Neatloaf: A Tasty Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free Fake Meatloaf

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One of my favorite places to eat in town is Jyoti-Bihanga, a tasty vegetarian/vegan restaurant run by the Sri Chinmoy folks.  If you aren’t familiar with them, I’ll tell you this – they make a fantastic fake meatloaf, they call it Neatloaf.

You can imagine how excited I was when a friend of mine e-mailed me the recipe, so now I can have delicious Neatloaf in the comfort of my own home.  The recipe as it stands is vegetarian, you’ll need to replace the eggs with an equivalent amount of egg substitute to make it vegan, switch the ricotta cheese with soy cheese or silken tofu, and double check the Lipton Onion Soup Mix as well.

Also, since I cook for a Celiac sufferer, I make it gluten free by simply replacing the Special K with gluten free corn flakes, which changes the consistency a little bit, but keeps the recipe well within the realm of “delicious”.



  • 4 large eggs (use egg substitute if vegan)
  • 1/4 cup Lipton Onion Soup Mix (I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that this is vegan)
  • 1/3 lb low-fat ricotta cheese or crumbled tofu
  • 1/3 lb firm tofu (squished up into small pieces)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, of choice
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 4 cups Special K cereal or gluten free corn flakes to make this gluten free
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oven to 300°F.

  2. Saute the onions and garlic (in just a little bit of oil).

  3. Beat eggs or egg replacer in a bowl, the mix together all ingredients except Special K.

  4. Mix well, and add Special K last.

  5. Turn into a pan sprayed with cooking oil. You can use either a 7×9 or 8×8 pan.

Neatloaf Sauce


  • 1/2 cup ketchup (you can also substitute catsup)
  • 1/8 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • to taste Cayenne pepper (a pinch is plenty for me)

Cooking Directions

  1. While Neatloaf cooks prepare sauce, whisking together all sauce ingredients in a bowl. I typically like a lot of sauce so I double the sauce part.

  2. Remove loaf from oven, pour sauce over the loaf and cook an additional 10 minutes.

  3. When loaf is done, if you can avoid the temptation, it’s best to let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

The Sri Chinmoy folks have restaurants all over the US (each restaurant is named differently but all are affiliated/inspired by him), and I’d highly recommend visiting, the Neatloaf always seems better at the restaurant no matter how well I make it home.  And in the interest of full disclosure, they are some kind of religious movement/cult, so if you’re wary of that sort of thing, take heed.  Suffice to say though that I’ve been there dozens of times and have yet to be recruited….maybe I should take it personally.

Need another gluten free meal idea?  Check out the recipe for Gluten Free Pizza.  Need a side dish with your Neatloaf?  Check out the recipe for Cool Cucumber and Strawberry Salad.  Both are recipes from fantastic Eat Drink Better contributors.

Image credit: ewige at flickr under a GNU Free Documentation License.

More Vegetarian Recipes:
Best Ever Dip Recipe: Pumpkin Walnut Pate
Hungarian Veggie Paprikash
Soba Noodles with Chard and Oranges

20 thoughts on “Neatloaf: A Tasty Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free Fake Meatloaf”

  1. John Chappell

    Nicola – Whoops overlooked that one, sorry! I hadn’t thought about what to replace the ricotta with, though I’ve used soft or silken tofu, or soy cheese before to replace soft regular cheeses.

  2. It would really be useful if you provided the cost, calories and nutrition content.

    I know it’s asking you to do a lot of work, it’s just that if someone reads your article and goes to the store to purchase the ingredients and the ncost is too high, how are you helping anyone?

    Best wishes.

  3. Mmmm I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but I love trying more sustainable meals. This looks absolutely delicious. I am definitely going to have to try it.

  4. This is absolutely delicious!!! I live in Chicago, where Sri Chinmoy’s followers have a restaurant as well. I have been going there for years JUST to order their delicious neatloaf. I have even ordered an extra order to take home and eat later. A true food-crush. So you can imagine my sheer joy and delight to receive this recipe in my inbox.

    I have made this recipe a half dozen times now (in only a month), and it’s almost perfect as-is. However, if you are interested in lowering the fat and calorie content, I can tell you that I have replaced all the eggs with egg whites (a 1/2 cup), used fat-free and lowfat ricotta, and have reduced the oil by about half (or to 2 tablespoons), and that these changes have not affected the flavor at all, and have changed the consistency only slightly. I would, however, recommend waiting the suggested 10-15 minutes before cutting this when you pull it out of the oven. It holds up much better (though it tastes just as delicious when it is a crumbled pile on the plate).

    Side note on the sauce: I find it too vinegar-y with all the ketchup, etc., so I reduced the apple cider vinegar by 1/2, or to a tablespoon. And I add more cayenne than suggested. I like a kick. Taste it when you mix it up, and add more as you go.

    I suggest serving with mashed potatoes and vegetarian mushroom gravy; my favorite sandwich in the world now is cold neatloaf on wheat bread with a little mayo. Enjoy!

  5. oh. forgot to mention: I have frozen this with success. It makes sense to make 3 loaves at once (if you love this as much as I do) since you use 1/3 container of ricotta and 1/3 tofu. If you do, let the others cool completely, wrap tightly in saran wrap, and freeze. To reheat, I just put it back in the oven at 300 for about 50 minutes, though it may take longer. Check to make sure it’s cooked in the middle.

  6. I made this last night. I was suprised at how it turned out. I have tried other veg. meatloaf and they always come out mushy and not good. this i will be making again.

    1. Henry’s didn’t have onion soup mix, and all they had was onion dip mix (the dry-powder package). we used that and it turned out just fine! we also used a basic rice cereal from Henry’s instead of Special K (so that the neatloaf was gluten free). Again, tasted great. Especially since Special K has high fructose corn syrup. No need for that crap! Thanks for the Neatloaf recipe, the Jyoti secret is out!

  7. Are you kidding – is this the REAL recipe??? Do they really use Special K in their Neatloaf? I love JB and the Neatloaf…. I was hoping to make it (planning to make something “like” it) for Thanksgiving. If this is the real deal, I’m going to be so happy – and my husband will be even happier! Please let me know if this is the actual recipe or just one that someone made up to taste like it…

  8. Lipton’s soup mix is not vegetarian, has meat broth in it. For a vegan version I use 1/4 cup water for each egg, heat the water and dissolve vegetable broth cubes (2) in the water to replace the seasoning from the soup mix, replace the cheese with tofu.
    Special K is not vegan, has whey in it, so I use Wheaties for the dry cereal. I think you could also use crushed bread crumbs, but the texture might different. Even non-vegetarians like this version, it is always eaten up at potlucks.

  9. This looks delicious! I’m a slacker vegetarian living in fear of the many recipes I’ve seen for lentil loaf. I see orange bits in the picture, though, and nothing in the recipe to explain them. Carrots? Peppers? Rogue flavors from the onion soup mix?

  10. thanks for putting this recipe up. there are other sites with this recipe, but none that are as thorough.

    i’ve been dying to have neatloaf since i moved far away from jyoti bihanga. i’m making this recipe tonight and i can’t wait!

  11. Thank you! I was just looking at the menu at Silence Heart Nest and feeling sorry that I couldn’t eat their neatloaf any more because of the gluten, but now I see that it is easy to make it gluten free. Plus, I have been searching for this recipe for years! Thanks again for posting it.

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