Tempeh “Meatloaf”

Every year, I get together with all of my extended family on the day after Christmas for a traditional hearty, ham-filled feast. On actual Christmas day, however, it’s typically just my nuclear family dining at the dinner table. With half of us being vegetarian (AKA, my mom and I), this calls for a celebratory day of meat-free wining and dining. My mom likes to cover all of the basic veggie comfort foods, like mashed potatoes and gravy, while I, as of lately, am of course always yearning to experiment with something new.

Last year that meant making the whole Vegetarian Times collection of holiday recipes, but this year while the Christmas cookies were baking away in the oven, my mom and I decided to scan the New York Times guide to a vegan Thanksgiving. After salivating over countless recipes, we decided on the tempeh “Meatloaf,” which turned out surprisingly well. Even my brother’s girlfriend, the newest addition to our dinner table, was raving about it.

This can be made in advance up to a day ahead of time. I ended up adding a couple extra dashes of herbs to this recipes, so make sure to taste the mixture before you pat it into the loaf pan. Also, a side of mashed potatoes is a must for this “meatloaf” and makes this a true vegan comfort meal.

Tempeh “Meatloaf”

Yield: Serves 6-8

via NY Times


  • -3 tablespoons olive oil
  • -1 large onion, diced
  • -2 large carrots, diced
  • -2 cups diced celery
  • -8 cloves garlic, minced
  • -2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • -2 teaspoons dried basil
  • -2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • -2 - 8 oz. packages tempeh
  • -1/2 cup soy sauce
  • -1/2 cup (low sodium) vegetable broth
  • -1 cup cooked brown rice, warm
  • -1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • -Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large deep-sided skillet and sauté onion, carrots and celery until soft, about 15 minutes. If vegetables begin to stick, add a little bit of water to the skillet. Stir in garlic, thyme, basil and parsley. Let cook a few more minutes. Crumble the tempeh into the skillet and add soy sauce and broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  3. Add warm brown rice and bread crumbs to the bowl and mix thoroughly with a large spoon. The more you mix it and mash it, the better it will hold together when you bake it. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and pack it down very firmly using the back of a spoon. Cover the top of the loaf pan with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, covered, then remove foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before unmolding. Run a knife around the edges of the cooked loaf to loosen, then flip onto a serving plate to unmold. Slice and serve.

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  • Reply
    January 31, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Could leftovers be frozen? Sounds delicious; however, I am the only person who would be eating this.

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      March 26, 2020 at 3:23 pm


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