Meatloaf is considered the quintessential comfort food. It is one of those dishes that spread worldwide, with countless variations and tastes.

It is a loaf made of meat. This ancient dish consists of dough with ground meat, chopped vegetables, eggs, breadcrumbs or oatmeal. This mixture is shaped like a bread loaf and baked in an oven.

Its origins are old. Some historians said it was created back in the 5th century in Rome. Others affirmed the dish was a creation of Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

Meatloaf variations

Meatloaf is a traditional dish in countries like the United States, Germany, Sweden and Belgium. The rest of the world also has a version of this hearty meal adapting the meats and seasoning with local ingredients.

  • American meatloaf stayed faithful to the classic recipe with ground beef, eggs, carrots, onions, celery, and breadcrumbs, topped with a ketchup-and-brown-sugar glaze.
  • In Germany, meatloaf is called Hackbraten. It contains a mixture of ground beef and pork, eggs, bread crumb seasoned with gherkins, mustard, and paprika. It is accompanied by a creamy tomato sauce called Rahmsauce.
  • Swedish meatloaf, called köttfärslimpa, has beef and pork, cheese, onion, milk, spiced with white pepper, salt, and allspice. It is served with nutmeg-scented gravy and lingonberry jam.
  • The Belgian version is called vleesbrood. It includes minced veal and pork meats, leeks, breadcrumbs, and shallots, seasoned with dried thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Other variations around the world are:

  • Greek meatloaf has hard-boiled eggs on the inside.
  • Italian meatloaf is made of dough of ground beef-filled ham, boiled eggs, vegetables, and cheese.
  • The Puerto Rican version contains beef, ground pork, ground turkey, adobo, milk, Worcestershire sauce, potatoes, red beans, ketchup, and breadcrumbs, stuffed with hard-boiled.
  • The Philippines’ variation has a lot of ingredients. They are boiled eggs, ground pork, raisins, carrots, and sausages.

Not only meats

Meatloaf is such a versatile dish that there is a version adapted to everyone. The classic meatloaf recipe includes ground beef on its own or combined with veal and pork. You can find meatloaf with poultry, turkey, venison, and seafood.

There are also vegetarian and vegan versions that taste amazing and use ingredients that simulate the texture and flavour of beef meat.

Vegan Meatloaf

Contrary to popular belief, vegan dishes are not tasteless or boring. Vegan meatloaf is not an exception.

The best vegan meatloaf is dough made of mushrooms, lentils, rice, quick oats, and flax meal, seasoned with barbecue sauce and soy sauce.

These ingredients create a delicious meatloaf packed with all the flavour and consistency of the original recipe.

Try the following one to prove its rich flavour.

Vegan Meatloaf

Ingredients (10 servings):

  • 2 ½ cups of Cremini mushrooms.
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 4 chopped cloves of garlic.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
  • 1 cup of oats.
  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews.
  • 1/2 cup of roasted sunflower seeds.
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage.
  • 2 cans of kidney beans.
  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice.
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish.


  • 1/3 cup of ketchup.
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360 F).In a food processor, add Cremini mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Chop into small pieces.
  2. In a pot, heat the olive oil at medium temperature.
  3. Add mushroom mixture and salt. Cook for three minutes.
  4. Pour soy sauce and tomato paste, and combine. Cook for 2 minutes and take out of the saucepan. Let it cool.
  5. Incorporate in the food processor oats, raw cashews, sunflower seeds, flax meal, dried thyme, salt, black pepper, and ground sage. Chop until they have a small size. Set aside.
  6. Drain the kidney beans and rinse in enough water. Chop the kidney beans in the food processor. They must have some texture, not a paste consistency.
  7. In a bowl, combine mushroom mixture, oats and spices mixture, chopped beans, and brown rice.
  8. Place this dough into a buttered loaf pan and cover it with foil.
  9. Bake for one hour.
  10. Make the glaze by mixing ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar in a bowl.
  11. After 1 hour of baking, take out the meatloaf from the oven. Spread the glaze all over the surface of the meatloaf.
  12. Increase oven temperature to 200°C (390 F) and introduce the meatloaf uncovered.
  13. Bake for 25 minutes until the top glaze is caramelised.
  14. Take it out of the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
  15. Cut into slices.
  16. Serve two slices per serving with fresh chopped parsley at the top.

This meatloaf goes well with glazed carrots, roasted Brussels sprouts, or mashed potatoes.

You can do it in advance and refrigerate for 3 days. Before baking it, try to take it out of the refrigerator and let it stand for 30 minutes at room temperature before placing it in the oven.

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