Updated: Nov 4, 2022
My all-time favorite Bobby Flay recipe would have to be his Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze. So I was determined to make a plant-based version once I gave up meat. I'm happy to report that my version succeeds at holding its own, believe it or not! This recipe is so hearty, savory, tangy, and filling- you'll never miss the meat!
Making the Switch to Plant-Based
This is one of those recipes from my past life.
A life where I was learning the joys of cooking and hadn't yet learned the joys of a plant-based lifestyle.
My friend Justine and I would share recipes and even did a recipe swap where we'd make two of what we were making and swap with the other person. This Bobby Flay Vegetable Meatloaf was one of our recipes. It was so much fun- BUT, I always had digestive issues and fought weight gain and depression- even though I was cooking at home and making recipes from scratch.
I'm so happy to say that once I discovered how to make delicious, plant-based foods, I now live at my ideal weight, and I'm free from depression and digestive issues. I've got the best of both worlds- happy taste buds, and I feel incredible! One day, I'd love to bring the recipe swap back. Maybe I can make that an offering within my cooking classes at some point.
An Oldie But Goodie
I came across this old recipe again over the holiday break while I was searching for a unique dish to contribute to dinner- the fond memories of this dish came rushing back.
I knew this was it. All the flavors I love without the health impacts. I made a few tweaks, and after one taste, I knew I'd nailed it. Meatless Roasted Vegetable Loaf is my new favorite!
A Diverse Stamp of Approval
When I cooked this meatless version, I doubled the recipe to give it to my next-door neighbor who'd just had her third baby. She has two elementary-aged children, and the whole family eats an omnivore diet. I was unsure how they'd receive this crazy loaf; studded with jeweled bits of bell pepper. It took my own daughter many tries until she finally decided she loved bell pepper.
Later that night, I got the report- everyone loved it, even her 5-year old son! Score!!!
Added Benefits to Modified Recipe
Now Bobby, if you read this, don't be mad. But my meatless roasted vegetable loaf version is WAY better.
Here's why. Not only does mine have plenty of protein, but there are also lots of other benefits:
Fewer calories per serving. You cut down on over 70 calories!
NO saturated fat compared to the original version
ZERO cholesterol compared to 104 mg found in the original
Almost 150mg less sodium
Your turn: Are you comfortable tweaking your favorite dishes, or are you more of a "follow the directions exactly as is" kind of person?
Meatless Roasted Vegetable Loaf with Balsamic Glaze
1 cup dry lentils
1 chopped onion
3 cloves smashed garlic
2 cups vegetable broth
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 flax egg, lightly beaten (1 Tbsp ground flax plus 3 Tbsp water)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup gluten-free breadcrumb or 1/2 and 1/2 nutritional yeast
1/2 cup non-dairy mozzarella such as Daiya (optional)
3/4 cup ketchup (organic, sugar-free or low sugar is great)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Add lentils, onion, garlic, and broth to a stockpot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat; dry sauté the zucchini, bell peppers, garlic paste, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, adding a tablespoon of water or broth to loosen stuck bits, as needed. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the flax egg and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add the lentils, breadcrumbs, non-dairy cheese, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and the cooled vegetables; mix until just combined.
Gently press the mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl; brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Adapted from Bobby Flay's Balsamic Glazed Vegetable Meatloaf
Meatless Roasted Vegetable Loaf
Estimated Nutrition Info
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 4.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 306.2 mg
Potassium 260.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.6 g
Sugars 1.2 g
Protein 11.2 g
Vitamin A 17.6 %
Vitamin B-12 66.5 %
Vitamin B-6 242.2 %
Vitamin C 39.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.4 %
Calcium 2.0 %
Copper 4.5 %
Folate 31.8 %
Iron 5.1 %
Magnesium 4.2 %
Manganese 7.0 %
Niacin 140.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.4 %
Phosphorus 9.9 %
Riboflavin 283.3 %
Selenium 16.5 %
Thiamin 321.0 %
Zinc 11.1 %
*Percent Daily Values for meatless Roasted Vegetable Loaf are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
You’re eyeing the phone for takeout after work because you’re too tired to think of what to make for dinner.
Put the phone down and pick up my 6 Ingredient or Less Cookbook.
Home-cooked. Simple. Fast.
Dawn Hutchins is a plant-based lifestyle educator, author, and self-taught chef. She holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and is a certified Nutritional Therapist with a focus on epigenetics. Discover the benefits that over 35,000 people have experienced through her recipes, cookbooks, and revolutionary programs, learning how to eat more whole, plant foods – and loving it!