This Mediterranean chickpea meatloaf is a vegan, gluten-free main dish that everyone will love. Top it with pesto and serve with steamed greens and roasted potato wedges for a phenomenal feast.
Mediterranean Chickpea Meatloaf
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (drained before measuring), finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 14-oz cans, drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup roasted almonds*
- 1 cup oat flour
- 3 tablespoons ground flax
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup pizza sauce
Parsley Hemp Walnut Pesto
- 1/3 cup raw walnut halves
- 1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2–4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 packed cups fresh parsley (some stems are okay)
- 1–2 tablespoons water, if desired, to thin
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Make sure that there is enough overhang so that you can easily lift it out afterwards.
- Warm the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a small pinch of sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add the red pepper and cook until softened. Mix in the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, and chili flakes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the chickpeas in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade. Pulse until they are broken up and crumbly, but stop before a paste forms. Transfer the ground chickpeas into a large bowl.
- Place the roasted almonds in the food processor and process until a coarse meal forms, about 15 seconds. Transfer into the same bowl as the chickpeas.
- Add the sautéed vegetables to the bowl containing the chickpeas and almond meal. Add the ground flax, oat flour, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. The mixture should hold together, with a texture similar to a chickpea veggie burger.
- Press the mixture very firmly into the prepared loaf pan. Spread the pizza sauce over top. Note: The pizza sauce sometimes starts to burn around the edges towards the end of baking. If this happens, simply spread a bit more pizza sauce over top at around the 45 minute mark.
- Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Lift out of the pan and let it cool for another thirty minutes before slicing. If you slice it too soon, it may crumble, but it holds together perfectly once fully cooled.
- Serve with Parsley, Hemp, and Walnut Pesto (directions follow), or your favourite store-bough vegan pesto.
- To make the pesto: Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade. Process for a few seconds, until a meal forms. Add the hemp, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley. Process until ultra smooth and creamy, adding a tablespoon or two of water to thin out, if desired. Transfer into an airtight jar or container and enjoy. Leftover pesto can be stored in the fridge for several days- it’s great on pasta, sandwiches, bowls, and swirled into soups and stews, plus it’s packed with brain-boosting omega 3s!
*To roast raw almonds, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes, or until fragrant.
I used this cast iron loaf pan. I think that a Pyrex glass loaf pan would also work well. If you have a non-stick loaf pan, you might want to reduce the baking time slightly.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: vegan Mediterranean chickpea meatloaf