When it comes to Meatloaf, I have a lot of questions. Under what circumstances/influences was the name Meatloaf selected? Furthermore, how did such a name become famous? Finally, Meatloaf says he would do anything for love, but he won’t do that. WHAT WON’T HE DO???? I bet this is the kind of stuff I’ll be pondering on my deathbed.
Thankfully, when it comes to vegan meatloaf, I only have one question that remains unanswered, and that is how to make it work in actual loaf form. I can’t get it to bake through without being mushy. Yet. But I CAN make it work (very well, I might add) as vegan meatloaf cups, so that is my longwinded way of introducing this recipe.
Vegan meatloaf cups start with vegan ground beef, because, well, obviously they do. So yes, this is one of those recipes where I tell you to make another recipe first so you can make this recipe, but it’s ok because you’ll have some leftover for another meal, and you’ll be thanking me then for helping you plan ahead. You’re welcome, in advance. P.S. If you aren’t familiar with the vegan ground beef recipe, it’s made entirely of vegetables and seeds and is a truly amazing replacement for ground beef in pretty much any recipe.
So anyway, back to the meatloaf. You’ll need vegan ground beef, some marinara sauce (I like my protein-packed marinara sauce, but you can use whatever you want), ground rolled oats, salt, oregano, and steak sauce. Steak sauce, Beth? Yep, it’s vegan, which is definitely an oxymoron. You can also use vegan worcestershire sauce instead of steak sauce. I like to give you options.
Mix it all up and whoa, that looks very meatloaf-y, but trust me when I tell you that it’s totally vegan and chock full of plants. Portion it into a muffin tin (or just onto a lined sheet pan), and bake for 30 minutes. This is the large cookie scoop I use for those uniform little domes you see below.
And there you have it – vegan meatloaf cups! I cut one open so I could show you how great the texture is inside. Did I tell you that these are gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and oil-free? Well, I did now.
And now, another question. To glaze, or not to glaze? You can toss some ketchup on top and call it a day (I’ve totally done that), or you can mix some more marinara with some steak sauce, spoon it over the top of each cup, and stash it back in the oven for a few minutes.
And, of course, while the meatloaf cups are baking, you can make some mashed taters and cook up something green, and you’re good to go for a ridiculously healthy dinner that also happens to taste fantastic.
By the way, I think I figured out what he won’t do for love. I really think I have the answer.
Dishes. He won’t do the dishes.
I can die in peace now.
Vegan Meatloaf Cups
- 4 cups Vegan Ground Beef (ingredients below)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or oat flour
- 2/3 cup Protein-Packed Marinara Sauce or your favorite marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce (most brands are vegan!)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegan Ground Beef
- 1 head cauliflower, broken into large florets
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) or walnuts
- 1/2 cup protein-packed marinara sauce or ketchup
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a food processor fitted with an s-blade, process the rolled oats until a coarse meal forms. There can be small pieces of oat visible. Remove to a small bowl.
- Add the pumpkin seeds and sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor and process until a fine meal forms, but be careful not to go so far as to puree into a smooth mixture. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Remove the s-blade from the food processor and attach the grating disc.
- Shred the cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, onions and garlic in the food processor. If you don’t have a shredding attachment, pulse small amounts at a time using the S-blade until finely chopped but not pureed.
- In a large nonstick skillet, cook the shredded vegetables over medium-high heat until the moisture has evaporated and the vegetables are cooked, about 6-8 minutes. See notes for alternative oven roasting method.
- Add the pumpkin seed (or walnut) and sun-dried tomato mixture into the skillet, and combine with the vegetables, cooking for 1 minute.
- Measure 4 cups of the vegan ground beef into a mixing bowl. Refrigerate or freeze remaining mixture for another meal, such as these vegan taquitos.
- To the vegan ground beef, add the oats, marinara sauce, steak sauce, salt, and black pepper. Mix throughly to combine.
- Portion into muffin tins (an ice cream scoop works great!) or scoop onto a lined sheet pan and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. If using the glaze, spoon onto each meatloaf cup at the end of the cooking time, then bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serving suggestions: Vegan mashed potatoes, protein-packed vegan white gravy, a veggie side of your choice (I love something green like broccoli, green beans, or steamed kale to brighten up the plate).
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sue Laffin says
Just wondering if you can freeze these after you make them?
Hi Sue! Yes, you can! 🙂
Hi Beth — Made this recipe tonight, following it completely, start to finish. I’ve been testing a bunch of plant-based “meat” loaf recipes over the past month or two to try and find one that tastes awesome and would be worth making again. There have been so many failures on the taste test for me and my family! So it was with trepidation I approached your recipe, but dang, am I glad I did! It is so flavorful, so moist, so scrumptious — this is it, the recipe I put in my collection of tried-tested-true successes. Thank you so much! (I plan to try your taquito recipe with the leftover “meat” mix)!
Kate! I am overwhelmed with joy to read this comment! No hyperbole, either. This is why I do this, to get this kind of feedback! I’m sorry you had to kiss so many frogs to find a prince, but I’m glad this recipe earns a spot in your “make again” collection! 🙂
Debbie Sparkes says
Can you use shredded beets in this to get the red color?
Emily Francis says
I can’t even believe how much I love this recipe. It will be a go to for our house for sure. Great job with this!
Are the sun dried tomatoes in oil?
Hi Lucy! No, I use the ones they are store dry in resealable packs. I especially like the ones that are already cot into strips, because they break down more quickly. Hope that helps!
Nutritional value of each meatloaf?
Beth – this recipe is amazing. Probably the best ” meatloaf” I have made. We intend to make this mixture into a hearty vegan spaghetti sauce.
So delicious. Better than anything I’ve ever made plant based.