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Two slices of vegetarian chickpea meatloaf on a plate with ketchup. Fork rests on plate.

Chickpea Loaf

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

This hearty vegetarian meatloaf is made with chickpeas, oats and vegetables for a satisfying, savoury meal that’s perfect for the holidays and family meals.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cups rolled oats (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, walnuts or pecans (75 g, see notes for nut-free option)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax (14 g)
  • 2 x 14 oz or 1 x 28 oz can chickpeas, drained and well-rinsed (3 cups, 570 g)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (30 mL)
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup (30 g)
  • 1 small to medium-sized white onion, diced (approx. 2 cups, 300 g)
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (approx. 1/2 cup, 75 g)
  • 2 small or 1 large carrot, diced (approx. 1 cup, 150 g)
  • 1 cup finely chopped white or cremini mushroom, optional (90 g, about 6 small mushrooms)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional

For the Glaze

  • 1/3 cup plain tomato sauce or ketchup (75 g)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (40 g, if using ketchup reduce to 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic or apple cider vinegar (15 mL)

Instructions

  1. Take your time finely chopping all the veggies, you don’t want any huge chunks in the finished loaf.
  2. Add the onions, carrot, garlic, celery and mushroom to a large pot on the stovetop with 1 tbsp of water. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes then stir in the salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and onion powder (and cayenne if using) and cook for a couple more minutes. While the veggies are cooking, continue with the rest of the recipe.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  4. Add the oats, nuts and flax to a food processor and blend into a grainy flour. Add the chickpeas, soy sauce and tomato sauce and pulse or blend briefly to combine. You may need to pulse a few times, then open the food processor and mix it up, then pulse a couple more times. Be careful not to totally pulverize the chickpeas. They should be broken down but not mushy. A few pulses or seconds of blending should do the trick. Some of the mixture will turn into paste at the bottom of the food processor, that’s ok. 
  5. When the veggies are done, turn off the heat and dump the contents from the food processor into the pot. Stir well to thoroughly combine into a uniform mixture.
  6. Line a loaf pan (see notes on size) with parchment paper so it sticks out over the long edges of the pan. This will allow you to lift the loaf out once done. Firmly press the chickpea mixture into the pan using your hands or the back of a wooden spoon. It will seem like the mixture might not fit in the pan but just keep packing it down and it will fit.
  7. Mix the glaze ingredients together in a bowl then spread over the loaf.
  8. Once the oven has reached 350 F, bake the loaf uncovered for 60 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife along any edges that weren’t lined with parchment then lift the loaf out of the pan and place on a cooling rack for another 15 minutes before slicing into 10 portions. You can shorten the 30 minutes of cooling if needed but the longer it sits, the firmer it gets. If you slice it too soon, it may be a little crumbly.
  10. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and a drizzle of ketchup, if desired.

Notes

Loaf Pan Size: Use at least a standard size loaf pan of 8.5 x 4 .5 x 2.5 inches as the loaf is quite substantial and will fill the pan right to the brim. You should have enough room to spread the thin layer of glaze on top. If your pan is a bit larger, say up to 9 inches, that’s totally fine.

Storing: Loaf can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and stored uncooked in the fridge before baking. Once cooked, let cool then store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months. Can be stored whole or in slices. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or oven until heated to your preference.

Gluten-Free Option: Be sure to use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and gluten-free certified oats, if needed.

Nut-Free Option: Replace the nuts with an extra 1/2 cup of oats. I actually preferred the nut-free version. If you like your meatloaf on the firmer side (not dry but not at all mushy), I would recommend leaving the nuts out and using 1.5 cups of oats instead. The fat from the nuts adds moisture to the loaf, it doesn’t come out mushy with the nuts but it definitely has a different texture. Both ways are good! The loaf in the pictures is made with walnuts.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are completely optional. If you like them, they add extra depth of flavour to the loaf. If you don’t like them or don’t have any on hand, they’re ok to leave out.

Serving: Serve with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, stuffing and roasted brussels.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 202
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 336 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 8 g

Keywords: chickpea meatloaf, chickpea loaf