This walnut meat loaf is gluten free, vegan, and low carb yet full of flavor and easy to make. Easy and tasty? Yes you read that correctly!
Although I’m following a low carb diet which normally means eating a lot of meat, I am not a big meat-eater. Don’t get me wrong, I love bacon as much as Ron Swanson, but sometimes I gotta take a break.
Enter the walnut “meat” loaf. It is filling and tasty and, well for lack of a better word, meaty. You are probably familiar with walnut meat if you follow a vegetarian, vegan or plant based diet. This version is easy to throw together and has fewer ingredients than most.
The only draw back to this recipe is the long time it takes to bake. If you are looking for a walnut meat recipe that you can have ready in a hurry, check out other uses for walnut meat like walnut meat for tacos or nachos.
Walnut meat loaf, tips and tricks.
I usually use raw walnuts, since you will be sautéing them once they are ground up anyway. Baby portabello mushrooms are my preferred mushroom of choice for this recipe. They are responsible for the “meaty” taste.
I recomend grinding the mushrooms and walnuts in a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix or food processor. I usually load them mushrooms first then walnuts, pushing them down into the bladed with a tamper if necessary. You can leave a few walnuts out and mix them in after the mixture is blended if you want chunks of walnut in the meat, or load them all in for a completely smooth paste.
The first time I made this I did not add the tomato topping and it came out on the dry side. After tweaking the topping to add moisture and flavor it came out just right. Another topping you might try is a cheesy melt, vegan or otherwise. Cheesy flavor like parmesan or mozzarella would complement the earthiness of the mushrooms very well.
I have made this walnut meat loaf with a variety of herbs to see what I liked best. Parsley is my favorite with cilantro a close runner up. I prefer the taste that fresh herbs give as opposed to dry but you can use whichever you have on hand.
Make it a full meal
This walnut loaf pairs well with roasted broccoli or a green salad. It keeps well refrigerated for up to 5 days as long as it’s well sealed. It will quickly dry out sitting in the fridge if it is not in a well sealed container.
So let’s get cooking!
Walnut Mushroom "Meat" Loaf with Tomato Sauce Topping
- High powered blender or food processor
- Loaf pan
- 2 cups Walnuts (raw)
- 2 1/2 cups Baby portobello mushrooms
- 3 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 Yellow onion,peeled and chopped
- 1 cup Almond flour
- 1 Egg Optional. See notes*
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- 1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce if not gluten free Or soy sauce if not gluten free. If watching sodium intake use Bragg or Coconut Secret liquid aminos.
- 2 tbsp Avocado oil
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Tomato Sauce Topping
- 1/4 cup Tomato paste
- 1/4 tsp Chili powder Adjust to preference for more or less spiciness
- 1/2 tsp Dried oregano
- 1 to 2 tbsp Water if needed to thin
- Preheat oven to 350º
- Rinse and clean the mushrooms and place in blender or food processor with the walnuts
- Blend the walnuts and mushrooms togther until they form a paste. If using a blender you may need to use a tamper to push the mixture into the blades to make sure it is well incorporated.
- Heat avocado oil in a large frying pan or wok on medium heat
- Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until beginging to soften
- Add the walnut and mushroom mixture to the pan and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frecuently.
- Removed the pan from the heat. In a mixing bowl combine the mushroom walnut "meat" with the herbs, salt, pepper, almond flour, tamari and egg, or egg substitute.
- Stir all the ingredients together until well combined
- Line a 3x9 loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Fill the loaf pan with the "meat" mixture and press down to make sure the top is even.
- Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- While the loaf is baking, mix all the ingredients for the tomato topping and set aside.
- Carefully spread the tomato sauce over the top.
- Turn oven off and return the sauce covered loaf to the warm oven for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. This allows it to settle and firm up. Otherwise it might be crumbly.
- Slice and serve!
If you’d like more recipes for these same specific dietary issues, head to these pages for all our gluten free recipes, dairy free recipes, vegan recipes, low carb recipes, and shellfish free recipes. For our full list of recipes, please visit our complete recipe list. For our full list of reviews of allergen free food and related products, please visit our review page.