Two-Bean Meatless Meatloaf

My Mama’s meatloaf is the stuff of legends.

Relegated to elementary lunchroom horror stories and sitcom fodder, meatloaf tends to get a bad wrap, but I promise you, my Mama’s meatloaf will change the opinion of even the staunchest of meatloaf opponents.

That all being said, this isn’t my Mama’s meatloaf.

Because, well, the elimination diet doesn’t allow for red meat. Let alone a full pound of ground cow. So this technically shouldn’t be called “meatloaf” at all. It really should just be called “loaf”. But that sounds disgusting. Who wants to just eat “loaf”?

So why did I wax on poetically about my Mama’s meatloaf if I’m not going to make it for you? Because this vegan version of the American classic is adapted from the simplistic genius of Mama’s recipe. I used two different types of beans, oats, and sunflower kernels to approximate the texture of the meatloaf and then filled it with all kinds of delicious flavors. The best part about Mama’s meatloaf is the brown sugar molasses and ketchup glaze that goes over top of the meatloaf and gets all gooey and caramelized.

Is this a replacement for a nice, piping hot slice of meatloaf from my Mama’s kitchen? No. But it’s a pretty good vegan and gluten-free approximation. And completely delicious piled high next to a place of mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. I was really quite happy with the results of this one. The loaf held its form well, it was a little bit gooey and a little bit crumbly (just like “real” meatloaf). The real test of meatloaf? How’s it hold up to the next-day sandwich test?

Well, I’d say it passed with flying colors.

Someday I’ll share my Mama’s recipe with you, but for now, you’ll have to try your hand at the vegan version.

Two Bean Meatless Meatloaf

Two Bean Meatless Meatloaf

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This vegan version of the American classic is made with two different types of beans to create the perfect meatloaf texture.


For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

For the meatloaf:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 large green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all glaze ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the oats until chopped well, but not into a powder.
  4. Add onion, green pepper, garlic and sunflower kernels and pulse again until well combined.
  5. Add in chickpeas, pinto beans, chili powder, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Pulse until beans are almost nearly pureed. Leave a little bit of texture.
  6. Spoon bean mixture into a greased loaf pan and even out.
  7. Pour glaze over bean mixture.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until glaze is caramelized and loaf is solid.
    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1370mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 12g

    At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

    What are your favorite toppings for a meatloaf sandwich?

    I like to go simple and just put on a whole crapton of mustard. Yum!

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    1. Hello! I’m so excited to try your recipe. Our household has vegetarians and vegans (and gluten free to boot). I always end up making “mushy eatloaf” and I’ve not found a recipe yet that isn’t so smooshy so I’m hoping yours stays firm be/c it looks delicious!

      My question: Can I substitute ground flaxseed meal instead of oats? I would probably use 1/2 cup of it. What do you think? Thank you so MUCH!

      1. I have never tried it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I will say that flax has a much stronger flavor than oats, so that might alter the taste quite a bit!

    2. I’ve been vegan for 3 years and this is the BEST meatless loaf I’ve found. My husband, parents and grandkids loved it too! Thanks so much for sharing?

    3. Lovely vegan recipe but please it is not gluten free. Oats have gluten and other ingredients which could make coeliacs a very ill.

      1. Oats do not inherently have gluten in them. The reason that oats commonly have gluten in them because of cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients at the processing facility. Gluten-free (non-contaminated) oats are widely available now that gluten-free has become more in fashion. Bob’s Red Mill sells a particularly good gluten-free oat:

    4. I just made this with a few alterations and it was great! I left out the pepper, used kidney beans instead of pinto, cut the amount of chili powder used in half, and subbed soy sauce in place of worcestershire sauce. I also added a little bit of ketchup to the final mixture because that’s what my mom used to do with her meatloaf! I didn’t use a glaze and it still turned out sooo well. Thanks for this awesome recipe- will definitely be making again soon.

    5. I had high hopes for this but since there were so many people who tried it and loved it I thought I would give it a go. On a positive note the sauce for the top was awesome. But the meatloaf came out just as mushy as it went in. I ended up cooking it for over an hour and still just mush. I followed the recipe to the letter of the law but I guess this just wasn’t for me

      1. I left mine in for 35 minutes. When it came out it was mushy – like refried beans – but I had cooked it ahead of time for the next day. Voila! Left it overnight (not even in the fridge but in the oven because I forgot) and it is properly firm and it sliced up perfectly.