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Ask A DFW Chef: Top Meatloaf Recipes

Whether eating vegan, low-fat, gluten-free or any other diet, people still want to enjoy their family's favorite dishes. Kat Mendenhall offers three mouth-watering meatloaf recipes that are sure to please.
Kat Mendenhall
www.katmendenhall.comIn Kat Mendenhall's cooking classes she teaches how to buy organic, local ingredients and make simple recipes that are balanced, filling and nutritious. The Texas culinary educator is on a mission to mend the world through plant-based nutrition and cruelty-free products. She is a vegan lifestyle coach and educator certified by the Main Street Vegan Academy, a culinary nutrition expert from The Academy of Culinary Nutrition, holds a certification in plant-based nutrition by the T. Colin Campbell Foundation at Cornell University, and a Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine certified food for life instructor.

Mom's No-Meat LoafServes 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


  • 2 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 6 Tbs warm water
  • 1 cup of oats; divided in 1/2 cups
  • 2 cups of cooked green lentils; divided in to 1 1/2 and 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 Tbs organic ketchup
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Put a piece of parchment paper in a 9×13 loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Put the ground flaxseed into a small bowl, add the warm water, stir until blended, set aside.
  3. In a food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cups of lentils and 1/2 cup of oats a few times until blended, scrap the sides and pulse a few more times. Remove the mixture and put into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the remaining lentils, oats, and the flaxseed; combine well.
  5. Mix in the almond four.
  6. Stir in the onions, carrots, and pepper.
  7. Add the ketchup, 1/2 can of tomato sauce, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Combine well.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan making sure the parchment paper hangs over the sides.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, remove and add the remaining 1/2 can of tomato sauce on top, bake for another 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven, let rest 10 minutes before removing by the parchment paper from the loaf pan. Slice and serve.

Packed with fiber, protein, and a whole slew of other nutritional goodness, this is definitely a healthier version from my mom's. No frill, no fuss, and fast if you assemble this the night before and then pop in it in your oven as soon as you get home from work. Try mixing this recipe up by replacing the carrots and peppers with mushroom and spinach or try some root vegetables and a potato. I kept mine traditional and Italian with the tomato topping, but you could also use a mushroom sauce or a cashew cream sauce.

Related:  Ask An Expert: Giving Picky Eaters Healthy Food

Wild Rice Meat-Less Loaf
(vegan, gluten free – egg free, dairy free)Serves 6Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutesIngredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 2 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds (with 3 tbsp hot water)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 2 springs of fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper or more to taste
  • 1 tsp sea salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • extra warm water


  1. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Chop the onion very fine, and in small skillet, sauté in olive oil until golden – set aside.
  3. Separately in a small bowl, add the ground flax seeds and hot water, mix and set aside.
  4. Chop all raisins, dried cranberries, and walnuts into small pieces.
  5. In a food processor, grind all the red kidney beans into a paste.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the bean paste, sautéed onion, all the dried fruit, nuts, 2/3 of the wild rice (reserve 1/3 for top), and 1/2 of the flax seed mixture, gluten-free breadcrumbs, spices, salt and pepper plus fresh oregano – mix well. If the mixture is too dry, add a few tablespoons of warm water, mix and add more until it sticks together and isn't crumbly, but it's not runny.  Taste it and add more seasoning if needed.
  7. In another small bowl, add 1/3 of the wild rice remaining with 1/2 of the flax seed mixture, season with salt and pepper and mix well to incorporate. This is the wild rice topping.
  8. Assemble in the lined loaf pan by adding the rice topping first. Be sure to spread it out evenly. Then add in the other loaf mixture. Press down firmly so it forms well in the pan, smooth out the top.
  9. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Great dish to make a day before serving. Serve with a salad for everyday dinner. Or, since the Holidays are coming up so soon, this is a great vegan and gluten-free protein-rich dish that would be great as part of a delicious healthy holiday dinner.

Homemade Healthy MeatloafServes 10

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon base
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 package veggie sausage
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch


  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 generous teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Heat your oven to 350F. Spray a large loaf pan with vegetable spray.
  2. Cook the chopped onions, thyme and oregano in the oil over medium heat until onions are tender.
  3. Remove from heat and add the Worcestershire, Bouillon Base, and tomato paste. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl combine the sausage, drained black beans, cooked quinoa, shredded carrots, bread crumbs, ground flax seeds, and corn starch.
  5. Use a spatula to break up the sausage and beans.
  6. Use your hands to work the ingredients together.
  7. Add the onion mixture and stir to combine.
  8. Press the mixture into your prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes until the edges separate from the pan and it looks crispy on the edges. It should be slightly firm in the middle.
  9. In the meantime prepare the topping by combining the ketchup, maple syrup, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven and invert the loaf pan onto a baking sheet to remove the meatloaf. Turn your oven up to 400F. Spread the ketchup topping across the top of the meatloaf, allowing it to spill over the sides. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.

Related: Best Italian Restaurants In DFW

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at 
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