Meatless Mushroom/Walnut Meatloaf

When I explained to a friend of mine that one of the best things about vegan baking is that you can lick the bowl without worrying about salmonella, she said, “What a sad highlight.” So, take all my “this is so yummy” posts within that spirit.

photo2While at the grocery store the other day, I searched “vegan meatloaf” on my phone, clicked through to  Hungry Hungry Hippie and Jazzy Vegetarian, and shouted ingredients at Groom. Today, I give you the yummy vegan mushroom/walnut meatloaf.

Groom did most of the cooking, by the way, and I was timing through cocktails, so things might be a little blurry for me. I’m relying primarily on my faulty memory and some knowledge of cooking.

I do recall Groom making me a second Manhattan when we put the loaf in the oven. So, cook it for as long as it takes to drink a cocktail while chatting with your friends (who am I kidding, I wouldn’t do this to my friends), peeling a couple potatoes, washing some green beans, chopping up a head of cauliflower, steaming the cauliflower and potatoes, mashing the cauliflower and potatoes with skim milk, soy butter, and horseradish, spreading the string beans on a cookie sheet to roast and spritzing them with olive oil…ding! Meatloaf is ready.

I don’t have a picture of the cooked meatloaf (see Manhattan comments above), but I can show you what it looks like pre-cooked without the sauce on top.  photo
Kitchen items you will need

  • Meatloaf pan
  • Large sautee pan
  • Food processor
  • Big bowl
  • Cheese grater if you’re using fake cheese as a binder
  • Cocktail shaker

Time to prep
About 40 minutes or approximately one Manhattan

Time to cook
About 45 minutes or approximately a second Manhattan and maybe a few sips of red wine


  • 2 tb olive oil
  • 2 smallish shallots, chopped
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 15 oz assorted mushrooms (three small styrofoam packages if you’re getting them at the grocery store–we used baby bellas, buttons, and shitake)
  • 2 cups unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup toasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup shredded almond cheese as a binder (we used jalapeno jack pepper almond cheese–you could probably use ground flaxseed whipped up with water as a binder, ratio is 1:3, flaxseed:water)
  • 1-1/2 cups Panko or breadcrumbs, more or less
  • 2 tb fresh parsley, chopped
  • black pepper


  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced or smooshed through a press
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tb soy sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 1/2 tb fresh thyme (or more or less, whatever)
  • 1 tsp of dried sage
  • 1-1/2 tb dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tb of ketchup
  • 2 tb brown sugar
  • black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sautee the shallots and onion until they’re soft and translucent and smell yummy, about 5-10 minutes or so. Remove from pan and set aside in large bowl.

Put some more olive oil in the pan. Sautee mushrooms with some black pepper, about 10 minutes. Combine with the onions in bowl.

Throw the walnuts into a food processor and grind them up until they’re about the same size or smaller than your mushrooms. Add to bowl.

Toss the sunflower seeds in food processor and grind them up for a few turns and add those to the bowl.

Dump the panko and parsely in the bowl. Mix it up all nice. It should feel like what you would expect raw mushroom/walnut meatloaf to feel like: slimey but not falling apart too much. The walnuts should release a little oil, which helps. If it’s too wet, you could add more panko, I suppose. But, I might worry about it getting too bready.

Put a little olive oil in the same pan you’ve been using. Add the smooshed garlic and sautee until it smells good and looks kind of translucent. Add the red wine, soy sauce, chicken broth, black pepper. Add thyme, sage, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar. Simmer it down so it’s thick.

Layer some sauce along the bottom of a lightly greased meatloaf baking pan (we use an olive oil sprayer, but you could also drip a little oil onto a paper towel and swipe it through the baking dish). Mold the meatloaf into the pan. Smother it with more sauce.

Cook for about 40-45 minutes.

Voila. Add some roasted string beans and mashed cauliflower potatoes and you have yourself a nice hot school lunch on a snowy night. Extra points if you consider ketchup to be your vegetable.

Sarah Devlin

About Sarah Devlin

Sarah Devlin has been writing about the recreational industry since the late ’90s but ironically can’t run, swim, or bike a mile.