Vegan Meatloaf with a Quinoa, Black Bean, and Veggie Base


Meatloaf is a tradition in my family. I adore my mother’s original recipe but these days I am trying to embrace more veggies in place of meat, so I took a bunch of veggies, beans, quinoa, and spices and created a warm, flavor-packed vegan version of meatloaf. Enjoy!

Don’t be intimidated by the length of the ingredient list. All the ingredients are things you probably already have on hand and a great chunk is comprised of spices!

Some glowing highlights:

Black Beans: regulate blood sugar, are packed with soluble fiber, have anti-inflammatory properties, prevent cancer with its antioxidant potency, contribute to nervous system health, and are a rich source of molybdenum, which has detoxifying properties.

Quinoa: is a protein powerhouse (one cup has 9 grams), containing all  of the essential amino acids and is thus a complete protein, is rich in fiber and digests slowly as to provide a feeling of fullness, acts an an internal cleanser and helps keep you “regular”, contributes to liver health with it vitamin B and folate content, builds bones with his good calcium content, and offer 15 percent of the U.S. recommended daily allowance of iron in just one cup, helping to deliver oxygen to the blood and boosting energy and brain power.

Cauliflower: is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals. It helps protect against free radical damage, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Cauliflower also boosts brain function and because of its fiber content, promotes digestive health.

Vegetarian Meatloaf

Serves 4-6


For the meatloaf:

  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (according to package instructions)
  • 2 cups cauliflower, finely grated
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup grated red pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 long sweet green pepper, grated
  • 2 tablespoons spelt flour
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Olive oil for greasing the dish
  • Enough ingredients for half of homemade ketchup

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
  • 1 long sweet green pepper, chopped
  • 4 medium white button mushrooms, halved
  • 2 cups water (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Generous dashes of salt, pepper, cumin, dried coriander and paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley


For the meatloaf, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Crush the black beans so they are nearly a mash and add to a large bowl. Wring the grated cauliflower in a thin towel to squeeze out all the liquid. You want the cauliflower to be as dry as possible. Add the cauliflower to the black beans along with the rest of the ingredients, except for the last two (oil and homemade ketchup). Use clean hands to mix all the ingredients together until all is evenly combined. If too sticky, wet or grease your hands with olive oil to avoid clumping on your hands. Shape into a log, as meatloaf generally appears, and place in a lightly greased glass dish. Make half of the recipe I previously posted for homemade ketchup, and brush it atop the meatloaf making a thin layer.


Put it into oven and bake for 1 hour, give or take 5-10 extra minutes depending on your oven’s efficiency



For the accompanying sauce, bring a large pan to heat, add the oil and sauté the onion, celery, red pepper, green pepper, and mushrooms on high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Add 2 cups of water (or veggie stock). When the mixture begins to boil, add the remainder of the ingredients, with the exception of parsley, and reduce the heat to medium and allow to cook until its juice has reduced by half and thickened considerably – about 10 minutes, or until all the veggies are tender. Add more of any spice to reach desired taste.


To serve, first allow the meatloaf to sit for at least 20 minutes to cool a bit and allow for the juices to contain themselves. When ready, delicately slice and place a few pieces of meatloaf on a plate and pour a few tablespoons of the sauce atop or next to the slices.



Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin



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  • Kaylee

    This looks so great!! I can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

  • Ally

    Yum! I just made this loaf. Delicious. I didn’t have the red bell pepper, so I goofed up and used red pepper powder thinking it would replace it. So my load turned out pretty spicy. Another thing is I cooked my quinoa in vegetable broth, and when I removed it from the heat it was still a tiny bit watery. I would recommend making sure the quinoa completely absorbs the liquid.

  • whois

    Um, I think the quantity for salt is wrong, I put in small tablespoon and it still rendered the whole thing pretty well inedible. An enormous amount of work and ingredients to end up in the bin. Other than the over salty flavour, I didn’t find it a pleasant taste at all.