Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf!
Anyone who knows me knows that I love the South. I love the weather, I love the architecture, I love the trees with drooping moss, I love the friendly people, and I used to love the food. I say “used to” because I’m no longer a big fan of fried food, and you can’t get away from it in the South. They fry everything. And they put cream in grits, darn it! I used to love BBQ, but then I went veggie, so I came up with other ways to have my BBQ and eat it too. Have you tried one of my most popular recipes? Vegans and non-vegans rave about this delicious pile of carrots. Try it!
My love of most things Southern began when I was a child. My mom is from the South and we vacationed in South Carolina every summer. The food was a big part of those trips because it was a change of pace from the typical Midwestern Wisconsin fare of cheese and brats. I remember my mom packing brats in a big cooler to bring to her relatives. So yes, even from a young age, food made an impression on me.
Speaking of my dear mom, she made a bangin’ meatloaf back in the day. I loved her meatloaf and the sides of mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas. I loved to mix my potatoes and peas together, and I smothered those big pieces of loaf with gravy. It was such a simple meal, but sometimes the simplest of foods are the best.
My life and views have changed a lot since I was a kid, but some things have stayed the same, such as my love for the South, meatloaf, and BBQ. What has changed is the fact that I no longer eat animal products, and ninety percent of the food that I put in my body is whole, clean, and healthy.
This vegan black bean and chickpea “meatloaf” was inspired by my mom and Southern BBQ.
There is plenty of protein in this gorgeous loaf, and there’s a whole lot of delicious smoky flavor. The texture is about as close as you’re going to get to the kind I used to eat as a kid. So if you want to try something that’s super low in cholesterol, full of flavor, and good for you, you’re going to want to try this vegan meatloaf made with black beans and chickpeas.
If you’ve looked around the internet you’ll see that a lot of vegan loafs are made with soy, nuts, mushrooms, or all of the above. Not this one. This “meatloaf” is free of all of those things. All you’ll find in this recipe are black beans, chickpeas, onions, vegetable broth, oats, corn meal, and spices and flavors that take the beans to another level.
How to Make a Black Bean and Chickpea Meatloaf
Process the chickpeas in the food processor until they’re creamy. Like this.
Process the black beans the same way you did the chickpeas. Like this.
Process the second can of black beans so that they’re slightly ground up. Like this.
Put them all in a big bowl and add some ground oats. Like this.
Add some corn meal, liquid smoke, and the aquafaba (bean juice from the chickpeas) to the beans.
Sautee the onions and cook with the spices, salt, and pepper, then add the vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce (vegan), and ketchup and mix it all up until it’s blended well.
Add the onion mixture to the bean mixture and gently fold until it’s completely blended.
Line a nine inch bread pan with parchment paper and spoon the loaf ingredients into the pan and spread evenly. Make sure that you get the loaf into the corners of the pan. Like this.
Evenly spread the BBQ sauce on top and bake it for an hour and twenty minutes or until a wooden toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Let it cool and remove from the pan to slice.
If you want to spoon extra BBQ sauce on top, go for it! Can you ever eat enough BBQ sauce?
Notes on the BBQ Sauce – You can buy a vegan sauce or make mine. Click here for the recipe.
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Smoky and delicious meat free meatloaf with a tangy BBQ top. Made with black beans and chickpeas and a spicy homemade BBQ sauce. This is something that even meat eaters will love!
- 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas drain and reserve the bean liquid (aquafaba) for later - rinse the beans well
- 30 oz black beans Drained and rinsed
- 1 cup rolled oats coarsely ground in a food processor
- 1 cup corn meal
- 3 tbsp liquid smoke
- ½ cup aquafaba chickpea liquid from the can
- 2 tsp olive oil or 2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable broth if you don’t cook with oil
- 1 large yellow or white onion finely diced
- 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp ground sea salt or to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper or to taste
- 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce We use Annie’s brand
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup of ketchup
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp dark molasses
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper if you don't like spicy food omit this
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 pepper in adobo sauce – remove the seeds the pepper is optional, this will make the sauce extra spicy, if you use it make sure to remove the seeds Note: Don't add this if you don't like really spicy food.
- 1 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp cilantro minced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch plus 1/4 cup (60 ml) water - mixed together in a small cup until dissolved
Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9” bread pan with parchment paper or grease the pan.
Process the chickpeas in a food processor until creamy. Put in a large bowl.
Process one can of black beans in the processor until creamy. Put in the bowl with the chickpeas.
Pulse the second can of black beans until lightly ground into small pieces. Put in the bowl with the chickpeas and other can of black beans.
Grind the oats until it turns into a course flour. Add to the bowl with the beans.
Add the cornmeal, liquid smoke, and aquafaba to the bowl with the beans.
Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the oil or the 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth if you don’t cook with oil. When the oil or broth is hot add the onions and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir well. Add the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, stir well, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Don’t let them brown. Approximately five minutes.
Add the Worcestershire sauce , vegetable broth, and ketchup to the onions and stir until the ketchup dissolves. Add to the bean mixture. Gently fold the ingredients until they’re well combined. Spoon into the bread pan and press the mixture until it's evenly distributed throughout the pan, make sure that the loaf ingredients are pushed into the corners of the pan.
Evenly spread the BBQ sauce on top of the loaf and bake for an hour and twenty minutes or until a wooden toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
Cool for ten to fifteen minutes to allow it to set before cutting.
Mix the cornstarch and water together and set aside.
Put the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until fully combined and smooth. Pour into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for twenty minutes, stir occasionally to avoid scorching the sauce.Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until fully combined and cook for five more minutes.
We use Quaker yellow cornmeal because the consistency works best for this recipe.
Wrap in foil and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.