Mom’s Impossible Meatloaf

A close up of two slices of meatloaf

When I recently prepared this recipe, it was the first time since choosing a vegan lifestyle that my kitchen (and home!) smelled like my mom’s cooking. My mom was an excellent cook, despite her protests to the contrary. Her meatloaf, like so many favorite family recipes, is more than comfort food. It brings back years of memories of meals at our cozy kitchen table. We relished the main course slathered in ketchup (Hunt’s, never Hine’s) and the side dishes were always the same – pole beans cooked with a bit of salt pork (I know…my roots are true southern), and homemade scalloped potatoes. When you make this for dinner, delicious aromas will bring everyone to the table. Savor the flavors and memories being made while also taking comfort in the fact that no animals were harmed in your meal’s creation.

  • Author: Lori
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings, 10 slices 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan




2 12-ounce packages of Impossible “Beef”, thawed if frozen

1 large red onion, organic preferred

5 medium or 4 large cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried minced onion

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

Freshly ground black pepper to taste – I used 3 “turns” of the pepper mill

1/3 cup ketchup, organic preferred – I chose a sugar-free brand

1 1/3 cups panko breadcrumbs

NOTE: Use gluten free breadcrumbs for a gluten free version of this meatloaf.


1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons coconut or brown sugar, organic

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Optional: Fresh parsley or cranberries for garnish


Equipment Needed

  • 9 x 5 loaf pan-metal, glass, or ceramic are all fine
  • Food processor or high-speed blender (or grater if you do not have either of these).
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Suggested: disposable gloves for mixing- choose the compostable type if possible. Or you can use your hands instead…be prepared, this will be messy!
  • Small rimmed baking sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Garlic press or chef’s knife.


  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Spray or grease loaf pan with olive oil
  • Peel and cut onion into quarters.
  • Use a food processor or high-speed blender to thoroughly chop the onion until an almost paste-like consistency is achieved. NOTE: If you don’t have a food processor or high-speed blender, you can grate the onion over the bowl, making sure to capture the onion pieces and juices.
  • Transfer the onion to a large mixing bowl, using a spatula to transfer all the bits and liquid.
  • Using a garlic press, add the garlic to the onion in mixing bowl making sure to press the cloves over the bowl so the juices are captured. Alternatively, mince the garlic and add to bowl.
  • Combine all herbs and spices in a mortar and grind with a pestle to release the flavors and combine. NOTE: If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, simply add the herbs and spices to a small bowl and use the back of a large spoon to crush the thyme and tarragon. The sea salt crystals will help blend the ingredients.
  • Add crushed herbs and spices and ketchup to bowl and stir until well mixed with onion.
  • Add Impossible “Beef” and breadcrumbs to mixing bowl.
  • Now is the time to don disposable gloves if you have them. Otherwise, roll up your sleeves and get ready to mix!
  • Use your hands to thoroughly combine all ingredients, squeezing and kneading the mixture to make sure it is well blended.
  • Scoop the meatloaf mixture into the prepared loaf pan, pressing down firmly from corner to corner with a spatula and smoothing the top.
  • Place loaf pan on small rimmed tray covered with a sheet of parchment paper to catch any drips that may occur during baking.
  • Bake for 50 minutes, then remove from oven to coat with about half of the glaze.
  • Prepare the glaze while the meatloaf bakes. Whisk ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and coconut or brown sugar together in a small, deep bowl.
  • Return glazed meatloaf to oven and bake for 20 additional minutes.
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan and serve.



  • Mom’s Holiday Cranberry Meatloaf. Swap jellied cranberry sauce for the ketchup – in the meatloaf mixture AND glaze – adding a flavorful twist to this classic.
  • Mom’s Gluten-Free Meatloaf. Use gluten free breadcrumbs and check to make sure the ketchup or cranberry sauce are gluten free.


  • Leftovers will keep refrigerated up to four days.
  • To freeze, slice first and wrap individual slices in wax paper or foil and place in an airtight container or bag. Will keep in freezer for one month.

Adapted from A Virtual Vegan’s recipe for Beyond Meatloaf

Keywords: vegan meatloaf, vegan comfort food, family recipes, plant-based meatloaf, vegan dinner recipes