Mini Vegan “Meat” Loaves

Mini Meat Loaves

Many of you know that when I went vegan I went cold tofurky. I went from eating meat and dairy on a near daily basis to none at all. Zip, zilch, nada. I completely cleaned out my fridge freezer and pantry so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep eating products that were harming my health.

I’ve always been a decent cook, but I used to plan my meals around what cut of meat I had in the freezer or fridge and add sides from there. As you can imagine, I was in for a bit of a shock when I cut all animal products out. I didn’t know how to plan my meals anymore and had about 3 really rough months in the kitchen. Some meals were barely edible. I’m far beyond that point now and feel like I’ve found my vegan groove. I don’t crave meat anymore, but sometimes I enjoy creating “meaty” counterparts since that was the way we ate for so long. These mini “meat” loaves aren’t like seitan or gardein or anything else you’ve had yet. But I think you’ll love them.


Mini “Meat” Loaves

Inspired by a meatball recipe in The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions

  • 1 C. tomato sauce
  • 4 T. almond butter
  • 1/4 C. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 C. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 very finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 C. fresh whole grain bread crumbs
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. dried parsley
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 T. vegan worcestershire or 1 t. vegemite

Glaze: combine the following in a small container:

  • 1/2 C. Hienz organic ketchup
  • 1/4 C. pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 T. Braggs raw apple cider vinegar

Method: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Water saute the onion and garlic until the onion is nearly translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Whisk tomato sauce, almond butter and worcestershire together. In a separate bowl Mix dry ingredients together including spices. Combine the dry and wet ingredients with a wooden spoon, then add the sauteed onions and garlic. Lightly spray half of a 12 cup muffin tin, this will make 6-8 mini “meat” loaves. Press the mixture into the tins, then top each mini “meat” loaf with some of the glaze. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

DinnerI’ll be bringing you my Truck Stop Jo Jo Potato Wedges recipe (pictured above) on Friday the 14th, but in the meantime, stay tuned for my Happy Herbivore Abroad Blog Tour and giveaway on Wednesday the 12th.




  1. You said Jo-Jo’s. I heart you. My husband had never heard of them till I mentioned them one time….lol!! I grew up on those nasty things 😀 I am waiting for your recipe!

    1. Girl, you’re gonna die. They were a travel staple when we were kids! Dipped in ranch dressing… So good, so gross! These are healthier and taste tons like the original!

      1. I was “What?!? You have never had Jo-Jo’s???” Apparently they were not all the rage in MD. We on the other hand lived in hill-billy-ville rural Wa about 1/2 a mile from an actual truck stop and sketchy convenience store. Greasy, salty, a scary shade of red…what is funny is they sell like crazy at our local Safeway’s deli to this day. Please dear lord give me a healthy version. With ranch dressing. Yummmmm.

  2. Looks great! I know what you mean about how after you switch to eating a plant based diet, sometimes you still crave something with a chewier texture or similar flavors to an old favorite. There’s nothing about meat that I miss, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the chewy bite of a Field Roast sausage every once in a while topped with stoneground mustard and plenty of sauerkraut. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the potato recipe!

    1. Glad you understand this. Sometimes I feel foolish posting meaty recipes, but you’re right, it’s not like I’m craving a steak or something. Oh man, that potato recipe. It’s a good one!

  3. Here in the great mysterious land down under where veganism is new and hip and cutting edge, (well in the Tasmanian convict quarter anyway…) we don’t have a lot of faux meat alternatives like seitan available for us to whisk off supermarket shelves and get cookin’. If we want a faux…we have to faux it ourselves. I tried various seitan mixtures and they always ended up like rubbery overcooked loaves of dense bread that were unappetising. In the end I just bypassed the faux’s and used other “meaty” alternatives and your recipes sits square in that quarter. Cheers for a wonderful looking recipe that could most probably become a staple here on Serendipity Farm when winter shows its frosty head again 2013. At the moment its salads ahoy! 😉

    1. We were 23 degrees (-5 Celsius) yesterday. I’m really trying hard to still like salad at the moment, but I really like warm food when it’s this cold. This is nothing like rubbery seitan. I think you’ll love it.

    1. and super wow that you could do it cold tofurkey:) we went the slow transition way, it worked for me and also for hubbs, else he would have probable been apprehensive of the sudden change. the slow changes and discussions and reading time all helped to get him on board:)

      1. I was too sick to “wait and see” My husband was sick of seeing me suffer and said “Let’s just try it for 30 days and see how it goes” (he’s so great!) I also knew things like cheese would be too hard to get over if I didn’t just get rid of all of it. Best choice I ever made! Seriously no colitis flare ups for nearly a year now! xx

    2. Thanks Richa, I know meaty creations are strange for some lifelong vegetarians, but of course, being a former carnivore, I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

  4. While I don’t miss meat, sometimes it’s nice to have a substantial main component like this! Take me back to when I was a kid 🙂 Sounds delicious and the whole plate looks so comforting! It must be the peas and corn- they were staples for me as a kid!

    1. Wow, not sure about that one, maybe garbanzo/chickpea flour or brown rice flour. It won’t be the same, but I’m sure it’ll still taste good, and of course you could use gluten free bread crumbs….

    1. Oh my gosh, mashed potatoes are still on my top 5 list of foods. EVER. I was trying to break the mold a bit. I’d love to see how you make your meatloaf!

  5. I love the mini-meatloaves but wonder what the calories and nutritional information are for them. any way to find out? Ellen

  6. oh wow. forgot about a non-meat loaf. the husband ordered this yesterday at a restaurant, only meat-filled, and honestly, I forget about making such amazing, homestyled food. Mac and cheese? not forgotten. but meatloaf? absolutely. thanks for the reminder!

  7. Oh my gosh this all looks delicious… I also we vegan all the way overnight… gave my kids all the meat/diary/eggs that was in the house. I still cook meat for holidays for the omni’s but everyone knows when they come over they are mostly going to have delicious vegan food. I have to make this entire meal. I LOVE jo-jo potatoes!!!!

  8. Thank you so much for this! I have been trying out other recipes and my own experiments, but this is perfect (with a few little alterations to fit my taste). It’s amazing!!

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