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This Indian spiced chickpea pecan meatloaf with fragrant Indian butter chicken-inspired gravy is a hit at the holiday table! If you’re looking to shake up your vegan Thanksgiving routine, this Indian kofta meatloaf is the answer!

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This flavorful spiced chickpea loaf with Indian spices and a butter sauce gravy is part of my Indianized Thanksgiving series. This month, I’m sharing a bunch of recipes for vegan Thanksgiving dishes with an Indian spin.

I decided to make an Indianized Thanksgiving spread, but instead of making the usual Indian dishes — like my tikka masala, butter tofu, or gobi musallam (whole roasted cauliflower) — and then serving with naan and rice, I wanted to keep the trappings of the Thanksgiving meal and add Indian elements to it. So you have meatloaf and gravy, roasted veggies, cranberry sauce chutney and a side of crispy spinach pastry, but all with an Indian touch.

This whole meal is very easy to make, and you do almost all of the cooking in the oven. You only need to simmer the butter sauce and cook some spinach on the stovetop. The whole rest of this meal is baked. That makes it much more hands-free than traditional Thanksgiving meals, so you can spend more time with friends and family and less time standing over the stove.

This chickpea loaf has Indian spices, and the gravy is a quick mix and boil butter chikin sauce that you’ll also use as the glaze for the meatloaf. The veggie side is spiced, glazed carrots, and the cranberry sauce is made into a cranberry chutney with garam masala and green chili added to it. For the pastry, we are using spinach and vegan cream cheese, but the spinach is spiced like saag or palak tofu, so it has all those flavors going and is delicious and creamy. Watch out for all these recipes coming up this week!

gravy boat of butter chicken sauce next to the chickpea loaves

Why You’ll Love this Chickpea Loaf

  • Thanksgiving vibes with amazing, Indian flavors.
  • Easy to make in the oven.
  • Quick, creamy, stovetop butter chicken sauce gravy.
  • oil-free and soy-free with a gluten-free option
close-up of a chickpea loaf on a plate with lettuce and cranberries

More Vegan Loaf Recipes

Recipe Card

chickpea loaf on a plate as part of a vegan Indian Thanksgiving spread

Print Recipe

Spiced Chickpea meatloaf with Butter Gravy

This Indian spiced chickpea pecan meatloaf with fragrant Indian butter chicken-inspired gravy is a hit at the holiday table! If you’re looking to shake up your vegan Thanksgiving routine, this Indian kofta meatloaf is the answer! Soyfree, options for gluten-free, nut-free

Prep Time15 minutes

Cook Time30 minutes

Total Time45 minutes

Course: Main

Cuisine: Indian Fusion

Keyword: chickpea loaf

Servings: 6

Calories: 264kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

For the butter sauce gravy:

  • 15 ounce (425.24 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 8 ounce (226.8 ml) can tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • a good dash black pepper and cayenne

For the chickpea loaf:

  • 1/2 cup (65 g) pecans , heaping measure
  • 2 ounces (56.7 g) mushrooms
  • 15 ounce (425.24 g) can chickpeas drained, or used 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas or other hearty beans, like white beans

For the spices:

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 black cardamom or omit if you don’t have black cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

For the rest of the flavor:

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/4 cup (27 g) breadcrumbs or more, as needed

For glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon of the butter sauce from above

Instructions

Make the butter sauce gravy.

  • Add all of the ingredients for the butter sauce gravy to a skillet over medium heat. Mix really well, and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor, and let it simmer for another 2 minutes. Then, switch off the heat. Transfer to your gravy dish

Make the chickpea loaf.

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F (205° C)

  • Add the pecans, mushrooms, and black cardamom pod to a food processor and process until the pecans are broken down into a coarse meal.

  • Add 2/3 of the chickpeas and all of the spices and process for a few seconds, then add all of the sauces, the flour, onion flakes, and ginger garlic paste. Process again, until the chickpeas are mostly broken down.

  • Transfer this to a bowl, add in the cranberries, the breadcrumbs, and remaining chickpeas and mix well. If the mixture is too soft, then add in another tablespoon or so of breadcrumbs. You just want it to be a somewhat pliable, slightly sticky-ish dough, but not have too much moisture in it.

  • Shape this into two mini meatloaves, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush some of the butter sauce onto the chickpea meatloaves, and then bake 15 minutes, then brush again with some more of the butter sauce gravy. Continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the meatloaf is not squishy in the middle when you touch it.

  • Remove the loaves from the oven, and let them cool for 15 mins before slicing and serving. The loaf slices even better if you make it ahead, chill in the fridge, then warm up just before serving. I usually make this a day ahead, store it in the fridge, then reheat it in the oven at 315° F (157° C) for 10 minutes or so and then slice and serve it with the butter sauce gravy on the side.

  • Storage: store refrigerated for upto 3 days and freeze sliced for upto 2 months. Reheat: in the oven for 10 mins or microwave.

Notes

This recipe is oil-free and soy-free.
For gluten-free, if you use gluten-free breadcrumbs and flour.
For nut-free, use sunflower seeds instead of pecans 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Spiced Chickpea meatloaf with Butter Gravy

Amount Per Serving

Calories 264
Calories from Fat 90

% Daily Value*

Fat 10g15%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Sodium 486mg21%

Potassium 494mg14%

Carbohydrates 37g12%

Fiber 8g33%

Sugar 11g12%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 410IU8%

Vitamin C 6mg7%

Calcium 95mg10%

Iron 4mg22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • coconut milk – Full-fat coconut milk is the base for the butter sauce gravy. Use cashew milk as substitute
  • tomato puree – Rather than cooking down chopped tomatoes, we’ll use canned puree for a quicker result.
  • dry spices – For the gravy, you’ll need garam masala, onion powder, dried fenugreek leaves, black pepper, and cayenne. To season the loaf, we are using garam masala, salt and pepper, oregano, black cardamom, dried fenugreek leaves, smoked paprika, and dried onion flakes. You can omit the black cardamom pod, if you can’t find this ingredient.
  • ginger-garlic paste – For seasoning the gravy and the loaf. Or Use minced ginger garlic
  • pecans – This is party of the chickpea loaf’s meaty texture. – use walnuts or sunflower seeds as a sub
  • mushrooms – Adds even more meatiness to the loaf!
  • chickpeas – Use canned chickpeas or cooked, drained chickpeas to make the loaf. Use other white beans or lentils if you don’t want to use chickpeas
  • ketchup – For flavoring the loaf and to add moisture. Or use tomato paste
  • all-purpose flour – Acts as a binder for the loaf.
  • dried cranberries – Adds a little texture and sweetness to the chickpea loaf.
  • breadcrumbs – To help the dough for the loaf come together.

Tips

  • Make the butter sauce first, since this is also the glaze for the chickpea loaf.
  • When you’re making the dough for the loaf, don’t use all of the chickpeas in the food processor! Leave about 1/3 of the can aside and add later, so your loaf will have some good texture.
  • This loaf slices best when it’s a bit cooler. Either cool before slicing or make a day ahead and reheat on a lower heat before slicing and serving.

How to Make the Chickpea Meatloaf with Butter Gravy

Make the butter sauce gravy first. 

Add all of the ingredients for the butter sauce gravy to a skillet over medium heat. Mix really well, and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor, and let it simmer for another 2 minutes. Then, switch off the heat.

vegan butter chicken sauce in a pan

Now, make the chickpea meatloaf. Preheat the oven to 400° F (205° C).

Add the pecans, mushrooms, and black cardamom pod to a food processor and process until the pecans are broken down into a coarse meal. 

pecans, chickpeas, and mushrooms in the food processor before processing

Add 2/3 of the chickpeas and all of the spices and process for a few seconds, then add all of the sauces, the flour, onion flakes, and ginger garlic paste. Process again, until the chickpeas are mostly broken down. 

pecans, chickpeas, and mushrooms in the food processor after processing
adding flour and spices to the food processor
chickpea mixture in the food processor, after processing

Transfer this to a bowl, add in the cranberries, the breadcrumbs, and remaining chickpeas and mix well. If the mixture is too soft, then add in another tablespoon or so of breadcrumbs. You just want it to be a somewhat pliable, slightly sticky-ish dough, but not have too much moisture in it. 

chickpea mixture in a bowl
adding chickpeas and breadcrumbs to the mixture
chickpea loaf dough after mixing
chickpea loaf dough after shaping on the baking sheet

Shape this into two mini meatloaves, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

brushing the loaves with butter sauce

Brush some of the butter sauce onto the chickpea meatloaves, and then bake 15 minutes, then brush again with some more of the butter sauce gravy. Continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the meatloaf is not squishy in the middle when you touch it.

chickpea loaves, after baking

Remove the loaves from the oven, and let them cool for a little bit before slicing and serving. It slices even better if you make it ahead, chill in the fridge, then warm up just before serving. I usually make this a day ahead, store it in the fridge, then reheat it in the oven at 315° F (157° C) for 10 minutes or so and then slice and serve it with the butter sauce gravy on the side.

sliced chickpea loaf on a cutting board

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this recipe allergy friendly?

This recipe is oil-free and soy-free. It’s gluten-free, if you use gluten-free breadcrumbs and flour.
For Nut-free, use sunflower seeds instead of pecans

How to store and reheat this loaf?

Storage: store refrigerated for upto 3 days and freeze sliced for upto 2 months.
Reheat: in the oven for 10 mins or microwave or reheat slices on a skillet with a bit of oil to sear the edges. The loaf slices also make great sandwich filling.

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