Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf

Posted by Planet Bake on Nov 24th 2021

Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf

Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf

This southern meatless meatloaf is super easy to make and is done in no time. Combining the flavors of real southern food will make this meatless meatloaf a hit on every thanksgiving table and even your non-vegan friends will be able to enjoy it with a smokey flavor they would not expect from vegan food.

But if you are wondering what vegan meatloaf really is, read this: 

Yes, we know. Traditional meatloaf has... meat. Vegan meatloaf doesn't, but that doesn't mean that the flavors, textures, and appearance has to be different!

Our vegan meatloaf, just like the traditional.

It has a moist texture, tangy and sweet sauce, and looks exactly like a regular meat loaf!

In fact, it's so much like a regular meat loaf that this recipe has become a favorite amongst our non-vegan friends and family.

However, vegan meatloaf is different in a couple key areas.

  1. Vegan meatloaf doesn't contain animals! Hooray! You can have all of your favorite parts about traditional meatloaf without harming our furry friends : )
  2. This meatloaf is free of cholesterol, animal hormones, and saturated fats.
  3. Our vegan meatloaf is filled with more fiber and tons of plant-based protein!

Tips for Making the Perfect Vegan Meatloaf

- Remember to reserve the juice from the chickpeas. Aquafaba/bean juice is the main binder for this bean loaf.

- Be sure to process the chickpeas and half of the black beans until they're nice and creamy. This will help the loaf bind together instead of crumble.

- Leave some whole pieces when you process the second half of the black beans. This gives the loaf texture.

- Taste the mixture before you put it in the bread pan. Adjust the salt and spices to suit your tastes.

- Every oven is calibrated differently. Check the loaf with a toothpick to make sure it's done. It may take more or less time to make yours depending on the elevation, humidity, or oven.


  • 15 ounce chickpeas drain and reserve the bean liquid (aquafaba) for later - rinse the beans well
  • 30 ounce black beans Drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, 32 Ounce">rolled oats coarsely ground in a food processor
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 3 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • ½ cup aquafaba chickpea liquid from the can
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil or 2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable broth if you don’t cook with oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon ground sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • 2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce We use Annie’s brand (also available on Amazon)
  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (see below)

For the BBQ sauce:

  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper if you don't like spicy food omit this
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 pepper in adobo sauce – remove the seeds the pepper is optional, this will make the sauce extra spicy, if you use it make sure to remove the seeds Note: Don't add this if you don't like really spicy food.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1/4 cup (60 ml) water - mixed together in a small cup until dissolved


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176˚C) and line a 9” bread pan with parchment paper or grease the pan.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the oil or the 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth if you don’t cook with oil. When the oil or broth is hot add the onions and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir well. Add 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste, stir well, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Don’t let them brown. Approximately five minutes.
  • Add the 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce , 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, and 1/3 cup of ketchup to the onions and stir until the ketchup dissolves. Set aside.
  • Process the 15 oz of drained and rinsed (reserve the liquid) chickpeas in a food processor until creamy. Put in a large bowl.
  • Process 15 oz of drained and rinsed black beans in the processor until creamy. Put in the bowl with the chickpeas.
  • Pulse the remaining 15 oz of drained and rinsed black beans until lightly ground into small pieces. Put in the bowl with the chickpeas and other can of black beans.
  • Process the 1 cup of rolled oats until it turns into a course flour. Add to the bowl with the beans.
  • Add the 1 cup of cornmeal, 3 tbsp of liquid smoke, and add half of the 1/2 cup of aquafaba to the bowl with the beans. If the mixture is too dry once you mix everything together, add 1 tablespoon of liquid to the mixture and stir. Add more as needed.
  • Add the onion mixture to the beans and gently stir the ingredients until they’re well combined. For best results, use your clean hands to mix. If the mixture feels too wet, add more cornmeal by the tablespoon until it holds together and is firm. Spoon into the bread pan and press the mixture until it's evenly distributed throughout the pan, make sure that the loaf ingredients are pushed into the corners of the pan.
  • Evenly spread the 1 cup of BBQ sauce on top of the loaf and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. NOTE: If you're baking this in a convection oven, check on it at 50 minutes to see if it's done. Convection ovens cook faster than traditional ovens. Additionally, the calibration of your oven will affect the cook time. Please use a long wooden toothpick or even a chopstick to test the center of the loaf.
  • Cool for fifteen to 20 minutes to allow it to set before cutting.

BBQ Sauce:

  • Mix the cornstarch and water together and set aside.
  • Put the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until fully combined and smooth. Pour into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for twenty minutes, stir occasionally to avoid scorching the sauce.Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until fully combined and cook for five more minutes.
  • Enjoy!