This vegetarian meatloaf is hearty and pleases even the most passionate of meat eaters! It’s a family favorite dinner party recipe.

Vegetarian Meatloaf

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. We present: our Vegetarian Meatloaf recipe! This vegetarian meatloaf is made entirely of nuts, rice, mushrooms, onions, herbs, and cheese. Somehow, it all melds into an appearance and texture just like a meatloaf. And it tastes AMAZING. As in, better than the meat version. It’s perfect for dinner parties, as a vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish or for Christmas dinner. Ready to get started?

How does this vegetarian meatloaf have the flavor & texture of meat?

This meatloaf is incredibly hearty, the perfect vegetarian recipe for meat lovers. My mom is a huge carnivore, and she absolutely adores this recipe! She even requests to make it every time that we come home for a visit. (Literally.) It’s kind of mind-boggling how tasty this vegetarian meatloaf turns out. You’d almost swear from the texture that it’s an actual meatloaf! Here are some of the secrets:

  1. Mushrooms: Once the meatloaf is cooked, you won’t know there are any mushrooms. But they are essential to the savory flavor and a chewy texture.
  2. Toasted nuts. Another secret is a mixture of cashews and walnuts that are toasted in the oven until golden and fragrant. Combined with the sautéed mushrooms, toasted nuts add a subtle meaty flavor to the dish and give this nut loaf some texture.
  3. Swiss cheese & cottage cheese: Swiss cheese brings a subtle meatiness and cottage cheese brings in the perfect texture complement.
Vegetarian Meatloaf

How to make vegetarian meatloaf

This vegetarian meatloaf recipe requires a bit of time to make, but the end result is totally worth it! To make this veggie meatloaf, here are the basic steps (or go to the full recipe below):

  1. Cook the rice: Cook the brown rice. You can easily do this in advance, which cuts down on prep time.
  2. Toast the nuts: Toast walnuts and cashews in the oven, until golden brown.
  3. Saute the onion and mushrooms: Sauté mushrooms, onion, and garlic with herbs and spices.
  4. Mix: Combine the rice, nuts, and mushroom mixture with chopped parsley, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, beaten eggs, salt, and pepper.
  5. Bake: Butter a loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter it again. Pour in the mixture and bake about 1 hour at 375 degrees, or until golden brown.

And that’s it! The veggie meatloaf will need to cool for about 20 minutes before being sliced, but it’s best enjoyed warm!

Storing vegetarian meatloaf

This vegetarian meatloaf stores very well as leftovers! Here’s what to do:

  • Refrigerate. Leftovers can be stored for a 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze. This vegetarian meatloaf freezes perfectly! Slice it into pieces and place it in a sealable container in the freezer. Reheat the meatloaf in a 375F oven.

Meatloaf sides

If you’re entertaining and looking for dinner party recipes, this crowd-pleasing vegetarian meatloaf is a fantastic fit for a dinner party. Our family makes it often over the holidays, as a vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe or for Christmas dinner. It always pleases meat eaters: even my meat and potatoes grandparents! Here are a few side dishes to serve with meatloaf:

This vegetarian meatloaf recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free.

Note: We’ve get to find a way to make this into a vegan meatloaf. The eggs and cheese are crucial for adding flavor to this dish and holding everything together. If there’s a vegan meatloaf recipe you particularly enjoy, let us know in the comments! We hope to create a vegan meatloaf in the future!

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Vegetarian Meatloaf

Best Vegetarian Meatloaf

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 to 10 1x


This vegetarian meatloaf is hearty and pleases even the most passionate of meat eaters! It’s a family favorite dinner party recipe.


  • 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice 
  • 1 ½ cups walnuts
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 ounces baby bella mushrooms (aka cremini)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 12 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the brown rice using Stovetop Brown Rice or Instant Pot Brown Rice. (You’ll need ½ cup dry rice to yield 1 ½ cups cooked; or you cook 1 cup dry rice and save the leftovers.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. Place 1 ½ cup walnuts and ½ cup cashews on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, finely chop 1 onion and mince 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 large skillet, 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, 1 ½ cups cooked rice, 1 cup cottage cheese, 12 ounces Swiss cheese, beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter it again. Pour the mixture from the 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. Slice into pieces and serve warm. Leftovers can be stored for a few day in the refrigerator or a few months in the freezer (cut into pieces). Reheat in a 375F oven.


Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegetarian Meatloaf, Meatloaf, Vegetarian, Nuts, Cashews, Walnuts, Cheese, Dinner Party Recipes, Entertaining

Looking for comfort food recipes? 

Aside from this vegetarian meatloaf, here are a few of our favorite comfort food recipes:

Last updated September 2019

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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    1. I have just made this with less than half of the cheese and I 7sed feta instead of cottage cheese
      No salt ….it’s wonderful and tasty

      1. Feta is incredibly high in salt, so although you didn’t add salt separately, you still got loads from your feta cheese.

      1. Thank you for a great recipe. I subbed tofu for the mushrooms as my husband really dislikes them. The loaf came out of the oven nicely browned but really juicy. I will be making it again. Awesome taste.

      1. This vegetarian meatloaf freezes perfectly! Slice it into pieces and place it in a sealable container in the freezer. Reheat the meatloaf in a 375F oven.

  1. That looks really great, I will definitely make this–I make a walnut-lentil version but this sounds better.

    1. My local store had regular white mushrooms an crimini mushrooms. Will this work or should I wait for shiitake mushrooms too?

        1. I halved the salt because was gonna give to baby, didn’t have cottage cheese, substituted with greek yogurt, no Swiss cheese – used a large handful of mozzarella I had. It smelled incredible while baking in the oven and still tasted great despite the few changes! My 11mo really loved it too!

        1. 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”.

  2. YUM! This is similar to the pumpkin seed croquettes that my sister and I made for our vegan Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing!

  3. 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. 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!

  4. 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. 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. 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!!

  5. 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!

    1. I can’t have peanuts or cashews. I’m not really sure about walnuts. I haven’t eaten many of them to know for sure. Are they essential to this recipe? Can I sub anything?

  6. Oh. my. god. This was amazing! My husband and I are vegetarians and had been looking for a good meatloaf recipe. This is it! I added more mushrooms and cut the nuts to 1 cup (just a personal preference). My husband had thirds and thought it tasted very meaty. I have been loving your website and wonderful recipes. Keep up the great work!

    1. Haha – so glad you enjoyed it! This is one of our favorites for a substantial vegetarian meal :)

  7. Your nut loaf both looks and sounds delicious. I’m a vegetarian surrounded by picky meat eaters (meaning they may not even try it). Do you know if this freezes well, just in case?

    1. We haven’t tried freezing it, but I think that it would be fine. It’s a tasty dish that your family might even enjoy (just don’t pretend it’s meat!).


  8. This sounds amazing!! I’d love to try this recipe, however we don’t eat dairy and live in a rural area where diary-free cheeses are not available. What could the cottage cheese be replaced with? I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Hi! We’ve never tried one without cheese. However, I did a simple Google search for vegan nut loaf and found several recipes (looks like a lot of them use bread crumbs as a binder). You’ll have to let us know if you find a good one!

  9. Hi Alex,
    Was wondering if there is a gravy that can be used to dress the nut loaf. Come from a family who love a little gravy.?
    Thanks, Yvonne.

      1. My vegetarian gravy is amazing…….
        1 T butter
        1/4 C sweet onion minced
        3 small cloves garlic minced
        4 T flour
        4 C vegetable broth
        5 T low sodium soy sauce or soy substutute
        2 t. fresh parsley minced
        pepper to taste

        Melt butter in skillet
        saue onion and garlic for about 2 mins
        Transfer to a bowl and wipe skillet clean
        Add flour to pan and cook, stirring constantly, til flour taste is gone, about 1 minute
        Whisk in broth and soy sauce, whisk constantly, until it comes to a boil and thickens.
        Stir in onion & garlic and fresh parsley. cook for another minute.

  10. HEAVENLY made it exactly as written- the plan was IFit didn’t go over too well with everyone i’d eat on it thru-out the week,WELL SOMEBODY(or SOME BODIES) devoured it and left l’il ole me with a faint memory haha
    oops gotta go the culprits want me to make more thank you…

  11. Made this as written for Thanksgiving turkey alternative and it was a hit. Will be making this as Christmas dinner veggie option.

    1. So glad that it worked out for you! We’ve recently tried making some lentil loaves, but we couldn’t top this recipe :)

  12. Made this tonight and it was delicious and very hearty with a good “chew.” I didn’t have shiitakes or cashews on hand so just used walnuts and 8 oz brown mushrooms. Added tarragon too. Was wondering if all that Swiss cheese would be overpowering but it blended beautifully. It was a little rich for my taste so will try lower fat cheeses next time. My husband is a “good sport” with my meatless adventures, but he went back for seconds! A great recipe!

    1. Great! We’ve found that this dish is consistently a pleaser with meat-lovers as well as meatless eaters. So glad you enjoyed it!

  13. We have made this nut loaf many times- it is my family’s favourite loaf. My 4 year old and 8 year old love it and ask for it all the time! We have served it to meat eating guests and they love it too. I always freeze one loaf (the recipe makes two loaf pans) before cooking and it works great! You just need to thaw it for awhile before cooking but it tastes just as great as cooking it the day you mix it together. We usually eat it with a miso mushroom gravy and it’s wonderful.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. thanks so much for answering the question i was going to ask. i like to make two meals at a time and freeze, especially if they call for ingredients on dont usually have on hand. i was wanting to get fresh herbs for this, so its nice to know i can freeze.

  14. Making this for the second time tomorrow. Ever since my 9yo declared herself to be a pescitarian, I have been looking for recipes that my 13yo son will eat as well. He actually requested that I make it again!! Excellent!

    1. Awesome! This is one of our favorite recipes, especially for special occasions. So glad the kids enjoyed it too!

  15. This looks lovely – I wonder if anyone has tried mixing it up a day or two ahead, then baking it out of the fridge?

    1. Good idea! We personally have not, but I’ll ask my mom — she’s made it several times and I’ll see if she’s ever tried that :)

      1. Sounds like my mom has not tried making it ahead. Since it contains eggs, it would probably be best to make up the components separately and then combine them before baking. For example, you could make the rice, toast the nuts, and saute all the veggies in advance. Then when you want to bake it, you could combine those ingredients with the eggs and cheese and then bake. Would that work for you? I
        It is possible that you could make it up and freeze it, but we’re not sure whether the nuts might get soggy.

        Good luck!

        1. We actually freeze it all the time (even if we’re planning on using it the next day) and it is just as delicious as the fresh version. We take it out in the morning to thaw it or we thaw it in a hot water bath. Either way, it is great to freeze!

  16. I have made other nutloafs. I am in love with them all. My adult children are not so crazy about the whole idea. I want to try this one, now that I am no longer vegan and just wonder if the nuts stay whole, or are they ground as in other nutloafs I have made? By the way, I am sure the mushrooms and cheese will turn around my children’s taste buds!

    1. The nuts are chopped before placing them into the nut loaf. If you love nut loaves already, I’d suspect you’d enjoy this one! Let us know if you try it out :)

  17. This is a great recipe. I made this for a Thanksgiving potluck today, and everyone loved it. I made it more vegetarian-friendy by substituting a cup of non-fat Greek yogurt for the eggs.

  18. Just finished eating this for dinner. Absolutly great! I did cut back on the Swiss cheese like another poster did, and it turned out perfect! A keeper staple recipe.

  19. I’m so glad I tried this recipe- it made for a beautiful holiday dish last week. Thanks for the inspiration! I served it with vegan gravy (with nutritional yeast), maple roasted brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes.

    My only changes were to use Cheddar cheese instead of Swiss and to use poultry seasoning in place of all the spices. It was cheaper to buy one jar rather than 3 (these are not spices that I tend to use much).

  20. Great nutloaf. . .I served to my son and daughter-in-law for Thanksgiving, but everyone tasted and raved about it.

  21. No need for gravy. I use apple sauce on top. We made nut loaf in the 70s and always topped it with apple sauce. It’s delicious.

  22. My friend and colleague, Mary made this wonderful loaf and gave it to me to try. It is so heavenly!! Great texture and flavor. I will definitely attempt to make the nut loaf soon.

  23. Having spent all morning making this loaf I was disappointed with the outcome. It looked exactly like the picture on here; my husband ( the meat and potatoes man)would not even give it 3 stars. The only way he liked it was to put mushroom gravy on it. I was so disappointed.

  24. This is great – just what I’ve been looking for. Trying to cut down on meat so would be great to give this a go. Thanks for posting, have pinned it so I don’t lose it! :)

  25. I’m a chef and so I boldly messed with this a lot..didn’t have cashews, but had pecans..leftover white rice not brown, Monteray Jack cheese…I added lentils, grated carrot and a T of minced bell pepper, a T of tomato paste and 1/2 t of Kitchen Boquet. It’s in the oven now and smells great.

  26. Hi, Sonia and Alec
    Love your new kitchen. And love this “meatloaf”. I made it for 2011 holiday dinners and it was yummy. I’ll be making it again this year. I also made “minis” using muffin pans so each got a nice crust. Happy Thanksgiving! Lisa in Indy

  27. I would like to try this recipe, but, I really hate mushrooms. Do you have any suggestions on what i could use instead of the mushrooms?

  28. Thank you for this recipe! I was desperately looking for something non-tofu that I could serve to my vegetarian son on T-day. Used walnuts and almonds and a mixture of cheeses as that’s what I had on hand. Also added some fresh spinach to the onion/garlic mix and some shredded carrots. I hope he likes it! It sure smells and looks good!

  29. I made this at the request of my college-age children for our Thanksgiving feast — outstanding! We may never make another turkey. I paired with Vegetarian Brown Gravy from Epicurious, mashed potatoes, my great-grandmother’s southern cornbread and buttermilk biscuit dressing, Brussels sprouts in Dijon mustard and your napa cabbage/ walnut/apple recipe for one of our best feasts ever. Thank you! I will be using your site a lot.

    1. Lisa – wow! This feast sounds amazing – we wish we could have tasted it! The nut loaf is one of our favorites – with mushroom gravy it sounds to die for. Congrats on your delicious meal – and thank you so much for trying our recipes!

  30. How far in advance can you make the loaf? My thought was that I could refrigerate it in the loaf pan (not cooked) and then remove and bake when I am ready. I am just wondering how many days can it stay in the refrigerator before baking?

    1. Hi Christy! We’ve never assembled the loaf days in advance, but we think it would likely be ok for a few days in the refrigerator? I’d try to minimize the time it sits if possible, but it should be ok. Let us know if you try it and how it works.

  31. Hi from Manchester, England. I tried out your nut roast for a pre Christmas get together with non veggie friends, I followed the recipe exactly as written and it came out perfect. It was soooooo good that all the non veggies finished it off! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I will definitely be using this recipe again and following your site. Ian

    1. So glad to hear this, Ian! Thank you so much for writing and letting us know. We’re so glad that it was a success!

  32. I found this recipe last week. I’m in Australia and this is on my Christmas bake list today. I’m going to substitute the eggs with a different binder, use all fresh herbs and throw in some spices. Really looking forward to this.

  33. That was also my question about making it in advance. I think though however i will just get all the ingredients ready and make it when its time. I am worried it may be dry if I need to reheat it.

    I am going to add toasted chestnuts to this also for my Christmas version and also top with a creamy mushroom gravy.

    Really looking forward to it.

    In Holland we have two Christmas days and I am going over to a friends where they are going to have their first ever Vegetarian Christmas. I am sure this will be the first of many for them.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays.

  34. I made this last night for Sunday dinner with my son who is vegetarian. EXCELLENT!! It is a lot of work, but more than worth it … I suggest using helpful appliances to get the ingredients tiny. :) THANK YOU so much for sharing this absolutely fabulous recipe. I wanted something natural and nutritious to take the place of meat but not something trying to ‘be meat’. This is a keeper for sure. I made this with smashed garlic potatoes, brussel sprouts & carrots, mushroom gravy, green salad, jello/fruit salad and pumpkin pie. GREAT!

    I was a bit nervous … afraid I would flop it … but I didn’t !!! Followed the recipe (which is new for me) … ;) Now I will give myself permission to experiment and see what I can come up with also.

    1. We’re so glad you enjoyed it! It does take a bit of effort, but we agree that it’s worth it for a special meal. Let us know if you come up with a variation!

  35. Tonight I made your nut loaf and it is outstanding! My husband and I both really enjoyed it. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 15 years and have made MANY different versions of meatless loaf, and this is by far the best I’ve ever tried. Great texture and flavor – I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this to my non-veggie friends. I made your tomato soup with ricotta dumplings last week, and it was also fantastic. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks!

  36. Just stopping by to say thank you for sharing this recipe! I served this dish on Christmas Eve and we all loved it, even my “where’s the meat?!” family members. My dad insisted it had sausage in it. Which of course it did not! It was especially tasty with cranberry sauce, so I might add dried cranberries next time. I only used baby bellas as the other mushrooms at the store looked suspect, and used the poultry seasoning as suggested by one of the commenters (just 3 of the required spices already combined in the same bottle.) It was the perfect veggie holiday dish. Thank you, again!

  37. Best nut loaf ever. Nut loaf can be so dry but this was far from it yet it was firm and came out of the mold perfectly. So, so good! I used a mixture of nuts, a mix of fresh mushrooms and dried shitake and added some spinach. I will definitely make this again. I’d just like to know the calorie content of one serving.

  38. Have you ever used egg replacer in this recipe? If you aren’t familiar with the replacer it’s a dry powder that you mix with warm water. I was also wondering if one could replace the cottage cheese with a silken tofu.
    Thank you!

  39. Has anyone made this with egg replacer instead of eggs? How about replacing cottage cheese with silken tofu for a vegan version?
    Thank you!

    1. That’s what I’m about to do for our Canadian Thanksgiving. I have to make it vegan and gluten-free! I’ll let you know how it turns out…..

  40. I am making your nut loaf for a very elegant Christmas dinner party I am having tomorrow night. I am wondering since there are 10 of us, if it would be ok to 1 1/2 the ingredients? also: is it ok if I make it today and bake it tomorrow eve? thank you! gretchen

    1. Hi! I think either 1 recipe or 1 1/2 recipe could work. The only thing with 1 1/2 recipe would be finding the right size of loaf pan! So you may want to try 1 recipe if you don’t have a larger loaf pan.

      Regarding making it in advance, we have not tried making it ahead before! Since it contains eggs, it would probably be best to make up the components separately and then combine them before baking. For example, you could make the rice, toast the nuts, and saute all the veggies in advance. Then when you want to bake it, you could combine those ingredients with the eggs and cheese and then bake. Would that work for you? I
      It is possible that you could make it up and freeze it, but we’re not sure whether the nuts might get soggy. Let us know if you try it out, and what you find! Good luck!

  41. I made this yesterday. It was fantastic. I used pecans instead of cashews (didn’t have any on hand) used all organic ingredients and changed the cheese to white cheddar. I got tons of raves on it, everyone said it was better than “meat” loaf. And it makes an awesome sandwich. Thanks for sharing the recipe I will make it again!!.

  42. Dumb question, how finely ground are the nuts? I’ve never made a nut loaf before and don’t have a point of reference. Finely ground so it is similar to finely ground bread crumbs or slightly more coarsely chopped so more the consistency of panko?

    1. Thank you for this! I went to Martha Stewart’s recipe online and found that another reader had a comment similar to yours! “This recipe is delicious. I’ve been making it for many years, thanks to Deborah Madison’s recipe in The Greens cookbook. I’m wondering why she wasn’t credited, considering that the only thing that was changed was to specify Gruyere cheese? I’m disappointed that proper attribution wasn’t given to a fine vegetarian chef.” Looks like Martha needs to make a proper citation :) Thanks for letting us know!

  43. Just to let you know this now has become a thanksgiving tradition at our house. This will be the third year I will be making this and folks veggy or not love it..
    Bonus! What ever is left makes for a great breakfast “meat” for the next few days… a slab fried up with an egg is marvelous…

  44. HI! When you say you can freeze, would you cook the loaf, slice it and then freeze? Or freeze it cooked and whole?

    1. Good question: cook it, slice it, and then freeze! You could freeze it whole too, and then defrost the whole thing (I’d let it sit in the fridge for a few hours and then re-warm in the oven). If you slice before freezing, it makes defrosting much easier.

  45. I cooked this up this morning and the results were amazing! We’ll be having it tonight and there will be leftovers to show off to my colleagues tomorrow:)

  46. I’ve never reviewed a recipe before but, for this one, I had to. This is a great meatloaf substitute! It is delicious as well as dense in texture…like a real meatloaf. The only thing I did different was to bake individual servings (in medium sized ramekin dishes) so that I can pull one out of the freezer and have when my husband is eating meat. This recipe is a keeper for this vegetarian. My meat eating husband liked it too.

  47. I have made this 2x, and it is excellent! I’ve shared it with my sister and we both agree that it is as close to the taste and feel of a ground beef meatloaf that we have ever had.

  48. Wow, this is so good! Not only is it insanely filling, but the flavor and texture is better than regular meatloaf (in my opinion). I was honestly a little nervous to make this, as I haven’t ever made a nut loaf before, but it’s so tasty, I can’t imagine going back to my old recipe with actual meat. Thank you so much for sharing, and I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!! :)

  49. Delicious! I didn’t have all the spices called for in the recipe so I used what I had fresh from the garden – rosemary, thyme and Italian parsley. I also used old cheddar as I didn’t have any Swiss. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  50. This was absolutely amazing. My husband who gives me a hard time loved it as well. That is saying a lot. Thank you so much for this recipe. Can’t wait to make it again!

  51. Looking forward to making this. Wanted to confirm one thing – the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice but the first instruction says to cook the rice so I wanted to double check whether it was 1 1/2 cups of rice before or after it is cooked? Thanks

  52. I wanted to love this especially since I have so much left over. It is just so rich and calorie dense that it upsets my tummy. I even cut the cheese in half. I’m new to being a vegetarian (4 months now) and meatloaf was always one of my favorite things. I’m looking to find a recipe that I can enjoy while the rest of my family is chowing down on their meat.

  53. This was absolutely delicious and my husband love it but i have two questions before I try again. I was unsure whether I was to use GROUND dried spices or just the dried spices in their original form so I just used what I had (the ground marjoram was intense at first but then muted by additional ingredients), Also, I baked it in a glass meatloaf pan and it was still somewhat wet – how much longer would you continue to bake it to have it bake through or would you recommend a metal pan instead? Thank you.

    1. Hi! The recipe is for the whole dried herbs, not ground. We’ve had luck with both glass and metal loaf pans. We’ve never had issue after the 20 minute rest, but I’d recommend an additional 10 minutes in the oven if it was really wet!

  54. Delicious!!! Tastes even better a day or two later right out of the frig. Will be making it for the holidays. Thanks for a great recipe!

  55. I just wanted to drop a note to say that I have been using this recipe at least 4x a year for the past several years and its one of my family’s absolute FAVORITE dishes. We look forward to making it knowing that we will have leftovers for several days, and use those leftovers for delicious “meatloaf” sandwiches of various forms. Thank you SO much for this amazing gift!

  56. I mean what can I say! This is probably the best vegetarian alternative to
    Meat I have ever had the pleasure of eating! It totally messes with your mind because it looks and has the texture of meat but is totally meat free! I’m giving these ago as meatballs for my spaghetti!!!
    I was totally sceptical but have been converted instantly!!!

  57. This recipe is wonderful. My family loved it! I also made a red pepper/cashew sauce to serve alongside it. So delicious!

  58. I’ve made this twice as indicated and it’s superb! Love it and will continue to make it over and over again!

  59. Total disappointment! Followed recipe and instructions EXACTLY and it came out wet, soggy & crunchy. The “loaf” fell apart when removed after cooling. Such an expense for such a failure :(.

  60. The looks interesting and I would like to try it, however, I am lactose-intolerant. I have been able to find lactose-free cottage cheese, but not Swiss Cheese. Can you suggest a different cheese that is lactose-free to be used in place of the Swiss Cheese? Thank you.

  61. OMG. That’s the best vegetarian nut loaf i have ever made. My son, daughter-in-law, & 5 year old grandchild came for supper. I was a bit nervous serving this to them because they like meat. They loved it. Even took some for their lunches tomorrow. Also made the gravy & they loved that too + the mashed potatoes. My picky 5 year old granddaughter had a second helping. Thanks for the recipe.

  62. Thank you for the inspiration!! This long time foodie looked for an ‘egg and brown rice’ loaf recipe and found yours. I did do a lot of substituting, but the end result was most definitely because of your excellent foundation recipe. Don’t like mushrooms, so put quartered brussels sprouts instead. Roasted walnuts with pine nuts. Lotsa fresh ginger too and fresh herbs like sage from the garden. Had it warm with apricot chutney. Curious how it will taste cold. Thanks again!

  63. I made a very good vegetarian loaf last week , then this one yesterday. Today’s lunch was a bit of each, and yours is seriously better. My only change was to add soaked sun dried tomatoes. Slices just like meatloaf, especially nice with homemade savory plum sauce.

  64. I plan to serve this on Thanksgiving, but I want to prepare it a day ahead since my oven will be busy on that day. Can I reheat the whole loaf in a microwave or do I need to slice it?

    1. Great question! It might be a little difficult to reheat in the microwave as a whole loaf since microwaves are a little uneven, but you could try it whole and just do it in small bursts until the entire thing is heated. You can also do it in slices but just don’t over heat it! If you have a toaster oven that might be a better option for reheating, but microwave should work as long as you’re careful.

  65. I made yesterday…I replaced cottage cheese with 3/5 italian bread crumbs and I replaced Swiss with Shredded cheddar, because i dont like cottage cheese and didn’t have swiss. I followed the recipe completely otherwise. I put warmed nuts into food processor so some were ground and some bits. It was amazing! I cooked for an hour…love the crunch on top. Spices and S & P on point! Made my vegetarian gravy with it, Mashed potatoes. Def making again…..THANK YOU!

    1. Sorry, the nuts are really essential to this recipe. You could try looking up some lentil loaves but we don’t have a recipe.

  66. love this, made it again this year. But, I substituted Farro for the brown rice. because I love farro. I think it migh make it chewier

  67. Made this yesterday for Thanksgiving. Would say it’s the best veggie loaf I’ve made over the years. Followed the recipe pretty closely except for the grated cheese — I added less than half of the 12 ounces called for and used a cheddar as that’s what I had on hand. Also, did not use the parchment paper in my loaf pan which one should do if they want to remove the loaf from the pan in one piece for serving. I thought about making a gravy but in the end did not and felt the the flavor of the loaf did not need any enhancement.

  68. I am curious to know what this tastes like.. what is the stand-out flavor? Any descriptors would be appreciated.
    Would someone who isn’t a fan of normal meat loaf enjoy this, or is it too similar?

    1. Great question! It tastes super savory and hearty — and we think it’s better than normal meatloaf! So yes, we think someone who doesn’t like normal meatloaf would like it. Hope you enjoy!!!

      1. I ended up making this for one of our Christmas dishes and my husband and I really enjoyed it! Topped it off with a mushroom gravy and it was spot on.

        The next day I heated up a slice with a fried egg and some hot sauce and that was also delicious!

  69. The best veggie meatloaf ever, left out cottage cheese, but it was still great, we had it for Christmas dinner, leftovers next day you can thinly slice and use in kebabs, it holds together that well, and is very much like meat, excellent, thank you!

  70. I’ve made this veggie meatloaf 4 times now. Absolutely love it as does my meat eating partner. Very ‘tweak-able’ recipe. I add ketchup to the mix. Can never find shiitake mushrooms when I want them so just use normal closed cup. Don’t ever use marjoram but add extra sage and oregano and all sorts of other bits and bobs. Even chilli. Can’t always get swiss cheese so use anything I can find with similar texture and top up with cheddar. It’s so delicious. Better the next day. And yes, does have a very ‘meaty’ texture. I made this in lieu of a quorn roast for Christmas dinner.

    Despite it being a more involved recipe that I normally like, the instructions are very simple making it very easy to make and sooooo worth it.

    Oh yes – and this is the only veggie meatloaf I’ve ever made that hasn’t fallen apart.

    Bravo for coming up with such a gorgeous recipe!

  71. Really good flavor. Recommend a shallow dish though as the crust on top is important. Looked just like the picture!

  72. Sometimes it’s easier knowing what weight of nuts to use instead of cups as nuts are all different sizes and shapes. I am hoping to make this next week using hazelnuts and walnuts. I have both whole and chopped hazelnuts so they would fill a cup differently. Walnuts are pieces and not halves. Ounces or grams would be great thanks! Looking forward to trying this!

  73. Made this loaf tonight as my daughter was visiting. It was really delicious. We all liked it and my husband said make it again and he is a big meat eater! I used 50-50 hazelnuts and walnuts, and 50-50 Swiss cheese and Cheddar. This is a keeper recipe for sure. I guessed at the weight of the nuts as it’s tricky with cup measurements with things that are uneven in pieces size! But I got there in the end! Daughter went home with leftovers!

  74. Hey guys, thanks for this amazing recipe! I must admit I approached with caution as I’ve had so many fails with ‘meaty’ vegetarian loaf that turned out to be a dismal failure and waste of expensive ingredients. Yours will be a favorite in our house though. I’ll also do this for Christmas it’s so good and better than any festive roast I can buy.
    Best wishes
    Australia. x

  75. We’ve made this several times. My kids, co- workers, and neighbors love it and can’t believe there’s no meat. I shaped them into burger patties with foil surrounding the outside and baked them. They were yummy hamburgers too!

  76. Yes getting a vegan one to stick together and taste delicious is a challenge. Lentils add good flavour with lots of mushrooms. Egg substitute just doesn’t work to stick. I have just been told that xanthan gum does the trick. That’s why I am checking recipes to see if anybody has tried this and how much is required. Almond meal would add body. Maybe some fresh herbs and a touch of tomato paste. Your recipe does sound delicious and you are not going to match it with a vegan version but you might just create a whole new sensation. Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi! Unfortunately substitutions don’t work well in this recipe… everything is essential for it to stick together.

  77. Always a Skeptic with meat replacement recipes. However this recipe is spot on. This is by far the best meatless meatloaf ever on planet earth. The wife said this recipe is a keeper and I agree wholeheartedly.

    1. Great question! The texture here is pretty dependent on the cottage cheese, and we haven’t tested substitutes. I’m so sorry! Perhaps google “lentil loaf” and you can find an alterative without cheese? (Unfortunately we don’t have a recipe for that, though we’d like to!)

  78. Deeeelish. I roast the nuts in a skillet. It’s easier and less chance of burning those expensive cashews and walnuts. Thank you for your recipes.

  79. This recipe originated at The Greens and was published in their cookbook as Cheese and Nut Loaf in 1987. It’s been our family staple since then. It’s always more popular than the turkey.

  80. Delicious loaf! I don’t care for the taste of cashews so substituted almonds. Divided the mixture into 4 mini loaf pans and baked for 50 minutes only. 1/2 a mini loaf each was perfect serving size for my husband and I. And now I have 3 loaves for the freezer and quick weeknight dinners. Thank you for sharing.

  81. I made this and it was absolutely delicious! Though the prep does take some time, it is well worth it. If you like “meatloaf” sandwiches, be sure to slice some leftovers and put it between a couple of slices of rye bread- super yummy!

  82. I really like the idea of this but we can’t have tree nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, etc) in our family. Have you tried any substitutions with seeds, peanuts, etc that works?

  83. I first made this delish loaf last year. My partner eats meat but absolutely loves this loaf. He says it’s better than the meat one. I’ve made it at least 6 more times. It takes some time to make but well worth it. I slice and freeze the leftovers and we have enough for 3 or so more meals. I didn’t feel the need to make any adjustments. We love the spices, texture and the cheeses create the perfect amount of moistness. Perfection!!!

  84. I’ve made this many times and it’s delicious ever time! The only change I made is cutting the cheese down, 12 is is WAY too much! I only use 4 oz and it’s still as delicious!

  85. I was looking for something for a vegetarian Christmas dinner and this looks great. I was actually looking for a “Wellington.” Have you ever tried doing a pastry crust with this? Do you think it could work?

    Happy holidays!

  86. I made this for Christmas, and it was delicious! I used only 8 ounces of Swiss cheese, and somehow still ended up with a ton of food. I’m happily enjoying the leftovers. Next, I will try to make a vegan version.

  87. Oatbran is a great alternative to eggs for binding, if you don’t want to use them. I use it to bind all my meat/vege balls/burgers and the like. Can’t wait to try this, but will try and cut down on the fat content. Looks yummy!!

  88. We’ve just enjoyed this delicious meatloaf. Turned out great. Thanks for the recipe. We’ll have more of it tomorrow and will also freeze some. Nice to imagine how this loaf could be decorated or surrounded on a platter for a festive meal…. But will make it again before that! Thanks again.

  89. Made this tonight and WOW I will say I am overly impressed on how much it tastes like actual meatloaf. Much more than a fake meat substitute would. Try this, you won’t be disappointed! Make sure you food process/blend all the ingredients to make it the most loaf like!

  90. My daughter has a nut allergy. Are there any suggestions on nut substitutions? The recipe looks delicious! I really want to make it, but without the nuts and I still want it to taste good. Thanks!

  91. I made this a couple nights ago and just finished it off for lunch! It really is delicious! Even my meat-loving husband went in for seconds. I added a tomato paste/ brown sugar sauce over the top for the last 20 minutes to give it that traditional meatloaf taste (YUM!). Definitely let it sit for the recommended time for it to solidify more. I didn’t chop my nuts as finely as they should have been so it was a little too textured in some bites but still really good and reminiscent of ground meat. You’re totally right that the Swiss gives it a meaty flavor and it makes such a difference roasting the nuts! We’ve stopped by meat at home to be more sustainable so I’ve been on the look out for good recipes and this hits the mark! I could see it working as meatballs if you cook it in mini muffin tins. Great recipe!

  92. Was looking for a good meatless option for a weekday meal and this got very good reviews. I used half cheddar and half swiss (wanted to use up a piece of cheddar in fridge) and reconstituted dried shiitakes I had in the pantry instead of using fresh (I used fresh creminis). Shiitakes added a nice texture. Will definitely make again.

  93. Wow! This is by far, the best vegetarian meatless loaf ever! I used 6 cloves of garlic and a few more mushrooms; but otherwise I followed the recipe. It’s superb! Thank you for sharing.

  94. Simply amazing!! I passed some out to friends and they didn’t even know it was vegetarian.

  95. We are on a low sodium diet due to husbands previous heart attack / I notice on panel of ingredients in recipes their is not a sodium amt listed for recipes i have followed!! I do love your recipes as we are plant based but i need to know Sodium breakdown if possible. Thank You so much!!!!!

    1. Hi! We omit the sodium because many ingredients we use such as beans, cheese or broth can have vastly different amounts and we don’t want to give false information. 1 teaspoon of kosher salt has 1920 mg of sodium if that is helpful.

  96. WOW! This lives up to it’s name. We just became vegetarians 5 months ago and I am always looking for new recipes. My husband had 21/2 slices and declared it amazing. Next time he is going to try it on the smoker.
    Made it just as directed. No need to alter this.

  97. This vegetarian is probably the BEST meatloaf I’ve ever eaten, it’s super filling and just downright delicious and it make a LOT so for just two people you can definitely freeze several slices. It is a bit time consuming though. It smells delicious just while you’re mixing it together!

    In the cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking, they have a tomato sauce that is delicious, but make extra. Unfortunately, it’s not listed here so ketchup works fine too. Maybe you can add it to this post?

    Absolutely stellar. Enjoy! I’ll definitely be making it again. Thank you!

  98. I have made this dish several times now and can vouch for the fact that is absolutely delicious…a real hit! The combination of the Swiss cheese, mushrooms, and rice make it positively succulent, and the chopped nuts add a wonderfully meatloaf-like texture. The spices create complexity…altogether an absolutely top-notch vegetarian main dish.

  99. Made it today and it is delicious! I used all organic ingredients and followed the recipe exactly as written. Yummy!!

  100. This was amazing! This is the first time I’m leaving a review for a recipe, but this one deserves it. We’re trying to go meatless, and finding recipes that taste good and are healthy (not just processed meat replacements) can be tough. This was delicious, filling, and healthy. I followed the recipe exactly. I don’t even like swiss, but it really does add to the flavor and texture. This would also go really well with a gravy. We just had it with bbq sauce this time. It does take a while – took me almost 2 hours from start to finish, but now that I know, I’ll factor the timing in for next time. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  101. I have been waiting to try this for months and we finally made it! I used mozzarella and about half of the recommended amount, compensated with more cottage cheese. It turned out great! I actually totally forgot to add the salt and pepper, but we threw a little ketchup on top and no one was the wiser. Fresh baked I think it would be hard to tell that it wasn’t meat. Ate this for leftovers a few times and the texture isn’t as good as time passes, but was wonderful the first day or two!

    Thanks for another great recipe!

  102. This recipe is a labor of love indeed- a lot of prep…. but it is delicious and so worth it! I make every year at Thanksgiving. The extra time that it takes to prepare only makes it feel even more special. I follow the recipe as is and it turns out great every time.

  103. Tried out this recipe today, as we have a vegetarian guest coming for Thanksgiving. Used 1% cottage cheese. It is delicious! I will be adding it to our meatless Monday rotation!! Thanks!

  104. I have made COUNTLESS lentil loafs, nut loafs, and veggie burgers. I’ve tried baking, grilling, and pan-frying. My meat-loving husband dutifully tries each and every one. He usually says it’s “okay”, but he’d rather eat a burger. But this vegetarian meatloaf is different. This is the FIRST TIME he has called one of my loaves/patties “delicious”. We’ve had leftovers two times and plan to make this for a vegetarian holiday main. Thanks for an awesome recipe! We enjoyed this with mashed cauliflower and creamy instant pot green beans.

  105. I’m very excited to try this recipe tonight. I’ll post an update after trying it. I already have cooked white jasmine rice on hand from yesterday. Would that work for the recipe?

  106. Vegetarian loaf was amazing. I modified it for a keto version – I would be interested in your feedback. Instead of the rice, I grated about a pound of sweet potatoes, and roasted them in the oven. To get it to bind more, I added potato starch and used an additional 2 eggs. For sweetness, I added about 8 chopped dates. I didn’t have swiss, so I used cheddar.

  107. Seriously so good. It was easy to make but certainly didn’t taste like it. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  108. This is the BEST vegie “meatloaf”. While there are several ingredients I find it’s fairly efficient and goes quickly if I prep (make rice, chop nuts…) the day before actually putting it together. Thank you for this excellent recipe!

  109. My daughter is allergic to cashews and pistachios. She is okay with walnuts, but is there another nut I can substitute for the cashews? Or can I omit the cashews and just use the walnuts?

  110. Hi Sonja and Alex, the recipe looks great and tasteful, i wonder if -with some additions such as lentils- it could be used as filling for a vegetarian wellington? Or maybe roast it first and bake it the day after in a fine pastry? Thank you for replying!

  111. I made this recipe and absolutely love it! I was wondering how far ahead I could make this meatloaf over the holidays before baking it?

    1. It reheats well. I would store cooked in the fridge for a few days and then reheat in 375F oven until warm.

  112. Have to say this was an excellent, proper great dish for the vegetarians and the meat lovers loved it too. Very impressed and not that hard to prepare either. Thank you!

  113. Very good! I don’t think I ground the nuts enough, so there were little pieces throughout. In the future I will grind them until they are more of a powder. I really enjoyed the nuttiness and texture of this meatloaf–it was very filling as well! I felt it was a little dry, but some hot sauce fixed that :)
    Thanks for sharing!!

  114. So glad I stumbled onto your site and can’t wait to try this recipe!
    Q: Could basmati or wild rice be subbed for the brown rice?

  115. Texture was very good but did not like the flavor. I am not a vegetarian but love many vegetarian dishes. Except for the cashews, which I gave a try, I love all of the ingredients but they didn’t work for me when put together. I really disliked it, although I honestly wanted to like it especially after all the work making it.

  116. Thinking ’bout gettin’ Peepers your cookbook as a prezzie. This Vegetarian Meatloaf… You happen to know if it’s in the cookbook? What am I sayin’? OF COURSE you know. Silly me. MOUSES!

    Anyway, the “look inside” feature isn’t available for the book on the Canadian Amazon site and when I looked at the US site, it wouldn’t work for me. Don’t know why. That’s why I couldn’t check for myself. PURRS

  117. Hands down this IS the best vegetarian meatloaf! I have tried many, many veggie meatloaf recipes none of them came even close to this one! Yum!!

  118. Hello! Let me start off by saying this recipe is AMAZING. I had a dinner party and made this to accommodate a vegetarian friend. Everyone loved it, even the meat lovers who were initially reluctant. Anyway, my question to you — have you tried making veggie meatballs with this recipe? Thinking it would hold up well to a marinara, assuming the balls would stay together. Seems like they would, but I have limited meatball making skills so uncertain if the recipe has enough binder. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!

  119. This looks scrumptious. As a vegetarian coeliac I’m always on tge lookout for flavourful recipes. This looks great.

  120. I wouldvlike to make your meatloaf recipe. But I would like to use Italian ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese. Will that be alright?

  121. This sounds great but I have an aversion to the texture of cottage cheese. Can you tell it’s cottage cheese once it’s baked? I did used to add it to my lasagna recipe with ricotta and couldn’t detect it. Also, what substitutes would work? I saw in the comments that someone used Greek yogurt successfully. I’m not afraid of fat–would a sour cream-Greek yogurt combo work?
    Thanks for your advice!

  122. Hi!
    Thanks for this great vegetarian recipe! My hunny and I are plant based eaters, lacto/ovo (him 30yrs, me 12yrs) I do 99% of the cooking and I’m always looking for something different to add to the menu! I made this the other night as a surprise for him as he loves vegloaf. I chose your recipe as it was different from others I have done… It came out beautiful, the flavors were perfect, I added peas bcuz I love peas in my vegloaf.. wondering if the nuts are more for texture or flavor? We both weren’t sure how we felt about the nuts being in it for texture purpose so he asked if I make it again to eliminate the nuts… But we have also been eating it cold vegloaf sandwich style and don’t mind the nuts when cold…with added veggies on the sandwich.
    So just wondering if eliminating the knots is going to change much of the flavor or if it’s more just a texture thing? Cuz I was thinking if it’s flavor maybe I could add a nut butter 🤔
    Thanks you, and thanks for the recipe!! 🤗🐴

    1. The nuts are there mostly for texture. You could soak them in water a few minutes before making if you wanted them softer.

  123. Have just made this for the 8th time. I added hand-picked sheep polypore mushrooms (growing wild here in Finland). Your recipe is always delicious even when adjusting it each time. Great to slice up cold and add to lunch-boxes! Many thanks for this wonderful dish 😊

  124. Made for my husband today and he loved it. It’s a keeper in my pinned recipes. Followed recipes as shown. Thank you for the recipe.

  125. Second time making this and this time it tasted even better! I made sure to roast the nuts this time (not sure if I did this fully last time) and I made the chop more rough than before so you can tell what ingredients are in the loaf after it’s baked. I also subbed out Swiss cheese for mozzarella and put more cashews in than walnuts. The only thing I actually ended up measuring was the salt. SO good! My vegetarian boyfriend is sometimes freaked out by meat substitutes, but doing a rough chop this time made the loaf less mysterious.

    Super umami and honestly better taste and texture than the “real deal” in my opinion.

    Thanks for another great recipe!

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