Vegetarian Nut Loaf

Vegetarian Nut Loaf | A Couple Cooks

Every now and then you come across a recipe that is a cut above the rest – one that makes everything you’ve made before pale in comparison. I present – The Nut Loaf.

I must admit the name doesn’t really do it justice. What is it? Well, it’s a loaf made entirely of nuts, rice, mushrooms, onions, herbs and cheese. Somehow, it all melds into an appearance and texture just like a meat loaf. And it tastes AMAZING. As in, better than the meat version.

This may be the perfect meatless entree for a special meal, holiday or otherwise – it’s incredibly hearty, and I think it could satisfy even the most passionate of meat lovers. It’s actually kind of incredible how tasty it is…and how the texture is so similar to a meat loaf (though of course it’s not pretending to be meat, because it’s a Nut Loaf. Mmm…Nut Loaf.)

Props to our friends Lynne and Kirk for discovering this masterpiece and serving it to us a few years ago. We enjoyed it with friends Jamie and Dan in a fun holiday-inspired meal, with shiitakes from the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market. If you’re looking for a centerpiece for a special meal, you can’t go wrong with this one!

Vegetarian Nut Loaf
Makes: 8 to 10
What You Need
  • 9 inch loaf pan
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 12 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
What To Do
  1. If you don’t have leftover cooked rice on hand, cook the brown rice according to the package instructions (we combined 1 cup short grain brown rice with 2 cups water, brought to a boil, and simmered for 50 minutes).
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Place 1½ cup walnuts and ½ cup cashews on a baking sheet and toast for about 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and mince the 3 cloves garlic. Clean and finely chop the mushrooms. Finely chop the 2 tablespoons fresh parsley. When the nuts have cooled, finely chop them with a knife or in a food processor.
  5. In a saute pan, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon sage. Cook about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are golden. Transfer to a large bowl.
  6. In a small bowl, lightly beat together 4 eggs.
  7. In the large bowl, combine the onion and mushroom mixture with the toasted walnuts and cashews, parsley, 1½ cups cooked rice, 1 cup cottage cheese, 12 ounces Swiss cheese, beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
  8. Butter a 9 inch loaf pan, line bottom with parchment paper, and butter it again. Pour the mixture from the large bowl into the pan.
  9. Bake 1 hour until golden brown. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert loaf and remove from pan. Serve warm.
Adapted from Martha Stewart

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Comments 81

        1. Post

          Hi Bryan! This recipe is vegetarian, which means it uses no meat products. If you’re looking for recipes with no animal products like eggs and cheese, look for recipes tagged “vegan”.

  1. Lindsay

    So yummy. I made this (nervously) tonight and was worried about how it would taste since it makes so much. It exceeded my expectations! My meat-loving boyfriend declared it better than his meatloaf, which by the way, is delicious, as he went back for extra servings. I cut back a bit on the Swiss cheese to about 8oz. We’re (OK, I am) trying to start doing meatless-Mondays and am glad to have this on rotation. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Alex

      About 28 grams of fat (8 saturated) per serving. To go with 28 grams of protein. This is definitely one of the more hearty vegetarian dishes!

  2. Mike

    Thanks for the quick reply. Yes it does look hearty. Is it possible to see the rest of the nutrient info like carbs, cholesterol, calorie, sodium, fiber, etc. Thanks

    1. Alex

      I ran it though again with low-fat cheese (which is what we used). This is also for 8 servings, but it probably could be close to 10:

      Nutrition Facts
      Serving Size 163 g
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 431 Calories from Fat 227

      Total Fat 25.3g
      Saturated Fat 3.4g
      Cholesterol 108mg
      Sodium 471mg
      Total Carbohydrates 37.5g
      Dietary Fiber 3.9g
      Sugars 2.1g
      Protein 17.4g
      Vitamin A 5% • Vitamin C 5%
      Calcium 8% • Iron 16%
      Nutrition Grade A-
      * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

    2. Post

      It’s also full of good for you natural ingredients too :) Our eating philosophy is to not worry as much about the nutrition facts as the ingredients, so we try to make sure we’re eating lots of natural foods (though of course we’d save something like this for occasional consumption). Also the loaf is pretty large, so you may be able to squeeze more than 8 servings out of it if necessary. Enjoy!!

  3. Amanda

    I was skeptical about this – I don’t usually like vegetarian fake-out versions of meat dishes. But this is a fantastic receipt! My husband talked about it constantly, made all of our neighbors and his co-workers try it, ate the leftovers every day for a week, and then asked me to make it again the next weekend. I think this will become a regular in our house!

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