Spicy Vegan Buffalo Meatloaf Minis

Created by Laura Wright
4.88 from 8 votes

Spicy vegan buffalo meatloaf minis are a hearty main course that's also gluten-free. Super flavourful and simple to prepare.

An overhead shot of a dinner plate that features one mini vegan buffalo meatloaf, some dressed arugula, a heap of mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy spooned on top, and some simply sautéed yellow string beans.
An overhead shot of a small oval platter that has 4 spicy buffalo meatloaf minis perched on top with sprigs of parsley and sage for garnish.
A duo of images. One on the left is an overhead shot of white beans after drying out in the oven. Image on the right is an overhead shot of prepped chopped vegetables, walnuts, and sauces.

These spicy vegan buffalo meatloaf minis are not at all glamorous and they were frankly were very hard to photograph haha. But they are incredibly flavourful, satiating, perfectly moist without being soggy, a bit nutty, and that sweet-spicy glaze really brings it home. I love that this recipe comes together simply with a lot of pantry ingredients.

Our Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend and I wanted to make something that was homey and appropriate, but maybe also a bit different. I love the classic hippy-dip nut and lentil loaves so much, but I started thinking about that spicy-tangy buffalo sauce flavour in the loaf and in the glaze. It turned out so good! Get some mushroom gravy and some sort of mashed veg on the plate too? That’s heaven in flavour town for me. More holiday-appropriate vegan recipes can be found here.

We use sweet potato purée, ground up walnuts, and some oven-dried white beans as our base. Drying the white beans in the oven helps to avoid that gloppy texture and an overly bean-y flavour. It’s an extra step that’s really worth it in my opinion! From there, we add some sautéed aromatics, lots of spices, the hot sauce and a sticky, super classic ketchup-based glaze.

I went with a manageable amount of mini loaves here because I know that we’re all celebrating the holidays a bit differently this year. Individual servings of this spicy vegan buffalo meatloaf are so cute and they reheat really nicely. Wishing you nothing but good things this week. Big hug.

An up close shot of sweet potato puree, walnuts, white beans, and more, about to be mixed.
An overhead shot of vegan meatloaves being brushed with a ketchup and hot sauce mixture.
An overhead shot of a dinner plate that features one spicy vegan buffalo meatloaf mini, some dressed arugula, a heap of mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy spooned on top, and some simply sautéed yellow string beans.

Spiced Vegan Buffalo Meatloaf Minis

Spicy vegan buffalo meatloaf minis are a hearty main course that's also gluten-free. Super flavourful and simple to prepare.
4.88 from 8 votes
An overhead shot of a dinner plate that features one mini vegan buffalo meatloaf, some dressed arugula, a heap of mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy spooned on top, and some simply sautéed yellow string beans.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings 6


  • 2 cups cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus extra)
  • 1 small yellow onion, small dice (about ⅔ cup diced onion)
  • 1 stick/rib celery, small dice (about ½ cup diced celery)
  • 1 small carrot, small dice (about ½ cup diced carrot)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • ½ cup sweet potato purée
  • 3 tablespoons Buffalo-style hot sauce, divided (or any other hot sauce you like)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup


  • If you’re like me and simply LIVE for the ketchup-y glaze here, you can double the amount. Brush half of it on before baking, and the other half on at the middle point of baking (15 minutes).
  • Any hot sauce you like is great. I love Tessemae’s Buffalo Sauce. My fave ketchup here.
  • If you don’t like spicy things, you can substitute the hot sauce that’s in the meatloaf with more ketchup or additional sweet potato purée.
  • Use coconut aminos instead of tamari to keep this soy-free.
  • I Just steamed chunks of sweet potato until they were soft and mashed them with a fork for the purée.


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease 6 cups of a standard muffin tin with olive oil and set aside.
  • Scatter the drained white beans over the lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake the white beans in the oven for 13-15 minutes, or until beans are slightly dried and starting to break up. Let them cool.
  • Set a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the onions, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pan all at once. Stir and sauté the vegetables until all are soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the white wine vinegar and let it cook off for 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat and allow the sautéed vegetables to cool slightly.
  • In a food processor or small food chopper, pulse the walnut halves into a coarse meal. Pour the walnut meal into a large mixing bowl. Then, transfer the oven-dried white beans to the food processor. Pulse the white beans to grind them up. They should have a wet sand-like texture with a few whole pieces of bean still in the mix. Transfer the ground white beans to the large mixing bowl with the walnuts.
  • To the white bean and walnut mixture, add the cooled sautéed vegetables, the sweet potato purée, 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce, tomato paste, tamari, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper. Using a spatula, mix thoroughly until everything is evenly combined and smooth.
  • Divide the spicy vegan buffalo meatloaf mixture among the greased muffin cups. I like to smooth the tops and shape them like a dome. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining hot sauce and ketchup. Brush this mixture over the entire surface of the mini meatloaves.
  • Bake the spicy vegan buffalo meatloaf minis until the loaves are firm and the ketchup glaze is caramelized, about 27-30 minutes. Serve warm with side dishes of your choosing.
An up close shot of a cut into vegan spicy buffalo meatloaf on a dinner plate with some side dishes. It is taken at side angle.
07/10/2020 (Last Updated 07/03/2024)
Posted in: autumn, earthy, gluten free, holidays, main course, salty, smoky, spicy, spring, summer, sweet potatoes, umami, vegan, white beans, winter


4.88 from 8 votes (5 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating

  • Carol

    5 stars
    Delicious!! I formed into 6 balls, perfect. Made a bit too spicy so I made the Spicy Tahini Ranch sauce from kale, sweet potato, chickpeas, pickled onions! Thx again for another great recipe!

  • Kim Hunton

    Hello, I unfortunately have an intolerance to all things tomato, ketchup, bbq sauce, paste … the list goes on. I was wondering if you have a suggestion of some sort of other glaze I could try with these? ‘Meatloaf’ without the glaze is just a weird muffin :) thanks for your thoughts.

  • AJ

    4 stars
    These were delicious – I let the beans dry out a bit longer in the oven so they would be less mushy. So good!

  • Joanell Storm

    5 stars
    Another winner.  Used black beans instead, but still delicious. Great idea to roast the beans first to dry them out a bit.  Delicious flavours!

  • Libby

    Do you think these could be made ahead, frozen and then heated up, added the glaze then? Or frozen after being baked with the glaze?

    • Laura

      Hi Libby,
      Once you’ve rolled up the raw mixture, I would freeze them at this point. On the day that you’re ready to serve them, let them thaw completely and proceed with baking and glazing as the recipe states. I worry that doing an initial bake and then freezing + reheating could really dry them out.

  • Tamara

    Looks awesome. I see an addition of sweet potato in the instructions but not in the ingredient list? Did I miss it somewhere?

    • Laura

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Tamara! I’m switching over my recipe documentation system and that one slipped through. It’s all fixed up now :)

      • Delaney

        I still don’t see sweet potato purée or white wine vinegar on the ingredient list. What are the measurements for both of them?

        • Laura

          Hi Delaney,
          They are both listed and I’ve just triple checked the recipe. Thanks for your patience as I switch to this new system.

  • Amanda

    The flavor of these was delicious, but ours came out pretty mushy and soft. The top crisped up, but nothing else. I tried baking them for longer, and then at a higher temp, but finally we just gave up and ate them mushy. They still tasted great, but I would love to get the texture right next time. Did I over process the nuts and beans? Or is there another place I could have messed up to get this soft texture?

    • LJ

      I had the exactly the same issue! No idea why they were all mushy…

      • Laura

        Hi Amanda and LJ,
        The texture of these is naturally going to be soft in the middle since we are trying to mimic that meatloaf texture. If you’d like some more crispness on the exterior, you can cook the loaves the full amount of time, take them out of the oven, and carefully transfer the mini loaves to a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack. From there, pop them back in the oven so that the exteriors can dry out a bit longer to your liking. Hope that this additional note is helpful.

        • Amanda

          Thanks! I will try that next time. But when I look at the photo of you slicing yours, it looks like it is keeping its shape. Mine flattened and mushed out when I tried to cut into it. Definitely not “loaf” like.

  • Kim H

    Just made these tonight.  Really cute (!) but also yummy.  Served with sauteed collard greens and mashed celery root & potato.  Vegan gravy would have been over the top, but alas, it is a weeknight :)  Thank you for the recipe!

    • Laura

      I’m so glad you liked them, Kim! Your dinner sounds amazing :)

  • Natasha

    Can you recommend something to sub the walnuts with (other than cashews)?

    • Laura

      Hi Natasha,
      I think pecans would be the best substitute here. A 50/50 mix of pecans and pumpkin seeds would also be great.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m so excited to find this recipe here this morning!  I’ve been looking for some kind of nut- or lentil-loaf, and your recipes never disappoint.  I happen to have all ingredients on hand so I’ll definitely be making these soon.  Also, the photographs are stunning, as usual.  

  • M

    Oh, these look and sound just perfect. Oben-drying the white beans is so smart! Curse my stupid walnut allergy…anytime I get all excited for a new dish, theres like a 45% chance it features walnuts. No substitute really matches the “meatiness” and fat content of those bad boys (or so I’ve been told). I will have to appreciate this dish from afar!

    • Laura

      Thank you so much for this! Are you allergic to pecans as well? I use them in a vegan meatball recipe of mine and they are just as meaty and functional in my opinion. If I was making a substitute for a walnut allergy here, I’d do either 100% pecans or a 50/50 mix of pecans and pumpkin seeds.-L

  • Kathryn Louise

    What a great idea to use muffin tins.   Pickeup up some beyond meat last month and have been thinking about meatloaf for weeks now. Finally googled recipes yesterday, only to wake up to your recipe this morning.  How perfect. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving !

  • Patricia Scarpin

    They might have been difficult to photograph, but your photos are amazing and the food is mouthwatering!

  • Rachel

    Yum! These look delicious… dragging nutloaf out of the 70’s, I love it! As someone who ate all kinds of nutloaf as a kid (begrudgingly), these look a step above. On my food shop list already xx