Caitlin Bensel
Hands-on Time
1 Hour
Total Time
1 Hour 47 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 slice)

Vegetarians and carnivores alike will love this ingenious twist on meat loaf. The meaty-flavored, umami-rich recipe received our Test Kitchen's highest rating. Ordinarily you wouldn't pack a meat loaf into the pan, but since we're using a vegetable mixture, you will to make sure it holds together.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler to high.

Step 2

To prepare meat loaf, cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.

Step 3

Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Step 4

Place about one-fourth of mushrooms in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until finely chopped. Transfer chopped mushrooms to a bowl. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining mushrooms.

Step 5

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms to bell peppers. Wipe pan with paper towels. Add asparagus and onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Add onion mixture to mushroom mixture.

Step 6

Arrange breadcrumbs in an even layer on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Add breadcrumbs and the next 8 ingredients (through eggs) to mushroom mixture, stirring well. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; press gently to pack. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155°.

Step 7

To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; brush ketchup mixture over meat loaf. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into 6 slices.

Also appeared in: Cooking Light, March, 2012

Ratings & Reviews

July 08, 2016
 A "Cup" is a very precise measurement very commonly used in cooking.In this case, exactly 236.5882mLIf it were in Metric, then most of the internet cooks like me would have to try to figure out how to measure it, since we don't think or have measuring devices for Milliliters. It is assumed that if you use a different system, that you will do the conversion as needed.Oh, and "Teaspoon" and "Tablespoon" are also precise measurements. Google "Teaspoon to ML conversion" if you want to be precise. 

July 16, 2016

July 16, 2016

July 16, 2016
This might help. 

OK but look for ways to add more flavor

November 14, 2016
It's good - I am not a vegetarian  but like the crunch from the nuts, meat like texture of the mushrooms, flavor from vegetables and vodka in sauce really worked HOWEVER needs more flavor - add another herb such as thyme,  a table spoon of worcshire sauce, maybe some ginger. and squeeze in lime when you cook the onions and asparagus 

Good recipe but please please add metic measuring as it is precise!

June 10, 2016
Good recipe, I added peas instead of asparagus and it tasted great.  Wish these recipes would use the metric system, what the hell is a cup - it could be any size!!! 

We enjoyed it!

February 10, 2016
This is a decent recipe, we enjoyed it. I followed the recipe completely, other than step one with baking the peppers and the peeking and all that. I'll be making this again.

Best non-meat, meatloaf ever!

April 03, 2015
this is the best "meatloaf" I have ever tasted... we have been putting it into our homemade red sauce and are receiving praises for "the best sauce ever!" Thank you for sharing this one... it is a keeper!Sharon Campbell

leaavon's Review

November 25, 2014
Love this recipe! The only change I made to the recipe was to sub water chestnuts for the walnuts due to an allergy, but mine came out firm and absolutely delicious! I did all the chopping in my mini food processor, so it wasn't as time consuming as some other reviewers mentioned. This one is definitely a keeper!

leansixsigma's Review

August 27, 2014
Being relatively new to the vegetarian lifestyle, I was anxious to try this recipe. I too agree with the prep time, but with the use of a food processor, it really wasn't bad. The flavor of the mushrooms and walnuts gave the dish a very nice texture and flavor.