Classic Vegetarian Nut Loaf

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Classic Vegetarian Nut LoafThis recipe is a showstopper that satisfies even the most meat-forward of eaters. Tested and beloved by our readers across the country, this nut roast really does taste like a savory, chewy meat loaf. My mother is a passionate meat lover and literally begs us to make this at the holidays. It’s an adaptation of a concept from Deborah Madison in The Greens Cookbook, and we’ve added a ketchup-like tomato glaze. While the concept is pretty simple, the execution requires about 2 hours to pull off. For a special occasion, it’s absolutely worth the effort. For weeknight dinners, consider freezing any leftovers—or follow the make-ahead instructions for a quicker prep. And if you’re not a mushroom lover, we’ve had dozens of people tell us it’s the first time they’ve liked mushrooms in a dish.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1¼ cups minced red onion (1 medium)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 8 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 12 ounces Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 pinches garlic powder
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
How to Make It
  1. Cook the brown rice (here).
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Assemble the nut loaf: Place the walnuts and cashews on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes until lightly browned. Cool slightly, then finely chop. Peel and mince the onion. Peel and mince the garlic, then place the onion and garlic in a bowl. Brush any dirt from the mushrooms. Remove and discard the stems; finely chop the caps and set aside. Finely chop the parsley and set aside. Grate the Swiss cheese and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, oregano, thyme, and sage. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  5. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the sautéed mushroom mixture, parsley, chopped nuts, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, 1½ cups cooked rice, kosher salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
  6. Start the baking: Grease a 9-inch loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the top of the parchment paper. Pour the mixture from the bowl into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Make the glaze: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the tomato sauce, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
  8. Finish the baking: Remove the loaf from the oven and brush it with roughly half of the glaze; reserve the remainder for serving. Then return to the oven for another 15 minutes until golden brown and firm, for a total of 1 hour baking time. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove slices from the pan. If you have the time, the loaf will firm up nicely if allowed to rest for a few more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the remaining glaze on the side.

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