Mexican Vegan Meatloaf! Chili, cumin, beans, corn–all of the flavors an enchilada would offer are reunited in this gluten-free and vegan meatloaf! A tasty plant-based twist on a traditional dish!
Homestlylin’ and Freestylin’
I could blame it on the cold, wind, and flurries outside my window, but I have really been craving some homestyle comfort food. When I was a kid we used to eat meatloaf routinely. (Yes, this was the era when dinner wasn’t dinner if meat wasn’t one of the portions.) That’s what I was flavin’ for–minus the meat, of course.
Training Your Parchment Paper
Who hates it when you have to line a pan with parchment paper and it just keeps popping back up?! My hand is raised. I figured out this great little hack to make the parchment stay in place using a rubber band. Secure the parchment with a rubber band and let it sit while you prep. By the time you are ready you can remove the rubber band and it will stay in place all on its lonesome. P.S. Don’t stretch the rubber band too tight–you know dangerous bodily harm can occur!
Vegan Meatloaf to the Rescue
So I set out to make the ultimate vegan meatloaf. One with the consistency and texture of a traditional meatloaf, but also bringing a little zip to the party and keeping my palate interested. This bean-based meatloaf is just what my brain and belly needed–and I tell ya, sometimes it isn’t easy pleasing both of them!
Three side benefits from removing the meat and adding the beans: this dish is low-fat, high fiber, and packed with plant-based protein! I hope you enjoy this plant-based treat as much as I do. The leftovers make a great sandwich. Come to think of it, I’m gonna go grab another wedge!
If you’re craving some more comfort food options, check out my roundup of 24 Gluten-free & Plant-based Comfort Foods. Whether breakfast, dinner, or dessert, there is something on there for you!
Mexican Vegan Meatloaf! Chili, cumin, beans, corn--all of the flavors an enchilada would offer are reunited in this gluten-free and vegan meatloaf! A tasty plant-based twist on a traditional dish!
- 2 tablespoons golden flax seed meal (plus 1/3 cup water for flax egg)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (about 1/2 medium bell pepper)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans
- 1 can (15 oz) white beans (I use Great Northern or you can use Cannellini)
- 2/3 cup shredded vegan cheese plus more for sprinkling on top (I used Daiya brand cheddar and mozzarella shreds)
- 1 cup cornmeal (medium grind)
- 1/3 cup salsa plus more for topping
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- pinch finely ground black pepper
- 1) Combine flax seed meal and water, mix well and set aside.
- 2) Combine all seven seasonings in a small bowl and set aside.
- 3) Finely chop onion, red pepper and cilantro and set aside in a bowl. Use a food processor to chop the onion and pepper (no need to wash FP, you will use it a few more times). I recommend chopping the cilantro with a knife. Place 2/3 cup shredded vegan cheese (I used half cheddar and half mozzarella) in food processor and pulse until pieces are about 1/4 inch (see picture in post). Cheese can alternatively be chopped with a knife.
- 4) Drain both cans of beans and pour half of each can in food processor. Pulse until only very small pieces remain. Add remaining beans from each can to pulsed beans and pulse until the largest pieces are about 1/4 inch (see picture in post). Use potato masher to break down beans if not using a food processor.
- 5) Place bean mixture in a large mixing bowl, gently mixing in 1/3 cup salsa then spice mixture with a spatula. Seasoning should be mixed until evenly distributed. Add onion, pepper, cilantro and flax egg mixing well. Add in vegan cheese and cornmeal mixing well. If mixture seems too wet add an additional small amount of cornmeal. If too dry add a small additional amount of salsa.
- 6) Once blended, form into a loaf and transfer to a parchment lined 8 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. When transferring to loaf pan loaf will be soft but able to hold its form. Press firmly into loaf pan, pushing into corners and flattening top.
- 7) Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes. Inserted toothpick should come out clean and top of loaf should be firm. Place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes then remove loaf from pan by lifting parchment paper and allow to cool and additional 15 minutes. After cooling, loaf will cut into about nine one-inch wide slices.
- Serving Suggestion I recommend topping each slice with a spoonful of salsa and some vegan cheese (perhaps a little cilantro or parsley too).
Customize Seasoning After all ingredients have been mixed together in the large mixing bowl is the time to do a taste test. Keep in mind that the seasonings will intensify a bit once baked. If desired, add a little more of any of the seasonings. I always like to add more chili powder and chipotle powder.
Bring on the heat! Keep in mind that your salsa selection will either add more or less heat to the mix and add or subtract seasoning accordingly.
Hi, i would like to try this recipe. However, I need to avoid the vegan cheese in this. Do you think it would turn out well w/o the cheese? please let me know
Hi Grace, I think from a flavor perspective it would still be delicious without the cheese! My only concern about omitting the cheese would be that the cheese can act (to a very small extent) as a binder, and it may not hold together as well. Please let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try! I hope this helps! 🙂
Jasmineawilder W says
Just made and ate some! I was missing chipotle, cilantro, and corn meal(I substituted 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 ground rolled oats)
Still came out great! I think the extra spices would’ve made the flavor stronger; I also added some guacamole on top my slices~ do not omit the cheese! It really pulls the flavors together
I am so happy to hear that you loved the recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing your substitutions!! 🙂
Made this tonight and LOVED it! Thank you! Will be trying more recipes.
I’m so happy to hear that! I’m glad you loved it. 🙂
Trying this recipe tonight with non-vegan family🙂
HI Sheri! That’s great! I hope they like it. 🙂
I made Mexican meatloaf for dinner tonight, it was amazing. I added chives, and 1/2 a diced jalapeño pepper to the original recipe. It was so flavorful, and delicious. Can’t wait to try another recipe of yours. Thanks for the easy to understand directions.
Hi Nancy! I am so glad you liked my meatloaf recipe! I love your addition of chives and jalapeno. I love to freeze it in individual slices for a quick individual serving when everyone in the house is “doing there own thing” for dinner. You may also like my Black Beans and Cauliflower Rice! 🙂
Would it mess tge recipe up too terribly if I left the cheese out?
Hi Heather! I have not tried omitting the ‘cheese’. I think you could try it and just be extra sensitive to the level of moisture. Before you are ready to form the whole loaf I would take a handful of the mixture and press it together in your hands (form a ball) to see if it seems to gel together well. If it is too wet or dry adjust accordingly. Enjoy! 🙂
This looks delicious. Can I sub oats for the cornmeal and if so would it still be 1 cup?
Hi Yasmin, Thanks so much!! I have not tried subbing oats in this recipe. Perhaps you could try grinding the oats a bit so they are closer to the consistency of the corn meal. If you do this, I think the quantity will probably be close to the same amount. I would start with adding 3/4 cup and add incrementally from there until desired texture is achieved. Also, of note, the flavor will change a bit as a result of this substitution. I think it will still taste great, it just won’t have that ‘corn tortilla’ flavor element. I hope this helps! 🙂
Can I make this ahead and freeze it and then dethaw and bake later in the week?
Hi Dawn, I haven’t tried freezing it before hand but I think it should work! A great idea BTW. Please let me know how it goes if you decide to try freezing ahead 🙂
Eleanor Brugger says
I served mine with a side of Mexican coleslaw: shredded cabbage, julienned jalapeños, cilantro, and a touch of carrot doused in lime juice with some cumin and a touch of apple cider vinegar. It was a great pairing!
Hi Eleanor! Wow! The slaw sounds out of this world!! That does sound like a delish pairing 🙂
Lu Farinola says
Thanks so much!!
It looks awesome, l love to cook and taste the difference. Where do l buy the book of recepies?
Thank you Mora! That project is actually in the works! There will be more info to come on that in the future 🙂