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Italian White Bean Loaf

in Entrees, Recipes

Italian loaf 11yI am a meatloaf kind of girl.  Always have been, always will be.  And yes, despite what you may be thinking, a vegetarian can be a meatloaf person.  Scratch that- a “meatloaf” person.  While it may not be the “real” deal, meatloaf made with beans, lentils, and/or veggies is really quite fantastic.

Italian loaf 10yNow that we have established that I love meatloaf “meatloaf,” let me remind you that I also have a thing for beans and bean burgers, more specifically, white bean burgers (for right now- my cravings change so frequently!).  The last time that I was eating Robyn’s white bean burgers, I got a sudden hankering to make them into one of my other favorite foods- a good ‘ole loaf.  And with some added vegetables, seasonings, and sauces, this Italian White Bean Loaf was created.

Italian loaf 15ySo simple.
So pretty- well, as pretty as a loaf can be.
So moist- sorry, I just went there.
And oh-so delicious.

Italian loaf 16yItalian White Bean Loaf

Serves: 4 to 6


2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium yellow or white onion, roughly chopped
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1/4 cup packed fresh basil
1 cup quick oats
2 TB Italian seasoning
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
fine sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/8 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
1 TB vegan Worcestershire sauce (many brands contain anchovies), optional


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease or spray loaf pan.

2. Place beans in a food processor and pulse until processed but until some bean pieces remain.  Remove from food processor and place into a large bowl.

3. Add onion pieces, spinach, and basil to food processor.  Process into small pieces.  Place  into the bowl with the beans.

4. Stir oats, seasonings, liquid aminos or soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce into the bean and vegetable mixture until combined.

5. Pour the bean mixture into the loaf pan.  Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Italian loaf 6yI like to cook mine long enough so that it forms a wonderfully crisp top and outside.  This is golden brown at its finest.  Even if you do not like crust on your bread, I promise you will like the crust of your loaf!

Italian loaf 4This bean loaf can easily be sliced into six servings- when paired with sides- but I prefer to keep it to four servings at a maximum.  What can I say, this girl likes to eat.

Italian loaf 16yyItalian loaf 12yOh, and I also like to serve this alongside a small dish of barbecue sauce because I am a firm believer that everything delicious tastes extra delicious with some BBQ sauce.  But for those of you who are not a fan of barbecue, feel free to serve this alone or to pair it with marinara sauce or your favorite mustard.  I am thinking that a spicy Dijon or honey mustard would be a great compliment.

Italian loaf 8This is the perfect Sunday dinner.  Or in my case, the perfect Sunday dinner + lunch the next day at work + two more servings in the freezer.  In other words, you get a whole lot of good food for the time and effort that you put into this- which is practically nothing if you can work a food processor and an oven.  I promise you, doing the dishes afterwards is really the only not-so-fun part 😉

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{ 43 comments… add one }
  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies April 14, 2014, 7:00 am
    I can't remember ever eating and liking real meatloaf, but I'm a huge fan of "meatloaf". This one looks like a winner!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 10:42 am
      Us veggies sure are a weird group ;) People always think I am crazy when I talk about making vegetarian "meatloaf" haha
  • Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures April 14, 2014, 9:30 am
    I actually don't like meatloaf but I love vegetarian anything! Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures recently posted...A Little Less Run, A Lot More WalkMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 10:43 am
      That is the great thing about this loaf. It is a great substitute for meatloaf, but it definitely does not TASTE like it. White beans for the win! :)
  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles April 14, 2014, 10:22 am
    I've tried both meat and bean loaves and both make me happy ;-) Looks awesome! I'm trying to make a point of eating vegetarian once a week or so, so I'll keep this in mind! Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted...Almost Wordless Weekend.My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 10:44 am
      That is a great goal, Sam! Let me know if you try it out :)
  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health April 14, 2014, 10:47 am
    i have been thinking to make meatloaf with beans and oats for a while now..thanks for reminding me to do it ASAP. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health recently posted...Weekend in San FranciscoMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 7:05 pm
      You are SO welcome!! And yes, you SO need to give it a try!
  • Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl April 14, 2014, 12:29 pm
    Love meatloaf and white beans.... just ate both this weekend. I'm sure I would LOVE this.... just another recipe to add to the ever growing "to make" list! ;)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 7:06 pm
      I know, right? The list is never ending and always growing...so bad! haha
  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness April 14, 2014, 12:53 pm
    This sounds good, I tried an loved your butternut squash "meatloaf". I eat meat and actually made turkey meatloaf last night. I'll have to try this white bean "meatloaf". I think loaves like this are great since they typically always make great leftovers. Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted...Championship nervesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 7:07 pm
      Thanks so much, Nicole! You'll have to let me know if you try this. And yes, leftovers always result from recipes like these, which makes prepping for the work week SO much easier!
  • Ashley April 14, 2014, 1:09 pm
    I've actually been wanting to try a vegetarian meatloaf type recipe lately! I've been searching for a good recipe! This looks great... Especially for having leftovers for the week! And I agree - dishes stink : ) Ashley recently posted...Polenta Bites with Ricotta and Shaved AsparagusMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 7:09 pm
      This is definitely a great substitute for meatloaf and a wonderful recipe for leftovers! They reheat really beautifully, too! And amen on the dishes. I am glad that I am not the only person who totally loathes them!
  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles April 14, 2014, 2:11 pm
    I love barbeque sauce too! I like how simple this recipe is.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 7:13 pm
      I am convinced that bbq sauce is great on everything! ;)
  • Ginny McMeans April 14, 2014, 2:41 pm
    Wonderful recipe! Thanks for sharing it with us!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 7:15 pm
      Thanks so much, Ginny! Let me know if you try it :) And since you would appreciate this, it freezes really well! :)
  • Christine@ Apple of My Eye April 14, 2014, 3:03 pm
    Love the idea of a veggie meatloaf! Especially when it involves white beans with italian flavorings. This sounds so heart and delicious, I bet I wouldn't even miss the meat portion of it! Just thought I would let you know that I also love your blog's header. SO cute!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 7:17 pm
      You definitely wouldn't miss the meat! I promise :) And thank you SO much for your kind words. It was a long work in progress (by someone else- I'm not that talented!), but I love it!
  • Jessie April 14, 2014, 6:10 pm
    Love meatloaf, but have found that either my recipe comes out tasting awesome or it's just okay. I really think meatloaf is one dish that has to be cooked to perfection or it's either dry or lack of flavor. Jessie recently posted...MIMM: Where I’ve been & MotivationMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 14, 2014, 7:17 pm
      That is SO true...lots of yummy seasonings in this one! :)
  • Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body April 15, 2014, 8:27 am
    I absolutely love savory loans and this one sounds incredible. I am pinning this right now!!! So excited to try this out (and I wouldn't just say that for the sake of commenting, I really mean it!!) Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body recently posted...Savory Sticky Rice Pancakes – with rice definitionsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 15, 2014, 4:36 pm
      Thank you Sarah!! You will have to let me know when you make it :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
  • Kim April 15, 2014, 9:22 am
    I've been looking for a new comfort food type of recipe to try out and this looks great! Kim recently posted...Exploring Platte River State Park In The Off-SeasonMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 15, 2014, 4:39 pm
      Thank you Kim! I definitely think this is a comforting dish. I always find recipes centered around beans to be comforting. Plus, meatloaf was always a comfort food for me.
  • Danica @ It's Progression April 15, 2014, 3:28 pm
    I've actually never been a fan of meatloaf, but I love veggie/bean burgers so I'm definitely going to try this out sometime! Danica @ It's Progression recently posted...Grapeseed Oil as Eye Makeup RemoverMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 15, 2014, 4:44 pm
      I think you will definitely like this if you are a fan of bean burgers! It is just like them, but in loaf form :)
  • Alexis @ Hummusapien April 16, 2014, 9:49 am
    Totally making this lovely loaf this weekend and slathering it with BBQ sauce, obviously! All I need is the fresh basil :) I'll just go to the store for the fourth time this week and grab that...
    • ClnEatingVegGrl April 16, 2014, 4:27 pm
      Haha! You sound like me! I spend WAY too much (time and money) at the grocery store :/ I hope you enjoy it! And yes, BBQ sauce is an absolute must!
  • Courtney May 9, 2014, 12:33 pm
    Wow. Just, WOW. I'm a sucker for "comfort foods" and this recipe really hits-the-spot. I think this will be a staple "go-to" recipe in my house. Delicious and sooo easy! I made mine with mashed potatoes, green beans & this killer gravy recipe- http://vegetarian.about.com/od/saucesdipsspreads/r/basicveggravy.htm Delicious! I made this meal completely vegan by using vegan butter in the gravy and in my mashed potatoes. Loved it! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 25, 2014, 4:07 pm
      You are welcome, Courtney!! I am so glad that you enjoyed it!
  • Karina July 14, 2014, 7:17 pm
    Made this over the weekend and loved it!! I omitted the basil and used balsamic vinegar instead of Worcestershire sauce. It will be a keeper :)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 25, 2014, 4:08 pm
      Ooo, the addition of balsamic vinegar sounds great!! Thanks for letting me know, Karina! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
  • Courtney Anderson July 25, 2014, 3:35 pm
    I absolutely love this recipe! Just wondering though... I decided to make this dish for a dinner with guests. To save time, would it still hold up (and not wilt the fresh spinach/basil) if I made the loaf ahead of time, put it in the fridge & baked it the next day? Any thoughts? Thanks!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl July 25, 2014, 4:10 pm
      I will make no promises ;) but I think that is certainly a possibility and that it would turn out just fine! You could also try baking it the day before, refrigerating it, and then reheating it in the oven on a low temperature until it is warm all the way through. Let me know what you end up trying!
  • Hilary November 10, 2014, 5:27 am
    I LOVE this recipe! Just finished eating my first piece and can't wait for the second! Thank you so much for sharing!!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl November 10, 2014, 7:11 am
      Thank you Hilary! I am so glad that you enjoy it as much as I do :)
  • RJ February 4, 2015, 9:51 pm
    Your recipe is fantastic. May sound odd, but it is also good with either cranberries mixed in or a cranberry sauce.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl February 5, 2015, 7:08 am
      Oh, that doesn't sound odd at all!! It sounds delicious. Thanks for the idea :)

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