By Madeleine Ignon | January 26, 2012

When I was a kid, my mom’s meatloaf was one of my favorite meals. I loved to watch her fold all kinds of delicious things into the ground beef. Now that I don’t eat meat, it’s one of the few things I miss. There’s no reason those of us who avoid eating meat should miss out on classic comfort food dishes, but I have to say, it’s hard to create satisfying vegetarian versions.

In my quest for a meatless meatloaf, I found many a recipe that uses fake meat, but I tend to find that it can be kind of tough and chewy. I wanted mine to be as moist and delicate as possible, so I used mushrooms and chickpeas as the main ingredients, both of which have a good meaty texture.

Photos: Madeleine Ignon

  • 1 large Portobello mushroom, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 red onion , chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs , beaten
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl except breadcrumbs and mix together. Use a hand blender or a food processor to roughly blend them together (don't create a perfect paste). Then add breadcrumbs, mix together more, and spoon into a greased loaf pan.

2. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the edges are crispy. Serve hot with barbecue sauce, ketchup, or your favorite condiment

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