: View Plant Based Proteins in a Curvy Vegan Pantry
If you serve this to your meat loving friends I guarantee they will be amazed! Pair this with green beans, sweet potatoes, or some vegan mac and cheese and you got yourself a comfort meal that will take you back to your childhood.
IF YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE: Tell me how it turned out for you! Was it a hit or miss? What is your favorite vegan loaf? Tell me about it! Leave a comment below, rate it, pin it, and tag a photo #VeganWithCurves on Instagram so I can see it!
Appliances used in this recipe:
For more of my recommended cooking tools, visit the resource page at CURVY VEGAN KITCHEN.
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"Beefy" Vegan Lentil Loaf
- 1 tablespoon of oil or vegan butter I like Earth Balance
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of chopped celery
- 2 teaspoon of Vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 cup of dried brown lentils OR 1 1/2 cup of cooked lentils
- 1 package of vegan beefy crumbles thawed (I use Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles)
- 2 cups of water + 2 tablespoons of water divided
- 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
- 1 Not beef bouillon cube
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon Ms Dash seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 cup of gluten free bread crumbs
- 1/4-1/2 cup of BBQ sauce opt
Get a deep 2 inch pan, add vegan butter and heat on medium high heat.
Add chopped onions, mushrooms, celery, and vegan Worcestershire sauce to pan. Cook on medium high heat till veggies are soft and translucent for about 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
Turn down heat. Add 2 cups of water and one Not Beef Bouillon. Stir to mix the bouillon in the water until you have a broth.
Next add your lentils. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until lentils are tender and cooked.
Uncover your beans and add your thawed out Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles. Mix in well and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Turn off your stove and remove from heat. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Most of the water should be absorbed but if not drain in a colander.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
While crumbles cool make your flax egg. Pour ground flaxseed and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and mix well fully combining. It will thicken up as it sits into a gel like substance.
Once crumble mixture has cool add to a mixing bowl along with ketchup, Italian seasoning, bread crumbles, flax egg, and sea salt. Mix well and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Grab a baking dish and lightly grease it. Form your mixture into a loaf.
Top with BBQ sauce or your own personal favorite meatloaf sauce. Put in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Take out and let cool. The longer it cools the more it holds when you cut it.
Serve with your favorite sides! Enjoy!
Recipe NotesThis recipe does not hold like a traditional "meat" loaf because I did not use a food processor. The breadcrumbs and the flax egg helps hold it together especially once completely cool. The longer it is stored the better it holds (makes a great left over dish)
If you want a firmer hold you will have to combine all ingredients inside a food processor. The downside of that is you can loose a lot of that "beefy" texture processing all the ingredients together. So it's all about what you desire the most.
You can mix and match the type of veggies you like. I love mushrooms, onions, garlic, and celery but if you don't feel free to use whatever you do like.Also experiment with different spices.
I never tried this with any other bean but black beans could work well for this and might give it a better hold once processed in a food processor.
Here I use BBQ sauce because it is my favorite but if you have your own meatloaf sauce to use feel free to do so.
Equipment use to improve photos
- Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Full Accessory Bundle
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
- Natural light
For more tips on improving your food photography check out the Food Photography Tools Page.
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