Vegan lentil meatloaf cups topped with mashed cauliflower are easy to make and taste incredible! You can also bake it full size for a more traditional meal.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Earthbound Farm Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.
Meatloaf is an American staple, and I’m proud to say I’ve managed to create the most delicious vegan version of this traditional dinner menu item! Substituting the meat for lentils and chickpeas give these meatloaf cups the hearty, filling, deliciousness we all love this time of year.
Vegan Meatloaf Cups
I even shocked myself with this recipe. The flavor and texture turned out SO good! I love how easy it was to put together, and the rest is the oven’s job. My kind of meal! Plus, these pair so well with all the veggies and even a simple salad. But my fave was the mashed cauliflower we put on top!
Mashed cauliflower is a great alternative to mashed potatoes if you want to get some extra veggies in! It’s easy to make and nice and light for the belly. Plus it is loaded with nutrients, and is especially high in fiber and B vitamins.
If you want to make it from scratch, you simply steam or bake it, then puree with a little milk (plant-based to keep it dairy free, I like cashew best), salt and even some pepper to taste. I like to use this riced cauliflower from Earthbound Farm Organic to make it even easier!
If you want a ready made alternative, I did find this version as well, but be warned that it does have milk in it so it is not dairy free. I do love that it is made with the same simple ingredients you’d use at home, so if you are okay with the regular milk, it’s a great alternative.
How to get a good consistency without meat
My trick for the perfect consistency is to use a combination of lentils and dried chickpeas. Dried chickpeas have a nice chewy texture, and give this vegan meatloaf the perfect “meatiness” just like the original. You can certainly use canned chickpeas but you won’t get the same perfection.
I also use a combination of walnuts and oats to add to that chewiness. This gives flavor but also great texture.
What do vegans use to bind instead of eggs?
You definitely do not need to use eggs! There are a couple of things you can use for binding agents, but the real key is the ratio of moisture to dry ingredients. These are some of my favorite binding ingredients:
- ground flax and water
Can vegans eat bread crumbs?
Yes! But be sure to check the label closely. You’ll want to make sure the breadcrumbs do not have any dairy in them. You can always opt to make your own as well!
How To Make Vegan Meatloaf
- Combine ingredients in food processor and pulse.
- Put into a muffin tin (or if you’re doing a loaf put into a pan) and bake.
- Top with mashed cauliflower and serve!
Tips and Tricks
- Add vegetables as a side dish to increase nutritional value.
- For a full sized loaf – simply quadruple the recipe and bake in a loaf pan!
- To freeze, store the cups in an airtight container and place in freezer. Thaw before reheating.
- Top with your favorite barbecue sauce or check out my recipe for homemade Vegan Barbeque Sauce.
- This would also pair nicely with this Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce or my Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce!
What To Serve With Vegan Meatloaf
Meatloaf goes with so many great sides! If you want to keep it simple, I love the flavor of the Earthbound Farm Organic mixed greens. Throw on a touch of olive oil and vinegar and it’s simple perfection.
Here are some of my other favorite sides:
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- Spicy Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Baked Broccoli Cauliflower Tots
- Vegan Stuffing
- Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes
Easy Vegan Lentil Meatloaf Cups
- ¾ cup cooked lentils
- 6 tablespoons dried chickpeas , soaked overnight (or ¾ cup cooked)
- ¼ cup chopped yellow or sweet onion
- 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- Drizzle of oil to saute with , or use broth for oil free
- ¼ cup corn , I use frozen
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts , use seeds for nut free
- ½ cup oats , gluten-free if needed
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt , optional depending on barbecue sauce used
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce , I use my homemade recipe
- 9 tablespoons extra barbecue sauce to top with , or 4 tablespoons if making a loaf
- Mashed cauliflower to top or eat with (see note)
- Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C
- Saute onion and garlic in a pan with oil or broth until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Put it with the other ingredients (except extra barbecue sauce and mashed cauliflower) into a food processor and pulse until crumbly in texture.
- Put into greased muffin tins (or loaf pan), top with extra sauce (one tablespoon on each muffin) and bake for 30-35 minutes. You want the meatloaf to be firm but not overcooked.
- Allow to cool to help firm up the texture.
- Top with mashed cauliflower if preferred and enjoy!
- Using dried chickpeas gives the best texture.
- To make this a loaf, you need to quadruple the recipe (x4) and then bake in a load pan.
- To make your own mashed cauliflower you simple steam or bake cauliflower then puree in a blender or food processor with milk of choice, sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Nutrition facts are for meatloaf only.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.