Cook's Hideout: Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Suace

November 04, 2014

Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Suace

Blogging Marthon# 46: Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: Festival Special -- Thanksgiving
Dish: Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Sauce
Well's Vegetarian Thanksgiving from New York Times is a great resource for vegetarian and vegan dishes to make for Thanksgiving. The New York Times editors curate a huge list of non-traditional no-turkey/ meat dishes on their Well's blog. I think they have been doing this every year since 2010. They have an impressive line up of dishes from famous food writers and chefs utilizing the fall harvest and delicious vegetables. 
Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Suace
The idea to make a Vegetarian meatloaf came from one of the Well's Thanksgiving menus. Meatloaf is exactly what it sounds like --- meat made into a loaf. Most vegetarian meatloaves are  made of lentils, mushrooms or TVP (soy granules). The recipe I used today uses both lentils and rice for the structure. I remember watching Giada making it on Food Network and wanted to try the recipe.

Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Suace
To speed up the process, I cooked the rice and lentils in a pressure cooker instead of in a open pot. I used a 8½"x4½" loaf pan instead of the strange 10"x4½" pan recommended in the original recipe.  I added an egg just to make sure that the loaf holds its shape, But I think that egg can easily be substituted with either ground flax meal or egg replacer. It was a little difficult to get the first piece out of the pan, but cooling the loaf did the trick for me.
Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Suace
This is a very flavorful and filling meatloaf. Checca sauce is a raw tomato sauce that is added to the loaf itself and is also served on the side for added flavor. My favorite part is the melted cheese and the tomatoes on the top of the loaf. Also I halved the recipe since I was cooking just for myself. I froze the leftovers for later meals.   
Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Suace

Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Suace
Recipe adapted from here.
Ingredients: Serves 3~4
For the Meatloaf:
Lentils - ⅓cup, soaked for 30 minutes (I used Brown lentils, but green lentils can also be used)
Rice - ½cup  (I used Jasmine rice, original recipe used brown rice)
Carrot - 1 small, diced
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Frozen Corn - 3tbsp
Frozen Spinach - ½cup (after thawing) or use 2 cups of fresh spinach that is cooked and squeezed dry
Butter - 1tbsp
Egg - 1, lightly beaten (can also use vegan egg substitutes like egg replacer or flax seeds)
Mozzarella Cheese - ¾cup, cubed, divided (I used grated mozzarella)
Parmesan cheese - 2tbsp, grated
Cilantro - ¼cup, chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, sliced
Salt & Pepper - to taste

For the Checca Sauce:
Ripe Tomatoes - 2 medium, chopped
Onion - 2tbsp
Garlic - 1 clove, minced
Extra virgin Olive oil - 1tbsp
Cilantro - 2tbsp, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper - to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8½"x4½" loaf pan with 1tsp butter.
  • Make the Checca Sauce: Grind all the ingredients for the checca sauce until tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Make sure that the tomatoes are not pureed,
  • For the Lentil Loaf: Heat 2tsp oil in a pressure cooker; add the onions, carrots and cook for 2~3 minutes or until the veggies are slightly tender.
  • Drain the lentils and add to the veggies. Next add the rice and 1½cups of water. Season with salt and pepper and cook till rice and lentils are tender. I cooked for 2~3 whistles in my cooker.
  • Let the pressure of the cooker release naturally, open the lid and add the frozen corn, set aside for 5 minutes. Gently fluff the rice and cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the rice & lentil mixture, half of the Checca sauce, thawed frozen spinach, beaten egg, half of the mozzarella cheese, 1tbsp parmesan cheese, chopped cilantro and season with salt & pepper. Mix gently.
  • Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Place the tomatoes in 1 layer, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Dot the top with the remaining 2tsp butter.
  • Bake for 30~35 minutes or until the lentil mixture is heated through and the top is browned and bubbly.
  • Set aside for 15~20 minutes before slicing. Serve with checca sauce on the side.
Vegetarian Meatloaf (with Rice & Lentils) with Checca Suace
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 46.


  1. That is an amazing recipe Pavani when I saw your recipe in the mail just jumped into your blog superb:) bookmarked!!

  2. This makes a balanced meal with all the veggies, legumes, rice and cheese going into it. Flavorful meatloaf for Thanksgiving.

  3. Rice and lentils make a great base on which to build the flavors. I like how it retained its shape after slicing. Nice one.

  4. This is amazing Pavani..looks so good. Imagine Daal rice the desi menu being transferred to a vilayati menu...super one..simple loved it.

  5. noted the recipe, and now planning to make it ASAP

  6. Wow! This is tempting me to bake one..Maybe soon..

  7. Great recipe yaar. Bookmarking this... Love the combination of lentils and cheese. Very filling loaf.

  8. wow such an flavorful veg meat loaf :) looks super tempting dear ... They came out perfect !!

  9. Wat a filling meal, i cant take my eyes from ur clicks Pavani, those meatloaf looks simply fantabulous. An excellent Thanksgiving meal.

  10. That's one sinful looking pictures you have there Pavani..I think I have forever been fascinated with the meatloaf and wanted to make them many times, even though I won't eat this vegetarian version sounds just like something I can make..very good choice of dishes!

  11. OMG this is amazing... I am quite crazy about loaves be it sweet or savoury, and here you have an awesome veg meatloaf. Love to grab a slice..

  12. Healthy, flavorful & awesome veggie loaf.

  13. This is amazing!!!Looks so good...tempted


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