Sorta “Special K” Loaf, vegan

Okay, so this is totally something that goes around in Seventh-Day Adventist circles. Many of us wax poetic about the savoriness and addictive taste of it. Often people go back for seconds at potlucks. Some (ahem) have been known to eat it cold from the fridge.

But what the heck is Special K Loaf?

Basically a vegetarian version of meatloaf but made with cereal, cottage cheese, and eggs.  I know, I know, if you haven’t been in this culture, it’s totally weird sounding but surprisingly good.  Someday do a search for #specialkloaf on whatever social network you belong to and see what people say. (To sum it up, I’ve never heard anyone say it tastes bad!)

The original version, even though vegetarian, is definitely not health food. After turning vegan, I haven’t had any in a long time until a friend gave me a recipe for a vegan version that a family friend of hers came up with.  We made it – and it was good.

I’ve missed you, Special K Loaf.  I’m so happy to be able to eat you again.

No fancy pictures here, but another “brown” recipe totally worth making for potlucks or two people to eat throughout the week for lunch.

Sorta “Special K” Loaf, vegan

Adapted for oil-free cooking, serves 8 people or 4-6 really hungry ones


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup of approximately 20 ounces mushrooms, diced or sliced
  • 2 cups cooked oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • 1 flax seed “egg” = 3 tablespoons water + 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed together
  • 1 14-ounce container of tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts and/or pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon vegan chicken or vegetable broth seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt OR mushroom seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons vegan beef broth seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 cups plain Special K cereal (ahhh, not technically vegan! No fear, you can use) corn flakes


Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Saute onion and mushrooms. For oil-free cooking, use a nonstick pan and add a little water while sautéing as needed to prevent vegetables from sticking. When done, set aside.

Mix oatmeal with milk, add sautéed onions and mushrooms. Add all remaining ingredients and mix.

Place mixture in an ungreased 9″ x 13″ casserole pan, smooth the surface. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, then remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.  You can serve it immediately or wait for it to cool.  Freezes well if needed.

Recipe Notes:

  • If you don’t want to dirty another dish, use raw onions and uncooked mushrooms! I‘ve done it with onions and it turns out fine! If you did it with mushrooms, you may need to bake it a longer to combat the release of moisture, but I really don’t see it being a problem.
  • The amount of mushrooms is completely flexible.  I’ve used an entire container of mushrooms from Costco before (24 ounces).  If you can only find 8 ounces, then go for it.
  • As for the oatmeal, I’ve used all kinds: quick oats, steel cut oats, etc. It always tastes good whatever I’ve used!
  • For the non-salty seasonings (i.e. not the broth seasonings), you’re welcome to add more if you’d like. No exact measurements needed here.
  • I’ve always been generous with the “6 cups Special K corn flakes cereal” and, if you haven’t figured it out already, it turns out just fine.
  • After mixing all the ingredients together, make sure you taste it!  It’ll boil down to this: does it need more salt?  At this point, soy sauce (or Braggs Liquid Aminos) will be easier to blend into the mixture than plain salt.  If it’s too salty, then add more Special K corn flakes cereal.
  • Since finding out Special K technically isn’t vegan, as you saw above, you can use plain corn flakes (yes, there’s sugar content but you can’t really tell) or any other Special K-like cereal. The texture is a little different but tastes just as good.

8 thoughts on “Sorta “Special K” Loaf, vegan

  1. Hello: I used to love Special K loaf as a kid! But have not made it in years since becoming vegan.

    Questions: To make this a tad easier and not have to dirty another pot by cooking the oatmeal – have you tried adding plain oats with a little water directly into the mix? In the end I would think that it would work.

    Also… have you tried any other cereals? Since Special K is not vegan, I would like to find an alternative. Years ago my wife and I ran a vegetarian SDA school cafeteria for Navajo children. We used Ruskets cereal (another SDA thing)! Just wondering if you have used any other cereals that worked out well. Thanks so much for your post/recipe! God bless you!

    • Hi Paul! I haven’t made a new post in a long while but I still maintain my blog 🙂

      Yes, I’ve actually done that oatmeal hack before! Most of the time I use quick oats. Other times, we have leftover cooked oatmeal from breakfast so I’ll use that. To make this a true one-pot-meal, I’m quite sure uncooked onions and mushrooms will do reasonably well, too.

      I had *no clue* that Special K wasn’t vegan – ahh, my bubble has been burst! Whomp. No fear, though: I saw my friend use corn flakes and it was completely fine. A bit different, yes, but still tasty. (I know the sugar seems strange but there’s actually less in Kellogg Corn Flakes than Special K.)

      If you make it, let me know what you think! 🙂

    • Hi Stephanie 🙂 In its usual and original iterations, Special K Loaf uses cottage cheese and eggs – I’ve even seen condensed milk before – two of the most difficult things to replace with vegan ingredients in a recipe! Somehow the tofu and binders work very well.

  2. Been meaning to post a “thanks” for a while. Our family has been a huge fan of Special K loaf for literally decades. I became a vegan and missed it desperately. Discovered your recipe in a search, and you’ve hit the mark with this recipe! Awesome and versatile. Makes great sandwiches. In fact, it’s my go-to loaf for Thanksgiving. Thanks again for your efforts and sharing. I’ll be sharing your link with friends! (P.S. Organic corn flakes work great!)

    • Hi Melissa, thanks for sharing!! You know, I hadn’t even made this recipe in a couple years bc I was disheartened to know Special K had whey in it. We were hosting thanksgiving this year so I wanted to try it out with corn flakes…and while at the store, decided to check the ingredients for Special K and it’s vegan again! Needless to say, we bought it and all is well again. (I did try it with corn flakes and it’s just fine, too!) Glad to know I can help other SDA vegans out 😉

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