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A CLOSE UP overhead shot of a slice of black bean meatloaf on a white plate with avocado crema on top

Vegan Black Bean Meatloaf with Cilantro Lime Crema

  • Author: Allison
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


A Mexican-style vegan black bean meatloaf recipe with sweet potato, pepitas, cumin, chili powder, chipotles, and more, topped with cilantro lime avocado crema.



Black Bean Meatloaf

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled grated sweet potato (from 1 medium, see note)
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 12 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
  • 3 cups cooked black beans or pinto beans (or 2 14-oz cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 3/4 cup roasted pepitas
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup rolled oats, ground into a coarse flour
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce (for the topping)

Cilantro Lime Crema

  • 1 large ripe avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (or to taste)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Water, as desired to thin


  1. Warm the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Add the salt, pepper, grated sweet potato, celery, and all of the spices, including the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few more minutes, until the sweet potato and celery have softened slightly. Remove from the heat.
  2. Place the pepitas in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade. Process into a coarse meal. Transfer into a large bowl.
  3. Place the black beans or pinto beans in the food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade. Pulse several times, until broken up and crumbly. Stop pulsing before the beans become a paste, however, as some texture is desirable and prevents the loaf from becoming too gummy. Transfer the beans into the bowl.
  4. Next, add the cooked onion/garlic/vegetables/spices to the bowl, followed by the flax, ground oats, cilantro, balsamic vinegar, and lime juice. Stir very well to combine. I usually get my hands involved at this point to ensure that everything is well mixed.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Ensure that there is overhang so that you can lift the loaf out of the pan after it bakes.
  6. Transfer the meatloaf mixture into the prepared pan and pack it down firmly with your hands. The more firmly you pack it, the better the loaf will hold together once baked. Spread the barbecue sauce over top and bake for one hour.
  7. While the meatloaf is in the oven, make the avocado lime cilantro crema. Place the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, sea salt, and pepper in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade. Process until smooth, adding a couple of tablespoons of water to thin, if desired. Transfer into a container.
  8. Finally, remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes. Carefully lift it out of the pan and slice. Top with a dollop of the crema and serve with any other desired accompaniments to round out the meal. Enjoy!


I grated my sweet potato using the grater attachment on my food processor. You can also use a box grater.

If you don’t have any pepitas on hand, use an equivalent amount of hulled sunflower seeds, pecans, or walnuts.

Feel free to make a double batch of the avocado crema if you’re feeding a crowd. It makes enough for 4 servings, but the loaf makes 8-10 servings.

  • Category: Supper
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: vegan black bean Mexican meatloaf