Vegetable “Meat” Loaf

Nuvita Biscuits

Vegetarians and carnivores alike will love this ingenious twist on meat loaf. The meaty-flavored, umami-rich recipe received our Test Kitchen’s highest rating. Ordinarily you wouldn’t pack a meat loaf into the pan, but since we’re using a vegetable mixture, you will to make sure it holds together.


For The Meat loaf:

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch asparagus pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

For The Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard


1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. To prepare meat loaf, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
4. Place about one-fourth of mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Transfer chopped mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining mushrooms.
5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms to bell peppers. Wipe pan with paper towels. Add asparagus and onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.
6. Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Add breadcrumbs and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) to mushroom mixture, stirring well. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; press gently to pack. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°.
7. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; brush ketchup mixture over meat loaf. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into 6 slices.



Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Ed D on Feb 5, 2013

    I’m thinking of making ramen and I want it as authentic as possible, But I’d like to know what kind of fish is in narutomaki. I might be allergic so would I be able to make an aesthetic duplicate out of potatoes or something?

  2. posted by Cupcakerum on Feb 5, 2013

    Any idea? I have been a vegan for almost a year. We love to change our habitude this year.
    Thank you very much, guys!
    There are so much good idea here.
    I don’t know how to choose the best answer.
    Any vegan here? I will appreciate if you share some exprience at Thanksgiving day.
    BTY, I am not a fan of fake meat or tofu meat either!!

  3. posted by Jose B on Feb 5, 2013

    I am considering becoming vegan and while I know all fake meat is vegetarian friendly, is it all vegan friendly, too?
    Thanks and any vegan tips you would like to throw my way would be greatly appreciated!

  4. posted by Jonny on Feb 5, 2013

    I remember a delicous recipe on Meat Loaf where you combine Brown sugar and ketchup. I don’t really know the amounts. I need it to be simple, I’m no 5 star Chef! :)

  5. posted by jag43216 on Feb 5, 2013

    i dont mean the thing made with two loaves of bread, but the OTHER meaning…………..i have come across it quite often, but have no idea whats it……:-/

  6. posted by Sonny on Feb 5, 2013

    I went to a BBQ at my sister in law’s house and they had enough meat for about 25 people even though there were only 4 meat-eating adults and 2 small children who had 1 sausage each. I felt upset at the sheer quantities. It wasn’t the fact that they were eating meat, I already knew they did that but it was the fact that there was so much and it was just a waste. I wouldn’t dream of telling anyone they ought to be veggie and I do believe people have to choose for themselves but surely this waste is disgusting! I was also subjected to the implication that vegetarianism is a bit silly and the food I was eating was referred to as cardboard. It upset me that people were so unthinking about the waste and so dismissive of my life choice.

  7. posted by Andres C on Feb 5, 2013

    any ideas, please? Thanks!!
    thanks,, so you can eat fish either , I didnt know that..thanks!

  8. posted by Goe122 on Feb 5, 2013

    Does anyone have one? And what would it go good with?

  9. posted by Jairo on Feb 5, 2013

    I have never made meat loaf before and i want to try it for the first time but don’t know what ingredients go in it.

  10. posted by Elijah luv on Feb 5, 2013

    Tofu seems to be pretty tasteless and kinda boring (I know not always but I would prefer tofu-free recipes)

    What are some specific recipes for tofu free veggie meals?

  11. posted by jordenkotor on Feb 5, 2013

    I’d appreciate ideas for a festive, vegan holiday dinner. Thanks!

  12. posted by Moore, Ron on Feb 5, 2013

    I made meat loaf last night and it was good, but after 2 nights we still have enough for another night’s meal. I’m already tired of it. What can I do with what’s left? Any creative suggestions?

  13. posted by rashest_hippo on Feb 5, 2013

    Well, I have went vegetarian. I haven’t ate meat for 2 days. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but there has been a lot of meat hung in my face by people telling me to eat meat. The truth is, I like meat and all but, I just hate the idea of animals dying so I can have a Bacon sandwich. Here is a bit about what my vegetarian diet is like:

    – I already get tones of protein.
    – I allow myself to eat dairy and eggs. Even though I hate dairy products.
    – I do not eat fish.
    – I have done my research.
    – And, incase you didn’t notice, I don’t eat meat.

    Now, here is my question. Do you know some great, quick and yummy vegetarian meal ideas? Breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks? Any good sites with recipes? Thanks for the help!

    Bonus Question:
    I think I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian. Am I?
    I just had to say, its been 5 days now and I no longer crave meat. I am very happy with myself!

  14. posted by Joe M on Feb 5, 2013

    my mom wants me to write down things that i want from the grocery store tommarow. i cant think of anything! all i can think of is hummus, peanut butter, and vegan burgers! what else is good out there for vegans? any other “meats” i should try? thanks!!! : )

  15. posted by Squall Leonhart on Feb 10, 2013

    I’ve tried to go veggie a few times, i always ended giving up because I didn’t have a big enough variety of food.
    Can someone tell me about the sort of things are available for vegetarians in common supermarkets?
    Also, keep in mind that i leave it Australia.

  16. posted by Dark_LovexXx on Feb 10, 2013

    My fiance has been requesting I make meatloaf for dinner for months now…..I happen to HATE meatloaf passionately. To me, it is the stuff of nightmares. However, because I love the guy, I figured tonight I’d surprise him with a meatloaf of his very own.

    He RAVES about his mother’s meatloaf, so this one has got to knock his socks off. I’m going up against the MIL here, so it has to be the God of all meatloaves.

    Any recipes??????

  17. posted by ConfusionnaJob on Feb 10, 2013

    So some how i found myself on the PETA website about an hour ago. I decided to watch the “meet your meat” video and then immediately afterwards took the 30 day vegan challenge. After reading all the information on PETA’s website I feel really overwhelmed. Tomorrow I’m going to Walmart and I’m looking for some shopping tips. I’m looking for help from people who are already vegan to tell me how they did it, and how to get started. I really like the taste of chicken and beef, but after seeing what happens to chickens and cows and those other poor animals, i just don’t want to eat it anymore. Any tips for my first vegan shopping trip? Also I’m living in a really small town right now so there are no health food stores, only Walmart.

  18. posted by Harry on Feb 10, 2013

    Your corn,mashed potatoes,meat loaf?

  19. posted by altair on Mar 18, 2013

    I am trying to get my kids into eating healthy and I am looking for some recipes using tofu that are both tasty and flavorful.
    Thanks in advance.

  20. posted by Only Business on Mar 18, 2013

    My 6 month old is doing well with baby rice cakes but getting bored of them I think. Does anyone have any suggestions for HEALTHY (i.e. no Cow and gate products, processed foods like cheerios, anything with salt or sugar or oil) finger foods for both on-the-go and make and eat at home. I tried toast today, not sure she really liked it.
    andrea— could i get that recipe? sounds great :)
    i make bread at home…limit the salt and use apple sauce instead of oil.
    i am scared to death to give her a carrot stick…do they not choke on them at such a young age? I have never tried it so i don’t know.
    mystic…like the idea about the chickpeas… how do you make them exactly?

  21. posted by Alina Elliott on Mar 21, 2013

    I decided to ask a fun question, and I’m interested in trying a new meat loaf recipe . Does anybody have any ideas ? Was there a meat loaf that was a major success at dinner with Grandma or the last family reunion ? Did you ever try cheese sauce on top of a meat loaf ? Thank you in advance for your answers .

  22. posted by Jermaine J on Mar 25, 2013

    What are some recipes that my non-vegetarian family members will still like and eat.
    Recipes that are easy to make and healthy

  23. posted by nyyankees1123 on Mar 25, 2013

    I decided to ask a fun question, and I’m in the mood to try a new meat loaf . Does anybody have any good ideas ? Do you know one that has a good cheese sauce on top or a block of cheese in the middle ? Thank you in advance for your answers .

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