Mom's Vegetable "Meatloaf" with Checca Sauce

Popular chef Giada De Laurentiis shares a delicious all-veggie "meatloaf."

- Posted on Dec 16, 2013

Mom's Vegetable "Meatloaf" with Checca Sauce

“The lentils and the brown rice make this dish hearty while keeping it fluffy and light,” says Giada. “My favorite part is the fresh tomato sauce.”


Checca Sauce
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 scallions (white and pale green parts only) 1 tsp. kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8 fresh basil leaves  
Lentil Loaf
Vegetable oil cooking spray 1 c. shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil ½ c. frozen corn kernals, thawed
1 small white onion, finely chopped ⅓ c. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 medium carrot, shredded 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
4 c. fresh baby spinach 1 tsp. kosher salt
15-oz. can cooked lentils, rinsed and drained ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 c. cooked brown rice 2 medium tomatoes, sliced


Checca Sauce
1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients.

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2. Pulse until tomatoes are coarsely chopped; be careful not to purée them.

3. Transfer to a bowl.

Lentil Loaf
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10x4½- inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.

3. In same skillet, cook spinach over medium heat until it wilts, about 3 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.

4. Squeeze excess liquid from spinach. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Add to onion mixture.

5. Add lentils, brown rice, ¾ cup of the mozzarella, corn, basil, eggs, egg white, salt, pepper and sauce. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.

6. Arrange tomatoes in 2 rows on top, covering loaf completely.

7. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and drizzle with remaining olive oil.

8. Bake until loaf is heated through and topping is melted and starting to brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

9. Let cool 15 minutes. Slice loaf (still in pan) into 1-inch slices and serve with remaining sauce.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 388; Fat: 19g; Cholesterol: 90mg; Sodium: 631mg; Total Carbohydrates: 41g; Dietary Fiber: 11g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 17g.

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