Welcome to Meatloaf Week at Tasting Table! Honor your favorite comfort food with our best meatloaf recipes and ideas all week long.
It’s National Meatloaf Day tomorrow, which gives us a great excuse to talk about one of our favorite dishes. The mighty meatloaf has come a long way from what you picture a 50s housewife making (<-- and society has come a long way, too). While we will always love a good slice of the traditional version doused in ketchup and served over mashed potatoes, gone is the era of sticking to the usual recipe out of necessity as families had to stretch their meat supply during wartime periods. That’s why we’re mixing it up.
Since you should already have recipes for classic beef, pork and even duck meatloaf in your arsenal, it seems only appropriate that we add a non-meat version to the repertoire of loaves. We’re giving the iconic dish a modern-day makeover by scrapping the meat altogether and replacing it with hearty mixed mushrooms.
We know what you’re thinking, but hear us out. We are not steering you down a path of mushy beans and unidentifiable grains, loaf-like in shape only and certainly not resembling anything close to meat. In this recipe we, ahem, meat somewhere in the middle, satisfying vegetarians and pleasantly surprising carnivores.
This loaf is composed of caramelized mushrooms mixed with bread, oats and walnuts for a dish packed with so much umami, you won’t even miss the meat. With the perfect amount of binders, it even slices like the real thing. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of ketchup in this recipe to get that nostalgic glaze.
The best part? You can customize this loaf to your liking. We use a mixture of our favorite mushrooms like shiitake, royal trumpet, maitake and cremini, but feel free to throw in any combo you like, as long as it adds up to two pounds. Don’t like walnuts? Use almonds, hazelnuts or any other nut that can be coarsely ground.
We promise you’ll fall in loaf with this dish.
Vegetarian Mushroom Meatloaf
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, plus cooling time
4 ounces (Four 1/2-inch slices) sourdough bread, sliced and crust removed
1 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 pounds mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
1 cup ketchup, divided
1 tablespoon minced sage
1 tablespoon minced thyme
1 tablespoon minced oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup walnuts, coarsely ground in a food processor
½ cup instant oats
½ cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 375º. In a small bowl, cover the sourdough bread with the almond milk. Let soak for 15 minutes, then squeeze the bread to release any soaked milk, tear into 1-inch pieces and set aside. Discard the almond milk.
2. In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until any liquid released has evaporated and the mushrooms are lightly caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Add half of the ketchup with the sage, thyme, oregano and garlic, and cook, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot, until the garlic and herbs are fragrant, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved bread, walnuts, oats and bread crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the salt, lemon juice, pepper, lemon zest and eggs until well incorporated. Press the mixture into a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and smooth the top. Brush with the remaining ketchup.
5. Bake the meat loaf for 1 hour, then place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.