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A vegan meatloaf with BBQ Sauce on a slate platter with a spoon of sauce and fresh herbs

Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf

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! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 398 kcal
Author Linda Meyer


  • 15 oz chickpeas drain and reserve the bean liquid (aquafaba) for later - rinse the beans well
  • 30 oz black beans Drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, 32 Ounce">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 medium 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 ketchup
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

For the 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176˚C) and line a 9” bread pan with parchment paper or grease the pan.

  2. 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 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste, stir well, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Don’t let them brown. Approximately five minutes.

  3. Add the 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce , 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, and 1/3 cup of ketchup to the onions and stir until the ketchup dissolves. Set aside.

  4. Process the 15 oz of chickpeas in a food processor until creamy. Put in a large bowl.

  5. Process 15 oz of black beans in the processor until creamy. Put in the bowl with the chickpeas.

  6. Pulse the remaining 15 oz of black beans until lightly ground into small pieces. Put in the bowl with the chickpeas and other can of black beans.

  7. Process the 1 cup of rolled oats until it turns into a course flour. Add to the bowl with the beans.

  8. Add the 1 cup of cornmeal, 3 tbsp of liquid smoke, and 1/2 cup of aquafaba to the bowl with the beans.

  9. Add the onion mixture to the beans and gently fold the ingredients until they’re well combined. For best results, use your clean hands to mix. 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.

  10. Evenly spread the 1 cup of BBQ sauce on top of the loaf and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

  11. Cool for ten to fifteen minutes to allow it to set before cutting.

BBQ Sauce:

  1. Mix the cornstarch and water together and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes


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. Freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and cover in foil to reheat in a 350˚F (176˚C) oven for approximately 30 minutes. 

Nutrition Facts
Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf
Amount Per Serving
Calories 398 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Sodium 1308mg57%
Potassium 786mg22%
Carbohydrates 75g25%
Fiber 14g58%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 395IU8%
Vitamin C 4.8mg6%
Calcium 88mg9%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.