Easy Vegan Chickpea Meatloaf

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by Alena Schowalter
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This healthy vegan chickpea meatloaf is so easy to make and really crowd-pleasing! Make this flavor- and protein-packed main during the holidays or on weeknights for the whole family.

Eating more plant-based protein and veggies has never been easier and tastier than this chickpea meatloaf.

It’s made from very basic staple ingredients, great for smaller budgets, and a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike!

After sharing our go-to lentil mushroom loaf recipe, we received many questions about substitution ideas for lentils. Here you go!

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Our favorite versatile legume, chickpeas, has found its way into so many of our recipes that it just made sense to create a vegan chickpea meatloaf!

It’s the perfect hearty main during fall or winter (hello, meatless holiday feast!) but it’s also easy enough to make during weeknights for the whole family.

Be sure to check out more recipes featuring this delicious bean, like this potato chickpea curry, our popular vegan bean chili, and this healthy chickpea cookie dough!

We’ve also shared high-protein recipes, Thanksgiving recipes, and vegan Christmas dinner recipes on our website which you’ll love.

chopping board with freshly baked chickpea meatloaf

Recipe overview

  • Budget-friendly and easy to make
  • Great for family meals
  • High in fiber, protein & veggies
  • Perfect meatless main during the holidays
  • Meal prep-friendly weeknight recipe
  • Rich in flavor & texture

This vegan chickpea meatloaf is low in fat and packed with essential nutrients, making this scrumptious main dish super healthy and hearty yet diet-friendly.

table with chickpeas, carrots, mushrooms, onion and several spices

Ingredients needed

  • Chickpeas — either canned or cooked from scratch.
  • Veggies — onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrots and celery are used in this recipe.
  • Spices & flavorings — mustard, smoked paprika, tomato paste, thyme, maple syrup and BBQ sauce all work together to make this the best chickpea meatloaf!
  • Flax — our favorite egg replacement when baking!
  • Breadcrumbs — for great texture but they can be replaced with oats & nuts (details below).

These are the main ingredients for our chickpea loaf. Find the exact quantities and substitution tips down below.

In terms of kitchen equipment, you’ll need a loaf pan, skillet and food processor to make this recipe.

food processor with chickpeas, suateed vegetables, tomato paste, mustard and several spices

How to make this chickpea meatloaf

Before you start, preheat your oven to 350° F (180 °C) and line a 9×5” loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sauté the veggies

Place a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and sauté the diced onion in a splash of water until translucent.

Next, add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently, until all of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and they turn slightly golden.

At this point, add the rest of the (very finely) chopped veggies, some spices and the cooked chickpeas.

Cook for 5-6 more minutes, until the vegetables have become tender.

Process all ingredients

Transfer your veggie and chickpea mixture to a food processor alongside all of the other ingredients: nutritional yeast, soy sauce, tomato paste and mustard as well as breadcrumbs and some flaxseeds.

Pulse a couple of times to combine and be sure not to over-process your chickpea loaf mixture! It should be somewhat mixed but still chunky — we’re looking to make a nice texturized vegan meatloaf, not hummus.

Transfer to pan & bake

Finally, put the chickpea loaf mixture into your prepared loaf pan and press it down until it’s tightly packed! You can use your hands or the back of a wooden spoon for this.

Put the loaf pan into the oven for 40 minutes.

small bowl with red tomato paste being stirred

Make & add the glaze

For your last step, whisk together the ingredients for the homemade glaze in a small bowl. Alternatively, you can just use ketchup or any other tomato-based sauce for this.

Remove your chickpea loaf from the oven and spread the glaze evenly on top of it, then bake it for 10 more minutes.

Let your freshly baked chickpea meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving!

Storage & reheating

This recipe is great for meal prep because you can enjoy this loaf over the course of a few days. Simply store it in a lidded container in the fridge for up to 5-6 days once the loaf has completely cooled and reheat at your convenience!

You can either do so in the oven at 350° F for about 5-8 minutes or in the microwave.

If you want to freeze your vegan meatloaf, it’s best to cut it into individual slices and put parchment paper between them — this allows you to just take as many slices as you want from the freezer.

large white bowl with vegan thanksgiving dinner sides like mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, gravy and chickpea loaf

Serving suggestions

Classic combinations when serving this chickpea meatloaf as your vegan Thanksgiving dinner or during Christmas include:

We also enjoy it alongside sweet potato fries, roast pumpkin feta salad, spinach fig salad, and this sweet potato arugula salad during weeknights.

FAQs & tips for this recipe

Make the chickpea loaf gluten-free

Just use gluten-free breadcrumbs (you can also sub for gluten-free rolled oats) and swap soy sauce for tamari.

Make it even heartier

You can add ½ – 1 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds to your chickpea loaf while reducing approximately the same amount of chickpeas and breadcrumbs.

You can also sauté your veggies in oil to bump up the calories!

Don’t like mushrooms?

Replace them with more chickpeas, a handful of chopped nuts or simply leave them out completely. However, they do add earthy flavor and depth to the loaf without tasting like mushrooms!

top view of a sliced vegan chickpea meatloaf on a chopping board

Food processor-free version

If you don’t have a food processor, mash your cooked chickpeas with a fork or potato masher in a large bowl, then add your cooked veggies and all of the spices.

Mix with a spoon until well combined and broken down!

Meal prep instructions

You can make the mixture for this chickpea meatloaf a day in advance and then store it in your loaf pan in the fridge before baking!

More hearty vegan recipes

If you liked this vegan chickpea meatloaf recipe, be sure to check out the following goodness next!

Did you make our chickpea meatloaf and like it? Be sure to share it in the comments below, give the recipe a rating and don’t forget to Pin it here.

Easy Vegan Chickpea Meatloaf

by Alena Schowalter
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
This healthy vegan chickpea meatloaf is so easy to make and really crowd-pleasing! Make this flavor- and protein-packed main during the holidays or on weeknights for the whole family. Only 10 minutes of prep time and budget-friendly ingredients are needed!
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms finely diced (100 g)
  • 2 carrots finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas rinsed (320 g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs 70 g
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds ground
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

For the Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F (180 °C) and line a 9x5” loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Get a large rimmed skillet and cook the onion with 2 tablespoons of water over medium heat, stirring frequently until translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the mushrooms. Cook until all of the liquid has evaporated and they turn slightly golden.
  • Now, add the rest of the chopped vegetables, chickpeas, salt, pepper and thyme to the skillet. Cook for 5-6 more minutes until everything is tender.
  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor bowl and add nutritional yeast, breadcrumbs, flax, soy sauce, tomato paste, Dijon and smoked paprika. Pulse to combine, stopping here and there to scrape down the sides if needed. You’re looking for a somewhat homogenous but not mushy texture!
  • Press the chickpea loaf mixture into the prepared pan and create an even layer, then place the loaf pan into the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Make the chickpea loaf glaze by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Once the vegan meatloaf has been in the oven for 40 minutes, remove it and spread the glaze evenly on top of it.
  • Bake the chickpea loaf for 10 more minutes, then remove it from the oven and let cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • Try to chop your veggies as finely as possible for best results.
  • This chickpea loaf can be prepared a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge before baking!
  • Any leftover baked chickpea loaf can be stored in the fridge for up to 5-6 days once cooled. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months after being cut into slices.
  • Feel free to just use ketchup for the glaze instead.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Chickpea Meatloaf
Amount per Serving
Calories
206
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Sodium
 
897
mg
39
%
Carbohydrates
 
37
g
12
%
Fiber
 
8
g
33
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Protein
 
10
g
20
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Hi, I'm Alena Schowalter — a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with my husband, I founded nutriciously in 2015 and have been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages toward a healthy plant-based diet. I enjoy discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature, and creating new recipes. Read more about us here.

22 Comments

  1. Hey! Would I be able to use oats instead of breadcrumbs for a gluten free recipe? Thanks!! So excited to bring this to our Christmas potluck.

    Reply
  2. I mixed everything together and then instead of baking it in a loaf, I created thin patties and pan fried them until they were crispy and topped them with the BBQ sauce.

    Reply
  3. Love this! Thank you so much!!! It is so good to have on cold nights right now! It’s so GOOD!

    May I please ask where you found that circle tray its served on? I have been looking for a speckle one everywhere and can not find one for my life!!!! If you know the potter or name brand/store I’d be so grateful!!!!!

    Reply
    • aww thanks so much for your lovely feedback, this makes me so happy! sorry I can’t give you any tips for the speckled tray, though…

      Reply
  4. Hey! Mine wouldn’t bake into a loaf? It stayed pushing even after baking almost an hour and half :( what did I do wrong?

    Reply
    • Same here. I’m used to a firm loaf and the consistency just wasn’t right for me. Tasted pretty good but just hard to get past the mushiness.

      Reply
    • Right? It’s only 10 minutes if you have a sous chef to mince the onions and mushrooms and dice the carrots and celery. I LOVE this recipe and it turns out great every time. I’ve made it about a dozen times. It is delicious. I am an experienced and organized cook and between gathering all the ingredients, washing and dicing and sautéing etc it is an HOUR to prep this. It is worth it, but 10 minutes is a gross underestimate of the time required.

      Reply
      • Thanks so much for your comments, Deb and Karen! I listed some ingredients as “chopped” which takes away lots of prep time :) perhaps this seems a little misleading. There is no clear definition as to what is included in prep time — other recipes for chickpea loaf also state 10 minutes if you take a look around. I’ll make sure to reevaluate!

        Reply
    • That is 100 percent correct. Just spent 1.5 hours preparing everything and there is not nearly enough mixture to go into the suggested loaf pan. It looks pitiful and I just wasted my Sunday meal prep day, way too many ingredients and measurements. What a mess! I was so excited about this too and followed the recipe to a T…

      Reply
  5. Says 10 minutes preparation. I am now at an hour and ten minutes and still not finished preparation. Parking this for another day

    Reply
    • thanks for your feedbakc, Pontios! If you have all of the ingredients chopped and prepared as it states in the ingredients list, then just combining everything etc. really takes 10 minutes. I understand that this can be misleading and I’ll be sure to reevaluate how to calculate prep time!

      Reply
  6. I read the comments regarding prep time before making the loaf. I decided to toss the onions, carrots, mushrooms and celery into the food processor and just pulse until they were roughly chopped. Then I put them in the skillet to soften them. Meanwhile I measured out all the other ingredients so that by the time the veggies were soft everything was ready to go back into the food processor. Pulsed everything to combine then poured into an 8.75″ x 4.5″ loaf pan. This took about 20 minutes. I’m not baking until tomorrow so I’ll have to wait to rate the taste. It would be helpful if you could give gram measurements for the carrots. It did not fill my smaller loaf pan so I can certainly understand that it would not seem much like a loaf in a 9″ x 6″ loaf pan. Curious to see if it cooks all the way through in the small pan.

    Reply

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