Tempeh Meatloaf


One of my very favorite comfort foods is meatloaf. It is not easy to duplicate in vegan cookery, although recipes abound for variations of this classic main dish.  I have been on a quest for four years to find the texture and flavor I am looking for. I think I have found the one with this hearty loaf from Anne Gentry, owner of Real Food Daily restaurant.

The most important technical factor in a loaf, for me, is that is MUST hold together tightly and slice well. Loaf recipes can be tricky l and I will admit, I messed up on my first try.


Not a problem, though, because I just crumbled the whole loaf and froze it to use later in a Shepherd’s Pie! Never waste good tasting food!


I tried again and followed the directions explicitly and the second loaf turned out perfectly. I think I overcooked the tempeh the first time around. Yes, the recipe is a bit fussy, but the results are worth it– a substantial, tasty tempeh loaf, great paired with your favorite gravy or cold the next day on a sandwich, just like Mom used to make–well, sorta.

Tempeh Meatloaf

from The Real Food Daily Cookbook

1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. canola oil

1 ½ pounds tempeh

1/3 cup organic ketchup

1/3 cup yellow miso

¼ cup nutritional yeast

2 tbsp. unsweetened soy milk

¾ cup gluten flour

1 cup finely chopped onion

½ cup finely chopped celery

½ cup finely chopped peeled carrot

1 tomato, finely chopped

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 ½ tsp. dried

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 ½ tsp. dried

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. sesame oil


Preheat oven to 375. Coat the inside of a 9 inch loaf pan with 1 tsp. sesame oil and set aside. Shred tempeh with the shredder blade of a food processor or a hand grater.  In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, miso, nutritional yeast and soy milk. Add the tempeh and stir just to coat. Sprinkle gluten flour over mixture and combine. Mixture will be moist.


Transfer to sheet pan oiled with 1 tsp. canola oil. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Meanwhile, sauté the onion, celery, carrot and garlic in 1 tbsp. canola oil until soft (about 8 minutes). Add tomato, spices, salt and pepper and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Add tempeh mixture to hot vegetable mixture and mix well. Note: vegetable mixture must be hot when adding together. Transfer to loaf pan and pack tightly. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 more minutes or until brown. Allow to cool in pan for at least 5 minutes before removing. Slice and serve hot with your favorite gravy.



    1. Although you could certainly crumble the successful loaf, maybe even using half for slicing and the other for shepherd’s pie–what I believe went wrong are two things: I over baked the tempeh mixture before combining it with the vegetables, so it was drier than it should have been, and I did not pack it tightly in the loaf pan (the recipe didn’t say to). Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope you try the recipe. Using 1 1/2 pounds of tempeh you end up with a nice big loaf 🙂

      1. I’m planning on trying it! 🙂
        Just curious about the crumbly loaf, because I honestly wanted to make meat free crumbles (ie – shepherd’s pie – we’re big fans. i usually use lentils, but i think my husband might prefer a variation). Thanks for the tip!

  1. This looks delicious. Is there a particular brand of tempeh that works best? Tempeh isn’t something that I usually buy, although our family is vegetarian. It will be new to me.

    I make a nut/seed ‘meatloaf” that consistently turns out well. I toss different things into it each time. You’re right — to qualify as a loaf it must hold up when sliced. Crumbs taste good but they’re just not comfort food.

    I’m going to try your tempeh roast.

    1. You are sweet. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to sit down and create a menu index. However, if you browse the categories section of my blog on the right hand side of the page, you will find basically the same thing because my postings are mainly recipes.

  2. Thanks for posting this recipe! I went to RFD years ago and have wanted to make this loaf ever since. I have one question about the “Gluten Flour” ingredient. Would that be Vital Wheat Gluten, or something else? Any specific brands or info on this ingredient would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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