Meatloaf – it’s one of the most iconic dishes eaten regularly in the United States but unfortunately, it’s not a suitable dish for everyone.
Traditional meatloaf is made up of ground meat which makes it unsuitable for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
However, it’s still a delicious meal to try – so how can you make a meatloaf that is suitable for all dietary requirements?
If you want to find out how to make a vegan meatloaf, then this is the place for you.
We are going to go through all the ingredient swaps you have to make and tackle some issues many find when trying to make a vegan meatloaf.
So, check out the guide below and good luck!
Taking The Meat Out Of Meatloaf
So, first up, you need to gather all of your ingredients ready to make your meatloaf.
Traditional meatloaf contains a lot of ingredients beyond just meat, which means that you may have to find alternative ingredients for more than just one thing to make a vegan meatloaf.
This includes any cow’s milk or eggs used to help bind the meatloaf all together.
These are obviously animal products that cannot be eaten by vegans so it’s not just the meat you will be taking out of your traditional meatloaf!
You need to find alternative ingredients for the ground meat, the eggs, and the cow’s milk – but what?
First, let’s start with the alternative ingredients for the meat. A lot of vegan meatloaf recipes will swap out the meat for energy-rich foods such as chickpeas, tofu, beans, lentils, or brown rice.
Portion wise, how much of your vegan alternative you use depends on the size of your meatloaf baking tin but most recipes will recommend that you use between one to two cups of your meat alternative.
Not only that, but the main body of your meatloaf can be bulked up by adding half cups of vegetables such as carrots, onions, peppers, and celery.
This will help bring additional flavor to your vegan meatloaf and help it get that thick, dense consistency which traditional meatloaf is known for.
As for your milk and egg alternatives, most vegans will simply swap any milk for their vegan alternative. This can be coconut or almond milk – basically any milk that doesn’t come from an animal.
For eggs, flaxseed is the best alternative to use. Most vegan meatloaf recipes will advise you to use a tablespoon or two of flaxseed meal to help bind it all together.
Other than these ingredients, everything else you can use in a meatloaf is vegan friendly. This covers any portions of oats, breadcrumbs, seasonings such as salt and pepper, BBQ sauce, mustard, tomato paste, and garlic.
So, now you know what alternative ingredients you can use in a vegan meatloaf!
Mistakes To Avoid When Making Vegan Meatloaf
Making a new dish can be a lot of trial and error, especially if you are swapping out ingredients for vegan alternatives.
This can result in a few simple mistakes which can totally ruin your meal – so here are some common issues people have when making vegan meatloaf, and how you can avoid them!
Why Is My Vegan Meatloaf So Dry?
If your vegan meatloaf comes out feeling very crumbly and dry, then this is a sign that you have over-stirred your ingredients.
When making meatloaf (both traditional and vegan) you will have two main types of ingredients: dry and wet. Dry ingredients include your oats, breadcrumbs, vegetables, seasoning – anything that isn’t wet.
Your wet ingredients include things like milk or sauces such as ketchup.
These two types of ingredients will be combined at some point but over-stirring can allow the dry ingredients to soak up too much of the wet ingredients, leaving your cooked meatloaf tasting dry.
So, don’t over-stir. Just stir the wet ingredients together, then the veggies, and then mix into the dry ingredients with ease.
Why Is My Vegan Meatloaf So Mushy?
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the wet and mushy vegan meatloaf.
This issue is usually a sign that you did not drain other ingredients well before mixing them all together and slamming the mixture into your loaf tin.
Ingredients such as your vegetables need to be cooked first before they can be mixed into the other dry ingredients, but some people fail to properly drain away the water from the pan.
To avoid this, a lot of chefs recommend sauteeing the veggies first because this method involves way less water and helps prevent a soggy meatloaf.
Alternatively, it could be your rice or lentils you have not drained properly.
In this case, you can purchase pre-cooked sealed lentils or rice, or just make sure you effectively drain these ingredients before adding them to your meatloaf.
The less moisture, the better!
Another cause behind mushy vegan meatloaf is pulsing your ingredients too much in the blender.
This makes the mixture far too smooth and the final result will miss the chunky texture meatloaf is known for – so don’t over mix your ingredients in your blender!
It can be difficult to know what exactly has caused your soggy, mushy meatloaf so try out a few methods to help determine the cause. Then, before you know it, you will have solved the issue and created the perfect meatloaf!
My Vegan Meatloaf Is Sticking To The Pan
When making any kind of meatloaf, you should always use parchment paper to help lift the meatloaf from the tin with ease.
However, if you find that your meatloaf is still sticking in some areas, then swapping your metal loaf tin for one made of silicone is a great idea.
Silicone loaf pans can be easily purchased and they are less likely to stick to your food. So, if sticking is a big issue for you, just swap out the tins!
As you can see, making a vegan meatloaf is a lot easier than it sounds.
Once you have the right ingredients, you can nail down the method and make the perfect vegan meatloaf with ease. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and give it a try!